You guys, algorithms and APIs are so cool, right? Well, they can be, but not when you add metrics tracking into the mix. Thanks to algorithms, APIs, and platforms, tracking metrics can be a tricky task. One minute you can gather a certain type of information and the next minute an update has been made and that information is no longer available (or comes at a higher price). How do you know how to track metrics on each social media platform?
How Do You Track Metrics on Each Platform?
Gathering of data may be one of the most tedious tasks when it comes to Influencer Marketing campaigns because the activations and metrics you look at are overwhelmingly. There are so many moving parts and pieces to consider, especially when managing the following components within any given campaign:
- Blog Posts
- Facebook Posts
- Facebook Live Streaming Broadcasts
- Google+ Posts
- Google+ Hangouts on Air
- Instagram Posts
- Instagram Stories
- Live Events
- Pinterest (Pins)
- Third Party Review Sites (e.g., Amazon, TripAdvisor, etc.)
- YouTube Videos
So, do you already have a concrete system to gather results? Or, are you struggling to figure out a way to track metrics in a more organized way? Your business may not be a one man show. You may need to surround yourself with the best tools and people to streamline the processes.
Let’s dive into various ways you can track stats for an Influencer Marketing campaign.
Track Metrics Manually
I know, it’s sounds archaic, right? Like I said earlier, APIs they are a-changin’. In our opinion at FORWARD, it’s beneficial to manually grab data. Either hire an intern (great work experience) or a Virtual Assistant (VA) to pull this data for you.
VAs are now sprouting up everywhere. With the right skill sets and solid experience, they may be a great asset to your business. Unlike hiring professional full-time employees, these freelancers are less expensive but are equally capable and effective. Here are a few additional benefits:
- Flexibility—They can work at their own pace but can deliver high-quality performance at a faster speed. They can work on rest days and holidays due to having their tasks in the comforts of their homes or anywhere as long as the internet connection is present.
- Skills—Most of the freelancers are versatile and mostly skillful in the digital world. They are a pool of programmers, developers, and virtual assistants with the capabilities of appointment setting, account management, social media marketing and more.
In a typical Influencer Marketing campaign, here’s what an intern’s or VA’s task list might look like:
- Account Management—manage campaigns, communicate and connect with influencers for organic and paid posts, deal with changing deadlines and budgets, research and lead generation
- Email Management—perform lead generation, manage email campaigns, schedule appointments, delegating emails
- Ads Management—manage campaign ads with appropriate audience, budget, time frame, and goal for the ad
- Reporting—organize data and provide you with a comprehensive report of the results according to your business structure.
Send out a Form
When the influencer completes his/her tasks for a campaign, have the influencer fill out a form that collects the following information:
- Contact information
- Payment information
- Links to blog post(s) and sponsored social media post(s)
- Campaign feedback (great for testimonials) both for the brand and the managing agency
Bonus Tip: Make the form mandatory. As in, the influencer won’t get paid if the form is not completed. And boom goes the dynamite.
Create a Poll
Consumer feedback is significant to social media marketing. What’s good about the digital world is that feedback is almost instant so you’d be able to gather data real-time with no problem. As Skyword Inc. sees it, you’re not just encouraging your audience to engage, but you’re also understanding their needs, interests, and opinions, which can affect product strategy, branding, messaging, and beyond. Try using a platform like SurveyMonkey to help you manage the poll and responses.
Use Third-Party Tools
There are companies like Simply Measured that help automate tracking metrics for you … but they come at a price. Aside from social media updates and developments which give you analytics tools that are already integrated in each platform for easy access, you can also make use of third-party tools to further narrow down the results with accuracy. These tools provide automation in the aspect of gathering data and reporting. These tools are very helpful but some of them are not free.
If you’re willing to spend the money, there are plenty of platforms that offer automated ways to track metrics. But, be careful before diving into those waters. You need to do your research and know what platforms offer, how much they are going to charge you if you go over your allotted amount of mentions, etc. They might say they track Facebook, but to what extent? You want to do tons of research before signing the contract to join a third-party tool.
Beware of Hiccups
Unfortunately, not every social media platform runs off of the same API. So, you might be able to automatically collect data using a third-party system for one social media platform, but then you need to do manual tracking for another social media platform. Here’s the rundown.
Facebook has had a lot of changes lately due to issues with privacy. According to Techcrunch, it’s significantly limiting data available from or requiring approval for access to Facebook’s Events, Groups, and Pages APIs plus Facebook Login. These updates can be read at: An Update on Our Plans to Restrict Data Access on Facebook. We can still make use of Facebook’s own Analytic Tool. In fact, Facebook Analytics App was launched. You can check the progress and reports of your business on your phone with ease. When it comes to collecting data for your influencer marketing campaign, your best bet is to ask your influencers for stats related to their sponsored content.
Due to Facebook’s issue on Privacy and changes on APIs, Instagram shut down part of its old platform API. Its apps that analyze people’s followers and help them grow their audiences stopped working, per Techcrunch. When it comes to collecting data for your influencer marketing campaign, your best bet is to manually collect the stats related to the sponsored content.
Unfortunately, this social media platform has a closed API. Simply put, it’s all about manual tracking by asking influencers within a campaign to provide you with links and stats.
You can track Twitter manually by keeping a spreadsheet full of these stats: number of followers, like, retweets, etc. Or, you can use a program that automatically tracks this information for you (e.g., Hashtracking).
Wrapping It All Up
Thanks to differences in APIs, the ways to track metrics on social media platforms can muddy the waters a bit. Do you want to jump into the all-automatic pool, the all-manual pool, or stick a foot in each pool? At FORWARD, when it comes to ways to track metrics, we prefer a mix of automatic and manual tracking so that we can gather all of the stats necessary and make sure they are accurate. We don’t want you to get buyer’s remorse. Do your research and decide what’s best for you in terms of turnaround, budget, and manpower.
How are you currently tracking metrics?