Are Your Social Media Efforts Working?
As all generations become part of the Internet generation, an ever-increasing proportion of our population finds themselves relying on the Internet as their primary source of content consumption. This fact is not lost on content creators, which is why there is an endless amount of digital content continuously originated by professionals and amateurs alike.
This also means content publishers' jobs have become exponentially more difficult. The days of pushing content out to the masses are over. Instead it's a battle for eyeballs that pits publishers of traditional media against a slew of Web-only content publishers, both professional and amateur. Those who take advantage of the available technology and can precisely answer these four questions about their target audiences will often come out ahead:
- How does your target audience consume content?
- What's the best way to reach your target audience?
- What's the best way to engage with your target audience?
- What is your target audience talking about?
In order to answer these questions, you need to step into the world of social media and become part of your target audience. A great place to start is with a social media monitoring tool, such as Radian6, SM2 by Alterian, and Lithium. These tools aggregate social media data into one central location, which makes answering the four questions above significantly easier. In addition, many allow you to easily engage with your audience across multiple platforms.
These tools also make the process of finding, understanding and ultimately engaging with your audience much easier to manage, but a key aspect is still missing. To fully understand the impact of your social media efforts, you need a means of measuring your efforts' impact. This requires a true social media analytics tool.
While coming soon, a truly robust social media analytics tool is not yet available. In the meantime, you'll need to piece one together by creating a social media measurement dashboard. The following are five key metrics that should be part of such a dashboard.