One was in January 2009. Chris Brogan encouraged us to Grow Bigger Ears. The point: Use social media measurement tools to build business as well as measure it, by listening. In November 2009, David Berkowitz wrote 100 Ways to Measure Social Media. It proved to even skeptical viewpoints social media was indeed very measurable.
Now there are many social media measurements, software solutions, proprietary algorithms and companies whose reason for being is to provide measurement solutions.
Here are 7 that have stood the test of time to measure social media and build brands by listening.
1. INDUSTRY OVERVIEW (GOOGLE TRENDS): Google.com/trends examines topics from a few perspectives. By typing a subject, industry, brand or keyword in the search box, a 7 year trend is graphed of: 1) Search queries, 2) references in the news and 3) top news stories. You can see if interest is increasing or decreasing and the most relevant content for influencing the situation in your favor. Multiple topics can be displayed at once. It’s a quick and valuable industry snapshot.
2. COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE (COMPETE): Compete.com tracks viewship of multiple websites over time. You can examine your competitive set and see how events, promotions or PR might have effected web traffic with year-to-year change. You see the search keywords and referring sites that drive traffic; all of which can put to use to increase web traffic for your business, perhaps at the expense of competitors.
3. KEY INFLUENCERS (TECHNORATI AND ALLTOP): Technorati and Alltop, blog search engines, let you know who’s writing about the topics that matter most and quantifies how authoritative their opinion is. You can click on blogs and engage with the writers through comments. I’ve been able to connect with celebrities, company heads and advocates with influencial followings using these tools.
4. BUZZ (BOOSHAKA): If you want to measure the buzz about a particular topic or location on Facebook, type it into the search box on Booshaka.com. Posts and recency are shown. You have the opportunity to discuss, share, like or tweet what was said. It’s the most direct way to know, measure and engage in what people are saying about a topic that matters to you in social media.
5. TARGETING AND GEO-TARGETING (TWEEPZ): This is a precise measurement and geo-targeting tool. If you want to find people on Twitter with relevant interests or that live in an area where you do business, you can find them on Tweepz.com. You can also know the size of their following and how often they tweet before you start a conversation.
6. VIDEO ENGAGEMENT (YOUTUBE): Videos increase viewer involvement by 38%. Most people don’t think of using YouTube for analytics but, since Google owns YouTube, the analytics are very similar. You can measure where veiwership comes from, by day, by length. Nothing explains a video better than a video. Here is a brief tutorial.
7. LINKEDIN (LINKEDIN GROUPS): LinkedIn groups gives you the chance to see how often discussion occurs among people who share interests that are important to you. It is also a very direct form of engagement that is truly 1-to-1. I know a lot of people who have been able to connect with core targets, have important discussions and save a lot of money.
Measurement tools are only as good as the learning and the actions taken from them. I hope these are of value to you. Are they? Just listening.