When you set up your website, blog, and a multitude of social media profiles, you might expect to see a major boost in visitors and/or sales (depending on whether you're running a business or merely promoting a personal agenda in the online arena). But if you don't understand how or why social media can be used to your advantage, you might not see the results you're hoping for. And the first thing you need to know is that these tools must be monitored, analyzed, and adjusted constantly if you want to see consistent results from your social networking efforts. Luckily, there are a number of tools that can help you to do just that. Here are a few tips that will help you to track the performance of your online presence so that you can make the most of your internet experience.
When you first start your journey to expand your online presence and spread your brand, you might think that the trick is to get connected to as many social media outlets as possible. Unfortunately, this is a fallacy that can deliver only heartache. It's not about how many social networks you utilize; it's about choosing the handful that are likely to be most beneficial to your business and then creating a strategy for targeted campaigns that will give you the most bang for your buck (so to speak). After all, you don't want to waste your time on efforts that show no return on investment. And while you can certainly get plenty of advice on how to go about utilizing social media to your advantage (and you definitely don't have to reinvent the wheel here), you'll likely have to go through some amount of trial and error to get to a point where you're seeing consistent results.
This is where tracking tools can be very handy. And you're probably already familiar with some of the most common ones. Perhaps you've noticed that a lot of websites and blogs now provide an entire sidebar worth of buttons that allow users to "like" their posts or pages on Facebook and Google+, as well as Tweet, Digg, or StumbleUpon their content (basically, share with others). You can not only install these on your sites; you can also include tools that allow you to track how often they are clicked. And you can use a variety of social metrics and analytic tools to see how your content is being shared, assess whether or not posts have gone viral, discover which forms of social media are performing the best, and compare across multiple platforms and posts.
The best part is that you can find these tools for nearly any social networking outlets that you are currently using. And you can, of course, utilize comprehensive programs as well, such as Google Analytics. You will still have to do the heavy lifting by putting time and effort into your social networking profiles, providing new and exciting content, communicating with users, and monitoring and analyzing the data produced by your tracking tools. But the addition of metrics could allow you to spot trends, see failures, and of course, operate more efficiently in the online arena, ultimately making the most of the worldwide web.
Sarah Danielson is a contributing writer for GetShared the premier company for all of your social media management needs.