When it comes to content marketing, readers appreciate and repost well-researched, relevant, and timely information… and apparently anything involving cats. This kind of content drives awareness and can increase the size of your audience, ultimately making it easier to pitch your wares. But to calculate which cat video is more effective and find out where it is gaining traction, you’ll need the right tools…
Enter Share Tally, a free social sharing analytics tool from Brad Knutson at Inbounderish, a group of “Minnesota marketing specialists,” and our second favorite “cool tool” for measuring digital content (check out our first guide for Buzzsumo). Share Tally offers a quick way to “tally” up all social engagement for a given URL.
How you use it
Using Share Tally can get complicated, so let’s break down the process:
Step 1: Enter the URL
Step 2: Click “Tally”
Step 3: Read the results
You did it! Now let’s look at the good stuff.
What you get
Share Tally lays out every like, share, tweet, pin, and repost for your content across more than 20 social media platforms. Your total activity tally is located in the bottom right hand corner of the page for you to brag (or sulk) about.
In the lineup you’ll find the usual spread of social media giants – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Reddit.
But you’ll also find bookmarking sites such as Delicious, Buffer, and Pocket, plus niche platforms like Hackernews and BlogEngage. Although marketers tend to focus on the potential of larger sites, these smaller social sharing venues are equally important for driving relevant traffic, especially if your product (and content) is industry-specific.
How to make the most of it
Although some consider social shares solely a “vanity metric,” I think they illustrate a key part of the bigger marketing picture. Is your content engaging? Shareable? Trusted? Not only can engagement metrics show a trend in visibility, but they can also reflect how much readers value your expertise.
Pro tip: you can also use Share Tally to monitor a competitor’s reach on a given post. It’s a quick way to evaluate the success of competitors’ content as well as research how well a similar piece of content has done before investing time in creating something new.
Closing tips and a disclaimer
Before closing, here are a few more handy tips that we’ve learned through trial and error:
Remember to track your original URLs instead of shortened links, because social networks sometimes interpret shortened links differently and this can throw off your data.
You can drop a handy button on your web browser toolbar to quickly check the metrics on any content you’re browsing; just look for the arrow on the top righthand side of Share Tally’s site.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that each social platform handles data differently so these numbers are ultimately only an estimate. That said, Share Tally can help you make informed decisions about the direction of your content marketing strategy. With a better understanding of what’s sticking (and where), you can take an evidence-based approach to what otherwise might be guesswork.