Free Tools for Benchmarking & Monitoring Your Online Presence

Ever wonder what people are saying about your organization?  Curious about how you stack up to neighboring arts organizations or others in your industry? It’s important for every arts organization to keep an eye on its reputation, especially as audiences have more opportunities to interact online. Many new, free tools are available that enable nonprofits to determine when it is mentioned online, in blogs, and on a number of social media channels, including Twitter and Facebook. You can also use these sites to set benchmarks against other arts organizations in your region or sector. Selecting one or two sites to regularly visit will give your organization a better idea of how it is perceived online and can help to develop stronger online and social media marketing campaigns. The table below compares the different features for three of these sites: Social Searcher, Social Mention, and Topsy.

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Each site has its own set of features, offering different strategies to establish benchmarks. The search term analyses are useful for understanding how to improve search traffic or online advertising campaigns. Looking at the top users or sources reveal people who may be unintentionally promoting your organization and whose continued support might be encouraged by following or re-tweeting them. Often, the searches will provide links or posts where people mention your arts organization but did not necessarily tag it. However, a recurring problem with these sites is the need to filter the results, as the posts included do not always relate to the organization you are trying to search.

For arts organizations initially building their social media campaigns, Social Mention is an excellent tool due to its easy-to-understand analytics. For example, if a theater company wants to understand how to improve its reach, it can review other theaters to recognize those with a stronger rate and review their accounts to understand their strategy.  Social Searcher offers more details and charts, which are well suited for organizations with a more involved social media strategy. Marketers focused on building their Twitter presence will find Topsy a valuable resource for comparing multiple over a period of time. If a chamber orchestra, for example, wants to improve its Twitter strategy, it can compare daily Twitter activity with similar groups via Topsy’s analytics function.

What resources does your organization use to benchmark or monitor its online presence? Be sure to comment below!