Welcome to part two of "100 useful social media learnings from 2010...so far..." - my attempt to capture some of the things I've got my head around in the first six months of the year.
Part one looked at location-based services and Twitter.
In this post, part two, I've pulled together 20 'nuggets' relating to blogs / blogging and measurement / benchmarking.
Class will be in session for the next week or so when parts 3 - 5 get dished out...ready?!?
Let's do it...
100 useful social media learnings from 2010...so far... (part 2 of 5)
Blogs / blogging (21-30)
21. There isn't a 'one-size-fits-all' resource to create perfect target lists - which is why sector specialists need to be part of your social media mix. Tools / resources that do help include regator.com, Wikio, Google Blog Search, Technorati Blog Directory, Blog Pulse, Scribnia, Alltop and a few others
22. Tracing backlinks to your blog is a major part SEO - one of the best tools to see who is linking to your blog is Page inLink Analyzer - a simple way to gauge a blog's popularity
23. It's widespread knowledge that guest blogging is a great way to build an audience - take this to another level by inviting international bloggers to write for you - I was lucky to have Canada's @ElissaPR analyse the now infamous Gordon Brown 'gaffe' on my blog and subscriptions from that region jumped by 300% the next day
24. Interviews are a great way of presenting engaging content for your audience - after seeking advice from others and testing a few different methods I tend to not ask more than four questions in any one interview. This seems to work for the interviewee and the audience in terms of balance / depth.
25. Promoting your blog is just as important as the content it houses - some of the directories I've discovered that help boost profile include blogged.com, blogerbase, blogengage and networked blogs
26. Something I haven't done for my personal blog (yet), but has worked incredibly well for client blogs is disqus - it is simply a better way to encourage comments from visitors and is linked to several of the key social networks. On my personal priority list.
27. Everyone recognises your blog is 'the hub' of your social media presence and in this role it should link to and from your other social media properties. The best place to find social media buttons / icons for your blog is via Icon Finder.
28. Use evernote as your blog resource filing cabinet - set up a specific folder and paste every quote / fact / stat you find relevant to your blog in there - makes the process of writing (with evidence) much easier.
29. Ensure your blog is optimized for viewing on mobile - people access content via mobile just as much as they do via a computer, so make this job easier for them by adopting these measures (I use Mippin which works great)
30. Tamar Weinberg (one of my favourite bloggers) wrote a great post recently featuring the 11 characteristics of successful bloggers - I love (and attempt to subscribe to) each of these: consistency, eloquence, uniqueness, specific, personal, analytical, detail, thought-provoking, passion, instructional, networked - each week, take a look and see if your blog(s) feature these characteristics.
Measurement / benchmarking (31-40)
31. If your brand is launching a product at the same time as a competitor, getting a handle of social media 'share of voice' is incredibly useful - I stumbled across a neat method / spreadsheet by Jay Baer recently which is really worth using
32. I've become more and more inclined to 'manually' measure engagement levels as opposed to automated tools - three ways I do this is via tweetstats.com / replies (to assess reply % on Twitter), use Twitter's search function to read full conversations between people and keep tabs on people who migrate from one platform to another i.e. Twitter as entry, followed by subscribing to your blog, followed by connecting on facebook.
33. Did you know you can compare the number of subscribers one blog has versus a bunch of others? There is a tool called Feed Compare (sorry, no Meerkat) that can give you this intelligence, but also help you benchmark your subscriptions versus output / milestone.
34. Another method of comparing interest between brands / activity is to see which specific links are being shared the most on Twitter - using BackTweets you can add in a specific URL and see where people are going for information how popular a destination is
35. General measurement metrics are a hotly debated topic - Amber Naslund listed a criteria recently which helps narrow this down a bit. Her criteria for measurement includes: Potential reach, mentions per time period, inbound links, share of conversation, subscribers to content, referral ratio, brand recognition, brand-specific searches, sentiment trends and content resonance - not each of these will be applicable to every brand / campaign, but they can help shape the framework for measurement
36. Want more measurement metrics? Here is another 47 thanks to 60secondmarketer.com - again, not every metric will be applicable but it does help in framing your benchmarks and on-going evaluation
37. This is a really simple measurement trick: You can find out the number of views / retweets / shares of any bit.ly link by adding a '+' to the end of the URL i.e. http://bit.ly/cPrTrl+
38. In order to measure the change in sentiment relating to a specific topic over time you need to benchmark the current state of play first - the most effective way is to manually audit conversation drivers in that space - simply list these people in an excel spreadsheet and update it with the relevant URL every time they discuss that subject. Over time you can see whether or not your efforts have made an impact (but it requires manual review).
39. Whatthehashtag.com is a great place to assess the popularity of a hashtag over time - we use it for #CommsChat and can see how many contributors and mentions we have each week, enabling to gauge whether there has been an uplift in participation
40. The other big thing I've learnt this year re: measurement is that although there are millions of free tools out there to help, the more robust 'paid for' solutions are very worthwhile (depending on the brand in question) - I like to use a combination of the two, but if you do want to try a 'proper' ones, solutions like Radian6, MeltwaterBuzz, and BuzzMetrics all seems to have some merit.
So there you go - instalment two is now live - the plan is to get parts 3-5 done in the next week or so (time dependent) with each part focusing on two subjects each, adding to the ones we have covered so far:
- Location-based services
- Blogs / blogging
- Measurement / benchmarking.