by John Eberhard

I have started doing a lot of social media marketing work for clients where I add friends, followers and connections to their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. I was adding friends for them on MySpace too but have recently discovered that hardly anyone is using MySpace anymore, so I am dropping that from the mix.

All this got me thinking about how you should measure your success with social media. I found an excellent article on this called “3 Key Metrics To Measure Social Media Success” by Clay McDaniel on SearchEngineWatch.com. I’ll explain and simplify what he is saying, plus add some additional ways of my own to measure social media success. Here are McDaniel’s 3 key metrics:

1. Total Online Community Size: Add up your total Facebook fans of your fan page and/or friends for your profile, Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, YouTube channel subscribers, and blog unique users.

In my opinion this is one of the most important metrics in terms of how well you are doing, because it gives the total number of people you can reach with your social media communications. This is also something you should be working on regularly to increase these numbers.

2. Monthly Referred Traffic to Site: Go into Google Analytics and see how many total people came to your site, referred from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

If you are posting status updates on your social media accounts that link back to your site or mention things you are doing, this should be generating traffic, i.e. people clicking on the link and coming to your site.

3. Social Monthly Impressions: This is the number of times someone mentions your company or brand on social media sites. You can set up a Google Alert to measure this.

I recently found that posting press releases on two specific online PR sites caused over 150 people to tweet the title of my press release and link to it from their Twitter accounts. I found this out by searching for my company name on Twitter.

Here are some additional ways of my own to measure what is going on with social media:

4. Status Updates Out Monthly: This is a total of how many times you sent out a business related status update to all your social media accounts. This is of course what you are doing rather than how people are responding to you. But I think this should be tracked because it is one of the main things you are doing that will affect how people respond. See my article from last week on what you should put out.

5. Blog Posts Monthly: This is the number of posts you are putting out on your blog or blogs. As mentioned in earlier articles the ideal frequency of this is once a week or more.

Good luck with your social media marketing.