The Social Metrics plugin for WordPress has quickly become one of the very first options I add to my new WordPress blogs as they are being built. The plugin in it’s most simple of terms allows me as the administrator on my website to examine which social networks are having the greatest impact on the posts I create.
Using Social Metrics is extremely simple, after downloading and simply clicking activate the program can be visited in a section located directly below the “Dashboard” option within the WP-ADMIN area:
After clicking on the “Social Metrics” section the main display is then shown. Before choosing any settings the program automatically displays your newest posts first.
As you can see from the screenshot below the title for each post is displayed (you can click on the hyperlink to visit each story). Next you’ll find some of the most used buttons on most sites (Twitter, Facebook, Google+,StumbleUpon, Digg and LinkedIn). Next to each type of social sharing button is the number of shares it has received. Unfortunately Reddit is now implemented which is a real shame given the buttons increasing prevalence.
Since sharing is pulled each time the Social Metrics plugin is launched you receive a real-time representation of shares on your website. Examine the screenshot:
If you happen to realize that you haven’t stumbled an article or you want to add a tweet to the overall account you can simply click each button from inside the social metrics display and it will add a share to that article. For users who may auto-tweet their posts to a website account but often forget to send stories to their own personal accounts this is a great way to mass tweet, like or stumble any article of your choosing.
You’ll also notice at the top of the page that there is the option to “Filter by Category” and “Filter by Date.” The Category option lets you choose any category you have setup on your WordPress blog at which point only those posts and shares from that category are shown. The “Filter By Date” option on the other hand provides users the chance to only examine posts based on the month for which they were posted. If you’re attempting to check your overall shares by month this is a great option.
You’ll also notice that you can sort by “Posts” or “Pages” which can help determine how well engaged different aspects of your site have become.
The main display for Social Metrics offers 20 posts at one time however that number can be lowered or raised through the settings button located below the Dashboard console on the left side of the WP-ADMIN area:
Simply change “Number of Posts to Display at a Time” to whatever you want and then choose “Save Changes.”
The rest of the features within settings can only be changed if you purchase Social Metrics Pro which at the time of this posting costs $69.90.
While the price is steep the added functionality offered is well worth the price, for example using the “Display on Admin Dashboard” allows the last five posts you’ve put up to show when you log into WordPress without needing to launch Social Metrics. The Pro version also allows for Excel and CSV downloading of metrics files and conditional formatting for those files while providing ascending and descending sort functionality.
My absolute favorite part of Social Metrics Pro however is the Search Box functionality which as the name suggests allows users to type in search terms via the plugin. For example, if you want to find out how well the term “Apple iPhone 4” is sharing you can type in that search and examine all posts that mention the iPhone 4. You could then type in “Samsung Galaxy S II” and see how well that device is sharing. Using the search box to determine the competitiveness of one term compared to another is a great way to figure out which topics outperform others and then focus your content in those areas.
Overall I give Social Metrics a big thumbs up and I recommend it to anyone who’s serious about tracking their social sharing analytics.