How to Use PostRank for Social Media Analytics

Posted by Kristi Hines - July 20, 2010 - Analytics, Social Media - 11 Comments

PostRank offers real time social media data and analysis on almost every topic or trend that is relevant to your blog, business, niche, and industry that goes beyond other analytics programs. Let’s look at how to use PostRank, search for blogs, see top blogs on particular topics, the stats you can find, and what you can learn from them.

Free PostRank Social Sharing Statistics

The best thing about PostRank is that you can see basic social sharing stats of any blog without paying for a monthly membership – this includes stats for your own site.

Registration

Although you don’t have to register for an account at PostRank to get social sharing stats, it might be a good idea to do so if you are going to regularly check up on one or more sites. I use my account, for example, to keep an eye on the stats for my my own blog as well as others to which I contribute.

PostRank - My Subscriptions

Also, I don’t know what determines the “tags” that go along with your blog, but I’m sure that the tags that subscribers enter influences the categorization, so subsribing to your own blog in PostRank and adding detailed tags would be a plus.

Searching for Blogs

Most popular blogs are already listed on their site. You can search in PostRank Topics section by entering either a topic or blog name. The search box will give you suggestions.

PostRank - Social Media Blog Search

You can select a topic and see the top ranked blogs that are tagged in that topic.

PostRank - Social Media Top Blogs

If you are looking for a specific blog that doesn’t come up because it is not listed, PostRank will go out and start pulling data for that site.

PostRank - New Feed

You can check back later or have them send you an email when the data is ready.

Social Sharing Stats

So what can you learn about a blog from PostRank? When you are looking at the top blogs on a particular topic, you can click on the dropdown arrow by one of the blogs to get a quick view of their top posts.

PostRank - Quick View

By click on the customize button (or, alternatively, if you clicked on a blog from the search box), you will be taken directly to their blog feed to see ratings on their latest posts, which you can sort by All, Good, Great, or Best. By hovering over the PostRank rating for a post, you can see the number of shares it has on a variety of social networks (including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Digg, FriendFeed, and more) plus the number of comments the post has.

PostRank - Individual Post Statistics

What Do These Stats Tell You

So what can you learn from the free social stats on PostRank? If you are interested in writing a post that will be popular on a particular social network or get a lot of comments, you can search the stats for your own blog or other blogs on that topic and see what topics have done historically on social networks or in their comments.

Tracking Social Engagement with PostRank Analytics

If you want to know more about the social engagement on your own blog, you can setup the premium version of PostRank Analytics on your own site. For $9USD a month (after a 30 day free trial three month free trial with discount code offered by PostRank in the comments), you can add five sites to your analytics account and see the following.

Engagement Overview

The overview section of your blog’s analytics will show a graph for the last week, month, or 3 months including days when you have the most engagement vs. the most pageviews.

PostRank - Engagement Overview

By clicking on the posts in the graph, or going to the Analyze section, you can see social engagement statistics for each post.

PostRank Analytics - RSS Pages Overview

A Way to Measure Social Media ROI?

If you connect your PostRank Analytics to Google Analytics (which I have sadly not setup on my own site yet), you can see the value of your social engagement points which could be a great way to measure social media ROI.

PostRank Analytics - Individual Post Engagement & ROI

Social Engagement Trends

One area I find most interesting is the Trends section of the Analytics. Here, you will see where your readers are most engaging with your content.

PostRank Analytics - Social Media Trends

This could come in quite handy in figuring out where your content does the best so you know what social networks to ramp up your promotion in, as well as which networks may not be worth your time.

Social Engagement Optimization

Another highly important area is the Optimize section in which you can get some valuable information about the major social networks. It covers Delicious, Digg, Diigo, Facebook, FriendFeed, Google Buzz, Google Reader, Myspace, Reddit, and Twitter. Under each, it gives you some demographics, a short summary, key points, how the network ranks your content, how to utilize the network to get more engagement, and who are the top users in each network that are loving your content.

PostRank Analytics - Social Media Optimization

Some nice tidbits of information from this section include:

  • The only thing that matters on Delicious is the number of bookmarks a story receives in the last 60 minutes which means any story (no matter how old it is) could end up on the Delicious homepage.
  • Digg sends tens of thousands of viewers to a popular link in less than an hour. Popularity is determined by how quickly a story gets votes after it is submitted. (This may be modified when the new Digg comes along.)
  • Not all posts that you make on Facebook are seen by all your friends – it is dependent on the strength of your connection to your friends as well as the amount of interest in the post (comments are weighted higher than likes, for example).
  • On Friendfeed, the more votes and discussion that happens on a post, the more likely it is to get on the “hot” list.
  • Your performance on Google Buzz is directly connected to the amount of enagement with your post (likes and comments).
  • Reddit places a premium on the velocity of votes with more consideration given to votes received within a few minutes of the submission and more weight is given to votes from users with higher karma.
  • The busiest hour of the day for tweets is 8pm EST, and the busiest days are Wednesday and Thursday. Probably the best time to catch influential Twitterers.

Your Experience with PostRank

Do you use PostRank for free or premium analytics information about social engagement? What other valuable information can you learn about your own site (or others) and have you used it to track social media ROI?

About the Author

Kristi Hines

Kristi is a freelance writer, online marketing consultant, blogger, and social media enthusiast. Follow her on Twitter.