Monitor Your Small Business Social Media Presence - dummies

Monitor Your Small Business Social Media Presence

By Barbara Findlay Schenck

Monitoring your small business’ presence on social media is important in order to understand how you customers view your company. Monitor your social media program in two ways:

  • Watch to see who’s talking about you and what they’re saying.

  • Observe how your comments and content are received and how your network is expanding as a result of your efforts.

Monitor social media mentions of your small business

Set up alerts so that you’re notified when your personal name, business name, product name, business category, competitors’ names, and any other terms you want to monitor are mentioned online.

  • Set the preferences on Facebook and Twitter so you’re alerted by e-mail when someone interacts with your posts.

  • Use sites like and Twitter Search to search for posts about the names and terms you’re following.

  • If you use Constant Contact, set up NutshellMail to e-mail a summary of activity on the schedule you request.

  • Set up online alerts through sites like Google Alerts, Bing Alerts (through your Windows Live ID account), and Social Mention.

To make your life easy, direct all responses to a single RSS aggregator like Google Reader so you can open that one resource and see alerts for all your mentions in one place.

Measure the social media effectiveness of your small business

Social media isn’t just a popularity contest, although the number of friends, follows, and likes you accumulate matters, especially if they come from members of your target audience or, even better, those who influence members of your target audience.

Most social media platforms feature areas where you can monitor your effectiveness.

  • From your Facebook page, click Insights to view a summary of your activity and see which posts drew the most views and interaction.

  • From your Twitter profile, click @Connect to monitor your interactions with and mentions by others, including which of your tweets was most shared.

  • For location-based sites like foursquare, monitor redemption levels of exclusive promotional offers.

  • Use Google Analytics to monitor your website traffic. Go to your account and open Traffic Sources to see which networks are driving traffic to your site.

  • If your content and posts aim to generate leads, monitor which offers drive traffic and result in conversions.

The purpose of monitoring is simple: to help you do more of what works best.

Social media do’s and don’ts for a small business

  • Never ignore hard questions, whether on review sites, social networks, or your own blog.

  • Never participate online simply to sell or to place your URL.

  • Always be open to advice and even criticism, which you should never delete.

  • Always keep your communications helpful, useful, and friendly.

  • Always sound like a person and not a faceless corporation.

  • Always be consistent in the way you present your business — and your brand.