Social media platforms are effective and free advertizing tools for businesses. But for the business to insure the success of their social media strategy, it has to invest a lot of time and money. First the business has to develop a social media plan. Within this frame, the business has to establish social media policy. This involves input from multiple departments of the business and hence great effort involving time and money.
As a consequence, the business will be looking for a return on its investment (ROI). To quantify its ROI, the business can use social media measurement tools. Some of these tools are free, while others can be purchased. The main use of these tools is to understand what portion of the population/businesses is influenced by the content, why people/customers are driven to the businesses social media platform, and in general allows the business to analyze its strategy. By analyzing this information, the business can further customize its platform content and message and therefore maximize its ROI. Three social media tools that can help businesses achieve the above are Klout, Twitter Counter, and Google Analytics.
Klout is a social media analytical tool that gives “Klout Score” for subscribers ranging from 1-100 with 100 being the highest score. It measures the extent of influence a member has through analyzing data from social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google. For example, a members Twitter account can be followed for tweets, re-tweets, how important people that tweet you are. Similar data from other social media is also added and also accounts for spams that are following the member. All of this information is used to yield the final score. Accordingly, the higher your score is the more “influential” you are.
So prior to starting the social media plan, a business can measure its “Klout Score” and upon starting the plan can for example take monthly measurements. This allows it to understand if it is going in the right path. This tool has also been used by advertisers to approach individuals/businesses of high “Klout Scores” to use their products in social media because of the connection between the high score and influence. However, this measuring tool is found not 100% reliable as some very influential people were found to have low scores. In addition, bloggers in general have high scores because of their extensive use of social media platforms.
This tool is probably the most widely used to measure web traffic into websites. It is aimed for social media platform marketers. The data can be easily displayed in graphical forms (different charts) and numerically. The data provides information about user engagement with the businesses media content, customized reports can be generated, gives real time reporting. This tool has both a free and a premium version. In my opinion, this is the best tool for a business to use to analyze its social media platform and website success or failure. The business can customize its own reports using its tailored key point indicators. Again, this tool does not give the business a ranking and therefore does not allow it to understand its standings with its competitors. It is also found that when users disable cookies in their traffic, this tool becomes obsolete and fails to give accurate information about traffic and interest in the business platform.
With respect to all the above tools, it is worth mentioning that end user consent may be required depending on the country of use. This makes it difficult for simple users to accept. Accordingly, data may not be accurate. However, these tools are essential for businesses to measure their social media plan success or failure.