FOUR TOOLS TO TRACK YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE

By James D’Ambrosio

Whether working in nonprofit or the private sector, it’s becoming increasingly important to measure social media impact — Twitter followers, lists and retweets; blog traffic, comments and subscribers; influence, following and connections on LinkedIn; and Facebook friends, ‘Likes’ and page interactions, among others. The following can help track your efforts.

MEASUREMENT TOOLS

HOOTSUITE: A free Web-based Twitter-management tool including URL shortening, statistics and tweet scheduling, Hootsuite integrates Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and WordPress Blog. A good tool if you have many people using the same profiles. It offers the same functionality as Co-Tweet but with a more robust analytics tool letting you see profiles for different sites, making it an efficient way to monitor your activity. The ‘Search’ feature automatically saves previous searches, making it easy to return to favorite searches and see  recent tweets for keywords. Another feature is the Hootlet tool: drag and drop it to your Web browser’s link bar and click to tweet about a Web page you’re visiting. A Pro upgrade is available for $5.99 a month.

SOCIAL MENTION: A free search and analysis platform aggregating user-generated content into a single stream of information, monitoring 100+ social media properties directly, including Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google, etc. It acts as a real-time search engine with an option to receive e-mail alerts of new content across social media containing your keywords. The application provides a comprehensive overview of your social media presence, divided by content type, to see areas where you’re active or being discussed. You can also display it’s widget on a blog or Web site to show visitors a summary of your social presence.

FACEBOOK INSIGHTS: A comprehensive analytics suite for Facebook Pages giving a full picture of your fans and how they’re interacting on your page. The ‘Users’ section provides information about your fans — active users, number of ‘unlikes’ on your page, traffic sources, and references. ‘Interactives’ provides deeper analysis of individual updates and how people interacted. Providing daily updates, Insights is free and becomes available when your page reaches 30 ‘Likes.’

TWITALYZER: A comprehensive measurement application defining your popularity on Twitter by number of followers and number of times you’ve been retweeted or mentioned by others. Also provides benchmark reporting, ranking Twitter users ten different ways. Integrated with Google Analytics, it trends 30 different metrics. A basic account is free; paid subscriptions begin at $4.99 a month. Discounts are available for nonprofits.

To be sure, this is just a sampling of tools; there are many more out there you can use. Going forward, it’s important to be knowledgeable about as many aspects of social media as possible, as the industry is in a state of flux and it’s difficult to know exactly where things are heading. Staying informed will give you an edge.    

QUESTIONS TO READERS:

What do you think of these measurement tools? Which do you like best? Why? 

GET MORE FROM TWITTER: RESOURCES FOR EXPERIENCED USERS

By James D’Ambrosio

Experienced Twitter users — personal and professional — often have limited time/resources to spend on social media, especially if you work in nonprofit. To make your job easier, I’ve researched and compiled a list of third-party Twitter sites to save time and expand your reach. Use them to help meet your social media goals.

If you’re new to Twitter, first master the basics — terminology, technology, types of messaging and posts — before using these tools. Otherwise, you might become overwhelmed and frustrated. An excellent book to ramp up your skills is “The Twitter Job Search Guide: Find a Job and Advance Your Career in Just 15 Minutes a Day”  available from Amazon for $10.69 http://amzn.to/v7wxpI.

TWITTER SITES FOR EXPERIENCED USERS 

www.listorious.com An excellent venue to find people by topic, region or profession, powered by data from more than 10,000 list curators. Once you find the right person, you can interview them by asking questions over listorious. Over 1 million people are listed. Lets you connect with people you otherwise might not have reached. Journalists shouldn’t be the only ones with access to celebrities and high-profile individuals! An account is free.

www.twitalyzer.com A comprehensive social media measurement application defining your popularity on Twitter by number of followers, number of times you’ve been retweeted or mentioned by others. Provides benchmark reporting, ranking Twitter users ten different ways. Integrated with Google Analytics, it trends 30 different metrics. A basic account is free. Paid subscriptions offering more information start at $4.99 a month. Discounts are available for nonprofits.

www.tweetdeck.com An application allowing you to monitor Tweets from a desktop and organize Twitter followers by category — professional, friends, interests, etc. Allows you to arrange feeds with customizable columns, has filters to focus on information that matters, and schedule Tweets to suit your audience. You can monitor and manage an unlimited number of accounts and receive alerts for new Tweets. 

www.tweepml.org An application allowing you to share groups of Twitter users with hundreds of thousands of people globally. Once you have an account, you can create lists, add users, or import existing ones. An excellent way to compile lists of users from an event or conference. You can create, manage and share lists of Twitter users on any topic; created lists can be linked to your Web site or Facebook page. You can also import lists of users from Excel, CSV or XML files. A basic account is free. Premium accounts will soon be available for $9.99 a year.

www.twellow.com The Yellow Pages of Twitter listing more than 23 million public accounts with hundreds of categories and search features to find people you’re looking for. Twellow allows you to search by area of expertise, profession, or other designated keyword. A favorite for some recruiters.

www.tweetbackup.com A free backup service for your Twitter profile, archiving up to 3,200 of your most recent Tweets, as well as your followers. To use the service, you must follow @tweetbackup.

www.twitterjobsearch.com An aggregator of job postings on Twitter, searchable by job title, career field and location. Twitter-posted jobs all in one place!

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QUESTION TO READERS: Which of these sites will you try? Which has been the most helpful?

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