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by Mike Essex on 16th December 2011
SEOmoz recently added a new tool to their arsenal – the Social Dashboard – promising a new way for website owners to see the effect of their social activities. This new profile offers tabular and graphical representations of follower growth, top interactions and the traffic to your website from social media.
Since the Beta we’ve had 2 months to play around with the data and are really impressed with the level of information that can be found. Today we take an in-depth look at the tool, and what it can offer your business.
So I won’t run through the setup process (SEOmoz do that here) as it’s as simple as adding a Twitter and Facebook account then waiting for the data. So let’s give it a go.
This is the first screen you’ll see which provides a quick look at how many Facebook fans and Twitter followers you have, and a recap of recent activity. You can sort by 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, 90 days or a year, although sadly there’s no custom date range, or easy way to see the last month’s data.
Being able to see traffic that went through these accounts to your website is really useful too, and helps show the ROI of using social media (Something we saw Joanna Lord speak about heavily at Searchlove). Lastly there’s a quick recap under each number on whether you are doing better or worse than last week or month.
This graph shows how many people have interacted with your content via retweets and likes. Sadly we had a big data spike that threw out our results, and within the SEOmoz tool we couldn’t drill down to see what occurred. In a future update I’d like the ability to click on any data point and see the mentions, which is more in line with brand monitoring tools.
This graph proved more useful, helping us to see which days sent the most visitors to our site, and via which channels. It’s more effective that the social stats in Webmaster Tools, although sadly you can’t drill down in to the data points. Used with your own Analytics data, or a tool like Topsy you can find the data you need.
Although the above graphs don’t allow drilling down, you do get a brief look at what your strongest pieces of content were via the top social shares table. This combines your Twitter and Facebook links and the number of likes and retweets they had. Each status is linked so you can see exactly when you tweeted the message and what you said.
Essentially what seems like a tool with just a couple of graphs, reveals hidden layers as you play around with the drop down menus and tabs in each section.
There are then two tabs – one for Twitter, one for Facebook – which have a dynamic graph that presents each research option. With Twitter you can see:
• Total followers
• Follower growth as a %
• Traffic via Twitter
• Tweets about you (daily or cumulative)
In addition you can add two competitors and see how their followers changed in the same time period and in relation to your own. It’s a really good quick look at the evolving shape of your account in relation to others.
A metrics tab shows the retweets, @mentions and @replies you had in a set time period in a handy pie chart, helping to break down the type of interactions you have. A graph also shows this over time, giving more ways to identify what happened and when.
Top level data is presented in an interactions tab, which shows the most followed users who tweeted you, @replied, @mentioned or retweeted your content. You can also sort by the Klout mentions of these users, depending on personal preference. This table can show data for the last 24 hours, so is handy for finding the newest mentions as they happen.
You can get many of the same data sets for your Facebook account with graphs showing:
• Fan growth over time
• Traffic from Facebook
• Fan interactions (daily or cumulative)
This works for your account and those of competitors, helping you benchmark the number of likes you have and social activity against anyone you wish.
A metric tab offers additional data on the posts, mentions, likes and comments you’ve had in a time period and how they changed over time. This provides one level of being able to see what happened on set days, although doesn’t highlight the actual entries that received traffic.
Thirdly there’s an interactions section which does offer another level of drilling down in to the data, showing the photos, links and other content that had the most likes or comments. In our case this helped us see that photos get a lot of interactions, so are something we should do more of.
I should also mention that almost everything I’ve shown above, can be exported as a CSV at every step of the way.
The logical next step for SEOmoz would be to evolve the software in to a brand monitoring tool, as it already does a great job of tracking mentions online and the frequency / quality of those mentions. Personally we’d like to see the following added in the future:
• Ability to drill down on any date range and see what the mentions were
• The ability to track brand mentions outside of Twitter and Facebook
• Customised date ranges
• Rating buttons for your brand mentions – e.g. quality of rating / sentiment / relevancy
• Emails on days which really big data spikes
What first seems like a small tool, the SEOmoz Social Dashboard has hidden layers of depth that really help you gather excellent top level data. There’s so much data available that at times you’ll believe it’s a full brand monitoring package and in terms of offering a quick look at the shape of your social activity in relation to competitors it’s ideal.
The SEOmoz team have done a great job, and anyone who needs to prepare a management level report on Social Media activity will find this an ideal tool for the job. There’s a huge amount of potential in this space, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the tool is evolved over time.
Mike Essex specialises in digital marketing and everything search. A recent project of Mike’s was featured on BBC News, Radio 5Live and the Times here in the UK, whilst also featuring on USA Today and ABC News in the US. He will be writing throughout the month about digital marketing and much more...