5 Free Tools to Benchmark Your Institution’s Facebook Page

Patrick Powers is an interactive media manager at Webster University.

Facebook Insights can provide a wealth of information about user demographics, traffic patterns and overall interaction. It’s one of the best tools around when it comes to measuring the value of a particular Facebook page.

But what about the other guys?

If a social media presence is to remain a cut above the competition it’s not enough to measure the performance of a single page. It’s just as important to monitor industry trends and know the competition.

What type of growth are competitors seeing on their respective pages? How much influence does a competing Facebook page really exude? What’s my institution’s Facebook page worth compared to those other guys?

There are a million questions one could ask but relatively few places to go and find the answers—at least without paying.

Here are five free services one might find helpful when it comes to measuring up against the Facebook competition.

Wildfire Social Media Monitor
The Wildfire Social Media Monitor application allows users to visually compare the growth of multiple pages and calculates growth rates for each page over a 7-day, 1-month and 3-month period.

It generates a slick graph and provides an embed code allowing users to place that graph wherever they like. The site also allows for the comparison of Twitter accounts and offers the opportunity to sign up for weekly alerts.

Klout has always been a great tool for measuring the online influence of Twitter users but last October the site added Facebook into the mix. On Facebook, Klout assesses how conversations and content generate engagement.

Social Mention
The analysis provided by Social Mention is a pretty all-encompassing one. While the site will pick up any mention of a brand on Facebook, it also scours Twitter, photobucket, YouTube and more. Subsequent scores rank strength, sentiment, passion and reach.

Facebook Grader
The HubSpot-powered Facebook Grader calculates a percentile score that incorporates the number of fans, the power of a network and the completeness of a page. It’s pretty straight-forward: A higher score suggests a higher level of influence across the web.

Social Page Evaluator
Calculating the ROI of any marketing endeavor traditionally assigns the effort a monetary value—the exact assignment the Social Page Evaluator attempts to make. The site offers two figures, the page’s current value along with its potential value.

9 responses to “5 Free Tools to Benchmark Your Institution’s Facebook Page

  1. These are some great tools out there to measure your social media activity. I’m still not sold on Klout though. Doesn’t it seem a little sophomoric to be grading people on how popular they are? I understand the point behind it, but assigning people a score or a grade based on how socially connected they are online seems very Mean Girls-esque. That can only lead to discrimination of people with low Klout scores because “associating with someone who has a low score will make me look bad” kind of mentality will develop. Like high school all over again. Maybe I’m wrong about that, but it just seems odd to me.

  2. If a social media presence is to remain a cut above the competition it’s not enough to measure the performance of a single page. This is really right. Me I’m making multiple pages for my fanpage to be extremely viral and accessible and do connect them.

  3. Thanks for the measuring suggestions, Patrick, and thanks for writing on an important subject to us all–measuring. I agree that Klout’s ability to measure anything significant in terms of return is very limited. As far as tools go, I think your post is a good start. The other piece that needs to be present in this measuring discussion, however, is what specifically do you want to measure and why are you measuring it? Admissions leads? Engagement levels? New users? Advocacy levels? Recomendations? Inquiries? Brand awareness? Hopefully, the measurement matches an organizational objective you’ve set and you are measuring to see how well you are doing on that goal. If I am trying to measure how I am doing against the competition, I’m not sure using a Facebook page offers any real information other than number of users and comments. This is a real tricky subject. Each institution’s goals for Facebook may be different–how do we account for that in measurement? BTW–not sure about the validity of figures from Virtue concerning Social Page Evaluator. Adam Singer called their figures “the most absurd social media analysis.” http://thefuturebuzz.com/2010/04/14/the-value-of-a-fan/ I guess what I’m saying is that there are a lot of tools out there and some of them are not very useful, or they are hooks to get us to use/buy other services. Virtue’s tool is definitely in that category, IMO.

  4. Great point, Andy, although I think you could find faults in the methodology of nearly all Twitter evaluation tools, not just Klout. The reality is that the best way to measure the success, or failure, of your social media activity is to measure it against your own goals. If your goal as an organization is to increase your Klout score, you may be doing something wrong.
    What I like about these third-party evaluation tools, however, is that they can be a great way of sizing up an industry and seeing where you stand. If an organization ran through all five, I believe the overall picture it would present could provide some valuable context.

  5. Good to have a summary, thank you Patrick. I strongly disagree, however, that Klout has ever been “a great tool” for measuring anything. If you look closely at the sources it uses to calculate your own “score” you’ll see that they are out of date. My score is based on my being “influenced” by people who have been inactive on Twitter for months, or whom I unfollowed months ago. It’s deeply flawed from that perspective, and there are probably less snazzy but more useful proxies for Twitter influence. Twitalyzer, Tweetlevel, Traackr, mBlast, Peerindex, there have been many.
    Raak’s Adriaan Pelzer created a bot that achieved a Klout score of 50 in 80 days. It Tweeted funny random quotes every minute. That shows there’s a problem with Klout’s methodology. See:
    I wonder if the secret to measuring influence is related to assessing the role your account plays in various Twitter lists….This is akin to citation analysis in scholarly research. Curious what others think about it.
    Thanks again.

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