By Rieva Lesonsky
Not that small business owners need more on their plates, but the frenzy of social media has made it more than another quick “to do” on our daily task lists. Promoting, answering and keeping an eye on what’s being said about your small business on social media can eat up your whole day if you don’t take control of the situation. If you’re not sure what small business marketing success your business is actually getting out of social media promotions, it’s time to slow down the tweets and posts and determine which social media platforms are really driving sales, and which are just wasting your precious time.
Here are some analytics tools to get you started:
- Many of the social media platforms have their own analytics tools which measure things such as likes, shares and activity on your account. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest can give you the real-time basic numbers and notify you when someone has tweeted, shared or liked your page so you can tell what kinds of posts get the most attention.
- You probably already have Google Analytics set up for your business website, but you may not have noticed Google Analytics’ new Social Reports that can show you which social media platforms drive traffic to your website, how many visitors actually bought something (conversion rates) and what content gets shared the most. Want to know how many users used the social buttons on your site? Social Reports show you that, too.
- Even better, take advantage of the Google Analytics URL Builder. You can create a custom URL for each social media campaign and then track specific analytics for each tweet or post. In addition to letting you know how many people clicked on the link to get to your website, you can find out how long they stayed and what pages were viewed. Pay attention to what types of content get clicked on (coupons, videos, photos?) and what times of the day your posts are most effective at driving traffic.
- Another way to find out where most of your customers interact with your business on social media is to just ask when they call or come in your store or location. Have employees ask at checkout or have cards by the register for customers to fill out. You can also use a different code word for each platform and have customers mention the code word when they come in or input it when they buy from you online to get a discount.
- Remember, social media trends are always evolving. One month Twitter might be getting you the most attention; another month it might be Google+. Try using a social media tool like Hootsuite which does all the work for you by posting across multiple channels at once.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports