Social Media MonitoringThere is more to a small business website than just a description of products and services, a contact page, and a buy button. If you are like many small business owners, you probably spend a significant amount of time and resources creating value-added content for your website. This can take the form of blog posts, industry overview pages, calculators, whitepapers, dictionaries, how-tos, FAQs, infographics, or simply an insider view of your area of expertise. The intention is to continually engage with your community of current and potential customers; to cement yourself, and your company, as a source of expert information in your market; and to be top-of mind when anyone needs what your company provides. But no matter how great the content you create, it can only achieve these goals if people actually see it.

If you use a web analytics tool, you have statistics for how many people visited a particular webpage, and where those people came from. But, that is only part of the story. Another key piece is figuring out how much exposure your content is getting across the web. The best way to do that is to identify how many links to your content have been created on both other websites and on social media sites.

LinkTally is a free tool created by HubSpot that can tell you how many times one of your web pages has been shared on social networking sites. Simply enter any url into the LinkTally search bar, and it will return the number of mentions on Google +, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter as well as a sum of all mentions. The tool searches by native URL, tracking link, and shortened version, to be sure it captures the full extent of your coverage. However, it does not provide a list of the individual links, which you will need to determine yourself.

A quick way to do this is to type “link:” then the page url you want to track into the Google search bar. This will return a list of all pages linking to the specified url. (For example, type “link: www.mysite.com/test.htm” to locate pages linking to the mysite.com “test.htm” webpage.)

For a more comprehensive report, try Majestic-SEO. This free tool can help you identify and analyze individual backlinks. Enter your domain name into its site explorer bar and it will return high-level statistics for backlinks to your site. Register for a free account and confirm that you are the owner of the domain, and you will get a detailed report that includes a list of the individual links as well as information about how valuable those links are.

Once you know who is talking about your content and how much influence they have, you can cultivate your fans. For example, try following people who follow you on Twitter, and create content you think they will re-tweet. Or, join a LinkedIn group that is discussing one of your blog posts. And of course, continue to create that great value-added content.

This Small Business Tip from PaySimple offers one more way to make your small business more productive.

Lisa Hephner

Lisa Hephner

My name is Lisa, and I'm the Vice President of Knowledge, responsible for the management of corporate, product, competitor, marketplace, legal, and regulatory knowledge, and creation and dissemination of knowledge tools using these assets to PaySimple prospects, customers, employees, and partners.

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