Understanding how successful your social media activity really is can be a challenge. It is sometime possible (but often difficult) to tie social media activity and investment straight back to commercial returns. The reason for this is that there are typically multiple motivations for engaging in social media which are not directly linked to revenue such as… brand enhancement and protection, improved customer relations, improved support function, development of credibility and authority and so on.
Just because all social activity cannot be tied to straight revenue doesn’t mean that the other “non revenue generating” benefits don’t have value and as such it’s important to measure many things in social media analytics. So, what do you measure? what should you measure? and which tools do you need to do the measuring?
A few fundamental questions can help narrow down the choice of tools used to monitor your social connections
How many social accounts are you trying to grow and to what level of growth?
A business may decide that they are going to focus most of their analysis and growth efforts on one key social network as it’s most likely to help with their key business objectives. An example would be a focus on Twitter to establish credibility and authority in a market place and connect with influencers, or, it might be Facebook to connect with end consumers which can be useful in B2C businesses.
In this scenario it can be useful to look for a specialist analytics tool specific to the social network selected as opposed to looking at a tool suite that covers all social media analytics and monitoring. These tools fall into a few different areas as specified below.
Analytics Tools specific to the platform
Free and low cost external Analytics Tools
More networks and more accounts
Some companies may make the strategic decision to be active in multiple social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google plus etc. In this scenario it can be useful to use a tool suite which pulls all relevant social analytics and data into one central place with reports and dashboards etc.
For companies who are very active in Social Media perhaps supporting not just one account on each social network but multiple accounts on each for different products, brand, promotions etc then Enterprise social analytics, monitoring and management systems are probably required.