December 16, 2010

14 free tools to measure your social influence

A screenshot of the TwitterPoster visual application. (Image by mil8)

Are your online efforts getting traction? Start your metrics engines!

Target audience: Nonprofits, brands, businesses, foundations, NGOs, cause & community organizations, Web publishers, educators, individuals. In this series:
Getting started with social media metrics
How to measure your nonprofit’s social media success
Guide to social media metrics (main page)

JD LasicaCongratulations, you’ve jumped into the social media waters, and it feels pretty nice. Now what?

Your social media plan — if you have one — should consist of goal-setting, implementation and measuring, among other things. That last part, metrics, is frequently overlooked, partly because the tools for measuring are still maturing and partly because there’s no clear agreement over what to measure. (For our suggestions, see How to measure your nonprofit’s social media success.)

Not all tools measure the same kinds of things, so you may find several of these useful for your efforts. In addition, some are useful for measuring your blog’s or website’s reach, while others assess your mojo on a particular social network. Our criteria? The tool must be useful, free (freemium versions are allowed) and we had to use it ourselves.

We’ve condensed the list below into a one-page printable handout: 10 Free Metrics Tools for Actionable Analytics.

Here, then, are 14 free tools to measure your organization’s impact in social media and on the Web. Please add your own favorites in the comments!


SEMRush: What does your site rank for?

1I’ll bet you a nickel you haven’t heard of SEMrush — and that you’ll find it valuable. Just plunk your blog or website url into the search field atop the page and SEMRush will show the keywords it ranks highest for. For example, I had no idea that my Socialbrite article 4 examples of corporate social responsibility done right is the No. 1 Google search result for “examples of corporate social responsibility” or that our article How to set up an SMS campaign system is the No. 2 Google search result for “sms campaign.” SEMRush will show you what you rank for, what your competitors rank for, what Google AdWords you might consider buying and the terms you should be focusing on in your blog posts.


Woopra: How are your visitors behaving?

2We like what we’ve seen of Woopra, a Web analytics tool that provides real-time data about how users are interacting with your site. While the visitor moves through your site, you can see where she came from, her approximate location, the actions she performs and where she goes off to next. Woopra has a freemium model: While the free version of Woopra is severely limited, you may soon want to move up to the Bronze ($4.95 per month) or Silver edition ($14.95 per month), which let you segment your visitors (say, referrals from Facebook, Twitter or StumbleUpon), print out customized reports and track trends over time. Like SEMRush, Woopra helps you get your own house in order before moving on to your outposts on the social Web.


Klout: Scoring across three networks

3Klout offers a daily summary of your organization’s or team members’ social media influence, with a ranking that factors in your reach and impact on Twitter (metrics such as retweets, follower counts, list memberships, unique mentions), Facebook and LinkedIn. Klout has an open API that’s integrated into many Twitter apps: More than 750 partners use Klout data, including Hootsuite, CoTweet and Attensity 360. For the end user, its analytics platform is rich and easy to use, even if the methodology used in spitting out a Klout Score is a bit opaque. See the full review of Klout.


A detail from Socialbrite's Facebook Insights dashboard.


Facebook Insights: Stats you can use

4Facebook beefed up its Insights service this year, to good effect. Now Facebook Insights resembles Google Analytics in many ways. As a Page admin, your dashboard gives you access to a trove of data: daily active users, monthly active users, daily new likes, daily interactions such as comments, geographic location of your visitors (broken down by country, city and language), external referrals, internal link traffic and more. When you have spikes of user engagement, Insights will show you caused them. It’ll show you what content most interests your readers, and it’ll let you and your team understand and analyze growth trends. One big limitation is that you can’t access a lot of the data older than a week.

bitly Are your promotions working?

5Our favorite url shortener,, provides double duty by offering analytics and click data for every link shortened. Click data lets you see how effective your social media promotions are. Just log into your account to see click-through numbers. A new feature, bundles, lets you group similar links together. Both the free version of and Pro handle our metrics needs without the need to upgrade to Enterprise ($995 per month).

TubeMogul: Who’s watching your videos?

6If you’re familiar with TubeMogul, you probably think of it simply as a way to upload your videos to multiple sites, saving you the hassle of uploading videos over and over. But TubeMogul has developed a rich set of metrics lately, letting you see stats on how many people have watched your videos across networks. Real-time analytics include views, viewed minutes, audience geography, embeds, referring sites and search terms and more, all via your dashboard. Cross-compare by category, content delivery network, advertising mix or video player. And it’s free.

YouTube Insight: What parts of your video are ‘hot’?

7YouTube Insight is a self-service analytics and reporting tool that enables anyone with a YouTube account to view detailed statistics about the audience for the videos that you upload to the site. Use the information to analyze your marketing efforts — both on and off YouTube — and determine how best to optimize your campaigns. Watch the video (natch) and see metrics around views and popularity, how people get to your site, the content clicked on, average pages per visit, which parts of your video are “hot” and “cold,” demographic information and community engagement. Continue reading

May 7, 2010

How to make Twitter campaigns more effective


The secret: Moving up the Ladder of Engagement

Beth KanterWhole Foods is among those sponsoring a Mother’s Day fundraising campaign on Twitter. Whole Foods is donating a $1 for each retweet of this tweet to support The National Domestic Violence Hotline. I call this type of fundraising campaign the sponsored Tweet approach, where potential donors do not have to open their own checkbooks but instead retweet or use a hashtag to leverage a donation from a corporate sponsor to a charity. One of the earlier examples of this was the HoneyBees Campaign on Twitter sponsored by Haagen-Daaz Ice Cream. (See Juilos Vasconcellos’ analysis.)

With all fundraising and activist campaigns, I think it is important to think of your conversation and messaging strategies in the context of the Ladder of Engagement – whether you are focusing on one campaign or your fundraising campaigns for the whole year.


Think about all the various ways your organization interacts with different groups of people through its communications and fundraising efforts – through social media or other traditional channels. You will no doubt discover that some people engage with you lightly and others will engage with you more deeply. Face it, not every single person your organization touches will have the same level of passion or interest in your program. And, that is not a problem, it’s just the way it is. Continue reading

February 15, 2010

Should CEOs and executive directors use social media?

Beth KanterThe NASSCOM India Leadership Forum has multiple tracks based on theme. I was asked to facilitate a session on the question, “Should CEOs and Executive Directors Use Social Media?”

To prepare for this session, I asked colleagues in the US to share their collective wisdom so we could see the US perspective. In addition, during a roundtable on social media at the conference, I was fortunate to meet social media experts in India (@nirav, @amnigos, @pranavbhasin, @paritoshsharma and @avinashraghava), who shared some examples.

For social media to have full impact, it needs to scale within an organization. Your organization’s social media strategy should be not implemented by one lonely intern sitting in the corner of your communications and marketing department.

You may be wondering if that means that your executive director and CEO needs to write a blog or have their own Twitter account to share their wisdom. I think it depends.

There are definitely some benefits to having your executive director or CEO being present on social media channels. They can provide a human face to your organization’s work, a unique viewpoint, and serve as a thought leader in your field. And if your organization finds itself in the middle of groundswell or if there is a major news event or a public relations crisis happens and it is being discussed on Twitter or other social media spaces, your CEO can join it without having to get up to speed. Continue reading

February 15, 2010

Marshall Kirkpatrick on the Real Time Web Report

Marshall Kirkpatrick. (CC) Randy Stewart, <a href=""></a>.

Amy Sample WardAnew report from ReadWriteWeb, The Real-Time Web and Its Future, focuses on the changing ecosystem of the Web, one that runs in real-time: “For the following report, we interviewed 50 companies, developers and executives building or leveraging real-time Web technology. We combined that research with insights gained from more than 300 industry leaders that participated in our Real-Time Web Summit in October 2009. The end result is an extensive, authoritative premium report: The Real-Time Web and its Future, edited by ReadWriteWeb lead writer Marshall Kirkpatrick.”

I recently had the opportunity to connect with Marshall to discuss the report and the insights RWW discovered through the process of aggregating and distilling so much information from experts and Web users.

Review the Table of Contents and read the report introduction now, or learn more in the following interview.

First, what does the “real-time Web” really mean?

It means different things to different people, but the most literal meaning is probably this: real-time systems push information from a publisher to a subscriber (be they a human reader or a machine consuming information) as soon as it’s available, without the subscriber having to ask if there’s anything new.

Think of how Facebook notifies you that you have new messages without having to refresh the page, or the way your Instant Messaging client shows you new messages as soon as they are sent. The underlying technologies used in those kinds of circumstances are now being integrated into all kinds of other websites because real-time delivery of information changes the user experience radically and offers all kinds of benefits. It’s smoother for users, users and systems get to take action immediately on new information and it’s much more efficient, meaning that your technology can do more with less computing expense.

When did RWW start focusing on the real-time Web?

Probably middle of 2008. Like people generally do, we thought about the impact that Twitter and Facebook were making on the web. When we looked deeper though, we quickly found out that there is far, far more going on in the real-time web than those two services.

For the report, you interviewed 50 Web experts – what were some of the surprising things you heard?

I was surprised to learn how broad this field is. We talked to people working with public records extraction in real time, with designers building lightweight, real-time presentation sharing tools, Google engineers have some incredible ideas about ways they hope that their PubSubHubbub real-time protocol will be used – stuff like real-world sensor networks and contact info syncing. When I started those interviews, I knew there were broad possibilities but I had no idea how broad. Continue reading

February 11, 2010

20 inspiring women to follow on Twitter


Sloane BerrentI’m utterly honored this week to find myself on Forbes Woman’s list of 20 Inspiring Women to Follow. I look at the list of the other women included and am wowed by them and their passion, drive and accomplishments. If we are the sum of the people we spend the most time with and the circles we’re in, then I am in good company!

Big thank you to the author of the post, Halle Tecco, for being a big supporter of mine. I simply can’t wait to see where we all are a few years from now, and Halle certainly deserves to be on the list in addition to authoring it. Continue reading

January 22, 2010

3 Twitter shortcuts: SocialOomph, Twitterfeed, CoTweet

This is part of the series the 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media.

John HaydonIn this short screencast, I’ll show you a few automated Twitter techniques that are probably grounds for you taking out a restraining order against me.

We’ll begin with SocialOomph (formerly TweetLater), a way to auto-follow back the people who follow you on Twitter. While Twitter management frowns on such tools, they come in handy for overworked, time-strapped nonprofits that have little reason to be choosy about whom to follow back.

Next, Twitterfeed, which can be used generously to promote other people’s blog post — for example, Rebecca Leaman‘s.

Finally, CoTweet, used by many Twitterers to post a tweet later instead of right now.

All of these offer free basic versions.

You can also watch this video, 3 Twitter techniques I shouldn’t be showing you, on Continue reading