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Free tools to help self-publishers track their social media presence

Social Media Pic

Social media is a powerful weapon, but sometimes you need hard numbers to get the most out of it.

Social media has become one of the most powerful tools in an author’s arsenal. It’s not just authors, though. Almost every appreciably large industry has at one time or another engaged in social media to reach out to consumers. The gaming industry, in particular, has leveraged it to great success.

“These games have taken off massively because they get everybody talking, and ‘word of mouth’ can spread FAST,” says UK-based AlchemyBet, the developer behind the Pocket Fruity online gaming site. “Just look at the Draw Something App. Within 50 days 50 million people had downloaded it to play against their friends.”

A social media account costs nothing, is easy to set up, and, as shown above, has been proven to have a major effect on hyping up almost any product so it’s naturally a very enticing proposition for self-published authors. Just how exactly do you measure ‘word of mouth’, though?

Well, that’s where analytics software come in. Authors who have their own official Facebook accounts already have a free analytics tool at their disposal: Insights. Found in the Admin panel of your official Facebook page, Insights contains data such as Likes, Reach, Shares. It’s an easy way to keep track of which posts led to successful engagement with your fans and which posts didn’t.

Twitter also has a similar built-in metrics tracker that shows data compiled over the past 30 days. Using it, you can track mentions, new follows, unfollows, retweets, and replies. Much like Facebook’s Insights, you can easily use this data to gain a clearer understanding of what your fans want to see and what they want to talk about.

Here are a few other free social media analytics tools that you can use in conjunction with the aforementioned ones:

· Tweetreach – Use it to search for a URL, phrase, Twitter handle, or hashtag to view an overall picture of how Twitter users interacted with the queried item. (TweetReach.com)

· LikeAlyzer – Gives your Facebook page a numerical score from 1 to 100 by analyzing metrics suchs as presence, dialogue, action and information. A higher score means a better page. It also comes with recommendations to help boost your score. (LikeAlyzer.com)

· SumAll – If you have multiple social media accounts, you can use this free tool to effectively track how well all of them are doing. (SumAll.com)

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