We are the digital agency
crafting brand experiences
for the modern audience.
We are Fame Foundry.

See our work. Read the Fame Foundry magazine.

We love our clients.

Fame Foundry seeks out bold brands that wish to engage their public in sincere, evocative ways.


WorkWeb DesignSportsEvents

Platforms for racing in the 21st century.

Fame Foundry puts the racing experience in front of millions of fans, steering motorsports to the modern age.

“Fame Foundry created something never seen before, allowing members to interact in new ways and providing them a central location to call their own. It also provides more value to our sponsors than we have ever had before.”

—Ryan Newman

Technology on the track.

Providing more than just web software, our management systems enhance and reinforce a variety of services by different racing organizations which work to evolve the speed, efficiency, and safety measures, aiding their process from lab to checkered flag.

WorkWeb DesignRetail

Setting the pace across 44 states.

With over 1100 locations, thousands of products, and millions of transactions, Shoe Show creates a substantial retail footprint in shoe sales.

The sole of superior choice.

With over 1100 locations, thousands of products, and millions of transactions, Shoe Show creates a substantial retail footprint in shoe sales.

WorkWeb DesignRetail

The contemporary online pharmacy.

Medichest sets a new standard, bringing the boutique experience to the drug store.

Integrated & Automated Marketing System

All the extensive opportunities for public engagement are made easily definable and effortlessly automated.

Scheduled promotions, sales, and campaigns, all precisely targeted for specific demographics within the whole of the Medichest audience.

WorkWeb DesignSocial

Home Design & Decor Magazine offers readers superior content on designer home trends on any device.


  • By selectively curating the very best from their individual markets, each localized catalog comes to exhibit the trending, pertinent visual flavors specific to each region.


  • Beside the swaths of inspirational home photography spreads, Home Design & Decor provides exhaustive articles and advice by proven professionals in home design.


  • The art of home ingenuity always dances between the timeless and the experimental. The very best in these intersecting principles offer consistent sources of modern innovation.

WorkWeb DesignSocial

  • Post a need on behalf of yourself, a family member or your community group, whether you need volunteers or funds to support your cause.


  • Search by location, expertise and date, and connect with people in your very own community who need your time and talents.


  • Start your own Neighborhood or Group Page and create a virtual hub where you can connect and converse about the things that matter most to you.

December 2016
By Kimberly Barnes

Going the Distance: Four Ways to Build a Better Customer Loyalty Program for Your Brand

Loyalty programs are no longer a novelty. That means that yesterday’s strategies won’t work moving forward, so look for ways to rise above the noise, setting yourself apart from the cloying drone of countless other cookie-cutter programs.
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Going the Distance: Four Ways to Build a Better Customer Loyalty Program for Your Brand

article-thedistance-lg It’s easy enough for a customer to join your loyalty program, especially when you’re offering an incentive such as discounts. All your customer has to do is give out some basic information, and voila! They’re in the fold, a brand new loyalty member with your company. From there, it’s happily ever after. You offer the perks; they stand solidly by you, bringing you their continued business. Simple. Or is it? In reality, just how many of those customers are act ively participating in your loyalty program? Do you know? Sure, loyalty program memberships are on the rise according to market research company eMarketer, having jumped 25 percent in the space of just two years. However, that figure may be a bit misleading. The truth is that, while loyalty program sign-ups may be more numerous, active participation in such programs is actually in decline. At the time of the study, the average US household had memberships in 29 loyalty programs; yet consumers were only active in 12 of those. That’s just 41 percent. And even that meager figure represents a drop of 2 percentage points per year over each of the preceding four years, according to a study by loyalty-marketing research company COLLOQUY.

When discounts just aren’t enough

So what’s a brand to do? How can you make your loyalty program worth your customer’s while—as well as your own? After all, gaining a new loyalty member doesn’t mean much if your customer isn’t actively participating in your program. Consider this: Does your customer loyalty program offer members anything different from what your competitors are offering? Chances are your program includes discounts. That’s a given. And what customer doesn’t appreciate a good discount? But when every other company out there is providing this staple benefit in comparable amounts, it becomes less and less likely that customers will remain loyal to any one particular brand. Frankly, it’s all too easy for customers to get lost in a sea of loyalty member discounts. They’re everywhere. In fact, just under half of internet users perceive that all rewards programs are alike, according to a 2015 eMarketer survey. The key to success, then, is to differentiate your business from the crowd. If you can offer your customers something unique and valuable beyond the usual discount, chances are they’ll be more likely to stick with your brand. Here’s some inspiration from companies who get it.

Virgin: Reward more purchases with more benefits.

That’s not to say you need to get rid of discounts entirely. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Customers still love a good discount. The goal is to be creative in terms of the loyalty perks you offer. Take the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, for example. As part of its loyalty program, the airline allows members to earn miles and tier points. Members are inducted at the Club Red tier, from which they can move up to Club Silver and then Club Gold. Here, it’s not just a discount. It’s status. And people respond to feeling important, elite. Still, even where the rewards themselves are concerned, Virgin is motivating loyalty customers with some pretty attractive offers. At the Club Red tier, members earn flight miles and receive discounts on rental cars, airport parking, hotels and holiday flights. But as members rise in tiers, they get even more. At the Club Silver tier, members earn 50 percent more points on flights, access to expedited check-in, and priority standby seating. And once they reach the top, Club Gold members receive double miles, priority boarding and access to exclusive clubhouses where they can get a drink or a massage before their flight. Now that’s some serious incentive to keep coming back for more. Discounts are still part of the equation – but they are designed with innovation and personal value in mind, elevating them to more than just savings.

Amazon Prime: Pay upfront and become a VIP.

What if your customers only had to pay a one-time upfront fee to get a year’s worth of substantial benefits? It may not sound like the smartest business idea at first glance. But take a closer look. Amazon Prime users pay a nominal $99 a year to gain free, two-day shipping on millions of products with no minimum purchase. And that’s just one benefit of going Prime. It’s true that Amazon loses $1-2 billion a year on Prime. This comes as no surprise given the incredible value the program offers. But get this: Amazon makes up for its losses in markedly higher transaction frequency. Specifically, Prime members spend an average of $1,500 a year on Amazon.com, compared with $625 spent by non-Prime users, a ccording to a 2015 report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

Patagonia: Cater to customer values.

Sometimes, the draw for consumers isn’t saving money or getting a great deal. The eco-friendly outdoor clothing company Patagonia figured this out back in 2011, when it partnered with eBay to launch its Common Threads Initiative: a program that allows customers to resell their used Patagonia clothing via the company’s website. Why is this program important to customers? And how does it benefit Patagonia? The company’s brand embraces environmental and social responsibility, so it was only fitting that they create a platform for essentially recycling old clothing rather than merely throwing it away. The Common Threads Initiative helps Patagonia build a memorable brand and fierce loyalty by offering its customers a cause that aligns with deep personal values. OK, so their customers get to make a little money, too. Everybody wins.

American Airlines: Gamify your loyalty program.

If you’re going to offer your customers a loyalty program, why not make it f un? After all, engagement is key to building a strong relationship with your customer. And what better way to achieve that goal than making a game of it. American Airlines had this very thing in mind when it created its AAdvantage Passport Challenge following its merger with USAirways. The goal: find a new way to engage customers as big changes were underway. Using a custom Facebook application, American Airlines created a virtual passport to increase brand awareness while offering members a chance to earn bonus points. Customers earned these rewards through a variety of game-like activities, from answering trivia questions to tracking travel through a personalized dashboard. In the end, participants earned more than 70 percent more stamps than expected – and the airline saw a ROI of more than 500 percent. The takeaway: people like games.

Stand out from the crowd.

Your approach to your customer loyalty program should align with your overall marketing approach. Effective branding is about standing out, not blending it. Being memorable is key. To this end, keep in mind that loyalty programs are no longer a novelty. That means that yesterday’s strategies won’t work moving forward, so look for ways to rise above the noise, setting yourself apart from the cloying drone of countless other cookie-cutter programs.


580 3 reasons your company's CEO should blog

Your company's fearless leader can lend a unique voice and powerful perspective to your corporate blogging mix.

January 2018
Noted By Carey Arvin

Laws of UX

'Laws of UX' is a collection of the maxims and principles that designers can consider when building user interfaces. It was created by Jon Yablonski, Design Lead at Vectorform, creator of the Web Field Manual, and contributor to Storytelling.design.
Read more

June 2016
By Jeremy Girard

Small Changes, Big Impact: 5 Things You Can (and Should!) Do Today to Boost Your Website’s Performance

There’s no time like the present to implement these quick fixes and reap the rewards for months to come.
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Small Changes, Big Impact: 5 Things You Can (and Should!) Do Today to Boost Your Website’s Performance

artice-smallchanges-lg Every spring it happens like clockwork: the temperatures get warmer, the days get longer and everything in nature becomes more vibrant and colorful. Along with these changes in the great outdoors comes the irresistible urge to clean house and embrace a fresh start. Why not keep that motivational momentum going and apply it to your business – and, more specifically, to your website – as well? After all, there’s no time like the present to sweep away the old and outdated and bring in fresh new ideas and technologies. But you don’t necessarily need to dive head-first into a full redesign and all of the time and expense that entails to reap measurable results. Instead, here are five small steps you can – and should! – take today to ensure that your site is up-to-date, relevant and doing all it can to bring you new customers and grow the community around your brand:

1. Reposition your contact form.

For most website owners – especially those in service-based businesses such as law, accounting, consulting, real estate, etc. – the key “win” for their site is when it motivates a visitor to request more information or schedule a meeting. Contact forms are a ubiquitous website staple intended to provide a convenient – and highly measurable – avenue to initiate communication between an interested prospect and a company. However, perhaps because they are so commonplace, all too often these forms are given little strategic thought, resulting in a cookie-cutter name/email address/phone number format that yields more bogus spam submissions than legitimate new business opportunities. However, there is one simple change you can make that has been shown to get better results: reposition your standard “Contact us” form as an “Ask our experts” feature. By doing so, you shift the focus of the form to providing your visitors with an opportunity to submit a question that is specific to their needs and concerns. Rather than feeling like they are opening themselves up to an endless barrage of solicitation calls and emails, your visitors will sense that they are initiating a dialogue with an expert who will help them solve their particular problem. Make sure to respond to all inquiries within 24 hours, provide helpful advice that is free of charge and tailored to your prospect’s situation, and leave the door open to continue the conversation in a future meeting or phone call. By doing so, you will establish an important foundation of trust and confidence with your potential new client that will make them more inclined to engage your professional services. expert I have personally seen the submission rates on these types of forms increase dramatically. On one site where this small change was implemented, form submissions jumped from one or two per week to one or two per day – all legitimate business opportunities that were sparked simply by repositioning the focus of the form.

2. Productize your offering.

Another challenge that professional services organizations face in creating a website that works as an effective customer conversion engine is that they do not sell a specific product but rather a suite of services that can be customized to each client’s specific needs. This makes it terribly hard to market to visitors who come to their site and simply want to know “What exactly does this company sell, and how much does it cost?”. Because there are so many variables to the company’s offerings, there is not a quick and easy answer to these questions. If this challenge sounds familiar to you, one approach you can try is to “productize” what you have to offer. Create a bundle of services with a fixed price, and market that package on your site in a simple, straightforward manner that makes your offering easy to understand and helps visitors feel like doing business with your company is as simple as buying a product off the shelf at a store. package This is exactly what my company did with some of the technology consulting services that we offer. Instead of only listing the array of services we provide, we also created a product that representing a very specific offering. This made it so much easier to answer the “What do you sell?” question, and it gave us something tangible to promote in our marketing campaigns. In reality, this approach in no way limited the range of services we are able to offer our clients; rather, it merely served as a vehicle to open doors to new opportunities and made it easier to start conversations with new customers for whom we could ultimately provide a custom-tailored solution. Examine the services that you offer, and work with your marketing team to create an appealing package that you can market – understanding all the while that this “product” is really just a means for you to connect with customers and begin the sales process with something tangible that they can easily understand.

3. Lose your home page carousel.

One simple change that I have seen many websites make in the past year or so is to remove animated image carousels from their home pages. These carousels have long been a popular fixture of website design, but the reality is that they can sometimes do more harm than good. Home page carousels typically feature giant, screen-spanning images which carry with them heavy download requirements both for the images and for the scripts that power the animation sequences, thereby creating a potential stumbling block in performance for users on mobile devices or with slower connections. Additionally, studies have shown that click-through rates on animated carousels are extremely low, and they drop significantly from the first slide to the subsequent ones. This is why many companies are replacing rotating carousels with a singular static message instead. This one change can greatly reduce a page’s download size (when my company did this on our home page, its file size decreased by 75 percent) while having little to no effect on actual user engagement or click-through. In fact, because the page now loads more quickly, many sites actually see an uptick in user engagement because fewer people are abandoning a site due to poor performance. image Do you have a carousel on your website? If so, do you know whether or not it is working well for you? Your marketing team may be able to do some A/B testing between a version of your site with this animation feature and one without it to see which performs better. Since carousels do work well for some sites (like news organizations or sites with lots of frequently updated content), having this data can help you determine whether or not it’s time to ditch the carousel.

4. Update your image(s).

Stock photography is something of a necessary evil of website design, as more often than not, companies don’t have the budget to execute a full-fledged custom professional photo shoot. However, not all stock images are created equal. Stock photos that are overused or that look so obviously staged that they scream of their “stockiness” can cheapen a site’s design and leave visitors with a negative overall impression of the site. Replacing those images can make a big difference in a site’s visual appeal. If your site’s imagery is stale, you can make some simple image swaps to freshen it up. If you are going to change out old stock images for new stock images, make sure to seek out photos that feel fresh and that are not terribly overused (most stock photo sites will tell you how many times an image has been downloaded). An even better option is to try to add some unique imagery to your site. This could be photographs that you hire a professional to take or – in keeping with one of this year’s hottest trends – custom illustrations that you commission from an artist. illustration If your budget is tight, incorporating even just one or two such one-of-a-kind images in key spots on your site can really boost its visual impact. For instance, if you lose that aforementioned carousel on the home page and replace it with one truly compelling static image and message, it can make a really powerful first impression on your visitors.

5. Publish less.

Most experts agree that publishing original, value-add content on your site on a regular basis is key to optimizing its success – both from a sales and marketing standpoint and as an advantage in the never-ending battle of SEO. While I agree with this approach in principal, for many companies, the drive to publish regularly has resulted in putting out mediocre content simply to meet an inflexible standard of frequency. This is often an entirely counterproductive effort, as content that lacks in quality, original thought or value for the reader reflects poorly on the organization and its perceived level of expertise. Publishing original content to your site on a regular basis is still a best practice, but that content must offer value for it to succeed. Let’s say a visitor comes to your site and is impressed to find that you publish new articles weekly or monthly; however, once they click through the headline to see what they can glean from your writing, if what they find is mediocre at best, what motivation do they have to return to your site again in the future, let alone entrust you with their hard-earned dollars? If, on the other hand, you publish new content less frequently, but everything you produce is of the highest quality, then that same visitor will know that the time they spend on your site will always be worth their while, and they will look forward to the next time you post something new. Re-examine your current content marketing strategy, and ask yourself whether you are focused on quality or frequency. If it’s the latter, commit instead to writing less but to improving the quality of what you offer on your site. While this change may not have an immediate impact, it will absolutely yield long-term results that your visitors will appreciate and respond positively to.

In closing

Eventually, your website will need a redesign, but in the meantime you can make small, strategic, surgical changes that will pay immediate dividends in your site’s success. This approach of implementing gradual but regular modifications will also benefit you when it does come time for that full redesign. By making intelligent improvements over time, you will ultimately be closer to your end goal, leaving less to accomplish with the redesign and thereby paving the way for a smoother and less costly project.
May 2010
By The Architect

Mastering Tribe Marketing

In today’s marketplace, those who rule their tribe own their market. However, leading the tribe requires you to forego the old rules of marketing in lieu of following the principles of trustcasting.
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Mastering Tribe Marketing

tribe marketing

Introduction

In part one of this series, Tribes in Today's Marketing, we established a foundational understanding of what tribes are, how and why they form, how they've evolved and how this has redefined the marketplace.

Now we turn our attention to how business growth is achieved today by identifying, understanding, joining and, in due time, leading the tribes that are relevant to your business and your bottom line.

Identify your tribe

When you are marketing your product or service, you strive to understand your target audience. Certainly you can map out the usual demographic variables – age, gender, income and location. These are easy to understand, but to participate and ascend to leadership in your tribe, you need more.

Chances are, your tribe doesn't exist around your direct offering in and of itself – either specifically around your brand or even your product or service in the generic sense.

More than likely, your tribe will coalesce around an idea or value that surrounds your product.

More than likely, your tribe will coalesce around an idea or value that surrounds your product – whether it's the convenience it provides or the aspect of a lifestyle that it affords.

If you sell golf clubs, the task of identifying your tribe is fairly straightforward. Your tribe is passionate about golf, about improving their game and about having the latest in golfing technology.

Perhaps you're an organic grocer. Your tribe is comprised of people who are conscientious about good health and nutrition and about supporting farmers who grow more natural, healthful foods. These are the people that are ready to take your message and set it on fire.

However, many times the tribes that drive organizations and their products operate at a different level.

If you own the corner coffee shop, you most certainly have something to offer the tribe of people who appreciate good coffee. But perhaps the atmosphere of your shop taps into the passions of a tribe that aspires to lead a cosmopolitan lifestyle. If you sell fair trade coffee, your products might appeal to an entirely different tribe – one that is sensitive to geopolitical issues.

Many times, tribes are about a state of mind. They are comprised of people who live a certain way and who care about certain things. In this way, the challenge is not so much about analyzing demographics but identifying those whose shared passions align with yours.

Locate your tribe

Tribes are never static. They exist with purpose. They are living life and solving problems. In order to continue being relevant to and meeting the needs of their members, they must evolve. This requires a platform – if not multiple platforms – where they can meet, discuss and debate ideas, share news and continue the ongoing conversation around their passions.

Tribes are never static. They exist with purpose.

They're on message boards; they're talking in forums; they're in the blogosphere; they're connecting with each other on Twitter. In some cases, they're even gathering and meeting in person.

Most of the time the communities that you are looking for are not centered in one place, and there's rarely an obvious sign that reads, “This community lives here.” If you sell coffee, you can't just go to coffeeisgreat.com and find people who are talking about how much they love coffee. However, if you've identified your tribe as well as their passions, needs, wants and fears, it's a lot easier to find them.

Interest-based tribes vs. relationship-based tribes

So far our focus has been primarily on interest-based tribes, which form when people connect around a shared passion. However, social media allows for a new type of connection and thus a new type of tribe – one that forms based on how its members know each other, whether through work, family or location.

These organically created tribes are not bound by any one common interest but rather by the shared goals and interests of life that are relevant to us all. We turn to these tribes for help getting things done, for solutions to everyday problems and for guidance to improve the quality of our lives and the lives of those around us.

Relationship-based tribes and local business

The power of these types of tribes is fairly significant when you consider the nearly limitless aspects of life that we all have in common. Most of us get haircuts, wear shoes, do laundry, watch TV, pay utility bills, buy groceries, own cars, improve our homes, raise children – the list goes on almost indefinitely.

For all of these things, we rely on our tribes of family, co-workers and neighbors for helpful advice and recommendations. As a result, small businesses have a tremendous opportunity to thrive within these tribes if they know where and how to find them. The answer is social media.

sharing

For example, if someone has a wonderful experience with a local mechanic, they don't log in to greatmechanics.com and evangelize for Mike the Mechanic. They do, however, tweet about the great service they received. They might even take this one step further and make Mike a member of their online community by connecting themselves with his business page on Facebook and sharing his website with friends living nearby.

In fact, it is not uncommon for the genesis of an interest-based tribe to start with relationship-based tribes talking about a brand and sharing its message.

In other words, if you connect with members of 50 family-based tribes, inevitably these people will connect to form their own community, and your message will begin to spread virally, feeding off of its own momentum to foster the growth of an interest-based tribe.

Become a member of the tribe

Membership doesn't begin the day you start participating in the conversation. You must earn the respect of the tribe in order to become one of them.

Don't come in and immediately start selling, or you'll be ousted swiftly and permanently. Better yet, don't even start by speaking. Listen first and gain insight into the culture within.

Most tribes have evolved over many years and have developed their own rules, perspectives and goals, and building credibility requires an appreciation of these nuances. Read through past conversations to understand the history and the passion surrounding the issues. Learn what's funny, what's serious, what's cliché, what's typical, what people want and what turns them off.

When you do start participating, the one and only rule that applies is to be real. Don't approach the conversation as a self-motivated, faceless corporate salesperson. Come to serve the tribe and its goals. Be yourself – a person with a budget, family, needs, problems and passions just like everyone else.

If you are in the business of doing what you love and you believe in what you do, then talk about it honestly when the time is right without bias or agenda. You must become a trusted member of the tribe before you can begin leading it.

crown

Rule the tribe

The process and path to tribe leadership is unique for each community. However, all tribe leaders posses certain qualities that allow them to ascend to the top.

They are fearless. They are innovators. They challenge the status quo. But, above all, they have built a consistent reputation on standing for the tribe.

As time goes on, after you have proven that you are driven first and foremost by the advancement of the tribe, you'll gain footing as more than just another trusted, non-biased member. The tribe wants to know that you're listening and leading. They want to know that someone is there who genuinely cares about meeting their needs. If you can earn that level of trust with them, they will not only buy from you every time, they will spread your message like no marketing campaign ever could.

This is where tribe leadership truly runs contrary to business models rooted in decades of traditional marketing.

Today, it is more important to be trusted than to sell. Tribes are founded on trust, and trust cannot be achieved with the tactics of old marketing. It is true that tribe leadership and direct selling can both generate sales revenue – at least in the short term. However, while gaining the trust of your tribe is the more indirect path, in the end, the organization that makes a long-term investment in tribe leadership will ultimately achieve the greatest number of sales and claim ownership of the market.

In part three of this series, we'll cover how the influence of tribes extends beyond promotion and actually shapes how business itself evolves around the tribe.


September 2011
By Jeremy Hunt

Applying Science to Social Media: Analytics 101

While social media engagement can be a tricky concept to quantify, keeping tabs on your company’s performance requires just a few basic tools.
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Applying Science to Social Media: Analytics 101

These days, the importance of using social media to connect with customers goes almost without saying. And with a variety of channels to choose from that offer direct access to millions of people at no cost, what’s not to like? Well, for one thing, there’s the issue of measurability. While the barriers to entry are next to none, how can you assess your company’s performance in engaging with all those existing and potential customers? After all, social media doesn’t conform to any of the familiar metrics that we’ve used to evaluate traditional mediums for decades. You can’t sum up your interactions on Facebook or Twitter in terms of rating points or share. Furthermore, what constitutes a good result for one company may not apply for another. What if yours is a service-based business rather than one that sells tangible consumer goods? Or what if you’re charged with managing social media for a ministry or nonprofit? Your standards for success will likely be completely different than those of a for-profit entity. The good news is that there are many tools available to help you gauge the overall health of your Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts. Even if your company doesn’t have the funds or the manpower to devote to managing your social media presence full-time, there are no-cost and low-cost options available to help you wrangle the ambiguous concept of engagement into quantifiable figures.

Free solutions

Let’s start with Facebook. The good folks at Facebook offer very helpful performance metrics via their aptly-named Insights feature, but trying to process this data can be like drinking from a fire hose (and one that changes fairly often) unless you know how to filter what you need from what you don’t. Here are a couple of simple calculations that you can perform to distill this raw data into meaningful information. famefoundry-insights At any given point in time, you can gauge the basic level of engagement on your Page by dividing the number of Monthly Active Users by the total number of Lifetime Likes. Multiply that figure by 100, and you’ve got the percentage of your fanbase that has interacted with your content in some form or fashion during the past month. Because Insights information is kept private and made available only to a Page’s designated administrators, there aren’t any industry benchmarks against which you can rate how your performance stacks up. However, what you can and should do instead is track your own figures over the course of several months. Is your engagement percentage dropping? Climbing? Holding steady? Keeping an eye on these trends will help you establish benchmarks for your own company and give you a feel for the types of tactics and campaigns that get the greatest response. Beyond that, you can determine whether your content is connecting with users or turning them away by comparing Total Likes to Total Unsubscribes. Divide Total Unsubscribes by Total Likes, then multiply by 100, and you’ll find the percentage of people who’ve left your page. Obviously, the goal here is to achieve as low a percentage as possible. Some unsubscribes are inevitable, but hopefully you’ll be looking at single digits. If your percentage is greater than 10, it’s time to scrutinize your content strategy to see what might be driving people away. What about Twitter? Their native platform is notoriously difficult for data analysis, but fortunately, there are a plethora of third-party toolsets that use Twitter’s API to crank out stats for your account. HootSuite is the platform of choice for many social media managers, largely because in terms of ease of use, they’re hard to beat. Once you get acquainted with the interface, it’s pretty easy to get a snapshot of who’s retweeting your content, who’s talking about you, and who’s asking questions that need your attention. You can either monitor this activity manually or set up reports to be automatically generated to give you a global view of the health of your Twitter presence. And did I mention that their Basic plan is free for up to five social profiles? hootsuite-profile

Almost-free options

What if you need more flexibility and data-filtering power than the free version of HootSuite offers? Then you might want to check out their Pro plan. A minimal investment of $5.99 per month will get you access to advanced reporting tools that will help you monitor sentiment and track social reach as well as the ability to add an unlimited number of social profiles. hootsuite-report TwentyFeet also provides some promising tools at a very low cost, although they’re a much newer company without a proven track record established as of yet. However, unlike HootSuite, they offer tracking for YouTube (along with Twitter and Facebook). You can track one Twitter account and one Facebook user profile (not Page) free of charge, or you can add additional profiles for $2.49 per profile per year. Yep, that’s per YEAR, not per month. That’s a pretty incredible rate for the types of monitoring services they offer. twenty-feet-email The primary benefit of going the paid route with companies like HootSuite and TwentyFeet is the reporting option. If yours is a smaller company with limited resources, it’s much more efficient to be able to pull reports on demand rather than having to spend a lot of your own time crunching the numbers to gauge your performance.

Better information, better decisions

While this is by no means an exhaustive evaluation of all the available services that can help you track social media metrics, these solid, highly affordable options offer enough data to give you a clear view of your engagement across various platforms. Dive in today, and discover the difference that the insights you glean from these toolsets can make in your ability to guide and direct your company’s social media initiatives.