How To: Social Media Weekly & Monthly Reports

This is the start to my series on how I do my weekly and monthly reporting in Social Media. I want to share this with you because it is difficult to choose which metrics to use and how to report on them.

The first part of the report I will go over is the analytics from your website relating to social networking sources. I currently use Google Analytics to do this.

Advanced Segments

So the first step is to set up an advanced segment: Choose the analytics account and profile to add the new segment to. At the top of your dashboard you will see a gray menu bar that on the right hand side has the “Advanced Segments” option, click on this and it will look like this:

As you can see I already have the segment set up, but you would click on “Create a new advanced segment” on the left hand side.

Which will bring you here:

Choose “Add ‘or’ statement”, then under the Dimensions header on the left hand side, choose “Source” and drag it over:

Under condition choose “Matches regular expression” and do not select case-sensitive.

Inside the “Visits” text box copy and paste:

digg|aim|friendfeed|econsultancy|blinklist|fark|furl|misterwongs|wikipedia|stumbleupon|netvibe|bloglines|linkedin|facebook|del\.icio\.us|feedburner|twitter|technorati|fave.com|newsgator|PRweb|msplinks|myspace|bit\.ly|tr\.im|cli\.gs|zi\.ma|poorl|tinyurl

Add another “or” statement the exact same way and copy and paste the rest, as the text box holds only so many characters:

flickr|blog|forum|ht\.ly|ow\.ly|ow\.li|htl\.li|kl\.am|is\.gd| |youtu\.be|

Now you can name your segment, I named it “Social Networking Traffic” and you can  make it visible in as many profiles as you would like.

You can now do several things with your new advanced segment, you can look at it alone or in comparison to other segments. I think that it is important to compare it to your overall traffic to see what kind a percentage social media traffic is to your site.

URL Custom Parameters

For all of my links that go out through social media, I track each campaign with an excel URL manager from  Analytics for Marketers, which is a companion site paired with the book Performance Marketing with Google Analytics. 

I create a copy of the original template for each property/venue that has social media outlets and name the tabs accordingly. For example, if you have Property 1, Property 2, and Venue 1, each would have a separate tab within the workbook.

The Starting Fields in the worksheet ask you to provide a link description, the original link and a no-override option. In the link description I list the dates of the campaign or if it is ongoing along with the subject matter of the related posts. Under the original link you are going to use, it can have additional tracking codes associated with it, like for Omniture, but make sure that no Google parameters are attached.

The next section is the “Required Fields for Tracking”. Under Medium (Channel), I normally list “Social Media”, then under Campaign Name the individual campaign, such as “YouTube Contest 2011”, and finally under source, I use just the sitename, for example either Facebook or Twitter so it will integrate with my regular expressions in the advanced segment.

I do not use the “Optional Fields for Tracking” at all, and I have added an additional blue section to my worksheets labeled shortened link. Here I have taken the “Output to Copy” and shortened it using HootSuite or Bit.ly then copying it back to the worksheet so I can have a record of it.

So there you have it, the Google Analytics section of my weekly reporting. See you next week for more on the social media weekly reports!

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Oops…or lack of planning

“Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part”

Here I would be referring to my lack of planning, the evening rather got away from me so instead of our regularly scheduled programming I am going to share what I have been reading today:

How You Can Help Find Alien Life – This article is pretty interesting, especially if you have been looking into volunteer computing lately. I think the added competition aspect will help further the projects reach into more mainstream news.

Just How Dangerous Is Sitting All Day? – Everyone loves an infographic right? Well at least for this one I found that taking a look at the many references listed is even more interesting, like did you know that an obese person is inactive for 2.5 hours more per day than an average sedentary person?

90 Tips To Make Your Blog Rock – Do you want to make your blog rock? Of course you do! This article comes from one of my favorite social media bloggers, Jeff Bullas. In fact, this is probably why my post is late today…

Take this 1931 8th grade test (you will probably flunk) – Or maybe this is why, I have pouring over this test for a while now, and I have to admit, it is difficult. Do you know who wrote Robinson Crusoe, The Courtship of Miles Standish, Song of Marion’s Men, Maud Muller, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Raven, The Green Stone Face, Evangeline, The Heritage and the Star-Spangled Banner? Can’t name them all, how about a list of the powers of the President of the United States as contained in the Constitution?

48 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed – There are always great treasures in this post, I especially like going through the editor’s picks and the social media section.

Well, that’s it for tonight and we will be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week.

5 Great Monitoring Tools and How to Use Them

I am always looking for the next great social media monitoring tools and I use them constantly. I use them to monitor the brands I manage in real-time, from my work computer to my home computer to my smartphone, I always want to be in the know and I am sure you do too. It has taken me a while but I have found my staples, what I use everyday that has not been overcome by new products and those who have upgraded beyond those products.

But why monitor? Why, I am glad you asked…

 I monitor for several reasons, but do you really have a choice anymore? With everyone’s regular online experience becoming more integrated with their social online experience, someone somewhere is talking about your brand, and if not certainly your industry. Also, monitoring can help you find new target markets, help find quality control issues in everything from your product or service to your website content, easily identify emerging trends in your industry, and monitor your competitors as well.
What about the time it takes to do all of this?

 You can easily monitor a single brand in less than 10 minutes per day, I will detail this in the individual monitoring tools below.
Let’s get to it!

These are my top 5 social media monitoring tools:

  1. Google Alerts  –  www.google.com/alerts – Set up your keywords, type of content (everything, news, blogs, video, realtime, and discussions), frequency of e-mails (as it happens, daily, and weekly) , and the volume (only the best or all). I set mine up for all of everything daily. This allows me to see what has happened while I have been away from the keyboard and to give a recap of the last 24 hours and includes all the links. This tool is also easy to quickly forward to a colleague. To review it takes about maybe 2 minutes.
  2. SocialMention – www.socialmention.com – Their tagline says it all “Like Google Alerts for Social Media”. They include blogs, microblogs, networks, bookmarks, comments, images, news, video, audio, and Q&A. This is perfect for those Yahoo! Questions that you never seem to find until they are already answered, this is also great for monitoring new posts on Digg or StumbleUpon. Another 2 minutes for this social media tool.
  3. TweetDeck – www.tweetdeck.com – This tool I don’t even really have to check! You can set up multiple twitter accounts, see an integrated home feed, mentions, and inbox, sent tweets per account, multiple twitter searches and more, but the best part is that you can set up desktop notification so that you can leave Tweetdeck running in your browser or in the background and receive a little pop-up window every time someone mentions you or a keyword you set up! The time this takes depends on the amount of mentions so we will say 2-3 minutes.
  4. HootSuite – www.hootsuite.com – HootSuite allows one to manage all of your Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and more! I adore having all of my Facebook fan pages in one place, it makes it so easy to review them for additional comments and wall posts and quickly respond. And, it also has analytics built-in as well and who doesn’t like analytics? Reviewing Hootsuite takes about  2.5 minutes total.
  5. Addictomatic – www.addictomatic.com – Create a bookmark that shows me the latest buzz on any topic I set up? Yes, please. With Addictomatic you can enter your keyword or key phrase and set up a custom page where you can choose from 25 different sources or use them all to create a quick snapshot. Pulling up and reviewing this bookmark takes about 1.5 minutes.

Bonus!

For those hoteliers out there I suggest Revinate in addition to these, it allows to monitor all of your reviews and social media in one place, it even allows to monitor several different properties.

Also, you can set most of these to RSS feeds as well and review them Google Reader. Facebook also now gives you the ability to set up your fan page notifications in an RSS reader.
Well, there you have it, my monitoring favorites in 10 minutes a day!

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