Every social media campaign comes with a unique set of objectives, goals, tactics and related metrics, but increasing brand or product awareness is almost always a top priority.
The top three metrics that marketers use to measure and monitor the impact of social media, according to research from Marketing Sherpa are “visitors and sources of traffic,” “network size in terms of followers, fans, etc.,” and “quantity of commentary about your brand or product.”
Our B2B clients often want a quick snapshot of “awareness” success shortly after pushing out of the gate with a new campaign (whether social media, traditional media or both). The “big 3” metrics mentioned above tend to be easier data points to collate. They give senior executives a sense of progress and tangible results while longer-term strategic work, like engagement with influential bloggers/journalists and search engine ranking, continues to take place behind the scenes.
Following are a few tools and tips I’ve found useful for pulling together a preliminary social media awareness report one week after a campaign launch:
Social media press release (SMPR) views: You can very easily track the number people who have viewed your release by using platforms like Pitchengine.com. Be forewarned – producing the release can be time-consuming. The pay-off: a more robust and exciting way to present information than a drab release, and it’s more conducive to sharing online. It also a useful marketing tool to include in email campaigns, presentations, webinars and other marketing communications.
Fans, Followers, “Potential Reach”: Social media and marketing expert Amber Naslund’s post on social media measurement offers a helpful run-down on potential reach vs. actual reach, along with details about how to accurately calculate your true reach across social media platforms. Here’s the “quick and dirty” one-week-out version I’ve used:
- Add up the number of people tweeting or re-tweeting your information. Topsy is particularly helpful in that regard.
- Total the number of followers for those who shared your content on Twitter by looking at individual profiles to get follower counts.
- Url shorteners like bit.ly are also useful for tracking how many people are looking at your information, and to analyze what interests people most.
- Know the number of fans/followers you have on different platforms, and how that number has changed.
- Be sure to bookmark your release or other relevant information on sites like Delicious and Digg. You can easily see how many others have bookmarked the information as well. Kipp Bodnar’s recent post on bookmarking offers great tips for B2B marketing.
Web Traffic: This can be quickly pulled via a Google Analytics account, along with the referral pages that are bringing people to the site.
Blog Mentions: Fairly simple to track. Free tools like Google News Alerts will notify you of any mentions.
Key Influencers: If you do your homework in advance (and you should), it’s pretty easy to tell (via Twitter and blog metrics above) whether important influencers are talking about you online. The hard part is identifying the right people and building those relationships. While I’ve outlined mostly quantity-related metrics above, quality is equally important, if not more so. Unfortunately, I haven’t found many useful tools to help identify influential bloggers and Tweeters on a particular topic. It’s mostly the result of digging around. What helped me most was identifying 2 or 3 key people, and then following their blog rolls or looking at their Twitter profiles to see who they follow or re-tweet. Mailana is also a useful tool to note who people are talking with most frequently on Twitter. In reports to clients, we’ll make note of any especially big influencers and why (i.e., the blog is ranked as one of the top 10 workplace blogs by X).
What tools and metrics have you found most useful for reporting short-term social media awareness success?
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