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Top 10 Social Media Tools to Determine Your Return on Investment

How do you ensure that you are properly using social media and not wasting time or money? Try these social media tools to measure your ROI!

When utilizing social media, it is extremely important for organizations, especially public and nonprofit, to ensure that they are properly employing social media platforms to meet mission objectives. To accomplish this goal, it is highly recommended that organizations use social media tracking tools. These tools will enable organizations to easily track and monitor the number of followers overtime, composition of followers, impact of comments or tweets, and many other things. By using these tools, organizations will be better equipped to expand their social media network and understand the types of comments or tweets that have the biggest impact on increasing awareness. Below is a list of ten prominent free social media tracking tools for Facebook and Twitter. A lot of these tools are very similar and provide the same services and it is important to pick the correct tool(s) for your organization.

  1. Hootsuite: Hootsuite enables users to manage multiple platforms at once, including scheduling messages and monitoring feeds. It also provides custom analytics reports that contain stats on followers, comments, etc. Platforms supported: Facebook, Twitter
  2. TwentyFeet: TwentyFeet gives users the ability to track their social media presence in one area. Every morning it sends an email letting the user know the happenings of the day before, including the number of users, the impact of messages, etc. It also updates users on any major changes that occurred, such as a sudden drop in followers. Platforms supported: Facebook, Twitter
  3. TweetReach: TweetReach offers a free report of the user’s Twitter activity, including the user’s activity, how many people a tweet reached, the top contributors, and the most retweeted tweets. Platforms supported: Twitter
  4. Google Analytics: Google Analytics constructs social reports that measure the impact of social media on multiple different metrics that the user identifies. Along with providing basic measures, such as number of followers, it also gives an overview of how different individuals interact with the user over social media, utilizing engagement and conversation metrics. Platforms supported: Facebook, Twitter
  5. Facebook Insights: Facebook integrated dashboard that enables users to analyze their activity on their Facebook page. It tracks both growth and impact. Platforms supported: Facebook
  6. TwitterCounter: TwitterCounter gives basic stats on the number of followers, number of tweets, and provides predictions on number of followers in the future based on trend data. Platforms supported: Twitter
  7. FollowerWonk: FollowerWonk is very similar to TwitterCounter, but has the added benefit of enabling users to find and connect with social media influencers similar to them. Platforms supported: Twitter
  8. Klout: Klout measures the user’s influence on social networks and provides a score (1-100) based on how influential the user’s social media presence is. The user can view which interactions are the most influential in engaging other users to interact on different social media platforms. Platforms supported: Facebook, Twitter
  9. Kred: Similar to Klout, Kred measures the user’s social media impact and establishes a Kred score (out of 1,000) based on how influential the user is. This score enables the user to understand where they are having the biggest impact and where the user can improve in order to have a greater impact. Platforms supported: Facebook, Twitter
  10. PeerIndex: PeerIndex is a tool that measures the user’s interactions on social media and how these interactions influence other users. It also enables users to see where they have the biggest influence. Platforms supported: Facebook, Twitter

For more insights into social media, check out GovLoop’s Social Media Guide!

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Profile Photo Christopher Whitaker

The problem with social media metrics is that different people are using social media for different things. Sure, if I’m trying to get my message to go viral – then having lots of RT’s and shares really help my mission. However, if I’m using social media like the @CTA – then I don’t need my stuff to go viral. I just need people in Chicago to see my stuff and to know that I tweet back if they have a problem. 99% of the time, if I’m not interacting with people it’s because everything is A-OK and I can disappear into the background. Terrible for my Klout score but good for my mission.

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Profile Photo Katie Paine

I’m surprised that on a respected site like GovLoop you are able to put forth such terrible misinformation. None of these tools can help any organization determine ROI. ROI has a strict accounting definition which means that you know the financial return of an effort and you subtract the investment. While Google Analytics can track conversion, none of the rest of these “tools” do anything close. If you took your results from any of these tools to your Chief Financial Officer you’d be at best laughed at and at worst fired. I’d refer you and your readers to the proposed standards for measuring Social Media http://www.smmstandards.com/category/impact-value/

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Profile Photo Steve Ressler

Chris – Good point. Agree on CTA – not about going viral. But it’s about reach – how many people read my stuff & how many people I can help if they have a problem. I like how you framed it. How do you report? Do you do a monthly or weekly report for leadership? What does it look like?

Katie – Fair point on ROI. Very cool standards – I just checked them out & encourage all to do so. Download at http://www.smmstandards.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Complete-standards-document4.pdf

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Profile Photo Michele Thistle

Rather than determining ROI from social media efforts (which, as Katie clarifies, relates to measurable financial return and can be very difficult to do), my goal has been using social media to foster meaningful engagement with those in government and those who rely on government. While ROI is about what I get, “meaningful engagement” is about ensuring the quality of what our customers (and their customers) get. And while some of these 10 tools help schedule, count and monitor interactions online, meaningful engagement requires some analysis beyond what these provide.

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