Social networking has become a crucial element in the marketing landscape. So whether you’re trying to promote your business websiteor a personal blog, you’ll probably want to set up a slew of social networking profiles in order to make the most of your online presence. Of course, becoming involved in the wide world of social media is no good if you can’t track the effect your efforts are having. You also need to get the tools that will allow you to determine how well these sites are performing on your behalf.

Track and measure Social-Media-performance
Track and measure Social-Media-performance

So rather than simply assuming that creating an account with Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare is enough, here are a few things you can do to actually track your progress while using these popular forms of social media.

Tools to Measure and Track Your Social Networking Performance

First you should know that there are a number of comprehensive metrics tools that will allow you to track how well a variety of social media platforms are performing. They can follow and compare multiple sites, compiling and even analyzing a vast array of data for you so that you can see both the immediate and long-term effects of your social networking efforts, and ultimately tailor a marketing strategy that will deliver proven results. Some of the top-rated programs to deliver this thorough and wide-ranging service are Lithium, Radian6, and Sysomos. But all are geared towards businesses and will cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month to support. They may provide the right choice for some social networking users, but not all.
Luckily, there are several such metrics systems that are a lot less expensive. Trackur is one program that is highly lauded at far less cost (with plans starting at under $20 a month). Unfortunately, the lower price point does mean that you’ll have to do more of the work on your own, like analyzing the data that comes in. Hootsuite is another good option that many people find useful and there is a free (but limited) option available. For the small business looking for social media tracking software that can provide data for multiple platforms, these could provide far more affordable alternatives. Of course, there is also Google Analytics to consider, and this free software, while geared towards optimizing sites for rankings on the search website, can also help you when it comes to tracking social media efforts with a virtual bag full of handy tools.

Do it yourself

But if you’re not finding the overall functionality you need with one tool, there’s no reason to sell yourself short. You can use all kinds of programs that have been created to track just one social media outlet, or even certain features. For example, nearly every social networking site can provide you with buttons for your website or blog that will allow visitors to “like” or share your pages, while allowing you to track click-thru. There are also tools like CoTweet, which will make you aware of mentions on Twitter, and Social Mention, which will help you to create and track keywords. While social media can prove very useful to your online efforts, the truth is that you need to track the effects you have in order to ensure that you get the most from the experience.

Sarah Danielson is a contributing writer for GetShared the premier company for all of your social media management needs.

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