Social media activity is an important aspect of brand marketing. Determining the impact of content, activity and time spent on the network is critical to deciding how to move forward, how to adjust and how to actively engage users.
Social media is different from traditional SEO measuring and analysis. Instead of measuring direct traffic and search terms – in a way that you’re already familiar with and have been practicing for years – these activities are designed to start conversations, to interact and to build a sense of connection between brands, consumers and potential consumers.
How do you know if your strategy is working? A lot of people assume you just can’t, that it’s impossible to measure the impact of social media past what’s available on the platforms themselves. That as long as you’re actively attempting to engage, you’re doing the right thing. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
In fact, Excel has become a major tool to help measure and analyze social media activities. Because of its free to relatively low cost and a high level of user familiarity, it could be one of your best tools for analyzing your social media strategy in a way that leads to purposeful marketing and measurable results, whether you’re selling something as small and inexpensive as boys’ wall decals or as big as new cars.
Check out a few of the tools and strategies for making Excel an integral part of your social media strategy.
Build Your Own Spreadsheet
For some brands, keeping it in house is best. To set up a simple spreadsheet to market your brand, consider the following segments:
- Date of activity
- Network in use
- Category of Post
- Topic of Post
- Clicks – which can be tracked in brand manager tools on most networks
- Total engagement.
Track your numbers over time to determine which efforts are most successful and incorporate them into future methods. Consider tracking more information like call to actions and other areas to determine what your visitors best respond to.
If Excel management isn’t something directly up your alley, but you don’t have a budget line item to incorporate an added expense, free options exist that make it simple to measure results but take the stress off your hands. These include:
Simply Measured free social media measurement tools look at individual networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well as overall social marketing strategies to give a comprehensive look at activity versus results. Some of these reports include Twitter follower reports, Facebook content analyses and Instagram user reports.
Designed by the Social Media Research Foundation, NodeXL is a free template for Excel that allows users to explore various demographics through targeted charts and graphs. Pre-set up inside of Excel and designed with user needs in mind, the graph is a simple way to track activity.
Paying for More
In some cases it’s best to leave the analysis to the experts, to platforms designed by professionals with ease of use and custom reporting in mind.
Designed as a premium solution to Simply Measured’s free options, Row Feeder allows brand managers and marketers to track keywords, hashtags and other critical follower information from Twitter, Facebook and other networks. With free plans and others starting at just $5 a month, this solution takes the hassle out of social media marketing and puts the control back into your hands.
Acknowledged as a premium social media tracking service, with results that can be easily exported for Excel, Buzz Numbers provides options for monitoring activity and reporting on trends—while allowing users to access workshops and real-life answers.
Whatever you decide, the options are limitless when it comes to analyzing social media strategy with Excel. Different from SEO, yet similar in the need for ongoing monitoring, finding a way to integrate spreadsheet tracking into your activities will increase efficiency and effectiveness across the board.
Images: SalFalko | Social Media Examiner | Simply Measured | NodeXL | Row Feeder | Buzz Numbers