The Fallacy of Social Media Engagement
One of the fallacies of social media is that you need deep pockets to effectively engage with your audience. There are a whole suite of social media products out there offering social media listening services, analytics, and cross channel platforms either for free or for a fee. The permutations and choices are many with each one claiming to have a definitive solution in managing and understanding social media interactions. The reality is there is no magic pill to make social media engagement easier and scaleable.
The truth of the matter is that in order to get a Return On Investment (ROI) from social media you have to put in the time, to understand what’s right for your goals and objectives. Be bold in experimenting with new approaches to measuring success. Learn from failure. Reboot and reiterate.
A Very Long Engagement
Take the time to align your approach to social media engagement with the goals and objectives. Not only do you need a thorough understanding of which digital channels your audience sits in, but also how they interact within those channels. Overlay the complexity around the tone of voice you want to convey in order to respond to people in those channels and you have a delicate balancing act.
Regardless if you or a brand you represent is producing or curating content it’s of absolute importance to understand how the audience reacts. To my mind the tool I use to gauge people’s interactions with my blog postings is through PostRank Analytics.
PostRank is a great tool that enables you to gauge how many people interacted with each blog posting you make over time. Not only does it track page views like Google Analytics, but is also determines who has shared the content, on which digital channels and applies a score. This research tool effectively makes you understand what content is of most interest to your audience and in what channel.
In combination with Postrank, Crowdbooster can provide valuable insight into your audiences behaviour. Crowdbooster allows you to determine the reach of your audience. This tool enables you to understand 1) how many people your tweet has reached, essentially a tweet’s virility; 2) monitors follower’s growth, enabling you to accurate pinpoint factors that lead to growth; 3) Identify influential followers within your audience; 4) determine who in your audience retweets your content; 5) finally Crowdbooster can determine the optimum time for you to tweet you your audience and allows you to schedule those tweets.
Identifying your Audience in their Social Media Channel
Get to know and understand how Google Analytics (GA) works. The scope and scale of GA is too broad for this post alone. However one tip I can provide is the ability to track users arriving to your site from social media channels.
Step 1: Determine the source of your visitors by social media channels. Google tracks every referral to your site, so by making a list you can then begin to segment social media traffic from organic and paid search.
Step 2: Get familiar with advanced segment in GA. With the list of social media channels driving traffic you can start to split them out. In the example below I’ve applied the condition that if a traffic source contains a particular value identified from the list in step 1, it is to be regarded as a social media channel.
Once you have saved and activated your advanced segments you will be able to determine how much influence social media channels has in driving traffic to your site.
This approach allows you to determine the most valuable social media channels to invest your time and effort.
My Two Cents
The sheer choice of social media tools available can be confusing and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future with consolidation and contraction in this area. However try not to get hung up on tools, rather make sure you have an understanding of your social media goals and objectives and what measurements align with those goals. Fundamentally it is the techniques that bring longevity and success to social media programs not the tools used in isolation.
Dedicated to the memory of Isobel