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The Community Manager's Toolbox


by Marta Strickland, The Community Manager’s Toolbox (Three Minds On Digital Marketing @ Organic)

In the first post of the series, Sarah Jo made a bold point: if you are socializing online, “you’re a community manager — managing yourself as a brand.” It’s easy to forget but often the what comes up on our Google results page or conversations on Twitter are the way many people are introduced to who we are and what we do.

Remember… you are a brand. So why not start acting like one, and invest in managing your digital life. Luckily there are some great tools out there to get you started.

The Facebook Toolbox
1. Facebook Insights: Right now, you can use this tool to monitor the amount of comments, fans, etc. you have on your “fan page”. The upcoming makeover will provide a lot more value including interactions per post and post quality.

2. Facebook Lexicon: While you’d have to be a pretty big celebrity to make a spike in Facebook’s version of Google Trends, this tool can help you understand what’s being talked about the most. Content strategy needs not only be for big brands anymore.

Unfortunately there is a LOT that Facebook doesn’t tell us yet, especially if we chose to have a regular profile rather than a fan page. It doesn’t answer much about how our network is growing, how my activity compares to people like me, and what particular content I’ve posted has been successful in engaging my fans. Maybe if Facebook had gone open API earlier, like Twitter, we would see some much more interesting applications…

The Twitter Toolbox
1. Social Graph Analysis: Twitter Analyzer can help you understand who your active followers are, who are your closest friends, and who is retweeting your content most. Meanwhile, Mr. Tweet is a analysis service that makes meaningful recommendations of people you should be following on Twitter.

2. Ranking/Activity Analysis: Twitter Friends helps you gain an understanding of what time of Twitter user you are (do I retweet a lot, engage in conversation). There is also a whole slew of tools to find out your ranking.

3. Retweet Trenders/Trackers: This area is still relatively new, but there are tools in development by Dan Zarrella that will help users understand, track, and measure the impact of retweeting.

But being a good community manager isn’t just about tracking what is going inside the walls of your social network. The very nature of social media means that if your successful, the conversation is going to spill elsewhere…

Monitoring the Broader Conversation
1. Social Monitoring: Tools like Trackur and many free options can help you track mentions of your name on social networks, blogs, and beyond.

2. Content Tracking: URL shorteners like have begun offering metrics that allow you to understand how your links have been passed along and then clicked on via social networks.

The Problem
These tools aren’t integrated. Especially when you consider what Twitter offers, a mishmash of 3rd party analysis tools that are offer completely different terms and measurements. The results are often isolated from the conversations themselves, and it becomes increasingly hard to extract useful, actionable insights.

These tools also don’t to a lot to answer the questions we have. In the first post of this series, Sarah Jo outlines three questions community managers should be asking themselves… who are my supporters, am I being effective, and am I giving people a reason to come back. What we need is metrics that not only tell us how many of our photos have comments or posts have been retweeted, we need a tool that helps guide us on what to do next.

In the third part of the series, we are going to make a case for why social networks should wake up and realize: everyone is a community manager. By giving the everyday user a look at their own statistics and results, they will create a deeply invested and engaged audience… and that benefits everyone… the networks, the advertisers, and the users.

by Marta Strickland, The Community Manager’s Toolbox (Three Minds On Digital Marketing @ Organic)

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