The following is a guest blog from Steve Robinson of Constant Contact:
What are the best ways to quantify your impact – and progress – on Twitter and Facebook when you have to report it to your superiors?
If you accept that social media will help your organization, then what the issue really comes down to is: How do I measure its impact and know whether my posts and tweets are generating the social media buzz we’re looking for?
The easiest thing to keep track of is the number of “followers” you have on Twitter and the number of people who "Like" your Facebook Page. Over time, those numbers should go up if you engage your network with valuable and relevant content.
How will you keep track of the engagement? Allow me to suggest a variety of tools, all of them free, that you can use to monitor what’s being said about you. They have the added benefit of allowing you to streamline some of your social media activities as well:
• NutshellMail – This tool allows you to monitor and manage your brand’s social media presence right from your email inbox, and to do things like track your Facebook Page Insights, manage your Likes and followers on Facebook and Twitter, engage with your networks, and use other social media sites (like Yelp and Foursquare).
• HootSuite – This is a social media dashboard that allows you search for hashtags, terms, and keywords; merge and monitor your Facebook and Twitter streams; and gather social media intelligence as well. You can also post and schedule updates to multiple social networks all at once from within HootSuite.
• TweetDeck – This is a real-time browser, connecting you with your contacts across multiple social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
• Google Alerts – Google Alerts allows you to “save” keywords. It will then send you an email anytime your keyword matches with new content found on the web.
Other tools you can use include Google Analytics, to see if social media is driving traffic to your website, and email marketing reports, to see how many people click on the social media icons in your emails and how many people have joined your email list.
Steve Robinson is a Senior Regional Development Director for Constant Contact. In addition to serving as the President of the Lake County, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, he relies on his nearly 30 years of experience in small business ownership, business development, sales, and fundraising to help associations, small businesses, and nonprofits achieve success. He understands the importance of staying connected with one’s customer base and using affordable marketing technologies to do it.