How am I doing socially? 6 free ways to measure social media impact
The thing about social media whether for business or personal use is it brings out the show-off in you. Whether it is sharing a photograph of where you’ve been or who you’ve been with, or just a text comment sharing your thoughts, you’ve done so in the hope that somebody else will read it and take notice. There is a competitive streak in all of us and certainly a desire to find out if what we are doing is any good. So how do you quantify what your are up to on social media?
To be honest, nobody is quite sure if social media is an art or a science and what some see as good, others may frown upon as being in bad taste or unprofessional but it is important to be able to find a benchmark. Something to work from to see if any changes you make are having an impact and there are one or two tools out there to help you make that assessment. Most social media apps or software will offer a limited about of insight into these sorts of things, but to get the fullest picture, it is often important to look at a variety of sources. There are literally thousands of services you could sign up to, many that will cost you a small fortune, others that will mean a fair outlay every month, but in the original spirit of the internet, there are also a number of very good, very FREE tools too and here’s six of the best for you to try. Remember, they are free so give them a go:
Klout has been around for a while and at times has taken some bad publicity when changes in its algorthms saw high-ranked users see their score out of 100 drop dramatically overnight. Now more stable and as well as offering a ratio score out of 100, now providing a content suggestion and scheduling tool to encourage greater engagement between them and their customer base. What Klout does well is simplify social. Although query exists around accuracy and how it’s number is arrived at (based on performance across a variety of networks in the past 90 days), it does provide a number and also identifies social media influencers to give you a bit more of an insight.
Another old hand in the arena, now a lot more closer in appearance to Klout than it used to be. PeerIndex again gives you a rank out of 100 – your PeerIndex (PI) score but the higher figures are like gold dust. The median score is apparently only 19 so anything above that suggests you are doing well.
An established name that offers two scores, one of social influence (out of 100) and one of Outreach level (out of 12) which is more an engagement quotient based on how often you mention, reply to and re-tweet others. Relies heavily upon Twitter but can also plug in to a personal Facebook profile. Now boasts some interesting graphs and stats including a 1000 day mention line graph that can highlight the peaks and troughs on your timeline. Has a much more obvious breakdown of what post or ‘action’ helped your score too.
Designed more to track your brand than a personal profile, Social Mention ofers slightly different insight by highlighting heavily on sentiment – whether your mentions were positive or negative comments.
As the name suggests this measures only Twitter but the free version of the tool offers some good insight into your engagement on the platform, including daily breakdowns, potential social reach over that time and who your most active engagers were. Reports can be viewed on screen, downloaded or printed so you can easily track and understand what has or hasn’t worked in your social media strategy.
A newer tool to the market that also measures only twitter audiences and with clients such as radian6, Mashable, IBM and Ogilvy they have a great pedigree. Of course with pedigree comes cost too, although the Basic plan which is free includes some very useful tools and information too. Want anything more and it’s price on application, which in my experience usually means a substantial budget is required.
Of course everything is changing, constantly. As companies tap in to new data-sets and platforms add new tweaks, so the assessment of their influence value changes. None of the systems are perfect, but they can give you an insight into how you are doing.
What tools are you using to measure your social media impact?