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Blogging, engagement, Optimization

Social Media A to Z Series: M is for Measure and Monitor. What Really Matters

So, you have put all this work into designing and preparing your site, page or group. You are feeling pretty good. You’ve got swag! Now what?  It is important that you “shepherd” the growth of your “baby” to ensure that it develops in the direction you had hoped. You also want to ensure that you are making the right impression and presence in the social media arena. As a result, you do need to monitor what is being said and measure the results as it relates to your goals. So, what are your goals? Is it…

 Blogging for content. This is the scenario where you are writing a blog with considerable emphasis on search optimization, attempting to drive traffic to the blog by creating content with keyword inclusion. Your key metric for this scenario would be search traffic.

Blogging for commerce. This is related to blogging for content that is commerce-oriented. In this case you are more interested in conversion than in  traffic generation. Funneling traffic from the blog to some other web destination (typically a website) is the primary objective. Here, your metrics are leads and conversions.

Blogging for community.These blogs seek to build a consistent readership that interacts with the blogger(s) and advocates and/or endorse on behalf of what is published.

Blogging for all the above! This might be challenging but not impossible. Your social media strategy would have to be very carefully integrated, your blog posts strategically planned and  its focus phased over time.


Let’s dive into what is meant by measurement. A huge topic and certainly this post will only initiate the conversation. So you have published your post and now you are sitting back so that your audience may rush to your site to hear what you have to say. Right? Hmmm not quite.  It just does not happen like that especially for a new blogger.  You have to work it, test it, work it again! Return to your original goals and link your metrics to those goals. Your goal could be to increase your presence and awareness in the social media space.  Perhaps it is to generate opportunity leads. Perhaps you want a certain number of engaged members at your site in a certain time-frame. In addition to your own site, you maybe on other social networks that link back to your site like Facebook. Are these sites helping to increase awareness? Bringing fans back to your site. You would want to know which ones are working and which one’s are not.  The most common measures are:

  1. Number of visitors to your site
  2. Quality of interaction on your site
  3. Length of time a visitor stays on the site
  4. Number of visitors that came from referral sites
  5. Number of subscriptions
  6. Number of shares
  7. Number of likes or votes for your posts

For Your Facebook Page, measures is often considered are:

  1. Number of Likes ( for your page and content)
  2. Number of impressions
  3. Number of shares
  4. Number of comments

For Your Twitter Account, typical measures include:

  1. Number of Followers (engaged followers is really the most meaningful measure)
  2. Number of Retweets
  3. Number of Replies
  4. Number of impressions


Monitoring is Listening and Observing. What are they saying? What are they doing? How are they interacting? You have thought about your goals and purpose of interacting with your community, however how will you know that you are succeeding? You need to regularly monitor your community and the internet to learn and engage so that you can improve your results. This is not any different to networking offline. You may decide to go to a convention, a conference to get a sense of what is being said about your interest; Is your name surfaced? Is your product or service mentioned?. They could be leads to improve or build new products and/or services. It could be an issue that you need to resolve quickly. You would want to do exactly the same on-line.

Monitoring on your site would entail regular review of your site to:

  • Keep a pulse of what is being said  and posted on your site.
  • Ensure that you keep spams off.
  • Keep your blog vibrant and responsive. This ensures that you can intervene in a timely manner when necessary. If you do not monitor, your site can quickly erode from its original purpose.

Monitoring the internet could include search by key words such as your name, your brand, your products.

  • This provides very useful information about how you are being represented off your site; it taps into what is being said about you, your products and/ services.
  • This can be very informative, providing key areas of what is working and what can be improved going forwards.

Measurement and Monitoring Tools- there are a gazillion of them. Really. Here are a few:

  1. Facebook insights
  2. Blog internal stats
  3. Google analytics
  4. Klout
  5. Xeeme
  6.  HootSuite,
  7. Twylah
  8. Twenty feet
  9. Peer Index
  10. PostRank
  11. Social mention
  12. Nielsen
  13. Linkfluence 
  14. Brandwatch.
  15. Radian6,
  16. Meltwater Buzz
  17. Synthesio
  18.  MarketMeSuite 
  19. Conversocial

I am not personally familiar with all on the list. I am currently using 1-7. I wanted to share a few options for consideration. Pam Dyer published an excellent post listing 100+ social media monitoring tools. From this you can see that there are many to choose from. Pick one that best meets your need, where you understand the interpretation and within your  budget. Remember, it does takes practice and time, so be patient as you develop your skill, understanding  and know-how. What is important is that both monitoring and measurement should be a significant part of your social media strategy.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Most business owners and executives usually have one primary question when it comes to measures. What is the ROI? I believe there is an ROI however the measures is not necessarily the same formula as traditional measures of ROIs. Social media is not about the hard sell. Its primary objective is relationship building and so by definition it is a soft sell. Consequently the ROI is related to this with tangible and intangible metrics.  If you take care of these related measures, the return and value will come. Do you have to measure the ROI? Yes. I also believe it should not be used as a rallying cry to justify continuing with traditional methods. I believe that  one should give social media the due diligence it requires to at least consider it as a component of the market strategy.

What Really Matters?

At the end of the day, your monitoring and measuring should be telling you a story so that you can act. Recently bloggers and many social media enthusiasts have been up in arms about the change in the influence measure, algorithm in Klout. To me this is just a reminder that :

  1. We are pioneers in a new medium trying to put some structure and measures around it
  2. Social media is in its embryonic stage of its “lifecycle” and therefore  we cannot necessarily rely on any one tool to give us the definitive answer on performance. It is being developed as we use it; and
  3. The human factor is a key input to ensure the  proper assessment performance and context. Balance is also  required.

Be clear why and what you are measuring and monitoring. As with all measurement initiatives, start with the critical few otherwise it can be overwhelming. Do not get too hung up on the tools, graphs  and the figures. It is less important that a measure changes by a couple of  point versus understanding the story and customer influence behind the figures so you can do something with them. Just sprouting out a rating  or numbers because it sounds good, does not necessarily translate into an engaging business service or product.  Your approach should be holistic and balanced in its intent.

Now it is your turn. Let me know what you use?  Lets continue the discussion. Measures always get people going. If you enjoyed the post, give the post a +1 or Like to help my metrics.



  • Image: Measuring time by  aussiegall
  • Cartoons use with the permission of Cartoonist.

About Shirley Williams

I have a passion to create, resolve and build.I have had a pretty dynamic career that some say has led to a solid reputation as a visionary, result-driven and passionate leader. I say, simplify the complexity, work WITH people and you have a formula that not only deliver results but forms bonds that will stand the test of time. I have led numerous initiatives with a geographical scope that has included Canada, US, The South Americas,Europe and Australia. My professional career spans Biotechnology, Brand & Generic Pharmaceuticals, IBM Business Consulting Services, Healthcare, Retail, Electronics, more recently Mining and now Social Media. I am a biochemist and have a Master of Scence degree in endocrine pharmacology. I am a certified practitioner and professional in Change Management (Prosci), Project Management (PMP/PMI) and Social Media (OMCP, Online Marketing Certified Professional). So that makes my full title to be: Shirley Williams, MSc. PMP. CMC. OCMP. Having spent many years in the LifeSciences (you can check my career profile on Linkedin ) I have now directed my attention to bridging strategy and goals with social media. Loving it! In fact I am passionate about it. I have also produced and currently host my own internet radio show. My programs to-date have included Rise Of The Patient and Give Startups A Chance. I consider myself as an Experience Enabler. I facilitate and advocate for improved experience from the consumer perspective. Thank you for stopping by to check me out!


13 thoughts on “Social Media A to Z Series: M is for Measure and Monitor. What Really Matters

  1. Well researched, thorough, informative and POWERFUL content. THANKS SO MUCH for continuing to outdo your previous self!

    Posted by Henry Ford | November 13, 2011, 8:09 am
  2. Shirley,

    Nice post on monitoring and measurement. Social media monitoring can be beneficial not just for discovering public sentiment surrounding your brand but also for dealing with crisis situations, or to benchmark your competitors. Thanks for including us in your article!

    All the best,
    Trish, Community Manager | Radian6

    Posted by Trish (@Dayngr) | November 14, 2011, 12:59 pm
    • Trish,
      Thank you for taking the time to visit and providing feedback. Absolutely- you make good points that should not be taken lightly.
      It is also good to hear from Radian6 to continue the discussion. Love that!


      Posted by Shirley Williams | November 14, 2011, 1:26 pm
  3. Some really good information, Gladiolus I found this. “Reprove thy friend privately commend him publicly.” by Solon.

    Posted by SEO Articles | November 20, 2011, 12:56 am
  4. Hey! I just wish to give a huge thumbs up for the good information you’ve got right here on this post. I will probably be coming again to your blog for more soon.

    Posted by purchase twitter followers | November 29, 2011, 2:07 am


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