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Best Tools to Measure Social Media Success



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We are all interested in measuring the success of our social media strategies.  Last week we covered the topic of print advertising and social media.  This week, I wanted to get a feel for the most popular social media tools out there, including URL shorteners, website analytics and social media analytics software. I want to thank everyone who participated and helped spread the word.  And, as always, a shoutout to Sysomos’ Community Manager Sheldon Levine @sysomos for co-hosting the chat.

#smmeasure chat #9 recap

Below is a small taste of the great conversation we had.  Take a look at the full transcript for more tools that the #smmeasure community has recommended.

Q1: Best URL shortener (bit.ly, ow.ly, etc)? Why?

  • @addy_dren:  “I use @HootSuite so ow.ly and ht.ly are my favorites. Easy to use, but also give enough numbers”
  • @JonClements:  “bit.ly good – especially when working from a mobile. Being able to click and copy the shortened link without having to scroll over, copy, paste and all that nonsense”
  • @BrianJacklin:  “I’m a fan of Bit.ly solid tracking, custom urls, sidebar feature is very helpful”
  • @katzpdx:  “I prefer bit.ly – more robust API”
  • @TsarKasim:  “I will say that when I post a bit.ly link via TweetDeck, the “views” number always seems inflated.”
  • @GalacticPhantom:  “you can also get a free bit.ly pro beta account to customize to your url if you want.  it’s on for a limited time”
  • @GalacticPhantom:  “the downside of bit.ly is that info about the link, who’s posted, RT, etc is a hot mess & needs a simple tree structure”
  • @rochlatinsky:  “I use bit.ly when I’m on web based twitter clients. and whichever one tweetdeck defaults to when im on my laptop.”
  • @grmeyer:  “bit.ly -> short links, named, can also add your own tracking codes”
  • @dbbradle:  “If you enter your Bit.ly API key in TweetDeck, it tracks them for you. I check the Bit.ly dashboard here and there”

Q1.5:  What do you do with the metrics you get from the URL shortener?

  • @40deuce:  “I use the info from my link tracker to determine how much of our traffic comes from Twitter (as I mostly use short URLs there)”
  • @dbbradle:   “Collect the tested titles for an article/times of day.”
  • @theelusivefish:  “… Use them to gauge response”
  • @WriterChanelle:  “With bit.ly I see all of the twitter handles that have tweeted my link, so I follow up by checking bios and following”

Q2:  Best website analytics package (Google Analytics, Compete, etc)? Why?

  • @40deuce:  “for my personal blogs I use Google analytics, at work we use getclicky.com”
  • @inspiredtrain:  “Best web analytics is always a combination of trackers. Never rely on just one source.”
  • @socialskillzcom:  “GAnalytics for most sites – it’s free. Some corporate clients use WebTrends – more corporate because it costs?”
  • @dbbradle:  “For sheer beauty I use Observer: http://bit.ly/czdrmS. For RL I use Google Analytics. “
  • @theelusivefish:  “Quantcast.com great source of demographics as well for folks planning ad buys”
  • @PRBristolblog:  “I have found Google analytics to be best, for depth of data & being able to set Goals etc”
  • @BrianJacklin:  “Google Analytics I think for MOST people would be more than enough. Site overlay feature is my fav”
  • @goldsbrough:  “GA’s customizable reporting is good and doesn’t confuse non-techy clients too much”
  • @Symscio:  “GA for internal analytics, Compete for external”

Q3:  Best social media analytics software (Sysomos, Radian6, etc)? Why?

  • @hughmacken:  “one tool that does not get nearly enough credit is Gist.com I think of it as a person-centric monitoring tool.”
  • @katzpdx:  “Equally biased, but @twitalyzer”

Useful Blog Posts

  • Twitter to launch free real-time analytics this year [link to: http://gigaom.com/2010/09/22/twitter-to-launch-free-real-time-analytics-this-year/] via @Gigaom
  • How to coax social media insights from Google Analytics [link to: http://searchengineland.com/how-to-coax-social-media-insights-from-google-analytics-51074] via @sengineland

Check back here every Friday for chat recaps and transcripts.  Join the Marketwire Facebook page to get #smmeasure weekly topics.  If you have any topics that you would like us to discuss in the future, please tweet @smmeasure or @marketwire or send me an email nshin[at]marketwire.com.  Keep track of all the #smmeasure chat recaps.

Join the #smmeasure LinkedIn Group to connect with others interested in social media and measurement.  See you next week at 9:00 am PST, 11:00 am CST, 12:00 pm EST.

See you next Thursday,
Nick


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