Free tools! Planning and tracking social media

social media word cloud

A gazillion web sites will give you advice and/or sell you tools to improve your social media performance. I think that for public and social sector marketers, much of success in social lies in two simple steps:

  • Creating a plan that’s aligned with your goals (fundraising, event promotion, volunteer recruitment, public awareness and will building, etc.)
  • Tracking your plan’s performance against your goals and adjusting accordingly (varying your posting time of day / day of week, test videos and images and calls-to-action, targeting different audiences on different social media platforms, etc.)

Planning

First, you need a plan. Start small, with a plan that you can carry out. Focus on one or two social media outlets to start. Too many marketers start big and burn out quick. It’s better to start small, gain experience, and apply your lessons as you scale.

The blog for HootSuite, a social media tool, offers good advice and free downloads about social media calendars. A calendar helps your plan and stay on target, covering all the topics you want to hit on all the social media platforms your audience is using.

A calendar helps you be consistent and persistent. Few things looks worse than a dead social media account, like a half-empty page with a couple year-old posts and your brand at the top. Don’t be those people. Building an audience takes time. Be persistent.

Measuring

Once you’re carrying out your plan, you need to measure whether you’re having the effect you want. Ultimately, that measurement will take the form of outcomes such as blah. However, along the way, you need to know how your social media content is performing. The following infographic from YourAdSquad lists 19 free social media tools, many of which measure the performance of your content on specific platforms.

Plan and measure, plan and measure–persist and you’ll succeed!

(Image courtesy of Flikr through Creative Common License)

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