Defining and implementing a solid technical social media strategy.
this post is all about how to get your content to as many ‘social media’ sites as possible with minimal effort and tracking it all so that you know whats happening
there are lots of different types of sites that fall under the banner of social media.
there are migroblogging sites, like tumblr and twitter, bookmarking sites like delicious and stumbleupon, media sharing sites like youtube and flickr, news sites like google news, digg and slashdot and social sites like myspace, bebo and facebook. they all have one thing in common: you can post links.
aggregating services are sites that you can submit content to and they will, in turn, submit that content to a host of services. there are sites like hootsuite, ping.fm, twitterfeed, onlywire.
they all have different services, some of their services overlap, so you need to use them carefully.
all of the mentioned sites will submit content to twitter, and if you submit the same content to all of the aggregators then you will have duplicate content on twitter!
this is where a pen and a notebook (or a notes.app synced to google notes, your iphone, ipad and your mail.app will come in handy) you might want to use a spreadsheet in google docs for this, I suggest using one, it will become apparent later on why ;)
you will need:
time (to plan it all out)
patience (it probably wont work first time)
an rss feed (that you will use to post all the content from) this could be for blog posts, new products, whatever you want.
write down all the services that they have to offer (i know, it takes ages, you could use a spreadsheet on google docs, it will come in handy later on when you are tracking follower numbers :)
then enter the details of all the services in each, taking care not to dupe entries.
eg, I only use twitterfeed to post to twitter and facebook. if ping.fm was still working with api requests then id use twitterfeed to post there too.
ping.fm posts to lots of sites, as does onlywire!
analytics (see this post for instructions on how to set up analytics for your wordpress blog)
the most important part is being able to tell if people are actually clicking the links.
that way you know what sites are performing and you can target them, eg if you get a 20% ctr (click through ratio, or 20% of your followers click your link from twitter and you get no clicks from facebook, then you know that you need more work on facebook :)
twitterfeed does an excellent job at this, you can enter utm_source medium and campaign values which it will append to your links and then it will convert them to bit.ly links to track in your analytics. I have source as twitter, meduim as the account name and campaign as twitterfeed, just so I know how many people are coming from each twitter account, and that it was twitterfeed that sent the links there.
hootsuite offers similar functionality.
I did initially think that I was going to tag my rss feed links with utm parameters then I could track all the links as coming from my rss feed, which would be fine, except that I would need to create more than one feed, id have to create a feed for each service, eg, one for twitterfeed, one for hootsuite, etc in order to get the best tracking data.
if you are an experienced programmer then this wont be a problem for you :)
feedburner does the same thing, so if you have your feeds tracking from feedburner then they already have utm parameters on them, but they will all appear to come from feedburner
once you have all your accounts written down you need to add the number of followers (which is why a spreadsheet is a good idea) id take a note of the number of followers once a month for most of your important services, along with the clicks that month)
over time you will see what works. at first your target will be ‘as many people as possible’ but this can be a bad thing, you really want to friend only people that are interested in what you have. there is no point in me sending links to vegetarians if im selling steak.
its a good idea to add some code to your sites header to add a noindex, follow ( not noindex, nofollow) tag if the utm parameters are set, or to add these parameters to googles ignore list, id add the noindex, follow tag so that other engines are aware too
to get twitterfeed to track your click throughs:
add a new account (like a twitter account)
put in your feed url
fill in the utm parameters
to get hootsuite to track parameters:
if you have added the utm parameters to your rss feed then you dont need to do anything, just submit your feed
to get ping.fm to track parameters:
if you have added the utm parameters to your rss feed then you dont need to do anything, just submit your feed to ping.fm
to get onlywire to track parameters
if you have added the utm parameters to your rss feed then you dont need to do anything, just submit your feed to onlywire
then just go ahead and do what you do.
your rss feeds will update, and your links will appear on all the services that you signed up for.
you can now track them, so you can see whats going on.
you can then see lots of yellow in your analytics (from ‘other’ sources)
now you just have to battle the replies and the friending of new people :)