My last post hit on how to be flexible in your social media strategy. Being rigid and too “canned” can make your presence stale. Another trap solopreneurs fall into is over-analyzing how well they’re doing in their social media efforts.
How Well You’re Doing It
If you’re a small business owner (and especially if you’re a solopreneur), you don’t need any fancy software or analytical tools to get an overall feel for how well your social media efforts are going. You see the quantity and quality of interactions, you see the types of posts that draw the most comments and are shared the most, and you see how many connections are your old college buddies vs. how many are existing or prospective clients.
In his post, Social Metrics: Do We Need Them?, Craig Hall gives some sensible advice. He recommends that we concentrate on communicating and building out our social media networks rather than worry too much about gauging the impact. With a bunch of software developers feverishly working on the latter to bring new tools our way, your time is better spent engaging with your audience so you’ve got something notable to measure.
But if you want to go beyond your gut for evaluating your efforts, there are some easily accessible – and FREE – analytics built right into tools that you may already be using. Because Facebook and Twitter reign as the most-used social media by solopreneurs and small business owners, I’ve focused on them:
Facebook Insights – At a glance, you’ll see how many people or pages Like your page, how many people and pages your posts reached during the week, how many people and pages interacted with your page, and the virality of your individual posts.
Hootsuite – The social media scheduling tool has Quick Analytics that provide you with free Summary Stats which include information about how many people clicked on your posts’ links, the countries where those people are located, and which posts were most popular. You can also upgrade your account to get customize reports with more detailed information.
BufferApp – Another scheduling tool, BufferApp, provides Analytics that show you the potential reach of your tweets, the number of clicks your tweets’ links received, and the quantity of retweets, favorites and mentions your posts got.
Google Analytics – If you’ve got Google Analytics set up on your website, you can check your stats to see how many visits from your website came from your social media channels. So, if your social media tactics involve calls to action to get people to visit your website, here’s where you can see if you’re succeeding.
WordPress – I can’t speak for other blog platforms, but WordPress.com has Site Stats that allow you to see how much traffic your blog got on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. It also gives you the number of all-time views, today’s views, and views on your busiest day. Another cool feature is that it lets you see which of your posts were most popular.
So if you’re not comfortable making your own assessment of your social media savvy, there are some quick and easy ways to see if what you’re doing is effective. Just keep in mind that it takes time to build up your social media clout. When using any tool, look more for steady improvement (in followers, fans, page views, clicks, etc.) over time rather than a miraculous overnight success.
And make sure you’re concentrating the vast majority of your time and effort into interacting on your social media networks rather than trying to measure and validate every last post!
How do you measure and monitor your social media efforts? What’s your biggest challenge?
Consider joining the Dialing 8 Project! A forum for learning, sharing & getting the most out of your social media efforts for your small business.
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