By Sarah Curry, Associate Social Media Director
June 24, 2015
The world of social is still relatively uncharted as brands and companies figure out how to measure success and calculate ROI. While we may not have a definitive answer yet, social media analytics have come a long way in just a few short years.
When diving into social media analytics, you first need to understand what makes social media different than traditional marketing tactics, such as paid media (advertising) and earned media (public relations). Rather than pushing out a singular message, social media is a dialogue and a conversation. It’s about connecting with your target audience on an individual level. And that means we have to expand beyond traditional metrics like reach and impressions to evaluate the effectiveness of a campaign.
My Favorite Social Media Analytics Tools
There are lots of tools out there that can be helpful when trying to measure success on social media. Here are five of my favorites, including a few you might have overlooked:
- Iconosquare – Until Instagram rolls out access to its own analytics platform, brands will have to rely on third-party tools. My pick is Iconosquare. It syncs data each time you log-in so you can track growth and engagement over time. And itoffers post optimization suggestions, such as filters, time of day, etc.
- Keyhole – Do you have a designated hashtag for your brand or event? Keyhole is a free tool that tracks dozens of metrics in real-time, like top users, sources, original tweets vs. retweets and more.
- Spredfast – Similar to other content management systems, Spredfast has a robust, built-in analytics platform. Look at analytics by social media platform, account or create custom tags to better understand what’s resonating with your audience.
- Google Analytics – While not a social media-specific tool, Google Analytics can be extremely useful, especially if driving website traffic is a goal of your campaign. Understanding how social media referrals behave once they get to your website can provide valuable insights into the type of content they find useful and offer ideas for optimizing your social media content strategy.
- Excel – Again, not necessarily a social media tool but ongoing content tracking in Excel can prove to be more useful than those expensive analytics tools. I suggest keeping an ongoing document with your Facebook content and setting up some simple formulas to track the data by post type, time of day, content topic, etc. Once you’ve gathered a few months’ worth of content you can look for trends and optimizations.
Tracking and evaluating social media efforts is an ongoing, complicated task. But, with the help of tools like these, we can execute campaigns strategically, thoughtfully and, at the end of the day, successfully.
Have you tried any of these tools? What would you add to the list?