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Measuring social media on a small budget

May 11, 2009

Social media is an interesting thing to measure.  It did not start out as something that people tracked.  Who wanted to rate the effectiveness of Facebook and its ability to reach an audience when it first came out?  It was meant as a way for friends to connect online.  Now social media is being used in business and as an objective for communications strategies.  With this new use, it is necessary to measure the success of an online campaign or else results will be lost in cyberspace.

Another interesting thing about social media is trying to figure out how to measure it.  There are many different questions to answer to figure out what is right for you.  Not to mention asking yourself whether to measure qualitatively by measuring the value and strength of relationships or simply look at the numbers.  Do you pay for a program to do the work for you or do you take a little extra time out of your day to do the work yourself.  There are a lot of different things to decide.  One thing is sure, even if you do not have a lot of time and money to spend, there are ways to measure social media.

You don’t have to have a large budget to measure the effectiveness of social media.  For one, there are platforms out there like Google Analytics that do many things for free.  Simple things can be done that do not take very much time or effort once you get use to them.  Take Twitter for example.  There are many things that can be measured by Google Analytics and do not take up a lot of your time.  As Craig Oda from PageOne PR shares in his blog post “Social Media – Slashing Marketing Costs by Measuring Results,” constant adjustments are made to resources used because of analytics.  Some of the things he measures on Twitter include:measuring

  • Direct referral traffic using Google Analytics;
  • Number of followers;
  • Number of @replies by community;
  • Number of #hashtag uses by community;
  • Number of keyword mentions by community;
  • Number of posts by Twitter channel manager (to show we’re working);
  • Number of retweets.

Data like this can be helpful in determining the scope of a message to an audience and help adjust a campaign or measure the results.  And if you are not going to measure results, don’t bother.  With the exception of a few different marketing techniques, social media should be measured is businesses are looking for specific results.

Visit Craig Oda’s blog post here:

http://www.pageonepr.com/blogs/thepagewonders/2009/03/social-media-slashing-marketing-costs.html

For other ideas on measuring social media visit:

http://econsultancy.com/blog/3407-10-ways-to-measure-social-media-success

http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/2009/03/25/quick-n-dirty-social-media-monitoring-guide-intermediate-edition/

Laura Schatz

Follow me on Twitter: @leschatz

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