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Social Media Tracking for Small Business Guides Time and Effort

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Tracking performance in social media accounts can range from a small effort to a big one.

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 Websites 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 usually doesn’t cost anything. (Free spreadsheets include Open Office and Google Docs.)

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 below shows a handful of numbers that offer a great deal of insight.

Social media trackingOnce 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. Some social media platforms simply don’t provide a good return on investment.

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.

Social Media Advertising

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’ Website.

In time, the business owner may get more ambitious and add more information such as the engagement rate, mentions, shares, etc. These extra 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.

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