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August 4, 2011 Monitoring & Measuring Tools In this paper, I will evaluate five tools that allow the social media manager to monitor and measure the engagement, reach, activity and growth of their social networking portfolio. The five tools I will evaluate are: Hootsuite1, Klout2, WeFollow3, Trendistic4 and TagDef5. Through the evaluation I will depict what the tool does, strengths and weaknesses of using the tool and how it can be used for a campaign. The true discovery for each tool will be the value it brings to a social media campaign.
Part I - Hootsuite Hootsuite, a social media monitoring/measuring tool is designed around its logo, the owl. Having an owl gives the user the impression that it is related to Twitter, with the bird logo. Much like Twitter using the idea that a bird tweets; with Hootsuite, an owl hoots. Hootsuite allows the user to automatically connect a variety accounts. For an online campaign, this site will provide analytics based on followers, activity and messaging. A strength of this feature would be its customization, the user is able to generate information that other campaign organizers would typically be looking for such as daily trends, frequency of responses or basic Facebook Insights and Google Analytics that could be used outside of Hootsuite, but are conveniently available within. Additionally, the user is able to set a schedule when it would like to publish updates to multiple accounts. This feature is beneficial in the sense that you won’t need to be at your
desk or in the office to make updates. These features are also available through the mobile application in the event that you haven’t set a post to publish and are out of the office, overall convenient. Some of the drawbacks of Hootsuite would be the limitations within the free account. Upgrading is fairly inexpensive; in retrospect they do offer a Hootsuite University, which provides educational tools beyond the services they provide for users that are not familiar with social media. This would assist an online campaign with getting others involved in social media. Additionally, for campaign purposes you can set tasks, or assignments, for administrators to complete directly within the website and measure results based on the assignment. To sum up Hootsuite, it allows users to generate endless variations of analytics after connecting all of their social networking accounts, publishing can be done ahead of time or through a mobile device and services are limited to free accounts. At an additional cost, which can be wrapped into the monthly fee, users can access Hootsuite University, to keep up to date with new products and capabilities within the social media industry. This also allows non-technology savvy individuals to utilize social media without visiting the individual sites; it can all be done through one dashboard on Hootsuite.com.
Part II – Klout A fairly new tool, and rapidly gaining popularity is Klout. This site offers a host of features, which initially label users based on their social media activity. After five days, it can effectively measure all past activity and keeps up to date, within reason. After the initial evaluation, users are given a number, which is determined by a culmination of
factors and variables based on the features of all the social networks connected with Klout. This number along with a plug-in for Twitter can be used to compare the user to their networks. You are also labeled with an indicator of how others in your spectrum of activity are viewed within the Klout community. Personally, I am a number 31 out of 100 on the influencer scale and labeled as a “socializer”, meaning I provide information to others, which they appreciate, but I am less likely to be the tipping in point in a social trend among my connections. Within the dashboard, you can personalize “lists” of those people you’d like to follow. For a campaign, this would be useful in identifying those individuals who’ve liked you on Twitter who are influences of a certain topic and have influenced similar people, which is all information that can be identified in Klout. Some of the weaknesses of Klout are its inability to demonstrate why it is useful to new adopters, it is very detailed and its overall use is not readily visible to newcomers. The intrinsic benefit must be discovered with the time you invest in having a Klout account, as it does not track data too far into the past prior to having the account.
Part III – WeFollow WeFollow is a social media tool that cultivates and measures the users that follow a particular figure or subject on Twitter or it can be used to see popular tags. How popular a tag is can determine keywords a user would want to use in their tweets. For campaign purposes, the benefits of using WeFollow would be its ability to identify what is most popular and trending in real time. Current issues or events can be identified along with the popularity of your campaign. Users can create profiles that add to the Twitter Directory within WeFollow. Once you’ve found a topic, tag or Twitter user
you’d like to investigate you can see information that appears under its Twitter details such as the number of followers or how many people the person is following. Top categories that the individual or subject is involved with are also displayed along with how they rank within that subject, campaigns can group associated information together for tracking influencers or current trending topics. Within specific topics or tags, campaigns can contact the most influential Twitter users, top cities and associated tags. Encompassing WeFollow is the idea that all users and activity, specifically content, within Twitter can be measured to identify patterns of use by the people who most commonly are found within the patterns. Identifying who these influencers are and contacting them regarding a campaign can have immense benefits; the chain that follows this person from tags to followers has endless opportunity for campaign growth. A drawback to WeFollow is its lack of personalized information and the ability to store searches and queries within your personal account to refer back to.
Part IV – Trendistic The tool, Trendistic, using a hummingbird as their identifier, takes more of an analytical and straightforward approach to its presentation of trends within Twitter. Using a timeline to initially draw in the user to how frequently over the course of an hour, day or week, Trendistic seeks to identify and share what is “trending” at the present time. For campaigns, this information can be very useful. Knowing what influencers and general users are discussing allows you to write blog posts or post updates that throw your campaign into the middle of the discussion. Not only will you be immersed in the discussion, but also you’ll be doing this as the discussion is taking place, not two hours
later or the next day. Searching a trending topic will show how many tweets have been published over a length of time along with similar tags or words as well as the most recent tweets with that keyword. Strengths of Trendistic are its ability to display data and information in a highly simplistic and easily legible manner. Without being advertised to or overwhelmed with information, users are able to identify key terms that are currently trending and relevant to their campaign. A weakness of Trendistic may be the way the most recent posts are presented; it would be beneficial for the posts of followers of the campaign to be displayed first.
Part V – TagDef Finally, TagDef is a measuring and monitoring tool that allows users to discover what the true definition of a hashtag is. Some hashtags are created and used continuously without the publishers actually knowing what the root of the hashtag was created for. Trending tags, new tags, and top tags are displayed below the search demonstrating what defined hashtags are most popular. After searching for a hashtag, if it is defined the definition and related tags are displayed. If it is not already defined, the searcher can permanently define what a hashtag means. For campaigns, TagDef can be used alone to define what topics and issues being discussed or supported by a campaign actually mean. Conversely, a definition can be applied to a hashtag that may not directly represent a campaign. The use of TagDef with other sites can also be beneficial, such as pairing it with Trendistic and monitoring how your tag is being spread across the Twitter universe. Displayed below the definition are
details as to how many times its been used and when it was used. One of the weaknesses of TagDef may lie within its inability to store information or create a personalized account for easy tracking. However, a major strength of TagDef lies within its essential ability to leave a trace of evidence, within a definition, that your campaign has been using and defined a hashtag. Value of Tools The value of each of these tools for measuring and monitoring social media would be in their use for the campaign. The more people that assimilate to the technology the more beneficial they become. I’ve outlined Hootsuite, a site that compiles all of the activity within a campaigns social media portfolio, as well as being an educator of social media, analyzer of data and calendar of publishing posts. Klout has created a formula for scaling the influencing characteristics of all users on Twitter, while combing this information with other networks such as Facebook, Youtube and LinkedIn. WeFollow enables users to track what is trending in a less convoluted format, while creating a minimalist approach to displaying the data in a profile format. Trendistic is very analytic in its nature, displaying trending tags and subjects along with a live news feed of when this data is being created and what is most popular. Finally, TagDef provides a platform for campaigns to define what their hashtag is and track how often it is being used and seeing potentially if it is being used correctly or not.
http://www.hootsuite.com http://www.klout.com 3 http://www.wefollow.com 4 http://www.trendistic.com 5 http://www.tagdef.com
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