We are surrounded by tools to measure almost everything we do in life. We have clocks to measure time, thermometers to record temperature and odometers to see how far we have traveled.
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As humans we are obsessed with measurement. The Olympics are the pinnacle of measurement and we even measure runners and swimmers times down to 1,000th of a second!
The police even have someting called a speed gun to measure how fast you are traveling and if you are unlucky you win a prize called a speeding ticket!
We have never lived in such an age as now where almost everything can be measured by computers on autopilot.
We measure so many facts and figures that we are as confused as a dog between four trees.
Why Bench Marking is Important
I remember when I started competitive running in my teens the running coach would initially record everyone’s times over 50 meters, 100 meters and beyond at the start of the year and would refer to them later to see if there was any improvement. In the world of statistics and measurement this is called “benchmarking”
Bench marking provides a baseline measurement to refer to the progress of the different variables over time to see if there is any improvement and is essential for tracking success. If you provide social media consulting recording social media bench marking measurements before implementing the social media marketing tactics is vital in measuring whether progress is being made.
Measuring Your Social Media Success
There are a whole range of tools from free to paid to measure most elements of your blog, Twitter and Facebook traffic and statistics
The key element that everyone should be measuring is traffic to your website but along with this core statistic there are a range of other important numbers to keep your eye on.
- Top posts
- Top referrers
- What are your visitors ‘clicking on”
- What are your top search engine terms that bring people from
Tool One: WordPress Statistics
This is available as a simple free plugin that is available to users to measure and compare your topline statistics that provides a reference to ensure that you are improving and making progress. If I take July 2010 as my benchmark then it is obvious that in July 2011 some progress has been made with a few more days to go.
Tool Two: Google Analytics
This is another free tool that provides a vast array of statistics. Now you will need to get the code from Google (just Google “Google Analytics” and apply) and once you have been provided the code, embed it in your blog. Now it is generally only available to self hosted blogs (not if your blog is hosted by WordPress.com).
If you don’t feel comfortable putting this piece of code into your blog, ask your developer or a more technical savvy friend to do this for you.
You can measure elements such as
- Visits by country
- Bounce rate (how many people come to read one blog post (page) and then leave)
- Visits from mobiles
- Even what browsers are being used to view your blog
Now the two tools I have mentioned above can measure traffic sources such as Twitter but there are a couple of other simple tools that are a bit of fun and useful.
Tool 3: Bit.ly
This tools measures statistics for your Twitter bit.ly shortened links and displays elements such as
- Which countries are clicking on your shortened links on Twitter and the percentage
- Which links on Twitter are getting the most clicks
Tool 4: TwitterCounter.com
This is a simple tool that can provide basic statistics on your twitter follower growth and even more statistics to view and chew up your time if you want to buy the paid version.
Facebook and Google don’t get along (Google+ isn’t helping either) so if you want the best statistics from Facebook and keep track of all your Facebook figures then you will need to use the Facebook “Insights” tool. This is only available to people or brands that have set up a Facebook “page” not a personal profile on Facebook .
Tool 5: Facebook Insights
Facebook Insights provides Facebook page owners and Facebook platform developers with metrics around their content by understanding and analyzing trends within
- User growth
- User demographics
- Consumption of content
- Creation of content
Page owners and platform developers are better equipped to improve their business with Facebook.
There are many tools to measure your success on-line with your blog and social media channels and this just touched on a few and the basics. The Google Analytics tool is one of the most comprehensive tools available and it is free and as a blogger or website owner it should be a mandatory inclusion.
What tools do you use to measure your social media success?
Image by Leo Reynolds