A few weeks back, I received two emails back to back in my inbox. This is a regular occurrence of course, but both of these were promoting two different social analytics tools. One was for Instagram, the other for Pinterest. If you subscribe to news from any of the various social software programs, you’ll discover that they are quick to innovate a new way to track metrics for the latest social network. This is great if you’re already paying for a software subscription, and it’s added free of charge, but what if it’s not?
Before you pull out your company credit card to place an order for the latest social analytics software, take a second to think about what you’re going to measure. Are you going to measure the trend of new “likes” or followers? The total amount of repins that each of your new products gained when placed on a company Pinterest board? Be sure to determine what your objectives are in measuring your social efforts. It often has something to do with the value of social referrals to your website or to the value of your greater social community.
The Value of “Like” on your Website
Do you ever link to your website from your social accounts? If you have some basic website analytics software, such as Google Analytics, Adobe Omniture, or WebTrends, pull it open, and see what sorts of traffic each network has generated for your website. Do you see a big spike in your Facebook-referral traffic after hosting a big fan competition, or a decline from Twitter when you took a vacation and no one bothered to send out a tweet or two? Mark down what dates you saw spikes or dips from your social networks, and any rationale for why you think it may have happened. If you track conversions, or purchases that users make on your site, check to see if they mirror the same spikes and dips that your social traffic experienced.
Social Value from the Network
If you don’t particularly care about traffic to your website from social networks, think about how your company generates revenue from social itself. Is there an app that they use to download coupons, or make purchases right on a particular network?
If you find yourself saying “we just use that social network to build community, not generating revenue”, that notion is completely fine. But then ask yourself: Is it worth spending money on a software for a social tactic that doesn’t usually generate additional money for your company? Are there analytics tools that you can use for free to track community growth? Facebook Insights provides some great baseline metrics, and tools like Crowdbooster can give you weekly emails on how your Twitter follower count is doing.
Digging Deeper into Social Analytics
This past week, I attended an event with the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) presented by Adam Singer of Google. He showed us that there are even more options than just tracking referrals from social media, you can see some of the conversations that are happening on certain networks in Google Analytics. If you haven’t checked out this option, I highly suggest that you do!
Here, not only you can tell which social networks are getting you the most traffic, but which ones are actually making you money. You can see how it compares in generating new visitors to your website, and finally, how much traffic your site generates from mobile.
If your social efforts are purely based on building community and gaining the largest number of “likes” in your industry, then certainly check out those special analytics tools geared toward particular networks. But if you want to get down to the details and tell your CEO why you should stick with social because it will make you money, then I’d definitely make sure you have Google Analytics properly configured on your site and get started analyzing some results!
If you’ve been paying attention to any of the recent social media news, you’ll be certainly aware that there’s a new program that helps you to detect your “fake”, or spam followers on Twitter. Of course, I wanted to see how Three Deep was performing in this area. As I suspected, we’re doing just fine.
Ahh, not too bad!
That wasn’t the account I was worried about. Having once on a whim, followed a friend’s advice and placed a Fiverr order for a bunch of followers to my personal (@dianekulseth) account, I wanted to see how much impact my temporary lapse of judgment affected my “score”.
Apparently, a lot.
What to Do With Your Spam Followers
Only 34% of my Twitter followers are legitimate? Not good! While this tool has been great for identifying accounts that are loaded with spam followers, it leaves nothing for those of us recovering one-time black hats. After a bit of perusing, I have come up with three options for those of us who have a bunch of fake followers.
1. Wait it Out
So what if you have a majority of spam followers following your Twitter account? Does anyone REALLY care? Not to mention, it will make you look legitimate to have more followers, right? Not if tools like StatusPeople continue to gain awareness in the social media industry. If it’s this easy to discover how many fake followers a user has, it’s very likely that this tool will become more mainstream. Maybe Twitter will continue to cut down on spam and your follower accounts will slowly decrease on their own. It’s really your choice.
2. 100% Manual Removal
When you first got your Twitter account, you probably looked at all of your Twitter followers. Maybe you still do. At some point, you likely removed someone by blocking their account from following yours, because you saw it to be spam. You can do the same. It’s a tedious process but it will help you cut down on your percentage.
Note: Twitter currently allows for only 1,000 unfollows a day.
How to detect a spam follower (Disclaimer: Many legitimate followers can have some of these criteria, use with caution):
They don’t have an avatar
Their avatar is usually a duplicate of another account, or could be considered Not Suitable for Work
They follow significantly more accounts than they have followers
They have no bio
They rarely tweet
3. Assisted Manual Removal
After determining I wanted to remove the bulk of my spam followers, I discovered TwitBlock. It discovers spam followers based on the criteria listed above, and provides a measure of the probability of the account being a spam account. You can then choose to block the account from the TwitBlock interface. Be warned that they only take a sample of 3,000 followers, so you will have to conduct this multiple times to identify all of your spam followers if you have a lot. This program is integrated with Twitter via OAuth, so the 1,000 unfollows a day still applies.
Wait, there’s no easy solution?
Sadly, for those of you who were looking for a quick fix to this issue, you will not find one. Removing spam Twitter followers is certainly more difficult than it is to add them. It just takes a lot of patience and effort, but your spam percentages will decrease (as will your overall followers). The challenge awaits!
What percentage of your Twitter followers are spam? Are you going to do something about it, or allow your account to sit? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
In the world of Twitter, it is common practice to gain more followers, you should often follow users and hope that they will follow you back. This practice is a great way to not only gain more followers for your account, but also find relevant thought leaders who can be an invaluable resource to your team. There are many services that will charge you a fee to simply do precisely that. You’ll gain thousands of followers in the process, but since you are following numerous users at the same time, how do you keep relevance to those you follow?
Does “free” = Lots of MY time?
Of course there is a free option for all of this: manual following. While it may take a significant amount of time to develop such a list, pledging to follow even a few knowledgeable people a day can have a positive result on your efforts.
So where do you look when your Twitter account is looking for quality finders, who will also be likely to follow you back?
The easy answer for more people to follow?
Twitter itself. There are a variety of options to find quality people to follow:
1. Twitter lists: You know who you turn to for expertise on Twitter. See what lists they have and who influences their knowledge. Also, if you’re on any lists, see what commonalities you have with the others listed. Maybe there will be a few who offer a unique viewpoint that you’ve never considered.
2. FollowFinder by Google: Google has recently released a new tool called FollowFinder that takes accounts that are similar to yours and recommends them to you, with an OAuth login to immediately follow them without leaving the page. While this is a great tool, it has been known to have faulty relevance, and only has a limited amount of results.
3. Your RSS feeds and bookmarked websites: If you haven’t done this yet, you certainly should try to locate the Twitter accounts for your favorite websites. This provides more depth to the sites you subscribe to, and give you a better opportunity to express your thoughts to those in charge of the blog or website.
How do I know if they’ll follow me back?
There is undoubtedly no guarantee that sending out a follow will give you a follow back. The best way to gauge such a likelihood, is to check out the follower/following ratios. If they don’t follow a lot of people, but have thousands of followers (such as celebrities), you likely won’t get a follow. The opposite can also be true. If an account follows a lot of people, it may be more focusing on who to follow than looking at who is following.
In the end, it is always up to you and everyone else who maintains your account to determine who to follow, but one good principle is to try to follow back at least 10% of the people who follow you. For more information on who to follow, check out our Twitter Follower Flowchart.
On September 10, 2010, I gave a speech to an organization called MENG. For those of you who are not familiar, MENG is a national organization of marketing executives. There are some pretty heavy hitters in the organization, so I was honored to be invited by the New Jersey chapter to speak to members. I was also a little nervous, because I would be talking about social media for the first time!
While I use social media every day in both my work and personal life, rarely does the opportunity arise for me to position myself as an expert on the subject. In fact, I wouldn’t call myself an expert at all. Knowledgeable is probably more accurate.
Continue Reading Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Integration →
The #1 rule to social media is to be social. For businesses, it can often be a difficult premise to adhere to this simple rule, and we often see businesses criticized for having thousands (or millions) of followers and only following 5 people back.
It’s something we think about from time to time as we manage our @threedeep Twitter account. Someone follows our business on Twitter and we wonder if it’s worth our time to follow them back. Some people will advocate that you automatically “follow back” everyone who follows you, but that’s not always practical and brings your account in some spammy areas.
How does a Businesses decide who to follow on Twitter?
We’ve created this flowchart which may offer some insight into how we evaluate whether or not your business should follow someone on Twitter.
Continue Reading Twitter Follower Flowchart for Businesses →
It’s funny how in a country with hundreds of millions of people, the world can seem really small through Social Media. This past Thursday, two members of Three Deep – Brandon Smith (aka @bg3dppc on Twitter) and Jeff Sauer (@jeffsauer) attended a gathering of Twitter users in the Twin Cities at an event called the Minneapolis Tweetup.
The event was held at the Bulldog in NE Minneapolis, which is one of the better restaurant/bars in the Twin Cities, and the promise of free food and cocktails made it an event not to be missed.
We met some great people at the event (@kareemy, @ddn, @swineheart, @paulmalenke to name a few) and called a successful event after about 2 hours – and decided to leave the happy hour around 8 PM. After driving home, I logged on to check my Twitter account and noticed some interesting news about the event:
Continue Reading Three Deep Attends Minneapolis Tweetup, Meets Mark Cuban →
We have alluded several times on this blog as to our company’s continued interest in Twitter as a listening channel. While a lot more informal and lightweight than blogs, the channel is a great way to listen to what’s going on over the web. As part of my continued Autodidacticism (I know it sounds dirty, but look it up… it means self educating), I am constantly perusing the Twitterverse to see if I can learn any interesting tidbit, technique or insights into how I can improve my skillset.
As part of my daily monitoring, I subscribe to searches for Twitter hash tags (basically words with a # before them) for several people, industries, events, etc. One of my favorite hash tags is the Web Analytics channel #measure. In addition, I love the stream provided by the newly minted #ganalytics hash tag (those of you who have been on Twitter for a while know that these are much better than the deprecated #wa and #ga tags, which were polluted by SPAM for Washington and Georgia state related tweets). These two streams keep me up to date with any new developments in these areas, and also allow for some new techniques.
Continue Reading Web Analytics Insights Found Through Twitter →
Our company President, Dave Woodbeck, sent the above slide deck to several members of our team this weekend, and I found it worthy of sharing on our blog. I made the executive decision to tone down the actual title of the slide show (what the f**k is social media?) to prevent any misunderstandings from those who read the title and get scared away.
The actual content of the presentation is much less harsh than the title would imply. The underlying theme throughout: you need to join the conversation! You can’t simply ignore the social interactions that are happening around your company, brand, clients, friends, family, etc. While the tactics used to deliver messages may change, social interaction will only become more open and candid. Like-minded individuals will be forming groups, talking, interacting, etc… and those that listen will be the ultimate winners in the social media landscape.
Continue Reading What is Social Media? – Excellent Presentation Social Media →
This SEO question came to me indirectly through Twitter. Three Deep is developing a good relationship with the excellent ladies at the Savvy B2B marketing blog, and in order to keep up with one another, we follow our mutual Twitter updates. When @michellelinn had a question about WordPress techniques (which is my favorite thing in the entire world), I knew I could help. Here’s how it all went down (in true multi-channel fashion):
My website, built on WordPress, is only showing up in Bing (not Google or other search engines). Any ideas on what I can do? Many thanks!
2:18 PM Jul 1st from TweetDeck
Continue Reading SEO Q&A – Search Engines Can’t Find My WordPress Site →
Yesterday 8 members of Three Deep attended the Online Marketing Summit in Minneapolis, and several team members decided to live “tweet” the event. This was first for many of us, and the results were some great interactions with fellow online marketers, occasionally witty commentary, and a great foray for Three Deep into the Twitterverse. Tweets are included in chronological order for readability.
threedeep: See you all at the Online Marketing Summit in Minneapolis Tomorrow! Let us know if you’d like to meet up with Three Deep.