We all know data hygiene is our friend, but this post got me thinking about simple things every social media practitioner or strategist can be doing now to ensure analytics are clean and the best read on social media performance.
Rather than wait until the New Year to make your resolution to better create and maintain social data, here are 4 simple tips you can start implementing today to make your social media initiatives report and yield data for ROI:
- Always shorten your own URLs. Clicks are one of the best indicators of engagement as well as a type of conversion. By shortening each link you send out in social channels, even in content sharing like Retweets, you can get a more accurate view of how many clicks your campaigns are yielding. Using the same shortening service like Bit.ly each time will also help report all these metrics in one, centralized account.
- Label, label, label! Whether you are posting links on your Facebook page, answering a question posed by a client on Twitter or publishing a blog post, use a labeling strategy. You may find it effective to label each activity with the channel it’s sent out on – Twitter, Facebook, Slideshare – or you may find it best to label the type of content sent – Retweet, Educational Resource, Thank You, Question Response. Whatever your preference, this will help better define the content output, frequency and effectiveness of each when analyzing your metrics.
- Use link tagging. If you are like most companies, the holy grail of social media is proving lead generation. And the good news is, this is getting easier and easier to show from social media activity. If you aren’t already familiar with your technology used to determine conversions, ask around your department. You can easily track what social media content and activity is converting by tagging links with conventions from your web analytics tool like Google Analytics and Omniture, or you can even have your referral source entered into a marketing automation system like Eloqua to determine source and content performance.
- Use your initiative voices cleanly. Simply put: use the different personas and accounts in your campaigns for only the campaigns they are helping to run. That’s not to say your community manager can’t make personal Tweets, but if he or she can separate the activity from what’s being produced for a particular initiative, you will have a better read on campaign performance overall.
Now you’ll have no excuse to get bogged down with sloppy analytics in social media activity. Start the new year with a clean slate by implementing these easy tips above and enjoy campaigns that are easy to measure and analyze.
You’ll thank yourself. And so will the rest of your team.