By Tami Casey
The first week of February is Social Media Week and this month’s activities took place in six cities--from Berlin to Sao Paulo to right here in San Francisco. Festivities included a day long session at the Presidio, several panels and sessions and a variety of social gatherings attended by hundreds of people, including those new to social media, social media practitioners and our local and often world renowned experts.
Having attended several of these activities, an area of particular interest to me was the subject of measurement in social media. While there are many tools and strategies to help measure the impact of social media, the key to successful measurement begins with identifying⎯at the corporate level⎯why you’ve engaged in social media in the first place. Is the goal to build your brand? Reach influencers? Boost sales?
After defining your purpose and beginning measurement, how do you then analyze the data in a meaningful way? If you’re a start-up or smaller company, it’s probably a lot more manageable. But what if you’re at Accenture and want to know the impact of Tiger Wood’s negative publicity on your brand? At that point, you need tools to help analyze, understand and act on this tsunami of information.
The bottom line on measurement in social media? Know your purpose and then monitor, measure and react in ways that make sense based on your objectives and your business. Don’t rely on one tool. Take a look at free tools such as Google Alerts, Trendrr, Socialmention, Twitter’s search feature and BoardTracker. You’ll likely be able to combine tools so that you are monitoring what is most important to your company. If you need something more robust then look to the paid tools; there are a number of affordable options such as Filtrbox, eCairn, ScoutLabs and of course there are several high-end solutions such as Radian6.
If you’re looking for more information on how to put social media to work for your business or want to mingle with the social media-minded, visit the Social Media Club at www.socialmediaclub.org to find a meeting near you.
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