ImageOne of the most common questions we get asked at SoMeGo is:

‘What is the best tool for monitoring and measuring social media success?’

The problem with this question is there is no universal answer. It really can only be answered on a case-by-case basis. Here are a few pieces of advice to think about while searching for your answer.

What are your goals?

You must first step back and look at the goals you (or your customer) have set for using social media. Are you looking for higher web traffic (which would be a very generic goal), pushing sales messages (a huge NO-NO) or are you using it to genuinely engage your customers and leverage sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. to start building a real community around your brand.

Social Media is only a piece of the puzzle

There is a HUGE misconception that social media in and of itself is a marketing strategy. The truth is, social media is just a very powerful tool or platform (the 'what'). Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. give us an amazing opportunity to run contests (the 'how'), share quality content, engage with our customers, all to build actual human “I care about you” (the 'why') relationships that go well beyond the impersonality or faux-intimacy of typical marketing communications.

Numbers mean very little  

Honestly, forget the numbers. At least for the first few months. Try focusing on a few of the following questions. How many times have you '@' mentioned someone on Twitter? How many new, genuine friendships have you made? How many comments are you getting on your blog or when you share content on your Facebook page? Is the content you’re sharing relevant to your audience?

You could have A MILLION followers on twitter and I wouldn't give a damn if I saw you weren't actively engaging with a single one of those followers. With social media, it’s better to be heavy on quality and light on quantity than the other way around.

With all that being said, I rock Hootsuite. What tools are you using to measure you social media success?