There are several tools available to help marketers measure the effectiveness of their social media marketing efforts.  Some of them include free tools like, Blogpulse, Trendpedia, Trendrr, Google Blogsearch and other vote-centric sites such as DIGG, StumbleUpon and Reddit.  These tools are some of the most popular and readily available tools used to track, measure and monitor social media content.  They are all free to the user community.

In the spirit of sharing good content, Nathan Gilliatt, Principal at Social Target, LLC has published an impressive list of tools to monitor social media results which include commercial tools which have a cost.  The list of tools is growing every day.

But, how do you measure brand equity? Admittedly, measuring brand equity is somewhat intangible.  But, that depends on your perspective (is the glass half full or half empty?).  Large companies place a lot of importance in measuring brand equity.  But, most companies are not Nike.  So, how do the rest of us measure brand equity?

In social media marketing there exist new opportunities to positively affect your brand equity.   It all starts with the people in your company who are active in social media marketing.  Previously, I’ve used the example of Matt Cutts from Google.  When someone from your company takes a visible position in a social media community, and they effectively communicate meaningful stuff that the community truly appreciates, you are positively affecting your brand.  How do you measure this?

If you hire a PR agency with good social media skills, that’s one way to measure it.  If you use some of the tools described above including some of the commercial tools, that’s another way to measure your brand equity.  But, here is a simple tip that takes ten minutes and doesn’t cost a dime.  Go to your Google Analytics account or equivalent website traffic analytics program.  Assuming you have had your analytics in place for more than one year (which you should have), look at the traffic that came to your website from the keyword “your company name” (insert the name of your company).  Study the traffic coming to your website from your company name over different periods of time starting with a period of time before you became active in social media marketing.  If you are actively engaging, listening and interacting with your community in social media, you will see an upward trend in traffic to your website coming from some combination of your company name or the name of the person (or people) who are actively involved in your social media strategy.  I’ve experienced this firsthand as both “find and convert” and “bernie borges” are two of the top five keyword phrases driving visitors to our website.  Likewise, the Find and Convert blog home page is in the top three most frequently visited pages in our Google Analytics account.  These two data points alone tell me that my efforts in social media are positively affecting our brand.

The lifecycle of social media is a continuous loop.  The good news is that when you apply the simple principles discussed here, good things can happen.  But, the flip side is that the “continuous” part of it is such that if you discontinue participation you can lose all the benefits.

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