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Tools and Metrics You Need to Measure and Monitor Social Media Success


If you want to be able to track the success of a social media campaign (and for that matter any online marketing campaign) you have to benchmark and measure against something.  If you want to start a social media campaign tomorrow then you need to make sure you have the tools and metrics to measure, today.  You can't just use a tool that gives you a snapshot of your overall social media presence, you need something with numbers that you can compare and benchmark against.  This is what corporations and executives are looking for.

Keep in mind that there plenty of other things to measure that don't have a specific quantifiable number, however the focus of this post is just on quantifiable metrics and the tools to measure those metrics.

First thing's first, outline all of your goals and expectations and make sure you understand them.  Once you have that down you can open up an excel spreadsheet and start benchmarking.  I want to make this THE resource for tools on social media measurement so if you contribute in the comments section I will most likely add your suggestion to the main post.

Please structure your comment in the way I have outline below, give me the tool you are going to use and the metrics that you should measure with that tool.

Let's get right into the tools we need to measure social media success, shall we?

The Tool

Google Analytics

This is an absolute must.  Google analytics will allow you to track your traffic levels (among other things) and will allow to identify where you traffic is coming from.

What you should measure

  • overall traffic increases
  • where your traffic is coming from, i.e. digg, twitter, etc.
  • most trafficked keyterms or phrases (if this is something you are interested in)

The Tool


Feed burner allows you (and your visitors) to subscibe to your blog via RSS or email.

What you should measure

  • RSS subscribers
  • Email subscribers

The Tool

Blog comments

Pretty self explanatory, these are just the comments/feedback users leave on your site

What you should measure

  • Amount of comments (don't count spam or non-quality comments)

The Tool

Twitter Search / Tweetbeep

Twitter search allows you to search for keywords or phrases in real time, tweetbeep sends you alerts when someone mentions your particular keyword/phrase/product/etc.

What you should measure

  • How many times your product/company/article/etc. is mentioned, again track this over time so that you can see progress.

The Tool

Google Alerts

Similar to tweetbeep mentioned above, Google alerts gives you email notifications when someone mentions a particular keyword or phrases.   Here is how to use google alerts.

What you should measure

  • How many times your product/company/etc. is mentioned daily, weekly, monthly.  Yes, you also trend this over time to see progress.

The Tool

Yahoo Site Explorer

Yahoo site explorer is a tool created by Yahoo that allows you to track links.

What you should measure

  • The amount of incoming links you receive over time.   This needs to be trended and again you can make correlations between social media efforts and the amount of incoming links to your site.
  • Make sure you exclude your domain from the results (you can select this)

The Tool


Backtype allows you to search comments across the net for particular mentions/keywords.  You can also set up an alert so that you are notified everytime uses your target word in a comment.

What you should measure

  • How many times your company/product is mentioned online in comments (can also use Google Alerts to help)
  • Sentiment of the comment; negative, positive, neutral

The Tool


Tweetburner allows you to track how many times people click on the links you share via twitter.

What you should measure

  • How many times people are clicking on the links you send out via twitter
  • Keep in mind most popular categories/types of links people click on the most
  • Keep in mind overall how active your twitter followers are with your content

The Tool


Delicious is bookmarking utility that let's you share, organize, and save your bookmarks across the web

What you should measure

  • How many times people bookmark your content, you can see this by searching for keywords/phrases that will then return relevant bookmarks, trend overtime.

The Tool

Keyword rank checker

Checks rankings for a domain for a particular set of keywords or phrases.  I didn't recommend a specific tool because there are too many out there,  just google “free keyword rank checker.”  If you're using firefox you can use the keyword ranking extension, it does a pretty good job.

What you should measure

Progress and rankings for your particular keywords or phrases.  I would recommend checking this bi weekly or even monthly.

There are a lot of other tools out there but the ones I have outlined above should cover you across very channels.  Keep in mind there are a lot of other things you need to consider as a part of social media success that aren't as easy to measure:

  • number of leads
  • knowledge you gain from interacting with your users that can influence product/marketing
  • positive brand image

Have another tool and metric to measure?  Let me know and I will include it.  Did you find this post valuable?

Thanks for reading!

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Join The Conversation

  • Aug 22 Posted 6 years ago sophia11

    Well, this is one of the best approaches to succeed in social media?

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  • Jun 9 Posted 7 years ago jessiebruce I happen to find your post here and find it very helpful for me, thank you!!
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  • Aug 12 Posted 7 years ago Portlandwindowclean Great post.

    Analytics is definitely #1 in my opinion. Thanks for mentioning feedburner, I've somehow forgotten about that tool but I've been hearing good things about it.

    Yahoo Site Explorer is awesome. (That's actually how I found this site, searching other people's backlinks to find the great content they were linking to.)

    Great post all the way around.

    I would mention one more great tool, though. In some ways similar to analytics, Crazyegg.

     It tracks where your visitors click on your website, click by click.

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  • JacobMorgan's picture
    Dec 19 Posted 8 years ago JacobMorgan @daniel

     reading social media today is a good start.  i like to think i provide a lot of value and insight on social media so you can read my blog as well, check out my blog roll, you will find some great resources there.  and try socialmedia.alltop.com



    you are very welcome, hope you found it valuable!

  • Dec 19 Posted 8 years ago markoteras (not verified) Thanks for this post! When we can show the real people measured outcomes social media marketing can have, then it's easier to show the benefits too.
  • danielgc2003's picture
    Dec 18 Posted 8 years ago danny115 The post was very helpful. I'm just beginning to learn about social media. You have any suggestions where should I start from?

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