Most small businesses I speak with are wary of trying something as unfamiliar to them as building a website or spending money on social media marketing. Luckily there are plenty of success stories and business cases out there to show them how many other businesses similar to theirs have had wild success with the same strategies I propose. If you’d like to figure out how successful your own online marketing strategy is, here are three free tools we suggest you use to track your results.
Google Analytics will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about your website’s performance. It is a free service offered by Google that tracks every visitor to your website and records several different sets of data about how each interacts with it. This data includes, but is not limited to how the users found your site, what content they looked at and for how long, where they live, and more.
While that may sound very basic, the correlation and insights of Google Analytics are very powerful. Tracking the source of visitors to your site can help you determine which off-line marketing campaigns are yielding conversions, whether that’s signing up for a newsletter or ordering a product online. Examining the time spent on each page of your site can help you figure out which content may need a little facelift to more effectively present your business. All in all, tracking website traffic is the single most important thing you can do for your business if you care at all about your online presence.
While Google Analytics is the standard for tracking a website’s performance, it can’t give you any meaningful insights about the success of your social media campaigns, unless all you do with social media is repeatedly link back to your website. Luckily we have Klout, which measures Facebook Likes, Tweets and Retweets, YouTube views and comments, and many more social metrics to construct an overall picture of your brand’s social influence. Once it has an idea of your influence it assigns it a weighted numerical score from 1 to 100. Just for reference, Justin Bieber’s Klout has recently fallen from 100 to 98. President Barack Obama’s Klout Score is steady at 87.
While no one knows exactly how a Klout score is constructed, we know it measures primarily the size of your audience, your influence over it, and your likelihood of having your message to that audience amplified. Additionally, now that Klout has released the “+K” feature, your followers can endorse your brand’s expertise and raise your Klout score simply by clicking a button corresponding to one of the subjects Klout judges you to be influential to.
Last, but certainly not least, is CrowdBooster, which analyzes the performance of tweets and Facebook status updates to help you determine the best times for you to post and provide suggestions for who you should engage with. Without measuring the more than dozen social networks of Klout it’s not incredibly comprehensive but the main advantage is that it provides suggestions for improving your engagement on the “Big Two” social networks.
The most helpful feature of CrowdBooster is the graph of all your recent status updates. This allows you to see at a glance each recent Tweet or Facebook post and the impressions and retweets/comments of each, which helps you learn which status updates your audience is most receptive to. Secondly, CrowdBooster will analyze your past updates’ performance and suggest to you which times of day you should be posting updates. Lastly, the service will also tell you who your most influential recent followers are so you can reach out to them and start forming relationships.
Individually, each of these tools offers incredible insight into how online marketing campaigns are performing but when the three are combined together one can really get a great understanding of how to increase brand awareness and hone campaigns with nearly surgical precision. Do you have any tools that are invaluable in your brand management? Leave a comment and let us know!