Erin Minne, Intern 

Too often, companies will jump on the social media bandwagon before they really know how or why they want to use it. Just like every other business plan, social media must have a strategy put in place with measurable goals. If an employee is posting pictures of what he had for breakfast on the company’s website, or tweeting about how he missed the train for work, those two channels have been misused. Social media is a new form of communication that builds relationships, so why would an online influencer “friend” the company’s Facebook page if all you ever posted was your latest dream or the funniest meme you found?

Instead, start conversation by making an engagement plan that does not include the latest “Call Me Maybe” video. Here are 5 easy steps to measure the success of your social media efforts, which I gathered from an Entrepreneur Magazine article that can be found at https:///

Step 1: Determine your goals

What is it that you want to gain by having an online presence? If you own a boutique, you probably want a higher click-through rate (CTR), but if you run a yoga lounge, you would probably be more inclined to build up a better awareness of your services.

Step 2: Create metrics to measure goals

Even if you have great goals of increasing the likes on your Facebook page by 200%, you need to have a plan for how you can easily quantify the change. The Entrepreneur article provided some common goals and beside them I have included some tools to measure them.

Increase Awareness

  • Klout-By measuring how many times your 140 characters have been retweeted or how many comments have been made on Facebook, Klout will grade your brand’s influence on a scale from 1-100. If you want to measure the reach on LinkedIn, Foursquare, or Google+, this is also a good place to do it.

Increase Engagement or CTR

  • Google Analytics-This tool is probably one of the most widely used, because it can track and monitor a wide range of data. It provides real-time analytics on whether or not someone is looking at your website, where they are, and which page they were at before seeing your company’s landing page.

Increase Brand’s Share of Voice

  • AddThis or ShareThis-These two online services track and measure conversations and traffic on all different platforms. The buttons can be added to almost any page to connect followers to YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and many more.

Step 3 & 4: Measure, Monitor, and Report

Start planning early how often you will be measuring your brand’s impact on various social media sites. Keep a record of posts or tweets that have caused changes in your analyses.

Step 5: Adjust and Repeat

Review your findings and see if they match with your predictions. If there were any poor metrics, see what you can do to fix them. Compare the final analysis with your company’s predictions and make any changes to meet your set goals.

By having a good plan in place and the metrics to measure it, you can make your company’s online presence influential and relevant. Proper measurement will present you with opportunities for growth or areas of improvement that are key in today’s online engagement strategies.