5 Basic Tools for Measuring Your Content’s Social Reach
Making the life cycle of your content less of a mystery will bring you closer to writing a winning strategy.
The most popular tool, of course, is Google Analytics—a simple and fun way to track page views, plus discover neat stuff about your audience, like where your visitors are coming from, what language they speak, and even what operating system they use.
But, this is just the beginning. When you share links to your content on many social networks, you want to see them spread — more exposure means more clicks back to your site. Measuring and analyzing this social reach will help you target content and resources to the right places.
Check out the following five tools to see how you can better measure your content’s social reach, and for more, check out this compilation of 10 free content analytic tools.
Bitly, a URL shortener that enables users to track link performance, is a must. It’s the best way to measure each content piece across platforms. Bitly will show not just how many clicks you got on your own link, but also clicks received from additional shares.
If you know you’ll re-post a link, you can also come back and use the same shortened link and watch how it performs over time. Bitly can be integrated into TweetDeck, one of the most popular free social media dashboards.
While the analytics with the free version are great, Bitly also offers its own social media dashboard that allows for publishing, monitoring and optimization, all in one package called Bitly Enterprise, at $995 per month.
Buffer is a tool used for increasing engagement by queuing tweets and Facebook posts at optimal times. It is best known for saving social media managers from tedious scheduling, but the quick and easy feedback on performance make it a double threat. Clicks and retweets are shown next to each message you post, but the real treat is what Buffer calls “Potential” — the number of people who may have seen your post, compounded by followers of people who retweeted you.
The free version of Buffer allows for one Twitter and one Facebook account, and limits the number of queued posts, but paid versions start at only $10 per month. All versions support connecting your Bitly credentials to make tracking engagement easier.
Facebook Insights is Facebook’s own analytics tool that assists users with measuring the impact of their Facebook Page. This is great, as you don’t have to leave Facebook to see how the Page is doing.
Since it’s an in-house tool, Facebook can provide better analysis than many third-party services that try to lump Facebook analytics with the rest of the social sphere. To look at the reach of your content, select the “link” view under “Post Types” and you’ll be able to see how many Facebook users viewed your post, clicked, reshared or “liked.”
(For more, check out our free e-book, the Marketer’s Guide to Facebook.)
Hootsuite, a top social media dashboard, now allows you to download reports, which put your activity and reach into easy-to-understand graphs. For links, Hootsuite uses its own Ow.ly shortener, so if you use this as your only platform for posting, you reap the benefit of consistency in analysis.
Hootsuite Pro is a great deal at $5.99 per month, with integration for Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and unlimited social media accounts, among other perks.
Crowdbooster is a resource for social media optimization that offers a free personal account with the option to upgrade to use it with multiple accounts. It’s the up-and-coming product that offers suggestions for increasing your reach as well as providing analysis.
There are a few different ways to visualize your reach, so it works for people who prefer a certain kind of graph. One unique piece is the tweet impressions map, which ranks your tweets based on how many people actually saw them. This means a lot for marketers who struggle with scheduling tweets for optimal times. Crowdbooster is a great example of a service that was designed for community and social media managers.
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