Triangle Web Analytics Wednesday: Analyzing Social Media

Yes, you’re on Twitter. You’re probably on Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and a whole bunch of other social media sites, too– but are you analyzing your effectiveness on those sites like you analyze your effectiveness on your website? Probably not. It’s a wild new world of analytics in the social media sphere.

This week’s Triangle Web Analytics Wednesday happened to take place at Bogart’s, just downstairs from Brooks Bell Interactive, so of course we had to put in an appearance! The topic this week? Analyzing your social media.

First of all, huge thanks to @ikongsgf for putting the evening together, and to @covati for moderating the panel. I know it’s always a little shady to call someone a “social media expert,” but in this case, I think it’s warranted– The panel consisted of three such social media experts: @kbodnar32, @gilliatt, and @daveharrell. (pictured above, photo credit Andy Beal)

One of the main things that the panel talked about was how to analyze social media. Here are some points to consider (gleaned from the wisdom of the panel) if you’re implementing social media analytics in your business:

  1. Don’t think of social media as direct marketing. The methods that work for analyzing direct marketing (click-through rates, etc.) aren’t necessarily going to work in this space.
  2. Figure out your goal. What do you want to measure? If you are using social media as a tech support tool, your goals are going to be completely different than if you are using social media as a marketing tool.
  3. Try free tools first. There are tons of social media analytics tools available now, with a wide range of pricing structures. The thing is, the most expensive ones aren’t necessarily the best. Try out some free tools and see if they do what you need them to do!
  4. Test, test, test. That’s one of our mottos here at Brooks Bell Interactive anyway, but it applies to social media, too. Want to know the best time of day to tweet a link? Test it. If you can come up with a goal or a question, chances are you can come up with a way to test for it.
  5. Remember that social media analytics is still considered a competitive advantage. Unlike for web analytics, there’s not a whole lot of free and useful information out there about social media analytics. You may have to dig to find what you’re looking for, or come up with a solution on your own.

Do you analyze your social media? What are your analytics goals? Where do you see social media analytics going in the future? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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