Small efforts make sense for small businesses that simply don’t have the time, staff and budget to do any more.
They have to prioritize tightly to keep the business profitable and growing.
Various Web sites offer social media tools to track brand mentions. They join the legion of other tools that help with search engine optimization, ad campaigns, social campaigns, etc.
After a while, the number of tools, accounts, usernames and passwords becomes unwieldy. The cost for many of these accounts becomes painful. Even worse, some of those sites end up folding, in which case the tools and the data are gone.
How does a small business keep it simple?
Simple Tracking Tool for Social Media
The world’s most simple social media tracking tool is called a spreadsheet. For most businesses, this tool is already available and doesn’t cost anything.
This amazing invention allows the small business owner to collect all kinds of information and provide invaluable insights about how to use social media. It even can be a tab on a business P&L spreadsheet.
The spreadsheet above shows a handful of numbers that provide a great deal of insight.
Once a month, enter the total followers for each social account along with the clicks. Create a formula dividing the clicks by the followers. Average the numbers over a period of time, such as a quarter of a year.
The follower numbers will show a trend of growth, plateau or decline. The trends will make clear which account is doing best and which one needs help.
The next important insight is the number of clicks and especially the click-through ratios. A social media account that delivers few clicks or has a low click ratio is clearly signaling a problem.
Either the account is not well-managed or it is simply not worth extra effort. If the account is not being well managed, figure out what’s wrong and do it better. If it doesn’t deliver results despite a best effort, spend more time on the better-performing accounts.
1 Mistake to Avoid
Small businesses often make the mistake of spending money on social media advertising campaigns to gain more followers. But the money is wasted if the newly acquired customers don’t click through to the business’ Web site.
In time, the business owner may get more ambitious and add more information such as the engagement rate, mentions, shares, etc. These additional insights will make the business better prepared to spend money on social advertising campaigns.
If that kind of tracking isn’t enough, only then does it make sense to start using more professional tools and even spend the money.
None of this takes much effort, either. Just put a reminder in a digital calendar to update the numbers once a month.
Social media and marketing experts may scoff at the simplicity of using spreadsheets. They of course have much bigger goals.
For small businesses, a simple spreadsheet for tracking social media may provide all of the information they need. It also is a free and easy starting point for managing social media accounts.