Posted by: Ryan Schoenefeld | June 23, 2010

The Nature of Social Media Measurement

Social media metrics

Unless you have the budgets to use the best web analytics, social media management and social media measurement apps in town and, even better, to couple them with CRM, marketing automation, email marketing etc., it’s often less obvious to find the best way to combine and integrate solutions that enable you to couple online analytics with social media metrics and analytics. And I’m not even talking about customer data.

Of course there are several ways to include specific social media metrics within a “free” platform such as Google Analytics.

And, yes, there are some free or, at least affordable, social media management solutions that enable you to combine the typical engagement, interaction and other features they offer with Google Analytics.

But there is no “ideal” combination. The reason is simple: it depends from what you want to achieve.

Take this blog for instance. Our aim is to inform, share and engage, it is not a corporate or “branded” blog that ultimately wants to generate leads.
If, however, you are a business and want to combine the data about the interactions people have with your blog and web site, data from other digital channels such as email, social media monitoring and social engagement metrics (starting from simple things such as the number of times a post is tweeted, bookmarked or “liked” and how much clicks these tweets etc. generated), you’re in for a quest.

Again, if you don’t have the budgets. Or in other words: when the investment in decent solutions, can hardly result in a positive ROI for your activities, even in the long run.

I recently started looking at all possibilities that exist and solutions that don’t exist yet but are in private beta. It is a diverse landscape and integration is not obvious.

On top of that, many vendors have their own methodologies to track and calculate engagement and integration with web analytics is often missing.

As a simple blogger a lot also depends from the blogging platform you use.

What will Google and the social networks do?

Undoubtedly the market will evolve. What will Google Analytics do for instance?

And, obviously, what will the social networks themselves do?

We know what Facebook has been doing and since end of last week we also know a little about what Twitter might be up to.

The company has acquired Trendly, a cloud hosted web analytics application from Smallthought Systems.

With the acquired technology and team, Twitter wants to provide data and enable businesses to filter the Twitter signals that matter to them from the endless stream of tweets, noise and clutter.

Good news: it seems that integration with Google Analytics is foreseen.

Trendly: not for you and me (yet?)

However, it doesn’t look as if you, me and small businesses will be able to use it to have a better and more integrated view on all online channels.

Because for now, the acquisition should be seen in the perspective of Twitter’s promoted tweets advertising solution and will thus benefit the advertisers and media planning people.
It seems that the promoted tweets ad solution receives positive feedback from both advertisers and Twitter users.

But it also looks as if all the others will have to keep testing and using other ways to have a better analytical view on Twitter in the overall online picture.

For all those that try to find an optimal solution for small budgets, like us: let us know what your findings are.

We will gladly share ours once we have finished our exploration.

Source: Social Email Marketing


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