Measuring Up: Social Media Influence

Everyone seems to be on social media sites these days, so you are too. But what exactly is all that tweeting, commenting and updating doing to help your organization? How do you measure your online influence or the influence of other bloggers and Tweeters? How do you know if you are on the road to becoming an expert in your industry?

Well the good news is, I’m going to share some great (and free!) tips with you.

Branding and Trust – As a representative of your organization (even if that organization is just little old you), you want to build a reputation as someone trustworthy with good information.

Micah Baldwin has a pretty good list of what to monitor:

  • Incoming Traffic – Pageviews, Incoming traffic from search engines, rss subscribers
  • Incoming Links – Primarily manual links such as blogrolls, in-post deep links
  • Reader Engagement – Internal searches, time on site
  • Recommendations – Retweets, share stats
  • Connections – Number of mutual connections, number of mutual connections on multiple sites
  • Track Record – Age of domain, number of blog posts, length of engagement
  • Engagement – How often and long a person has engaged with a service online

Measuring Reputation – It can be hard to get a read on your stance within your industry’s community. Many times, especially when operating under a budgetary constraint, we want to know how our social media efforts are doing with hard numbers.

  • Google Analytics – Google is one of the best known and popular search engines, and they have a whole lot of statistical information because of it. Google Analytics offers several features such as benchmarking to tell you if you underperform or outperform others in your industry, tracking of mobile access and apps, and tallying your visitors. You can track several types of data including average length of time spent on your website clicks on external ads, and pageviews per visit. Google has a good overview video of its features here: http://www.google.com/analytics/tour.html
  • Technorati – Technorati really helps you get a handle on your blog’s influence and lets you find out what blogs are saying about your organization. Maybe you just want to see who the top influential bloggers are in your industry. You can search by industry or enter the specific blog you have questions about. Technorati rates each blog with a number, overall rank and industry rank.
  • Quantcast – This is a great service if you want to know the demographics and traffic-flow to your website. Are you reaching your target demographic? Should you change your target demographic after seeing who is actually checking you out? Just take a look at AHCMC’s demographics or search for your own website.

Of course, you may not have a huge number of followers or viewers, and that can be perfectly acceptable. If you have a small but intimate community, make sure you are leaving comments, answering questions and providing great information. Link members of your social media community to each other and promote something great they might have written or produced on your website and blog.

Courtney is Spring 2011 Communications Intern at AHCMC.

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