You’re building your brand online like you’re supposed to. You’ve set up a blog, a Twitter account, a LinkedIn profile and a Facebook page to grow your business and gain new customers. But how do you know if it’s working?
To measure the overall effectiveness of your brand, you need to look at the numbers, according to Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy, the authors of Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself. They say the the best way to measure and track this kind of data is with analytics software. Deckers and Lacy offer seven ways to help you determine how well you’re doing with your social media marketing.
- Google Analytics is particularly good for measuring the effectiveness of your blog, telling you which referring sites send you the best traffic, which keywords have the highest clickthrough rates, and which visitors are most likely to subscribe to your email list. One of the best features is conversion tracking, which lets you track blog visitors, what they’re looking at, and how they got to your site. (Free.)
- HootSuite is best known as a tool for monitoring and posting to all your social media networks, but it also offers an analytics suite that helps you track links and the “Klout” scores of your followers. Create custom reports from over 30 individual modules, such as brand sentiment and follower growth, and incorporate Facebook Insights and Google Analytics data as well. (“Pro” subscriptions start at $6 per month.)
- Page Rank Checker lets you see how high a profile your website has. Google PageRank is an algorithm Google uses to assign numerical weighting to each element of a website, with the purpose of “measuring” its relative importance with other sites — basically, how important your site is. On Page Rank Checker, enter your site’s URL, and the tool measures your PageRank (0 to 10 points), and gives you additional information about what that number means. (Free.)
- Twitalyzer is an intense Twitter tool that lets you manage, measure, and monitor a mountain of data. This includes automatic daily updates, weekly email reports, full data export, and multiple-account tracking, all about your Twitter presence. (Usage for individual accounts is $5 a month; for businesses, it’s $30 per month.)
- Twitrratr is a valuable tool for measuring what people are saying about a given keyword. It tries to measure sentiment by assessing the positive, neutral, and negative goings-on at Twitter. So if you’re running a cupcake business, you can see how Twitter users feel about the food. The site isn’t 100 percent accurate, but it gives you a general sense of what customers and potential customers are thinking about. (Free.)
- Twitter Grader lets you track and measure your influence in the Twitterverse. By entering your Twitter name, the system pulls data for your account, ranking you based on influence, and giving you a number grade from 1 to 100. You can track the history of your follower growth, and your influence among your specific location. (Free.)
- Website Grader, brought to you by the same company that created Twitter Grader, allows you to compare your website and/or blog to those of your competitors. Enter your website URL along with theirs, and receive a report with information including readership of recent blog articles, Google index pages, and readability level. It also helps you optimize your web content, from headings to images. (Free.)