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Practice Management > Marketing and Communications > Social Media

The science of social media

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By now, you’re probably on some form of social media. But, a social-media marketing strategy isn’t about just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. It’s a science. And the key to any scientific undertaking is analysis—tracking results. Luckily, the social-media landscape is filled with tools and analytics for tracking your social-media efforts. Here are eight to help you improve your social-media marketing efforts:

  1. Google Analytics. We know Google Analytics isn’t anything new for anyone running a business. But the importance of this tool cannot be discounted. With it, you can track which sites drive traffic to your website and exactly which pages users view once they get there. You can even track conversions. For example, if you promoted a tweet on Twitter encouraging users to download a whitepaper, you can track whether or not the campaign was successful in getting people to do so.
  2. Facebook Analytics. Facebook recently launched a new “page insights” section for business pages. It’s broken up into five different segments: likes, reach, visits, posts and people. Our favorite features: You can see what time of day your audience is on Facebook, how engaged they are with each post and where likes are coming from. You can use these measurements to ensure your audience is seeing your content.
  3. Facebook ad Analytics. Even if you don’t consistently run advertising campaigns on Facebook, the site’s analytics can be very informative when you do. Depending on your goal for an ad (more likes, post engagements or website visits), Facebook can track your progress. We recommend adding the conversion pixel to your website to track downloads, newsletter requests or product purchases.
  4. LinkedIn page Analytics. Like all these tools, LinkedIn Analytics tracks your status engagement. But only LinkedIn offers follower demographics. With this feature, you can track your followers’ work seniority and title, industry, job function and company size. What better way to know your audience’s specific demographics?
  5. Google Alerts. Google Alerts is an excellent way to keep track of the occasions when your business or competitors are mentioned online. It’s simple to set up Google alerts for a variety of names and keywords and then simply allow the results to be delivered to your email inbox.
  6. Google Trends. Google Trends is another handy tool for any advisor who manages his own social-media marketing. Google Trends allows you to hone in on long-tag keywords relevant to trending searches. It’s also helpful to see how a keyword or phrase performs over time, so you can know it is the right season to be talking about a specific topic.
  7. Klout. Klout tracks your social influence and other influencers across networks. All you have to do is attach this application to your social profiles and let the tracking begin. Klout can provide you with a visual map of influencers based on your connections. This way you can know who to reach out to and how to tailor your content.
  8. Pinterest Analytics. If you’re using Pinterest, the Analytics tool is great for keeping track of which pins are moving throughout the site. This is especially important for pins directly linked to your website or featuring a specific product or blog. (You need to go through the website verification process in order to have access to the Analytics section of Pinterest.)

This is the year to get scientific with your social-media marketing strategy. And taking advantage of some of these tools is the first step.

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Amy McIlwain is a professional speaker on social media and President of Financial Social Media, an online marketing firm specializing in the financial industry. She can be reached through her website and on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.


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