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Tools for Measuring social media activity

Social media can be useful for any nonprofit, but posting blindly without monitoring results can be a waste of time. Knowing whether your efforts are paying off can help you adapt your posting strategy to better meet your goals and improve the return on your investment.

But what are the best ways to measure your efforts? What data should you be collecting? And how do you define success in an area that’s still relatively uncharted territory? A hundred new Twitter followers seems like you’ve accomplished something, but unless those followers translate to volunteers or donors, or unless they’re retweeting your posts or sharing their own knowledge with your organization or constituents, you might wonder if you’ve actually achieved anything.

The process of measuring your efforts on the big three of social media—Facebook, Twitter and blogs—is constantly evolving. The tools are more numerous and more effective each day, and finding the right ones to meet your needs can save long hours of work. Having a clear and simple strategy is even more important than the right tools.

Measuring is meaningless unless you act on what you learn. You should measure only activities and information that will help achieve goals—make sure what you’re listening to and collecting is actionable. Make a list of your goals and what you’ll need to gather to help meet them before you get bogged down in which tools to use to ensure you get the data you want rather than the data a certain tool provides.

The Data

The data you gather is different for each channel. For a Facebook page, there are three main areas on which to focus your tracking efforts—likes, comments and links on posts, and shares.

Each time someone “likes” your page, you know they’re listening to you, which is essential because of the closed nature of the site (compared to a blog, for example). When followers add comments to your posts, you’ve made the conversation two-way by engaging them. And when they share your posts with their Facebook friends, you’ve expanded your audience beyond your own circle.

Gathering information about these three metrics can inform your efforts by showing what people are doing, why, and what you can do to better facilitate those actions. Tracking posts that draw comments and new followers can give you a better idea of what people want from your Facebook presence. You can also form an impression of how many posts feel like the right amount, and how many are too many. Measuring the sentiment of comments—positive vs. negative—can also add insight into the tone of your community, while tracking the frequency of comments left by core supporters vs. newcomers can shed light on the openness of your page.

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Apple hires Angela Ahrendts' confidant & former Nike exec to lead social media ..  — 9 to 5 Mac
I think paying money for social media tracking tools is nuts.

Popular Q&A

Is there a Social Media Monitoring Tool that measures activity in LinkedIn groups? - Quora

Simplify360 does it. Let me show you how it does.
1. Setting up Linkedin Group Tracking

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