Musings on Social Media Metrics (and Webinar Winners!)

If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you know that social media for technology transfer is really on my mind these days, especially given last month’s webinar with Technology Transfer Tactics and our April 7th webinar: How I Rode the Social Media Wave: Lessons Learned From a Technology Marketing Effort.

Speaking of which, we have the winners of our drawings for free registration to our April 7th webinar on social media. Drum roll, please! Winners drawn at the AUTM® meeting are:

  • U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Office of Research and Development
  • University of Limerick (Ireland)
  • Assitance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), Office of Technology Transfer, Licensing and Industrial Ventures

And the winner of our online drawing is:

  • Johns Hopkins University

Congratulations!

Now, considering social media, let’s talk a bit about metrics. When putting together your overall social media strategy, it’s super important to determine how you’ll demonstrate ROI and overall value.

It’s important to monitor the metrics of your social media activities like blogging and tweeting regularly. That said, checking your stats every single day will make you nuttier than stepping on the scale every day from Thanksgiving to New Years. Don’t worry about the day-to-day numbers. What you want is to get a feel for the overall trend.

Fortunately, there are plenty of free tools online to help you do just that. Let’s take a look at one of my faves: Bit.ly.

Many of you may recognize Bit.ly (pronounced bit-lee) from links that you’ve clicked on. In its most basic form, Bit.ly is a link shortener—incredibly useful when operating in the 140-character world of Twitter and other micro blogs. Here’s an example of how a Bit.ly link appears in a tweet:

What are best practices for IP mgt in #techtransfer? Check out our Insights: http://bit.ly/eFWj4m

You can get even more value out of Bit.ly by creating an account, which lets you monitor the number of times people click the links that you publish.

And this is what’s really cool about Bit.ly that you can’t get anywhere else: Not only will Bit.ly track click-through volume on the shortened URLs that you create, but it will track the volume of click-throughs for all shortened URLs created through Bit.ly by anyone that links back to your original URL. Super cool.

For example, let’s say you write an awesome blog post. You announce it on Twitter with a Bit.ly link. You get 10 click-throughs off of that link. In the meantime, five people who subscribe to your blog’s RSS feed like your post so much that they each create a separate Bit.ly link and send it out to their followers. Bit.ly will count all of the click-throughs from those links as well! Now you can see why Bit.ly is one of my favorite social media metrics tools. ☺

Bit.ly provides click-through data from your original post as well as re-posts from other users. Click on the above image to view larger.

For a particular link on your Bit.ly home page, click on “Info Page” to get details on a particular link. From there, you’ll see:

  • How many clicks you’ve gotten—through both your direct link as well as in the aggregate
  • What channels (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, e-mail) these clicks are coming through
  • The distribution of clicks over time
  • The geographic distribution of the users
  • The actual conversations that included your link

As I mentioned, I’m not a fan of obsessive daily stat checking. I recommend checking your Bit.ly click-throughs on a weekly basis to see which of your posts are getting the most traction. Then you can fine-tune based on the results you are seeing. In my next post in a few weeks I’ll highlight another favorite tool for tech transfer metrics, so check back soon.

And if you’re wanting more social media fine-tuning strategies, sign up for our April 7th webinar: How I Rode the Social Media Wave: Lessons Learned From a Technology Marketing Effort. Registration is open now, and we hope to see you there!

Oh, and BTW, you might find this NPR interview with Hilary Mason, Bit.ly’s lead scientist interesting.

–By Karen Hiser

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Posted by Karen Hiser

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