I’m getting great feedback from people attending my workshops about our FLIRT process. It is really helpful in guiding them through what it takes to start using social media for their business. It makes it digestible in 5 simple steps. So far we talked about Focus, Listen, Integrate and Reaching Out. Today I want to expand on the last letter of FLIRT – The T for Track.
The first slide in my workhop about Track says: You cannot improve what you cannot measure. And that says it all. Its very important that in your strategy you define very clear measurable objectives and in the Tracking phase you measure your social media performance against these social media objectives. The chart below comes from Altimeter’s A Framework for Social Analytics and explains clearly what you can define as measurable objectives in your strategy:
The key message I want to give you here is that your social media measurement can only lead to improvements if you can relate it to clear measurable objectives in your social media strategy.
When you start measuring your social media activities, remember that that are three areas of measurement. Each with its own characteristics and measurement tools.
The simplest way of measurement is to measure your web site traffic. How many page views, how many visitors, where do they come from, what are the most popular pages on your web site, where is the traffic coming from (search engine or via social media), what devices are being used, etc.). The tool of choice for this is Google Analytics. You have to tell Google Analytics to track your pages. The easiest way to track your Google Analytics once you set it up is via an app on your iphone. My favourite app for this is iDashboard.
Its one thing to have visitors to your blog, but what you are really after is to have people engaging with your content. How many comments, how many likes, how many followers etc. This is where you start using the analytics of the various social media networks. Facebook is clearly the furthest ahead in this. Facebook Insights gives you details on your likes, the level of engagement, which posts are the most successful, where do your likes come from etc. Twitter itself has little analytics but there are dozens of sites where you can go to to measure your twitter activities. Here’s a link to 10 awesome twitter analytics tools. Linkedin is very basic on the analytics side. Basically, the best Linkedin analytics you will find in the company page and the group analytics. My advice is that before you join a group, check the group analytics on demographics of the members and activity levels in the group.
In Sentiment analysis you are going to analyse what people are actually saying. What are the trends, is it positive, negative, neutral etc. For big consumer brands this is a very important area of analytics where they spend lots of money. Wikipedia defines sentiment analysis or opinion mining as the application of natural language processing, computational linguistics, and text analytics to identify and extract subjective information in source materials. You can do this in simple way to copy/paste the text in a wordcloud tool like wordle. This will give you the most important words that are being used. Or you can go to more advanced (and expensive) software solutions like Radian6.
There are lots and lots of tools available to measure your social media activities. In this blog post I covered just a few of them. If you have your own favourite tools, why don’t you share them in the comment section of this blog.