The Launch of Google Glass
5 Updates To Webmaster Tools That You Might Have Missed
Tracking your social media ripple, impact and effect.
18 Apr 2013
The effects of social media have been growing for a number of years now. There was a time when social networking was purely a personal tool, something that allowed individuals to connect with their friends, acquaintances and colleagues. It didn’t take businesses long to realise that the potential to reach a market was not only huge, but very specified and targeted as well.
The effects of social media have been growing for a number of years now. There was a time when social networking was purely a personal tool, something that allowed individuals to connect with their friends, acquaintances and colleagues.
It didn’t take businesses long to realise that the potential to reach a market was not only huge, but very specified and targeted as well.
As a result, social media marketing is now big business and an integral part of any digital marketing campaign, or any traditional marketing campaign for that matter.
If something is being shared, interacted with and engaged with in large numbers, then it is likely to generate lots of rank-boosting links and also demonstrates to search engines that this piece of content is worth showing to its users.
Search engines have shown that social signals can have an impact on rankings as well (though this has been somewhat diminished since Twitter cut off the so called “Twitter-hose” which gave Google instant access to Twitter data).
As a result, it is important to try and keep tabs on how your campaign is doing in the social circle for the purposes of reporting and strategy development. Not every digital campaign you do is going to “go viral” and cover all social networks in huge numbers.
That is not to say that the piece may not be successful or achieve targets, it just means that tracking any social media coverage may not be the most productive use of your time. However, some content is very shareable, such as this and this.
If you create a piece that really grabs user’s attention, here’s how you can monitor how it is being picked up across the web and how you can utilise that information.
One of the most complete and user friendly ways of tracking social numbers is sharedcount. This is the most accurate and quickest way of finding out the amounts of Facebook shares, likes and comments, Tweets, Google +1’s, Pintrest pins, Stumbles and more for any given URL.
This is a very useful way to see in pure figures how much attention your piece has garnered. But sometimes you need more than just figures, you want to see who is sharing your content and in real time.
A useful tool for this is twitterfall. This allows you to plug in a URL and it will update every time a user tweets out that URL (including shortened versions). You can then see the user name, followers and following information of each user that tweets the URL.
This is extremely useful during the promotion of a project, as you can target individuals who have tweeted your link for further coverage. You have the added benefit of knowing that they liked/enjoyed your piece and can use it as leverage.
This can also be done with the Twitter client Tweetdeck, where you can add a particular URL to a column and it will also update in real time every time the URL is tweeted. There are many other benefits to Tweetdeck, which go beyond the scope of this post.
Another useful tool for tracking coverage of your content is well known URL-shortener Bit.ly. Bit.ly is known for its ability to take a full URL and shorten it to a Twitter friendly length. But it can actually do much more than just cut down the length of a URL.
Once you’ve reduced the length of your link, it will actually track and record the number of times someone clicks through that particular shortened URL. This way you can actually see how many times someone is going through to your site using that particular URL.
This has it obvious benefits, as you can see which person who shares your link has led to the most engagement with other users. These are the main tools that I use when trying to keep track of the social media pick up of any particular project.
The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that most of these are Twitter focused, mainly because Twitter is the second most popular social network at the moment.
The world’s most popular social network, Facebook, is slightly less useful to for our purposes as digital marketers. This may come as a bit of a surprise but the reason for this is actually very simple – privacy.
Facebook protects and conceals what users share and post, so accurately tracking who has shared something is nigh-on impossible. However, the Sharedcount tool can provide figures, so at least you can gather an insight into the number of people who your piece has reached.
By using these tools you can monitor the social share figures, see who is sharing your content and utilise this information to adapt your strategy if necessary as well as increasing opportunities for further coverage for your piece.
Social Media is the future of digital marketing, so taking the time now to learn how to maximise your social coverage is hugely important and will only become more important to your campaigns.
Hopefully this was helpful - if you have any tips or tools I haven’t mentioned, leave a comment below.