Editor’s note: We do talk about strategy and tactics as a practice, across the spectrum of digital marketing in financial services. From time to time, we do get specific about apps, software and other tools we use in the process of making digital marketing happen each day. We err on the conservative side when we discuss specific applications and services, only recommending those we have actively evaluated or are using in our own strategy. This is not intended to pick favorites, but to insure we don’t promote something we have not explored ourselves. We recognize that can limit the field since we are not in the technology evaluation business, we cannot pass up sharing those tools that help make our digital marketing easier and more effective!
As social networks evolve through their infancy and into adolescence, the focus inevitably shifts from the fundamental basics of how to engage on those networks to measuring effectiveness. Much like we have learned in maintaining our websites through the last decade. It is that understanding how to assess the analytics of how our sites are engaged with is critical to the pruning and curation needed to make them a destination versus a one-time visit.
Our social media activities should be equally treated as our web sites. For each social network we are active on, beyond those basics of insuring our profiles are fine-tuned for visibility and accessibility to being found in search – we should also understand how our connections (followers, friends, et al) find us and interact with our sharing and conversations.
Three tools of interest can do just that, exploring what happens with our social accounts, our social content as well as insight into how our peers or competitors are engaging on social media as well.
Twitter Power Tool – Manage Flitter
Manage Flitter is an amazing tool I stumbled upon and use with my Twitter account (@blano). It offers a number of excellent analytical tools across followers and those you follow, overall account insights as well as some useful utilities like batch management of tasks on Twitter and even a nice Google+ integration.
Getting to Know Your Followers
The app allows you to understand who your followers are on Twitter. This means you can see who is:
- An influencer on Twitter
- Spam followers
- Inactive accounts
- “Egg” Accounts (those who have a Twitter account but have not fully set it up)
- Accounts who follow more users than follow them
One excellent capability of the batch tool is the ability to mass follow and unfollow based upon what you learn. Very handy if you have to deal with more than a few.
The Google+ integration is a nice touch and you can manage it by Circle to prevent just auto-blasting every Google+ post to your Twitter account. Manage Flitter will watch the connected G+ account for when you tag a post with the Public Circle. It will only then share it on Twitter.
Engagement Analytics from ThinkUp.com
ThinkUp, founded by Gina Trapani and Anil Dash, takes what I believe is a unique approach to social analytics. The solution offers more context as to how others have engaged with your social content. In addition ThinkUp has creatively weaved reminders of what you have previously shared as well as insights into how others have changed their profiles.
You may recognize the names of those founders – with Dash being the original employee at Six Apart, the folks who make and deliver Movable Type blogging solutions. Trapani found Lifehacker in 2005 and has since departed – though her efforts at life hacking have definitely left a positive mark on most reading this.
The service accommodates Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. In addition, you can choose to expose your analytics publicly via a URL or solely use the service for your own illumination.
Monitor Your Peers and Competitors on Social Media with Perch
Perch was a recent discovery via a referral from a fellow business owner. He works in the mobile space and closely watches the messaging of those he competes with. Perch is intended for monitoring the online presence of your own business as well as those peers and competitors. Designed for iOS and Android devices, the tool enables you to claim your business (or create its listing) and then link it to your web site and social profiles. The same goes for other businesses you wish to track.
A very simple tool to use – once it is installed on your device you can begin searching by business name and locations to build your tracking list. When claiming your own business, it is a helpful reminder to your social profiles current.
These three utilities serve specific purposes. However, when used in conjunction these will give you very focused and meaningful analytics and insights to make your social media initiatives more effective.