Posted by: practicalglobalrelations | March 7, 2010

How to Measure Social Media Sites

Social media can be a great tool for organizations to use; however, it can be very difficult to measure the results of a social media campaign.

I recently read an article (conducted by Mzinga and Babson Executive Education) that said 84% of social media programs do not measure their campaign results. One of the biggest issues with social media is that it is not always measurable. Companies do not always know the best way to figure out if its sites are working or not.

The first step before you can start measuring your social media returns if to create goals. Ask yourself, what do you want to accomplish with your presence on social media sites? Some examples are: If you want to increase the company’s sales by 15% or the number of donors supporting a non-profit by 5%. After clearly defining your goals, you should determine where your company is at now in terms of your goals, before implementing your social media strategy.

One of the easiest and most obvious ways to measure social media sites is by monitoring traffic. Watch the number of followers, people who comment and mentions of your site on other user’s pages; however, tracking numbers is not the only tool you should rely on when evaluating success. You should look at the relevancy of the traffic and what the numbers mean in terms of leading your company to its goals. For example, are your blog and twitter pages leading people to your Web site? Does the increase in visitors to your Web site correlate with higher sales?

After defining your goals, register your social media sites with Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a service that gives you insight into the traffic and market effectiveness of your Web page. It shows you how people found your site and what pages they viewed or links they clicked on. Best of all, this service is completely free. To evaluate a Twitter account or Facebook page, you can use Google Analytics to track the amount of traffic being drawn to your company’s Web site from a posts, comments or tweets.

It’s important to remember that social media can be a helpful, but also very time consuming tool. The tools I have talked about require you to set aside a little time every day to evaluate the progress of the social media sites. In the end, these small steps are going to be important when asking yourself what is going right and what needs to be improved.

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