(Guest post by Todd Turner)
Social media has emerged as a key nonprofit resource for getting the word out about a cause, soliciting volunteers and raising funds through online donations. With Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a host of other social media platforms, nonprofits can build communities and mobilize people to achieve organizational objectives like never before.
But social media activity isn’t worth much if you don’t measure how well you’re doing. Are you gaining followers on Twitter? Are people reading your Facebook posts? How often do fans and followers share the content you offer with their own networks and inspire others to get involved?
Below is a brief overview of different analytics tools and how they can help track your social media campaigns:
The Google Analytics dashboard provides a vast amount of useful information — from the types of social media sites driving traffic to your website to specific pages most frequently viewed by users when they get there. It’s also possible to monitor conversions, as, for example, if you tweet with an offer to download a white paper, you can determine how successful this campaign turns out to be with followers.
Facebook Page Insights
Facebook Page Insights breaks up analytics by::
• Likes, including organic “Likes” and paid “Likes”
• Reach, including the number of viewers who see an individual post, whether or not they click on it
• Visits, including how often a page’s different tabs are viewed (“About me,” “Timeline,” photos, etc.)
• Posts, including the days and times a page’s fans come to Facebook
• People, including a breakdown of demographics, including language, gender, country and city
Twitter’s free analytics platform offers users a way to track tweets. Engagement reports detail the number of link clicks, retweets, tweet impressions, favorites and replies generated by individual tweets. On the Tweet Activity dashboard, you can compare and contrast an individual tweet’s performance in real time or how well tweets perform month over month. Twitter Analytics also features a section focusing on the type of followers you attract, separated by location, interests and demographics.
Hootsuite’s chief benefit lies in its “all-in-one” dashboard for monitoring your nonprofit’s social media results. You can track a wide array of social networks and create custom-tailored reports for your constituents and backers. The dashboard also incorporates Facebook Insights and Google Analytics in its offerings.
Social Media Monitoring Tips
• Include conversion assists, traffic from social media, engagement, mentions, shares and comments in your tracking efforts.
• Pay attention to the numbers but don’t lose sight of the “bigger picture” (e.g. how your social media efforts attract new supporters and donors and relate to raising awareness of your cause).
• Maintain perspective over the relative importance of social media metrics.
“Social media should fold into your overall metrics program, not the other way around,” notes J.D. Lasica, founder of Socialbrite. “What you’re really trying to do is advance your organization’s mission. Metrics are just a tool to help you do that.”
Todd Turner is the President of LogoMagnet, a custom design magnet company that produces and distributes magnets for schools, non-profits, sports teams and more.