So if you’ve learned anything over these last nine days of the Social Media Challenge, it’s that managing your social media success is more complex than you expect.
It can become simpler though with a strategic plan of attack and when you track and measure your results.
Suddenly all that work you’re pouring into your online efforts starts to make sense and you can see it come to life in tangible ways like new subscribers, visitors, sales and referrals.
So first off let’s look at some best practices that you can refer to time and time again, and then we will delve into how to track and measure your social media efforts.
7 Social Media Best practices to abide by
To recap on the fundamentals of what we’ve covered here’s what what you need to do:
1. Treat social media like an offline relationship.
Never ever sell right out of the gate, just like you wouldn’t do to a friend in a coffee shop that you’re sitting opposite.
Instead, build up that friendship first. Ask the right questions, share interesting information, share relevant information, get feedback on things, treat that person like a really good friend.
2. Be LARGE
In that you would want to listen, ask, respond, give, engage above all else.
3. Go through AAA
That’s nothing to do with drinking. It’s about being authoritative, it’s being authentic, and it’s about being available.
So be authoritative in a way that positions you as the go-to person in your market, the knowledgeable person who’s always sharing great resources, great insight and useful tips.
Be authentic in that it’s simply you talking. You never try to be anybody else. You are who you are. Your personality shines through.
And be available in that you don’t post something and then a week later, you get back to people who left comments or asked a question. You are available in that you check in daily, not 24/7 but that you are around and you’re consistent and you’re engaged.
4. Create SMART Goals
Before you start tracking and measuring you need to set Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound goals for your social media sites that relate to your business goals.
For example a goal might be `Publish two fantastic posts on my blog per week and one guest post on an authority site to increase my website traffic by 20% and my email subscribers by 5%.
Once you have these goals in place then you can actually figure out what on earth you should be measuring and why that matters.
5. Set a weekly schedule and stick to it
You need to actually block out time in your calendar and treat your social media efforts as part of your marketing, sales and customer service time.
- Monday might be your marketing day where you spend 1 hour on your chosen sites to spread the word on your blog posts, resources or products.
- Tuesday might be the time you do outreach and engage in groups and forums by providing helpful answers and tips.
- Wednesday might be your measurement day where you take a look at your analytics and optimize what’s working.
And so on. The more disciplined you are the better it will be.
6. Track your results
Luckily there are more tracking tools than you could wave a finger at and the key one to focus on is Google Analytics and then the free analytics tools provided by almost all of the social media sites.
Use these tools to measure what’s work on a regular basis (i.e check in each Sunday to see whether you’re getting growth in numbers, visits, subscribers, reach, likes, comments etc).
By the way you can find a free Social Media Editorial Content Marketing Plan and Tracking template under Chapter 8 of my book resources website.
7. Tweak your strategy
Use the results you’ve analyzed to do more of the right things and tweak and pivot in the areas that you’re not seeing the results you’d like yet. This will help you get the most out of your time spent online.
For example if Twitter is driving you hundreds of weekly leads and Facebook just 5% of all your traffic, focus more of your efforts on Twitter related posts, updates and calls to action.
Social Media Tracking and Measurement Tools
As I mentioned there’s no point in using social media if you’re not prepared to understand what’s working and how that’s helping you build your brand and business online.
So you need to monitor how and where people are talking about you and your business. Unfortunately is no one tool that does it all but Google Analytics is about the closest to it and you absolutely must set this up for your own website (especially since it’s free).
If you combine Google Analytics with the following tools though, I think you’ll have a very, very clear insight and dashboard that allows you to know where your website and blog visitors are coming from, which pages and content they’re looking at and what social media sites are driving so much of that engagement.
Whatever your choice of tool, make sure that it’s working for you and that you’re able to post to multiple accounts and be able to post similar content at different times, schedule them out, track keywords, track mentions, track re-tweets, track favoriting, track comments, et cetera.
Social Media Site Analytics
Facebook Insights, YouTube Insights and Twitter Analytics are all excellent tools that you can look at regularly to track how you’re spending your time online and what results you’re having.
What’s more they’re all free and they keep on improving. Facebook Insights in particular now allow you to track your reach, engagement and individual post metrics showing you what times of day you’re getting the most success and what type of content your audience responds to most.
Hootsuite is my social media dashboard of choice where I get to keep tabs, manage and measure multiple social media sites.
They’re also a supporting partner of my Social Media Challenge and you have the opportunity to win one of four awesome prizes of one month of the Hootsuite Pro package and access to their Hootsuite University just by writing response posts during this challenge.
Here’s some of the things I can do:
Post updates to multiple sites at one time including Facebook (profile, page and groups), Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Google Plus
Sett up tabs and streams to manage my life, Twitter followers, keywords, mentions and filter out the overwhelm
Use keyword search to track your mentions, engagement and keep on top of – well you
Schedule messages and posts into the future so you look like your awesome when really your just organized
And use Google Analytics and cool reports to measure your usefulness and clickthroughs etc
This free tools is great to set up for keywords you want to monitor and track and get a daily email, or news as it happens. This is going to be your little daily newspaper that you read and get informed with.
For example you’d set up an alert for your company name and your name so you can see who’s talking about you online and where and then go and engage with them.
You can also set it up for relevant keywords or topics related to your industry or niche that you’d like to get updates on so you can see which competitors are talking about what, which influencers in your world are writing articles or opinion pieces that you can reach out to.
This tool covers every corner of the social web and it lets you know your social media mentions. So if you’re not using HootSuite or something else, then Viralheat could be a really good one for you to use – it is a paid service.
Klout is a subjective tool for measuring your influence and reach online for both your personal profile and for business. It’s based on an algorithm and aggregate score of how much clout you have in comparison to other people and influences in your field.
People can actually rank your skills and expertise and thereby increasing your Klout score, so it’s a good place to look at and see how you’re comparing to others and what areas people think you have clout in and how you’re going to expand on it.
The key here with these tools is to check in on your results once a week by scanning through the metrics and looking at the results.
Example in action
Let’s say you help people set up their Facebook pages for business. You can monitor who’s talking about this through Google Alerts.
You may see that Chris Brogan, Guy Kawasaki, and Mari Smith for example, are all talking about the new Facebook features.
If you’re smart you’ll regularly visit their blogs, leave intelligent comments on them, and while you’re at it, see who else is commenting on there, see whether they’re right for your community, look at what they’re doing, engage in the comments with them and get on their radar.
Through your Google alerts or even your online search and use of Hootsuite keywords, you will find the right forums to engage in too, where you can hang out, offer advice, be helpful, answer questions and become known as the go-to person.
This also applies to Facebook groups, LinkedIn Groups and Google Plus communities!
Through this regular and consistent engagement and sharing of your knowledge on these groups, sites and forums, people will start to come to know you as the helpful person with specific expertise and will contact you about your services of refer people to you.
In The Suitcase Entrepreneur (just hit No #2 Bestseller in Business Travel on Amazon!) I have an entire chapter on using social media as your sales, marketing and customer service tool and also detail out examples of people making money through their efforts on using social media in the right way.
Day 10 Challenge to accept:
1. Write a blog post response to this question
How are you measuring and tracking your social media efforts online?
2. Share your blog post response, and leave a comment to be in to win:
Share your blog post far and wide from your own blog using your own share buttons and the hashtag #SMC AND post a short description and the URL right here in the comments.
3. Embed the 10 Day Social Media Challenge badge in your blog post using this:
<a href=”https://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/socialmediachallenge”><img src=”https://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/wp-content/themes/suitcaseentrepreneur1/socialmedia/socialmediachallenge.jpg” alt=”Social media Challenge” /></a>
4.Click to tweet this: How are you measuring and tracking your social media efforts online? #smc
Also if you feel so inclined you can also:
Follow the Social Media Tips Pinterest board.