As more and more businesses turn to social media to reach consumers, it’s inevitable that they’ll want to be able to track how well strategies are working. Moving beyond page likes or the number of followers, businesses need to take a serious look at social analytics. There are a ton of platforms out there, so it’s best to do some research and learn which ones will best serve your business. Here are three social media analytics tools I find helpful.
Hootsuite is mainly known as a social media management tool or dashboard, but within Hootsuite are analytics. If your business has more than one social network (which it should), I would suggest using Hootsuite from a management perspective. When it comes to analytics, Hootsuite allows you to create customized reports for all your social networks. It provides for a comprehensive picture of who is visiting your networks and which posts are performing well. I’ve included some screen shots below from my employer, Carilion Clinic’s analytics. These reports allow you to see which days and posts performed the best.
Besides posts, the reports also allow you to track your fan or follower growth. This is helpful if you are trying to track whether engagement rose during a specific campaign or during targeted posts.
The Twitter report also provides you with a list of the “Most Popular Links.” This information is helpful in tracking whether your business should continue posting certain links or about certain topics.
Hootsuite is free for up to five accounts, after that you need to sign up for a Pro account, which also provides for more detailed reports. A Pro account will run about $10/month.
Klout measures a user’s influence across a range of social networks. The score, 1 through 100, is based on how many people interact with your posts and will go up and down depending on your social media activity. It provides a +K feature, where others can endorse your influence and also boost your ranking. Graphs can show how your score has changed over time (90-day increments), as well as, show which sites your influence comes from.
Sprout Social is aimed more toward businesses rather than individual users. It enables you to analyze followers by various demographic measures and can help you determine the best times to post on social media profiles. It also has the ability to monitor keywords across all social media. After a free trial, it costs approximately $39/month.
There are tons of other social media analytics tools you can use, including:
Another aspect of monitoring your social media analytics is tracking links. We post links in our social media posts because we are trying to engage with our audience and maybe attract new consumers, right? So, we should probably keep track of where people are clicking on these links and which links are simply, the best. By knowing what traffic is generated for a specific link we can determine how popular the link is and which channel is most effective for your links.
- For Twitter, Tweeterspy is a great way to track “influencers” who are users that are sharing your links. Tweeterspy not only allows you to track who has shared your link, but also how many times someone then clicked on your link that was shared.
- Google has a URL builder, which after filling out a short form can provide you with a personalized, shortened url that is tracked.
- Oktopost is a service integrated with Google Analytics that automatically adds tracking codes to links.
- Bit.ly, a url shortener, allows for tracking. You can see which links were clicked on and then who shared those links.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed
While there are a lot of tools out there, and a lot of things to consider when talking about social media analytics, the important thing to remember is not to get overwhelmed. Determine what your business wants or needs to track when it comes to social media and then determine which tool will work best for you and your budget.
Here’s an interesting case study that may help put social media analytics into perspective.
Questions to Consider:
- What does your company track when it comes to social media engagement? Is the focus on general numbers (i.e. likes and followers) or do you have specific targets when it comes to engagement?
- Which tool do you find the best when it comes to bang for your buck? Do free services make the cut? Or should you budget for a monthly service?