Social media channels like Facebook and Twitter have become commonplace in most businesses, with everyone from pop stars, sports clubs, global brands and local shops utilising them to connect and engage with customers. For many companies, a social media strategy is a case of getting a Facebook page setup and sending out some tweets. This is simply not how you approach a social media strategy. A social media strategy should be like every other aspect of your digital marketing strategy – it should be measurable and should be adding value to your brand. With so many free and paid for social media tools available, I would strongly recommend utilising these tools to get the most from your social media pages. For a list of the best free tools for social media marketing, check out my previous blog post, but today I am going to focus on one of my favourite for reporting on social media strategies – Social Crawlytics.
What is Social Crawlytics?
Social Crawlytics is a tool that crawls a website to see how many times pages from that website have been shared on social media pages, hence the name, Social Crawlytics. The tool is both easy to use and free, and if you want to get an idea of how popular your website and brand is across social media channels, you need to get using this. You can sign up to a Social Crawlytics account with your Twitter account or using an email address, and once you are set up, you can start crawling your website using your free credits. Because the service is free, you can build up your credits overtime by tweeting a message to your followers, similar to that shown below. If you are an agency or are planning to use Social Crawlytics on a regular basis, you can contact them to request additional credits for regular reporting.
How do you use Social Crawlytics?
As previously mentioned, not only is Social Crawlytics a free service, it is also extremely easy to use, with 3 simple steps required to get your report. The first of these is the website details. Visit your dashboard area and enter the website you are looking to crawl. Enter the web address, and include any sub-domains that may be associated to this website (e.g. Geographic sub-domains). You then enter the crawl depth you wish to use. This essentially means how much of the website you wish to analyse, so if a subpage links to another page (e.g. a product) then you set a crawl depth of 2.
Next up is the schedule; when do you want to receive your report. Just be wary of the time that is used here when scheduling, as the time is set to CDT as default. If you want to schedule your report once a week or every month, then set it to repeat as you need.
Finally, it’s time to set your notifications – how do you want to know when your report is ready. All that is required here is an email address, and once your report is ready, the Social Crawlytics team will send an email to let you know.
Using the data from your Social Crawlytics report.
Once you finally get your social report, the real fun begins, and you can start to delve into the world of social shares. The Social Crawlytics software crawls Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Delicious and StumbleUpon. While some of these channels may not mean something to everyone, it does include the main social media channels and will give you an idea of where your content is being shared. When we look at the report below, we can see that Twitter is the most popular social channel for shared content, followed by Google+ and LinkedIn.
The report will also give you a tabular breakdown of the content that has been shared, allowing you to discover which pages of your website is most popular when it comes to your customers sharing and engaging with your content. Perhaps more importantly, it will help you understand the type of content that works well with your audience, allowing you to effectively plan a content strategy that will work with your audience and engage with visitors to your website. Understanding which blog posts, videos or infographics work and which don’t, will allow you to be much more efficient with your digital marketing efforts going forward.
The table above breaks down the pages that have been shared, allowing you to see which channels the content has been shared on. This is the data you really want when it comes to using Social Crawlytics to help your social media reporting. Simply export this data into Excel and start to take the key information from it. Again, this will help you to understand what works and what doesn’t in terms of your social media efforts. When you export this data to Excel, you can remove most of the columns, as the URL and number of shares per social channel are the most important information.
You can then use this data to create charts and graphs to highlight what content or page type is popular across social media channels. You can also find the channels that work best for your brand, so if Twitter or Google+ is proving the most popular channels in terms of social shares, make sure these channels are prominent for sharing content as part of your social media strategy. You should also start to engage with your followers on these channels, particularly those who are sharing your news stories, product pages or blog posts.
I find Social Crawlytics an extremely valuable tool when it comes to reporting for clients, and if you are looking to develop more of an understanding of your websites performance in the social media sphere, I would strongly recommend getting to grips with this tool. It will only take you a few minutes to run a report, and you’ll find the data gathered, extremely helpful when it comes to getting the most out of your website and social media strategy. Most importantly, Social Crawlytics is a great way to find out what type of content your customers enjoy to consume, allowing you to create more of it.