Monday, September 27, 2010

Measuring Social Media activity across your business

If you work for a larger company with multiple divisions (and marketing initiatives) then there is a good chance that you have more than one piece of social media activity going on at once.

There's also a pretty good chance that these different initiatives are not connected and may even be duplicating effort (or worse, working against each other).

So what do you do?

1. Audit all activity
Firstly, do an audit of all activity involving social media across your company.  Create a list of everything from those business Twitter accounts in the USA office, through to those Facebook Pages created by the German Marketing team.

2. Measure reach, impact and engagement
How? Well, for reach, its a numbers game. With services such as Twitter its easy to see the number of followers an account has and its just as easy to record the number of Facebook 'likes'. Counting up the number of people who have 'like'd each clip* or are following your channels on YouTube is obvious. Also most blogging platform now either provide statistics for the number of visitors to your blogs or allow you to integrate Google Analytics or other stats package into each page.
*YouTube also allows users to give each clip a 'thumbs down' plus has basic stats built into it now

However measuring impact and engagement is a different matter and I would therefore suggest you look at these methods as a starter:
  • Twitter: 
    • Look at the number of re-tweets each account gets, this will give you some idea of how valuable the followers regard the postings.
    • Measure clicks on hyperlinks. You can do this either by looking at your referrer information in your site analytics package (assuming the links point back to your own site), or if you use a service like which integrates with Twitter, this will show you the clicks on each Tweet.
      Hayden's tip: Use Google link search to see how many people hyperlink to your Twitter account e.g.

  •  Facebook

    • Look for the amount of comments and 'likes' on postings. Obviously the more followers you have, the greater the likelihood of having comments and 'likes'...
      Hayden's tip: To get a real measure, work out your average number of responses per posting and divide this by your total number of followers.. and then measure this over time.
  • YouTube, Flickr, etc.
    • Both these sites allow commenting on each respective file uploaded and YouTube even allows video responses to be posted. Reviewing this feedback over time will give you some idea of the content that people find interesting (in a positive or negative way - so remember to )
      Hayden's tip:
  • Blogs
    • Comments are the obvious way of measuring engagement with your blog content and because they are easily spider-able by search engines and social tools, you can use a variety of methods to understand the quality of the people contributing to them (e.g.
      You can also use your analytics package to measure more factors about engagement such as the amount of time spent on each page (paid for analytics applications may even have a specific way of working this out, such as this method from WebTrends)
      Hayden's tip: Again use Google to measure the number of inbound links to each blog: e.g.
There's obviously lots of other social networks to assess and the ones you audit and measure will depend upon the countries your business is active in. But without first taking stock of your entire social media presence, there's no way you decide which efforts are working and which are not.
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