Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
November 7, 2012
by Kevin Grubb
As social media continues to integrate into our work and the promotion of our services, it is becoming increasingly important to consider how we determine its effectiveness. This column focuses on tools you can use to measure your social media efforts. I should underscore that what you measure needs to relate to a goal you set forth for your chosen social platform. If you are not sure of your goal, your measurements will mean hardly anything concrete.
With your targets in mind, here are three free tools to measure your social media presence.
Facebook Insights is a dashboard of metrics for a Facebook fan page. With Insights, a page administrator can measure things such as growth rate of fans, interactions on a page, and much more. For example, if I created a page with the goal of building awareness of office services to traditional-age undergraduate students, I should look at the demographic of my page fans.
These demographics would look good for my target audience. As you can see, the majority of the fans are in the 18-24 age bracket, which is the group I am trying to reach. Facebook Insights will also tell you the countries, cities, and languages of your fans, so that may help even further determine if you are reaching people in the right age and region. I would need to look at more in Insights to determine whether or not people are viewing my posts, but at least with demographics, I will know if I have the right audience in front of me. For more on Facebook Insights, here’s a guide on the subject from Mashable.com.
I like to use TweetReach to measure Twitter. On the TweetReach site, type your Twitter name into the search bar and click the search button. It may take a few moments, but shortly you will see the number of accounts reached, Twitter impressions, and more of your 50 most recent tweets. You can also see a collection of the people retweeting you, which may enable you to determine whether or not these people are your target audience (students, alumni, colleagues, or others). For investigating awareness or even engagement, TweetReach is an interesting place to start.
Social Mention refers to itself as “real-time social media search and analysis,” and aims to pull together all the times a set of keywords has been mentioned in online social spaces. Social Mention even allows you to set up an alert so you can be notified when the words you follow are being mentioned. You can type in the name of your university, office, department, and more, and see if it’s being discussed online on social media. I have just been tinkering with Social Mention more as of late, and so far, I am intrigued.
So, how do you measure social media’s effectiveness in your office? Please share your efforts in a comment below.
Kevin Grubb is an assistant director at the career center of Villanova University. You can connect with Kevin on Twitter at @kevincgrubb or by following www.socialatedu.com.