Back in the early days of blogging, if you wanted others to read it you’d have to work your butt off to get it noticed.
Joining blog communities, taking part in forum discussions, asking friends to recommend it to their friends, etc. It was hard work trying to get noticed.
And then social media arrived, with its mix of networks and bookmarking sites.
True, you still have to work your butt off and make sure you have great content. And there’s never any harm in being part of a blog community or asking/answering questions on forums.
But now it’s just that little bit easier, with social sharing options like Twitter retweets, Facebook Likes, Google+1 shares and much more. Not only that, but now you can measure that information and make informed decisions about your blog, to make sure you’re meeting the needs of both you personally, and those of your blog readers.
After all, if you can understand why certain posts are popular, and where they’re being shared the most (and by who), it can help you tailor your blog around those topics, as well as reward those that are the most active when it comes to promoting your blog.
So, with that in mind, here are three tools that you can use to measure the effectiveness of your social shares, and how you can use that information to make your blog even better.
While it’s probably known for its role as a third-party Twitter client, Hootsuite is quite a bit more. Not only does it allow you to update your Facebook, LinkedIn, Ping.fm and other accounts, it’s also got a pretty sturdy built-in analytics platform that gives you information about the links you’re sharing.
So you can see who’s been tweeting you; who your top tweeters are; which ones have more reach than others; and how that related to new visits to your blog.
Additionally, you can tie in all that information with Google Analytics (which you can connect Hootsuite to), and get even more information from within your Hootsuite dashboard.
Hootsuite offers both free and premium packages, with analytics being limited to 30 days history on the free version.
Benefits: By using Hootsuite’s analytics, you can see which of your Twitter friends are sending the most traffic your way, and perhaps offer them a thank you along the lines of a recognition post, or a free membership to any products you might sell.
What started out as a commenting plug-in that helped connect blog commenters and comments across the various social bookmarks, BackType has evolved into a more serious analytics and measurement package.
What’s great about BackType (and is a remnant of its origins as a blog commenting plug-in) is that is gathers information froma cross the web on where your post was shared.
This includes the likes of Digg, Reddit, Friendfeed and more, as well as the usual suspects of Twitter and Facebook. It also shows any comments that have been added to the shares on these platforms. That gives you a great insight into what people thought about each shared post, as opposed to a simple retweet or Facebook Like.
BackType is in private beta at the minute, but you can get information on individual URL’s by dropping the link into the BackType search bar.
Benefits: By seeing where your post is being shared most (and what’s being said), you can decide whether you need to join a particular network and become more active with its members, to help grow your sharing options and find possible affiliate partners for your products.
Update: It would appear you need full beta access now to use BackType – sorry, and thanks for the heads-up from PinpointMarketing.
Primarily a URL shortener to make it easier to share blog URL’s on space-restricted platforms like Twitter, bit.ly (like Hootsuite and BackType) offers a great mix of analytics about the amount of shares each post got, as well as the top referrers so you can see where the links were shared the most.
Additionally, much like other analytic services, bit.ly also gives you a breakdown of the countries that have clicked through on your link. This is ideal for getting a better understanding of your readers, and whether you need to install a translation option or not.
You can also gauge when the most popular time of day (and day of the week) seems to be for your links, so you can then schedule tweets to go out at these times to maximize the chance for extra blog traffic at these times.
The bit.ly services offers free and premium versions, with the premium option offering branded links, a more in-depth dashboard and integration with other social media platforms.
Benefits: By understanding the peaks of your shares, as well as the countries they’re coming from, you can tailor your approach to when you post your blog article, and ensure your blog has a translate option to cover your readers.
These are just three options, and there are a few more tools (like Facebook Insights,Google Analytics, Social Mention and more). But as a solid example of how you can integrate analytics with your existing social networks, each one offers some real value.
By understanding your blog readers more, and how your posts are being shared (and when), you’re halfway to winning the battle to attract and keep the readers you’re after.
All you need then is great content – and that’s where we’ll try and help you, too.
Original article posted by by Danny Brown in Blogging Tips
How about you – what are you doing to understand your blog’s social sharing reach, and how has that helped you and your blog?