Social media has so many metrics to track – how do you make sense of them all?
Even more confusing, there are so many tools out there:
- Some tools are suited to helping you update your social presence by reading and scheduling social messages, and collaborating with a team to respond to messages.
- Other tools are focused on measuring your performance on social media. They give you great metrics and reports.
Today we’re going to focus on the latter — tools that are particularly strong when it comes to metrics and analytics about your performance. Here are 8 social media analytics tools that will help you measure how well you are performing and whether you are making progress:
Adobe Social 
Adobe Social is a part of the umbrella suite of products under the Adobe Marketing Cloud.
This is one of those multi-purpose tools. You can post updates to social channels with it. You can place and manage promoted Facebook posts from within Adobe Social. You can use it for listening to buzz and following conversation trends on social sites. You can collaborate with a team.
On top of that, it provides social analytics. One of the notable features is its predictive analytics. According to the site, “you can see how well a post will perform before you publish it. Adobe Social also gives you recommendations on ways to improve your posts.”
Adobe Social is not the best choice for very small businesses and solo entrepreneurs. The website doesn’t have pricing readily available. That usually means a solution that’s priced for larger enterprises, not for the most price-sensitive small businesses.
Social Motus 
Social Motus is a relatively young application out of Australia.
It covers Facebook and Twitter — only. You get tools to manage your Twitter and Facebook accounts to track targeted conversations, monitor your brand, prioritize your conversations, and even track conversion rates to funnel it all into ROI calculations.
Using Social Motus, you can monitor your brand, industry information, content performance, and niche updates 24 / 7, set up keyword match filtering, and assign monitoring or engagement tasks to your social media team. You can respond to priority messages from within the application itself.
The social analytics feature on Social Motus helps you to track conversions, shares, reach, clicks, and other metrics.
I love executive dashboards. They help businesses stay on top of key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter.
With a dashboard, you can see how your business is doing at a glance. You don’t have to jump around to a dozen applications to get an update of the status.
But a typical dashboard is an aggregator of data brought in from other sources. A dashboard is really just a way of presenting data that has to be collected in other places first. So that means, even with a dashboard, you need another application to collect social media data in the first place. The benefit of dashboards is that they make sense of data — and present it in a meaningful way that’s convenient.
Cyfe is one such executive dashboard and it is priced for small businesses that have a need to view a lot of Web-based data — stats on social media, Web traffic, server statistics, email marketing stats, and other relevant business data. Imagine seeing graphs and charts on your computer screen first thing in the morning or glancing at them throughout the day. It would help you stay on top of what’s happening in your businesses at any point in time.
Parts of the dashboard are plug-and-play. Cyfe offers pre-built widgets to sync up data from various apps you use and display it in your dashboard. For instance, Cyfe can pull in stats from email marketing software AWeber, so you can monitor performance indicators about your email marketing right in your dashboard.
The number of applications you can sync to with pre-built widgets is still fairly limited. But a message on the website says more are coming soon.
And never fear — you can create custom widgets to pull data from just about any data source on the Web to your Cyfe dashboard, if you’re willing to do some extra work to set them up.
One neat feature is that you can create public URLs and show a dashboard of say, stats about your website, to the world. Or you can keep everything private, too.
Cyfe offers a free version and a premium version – some features discussed here are available only in premium (currently an affordable $19/month – less if you pay annually).
DashThis is another dashboard application. This Quebec-based application seems especially suited to agencies that manage the online presence for or help market for a number of different clients. The focus appears to be on creating dashboards for Google Analytics, AdWords, Twitter stats, YouTube Channel views, landing page conversions, and more that are related to marketing.
There’s one big difference between dashboards and other types of social media monitoring tools. The focus in a dashboard is tracking statistics and displaying them. You’re not going to have the ability to, say, update your Facebook status like you would from within a multi-function tool such as Hootsuite.
DashThis.com gives you a way to assimilate, condense, track, and record your performance over time. It’s flexible and offers a white label reporting function for agencies so you can brand your reports with your agency’s brand (if you run a digital marketing agency). The company also will create custom reports for you.
If Facebook is a large part of your social media outreach strategy, and you’re very active on Facebook, then PageViral may be right up your alley.
With more than 1.1 billion users on Facebook , the social site can be a huge traffic earner, brand builder, and a lucrative channel – especially for B2C firms (businesses that sell to consumers, not to other businesses). If Facebook is at the core of your marketing efforts, then you will want as much analysis of Facebook interactions as you can get. And that’s what PageViral gives you.
Most of us are familiar with Facebook’s own internal analytics, called Facebook Insights. Think of Page Viral as Facebook Insights on steroids.
For instance, the Page Viral website says you get “instant notification once your content is no longer visible on fans’ news feed.” Try getting that from Facebook’s own Insights!
Page Viral gives you a single Facebook dashboard with data such as audience analysis, demographics, activity analysis, multi-lingual segmenting and sentiment analysis, decision analysis, content analysis, audience reporting and charting, metrics, and page evaluation.
If you have just a few hundred fans or a Facebook presence that is on life support, Page Viral will be overkill. But for brands that are particularly active on Facebook, it could be worthwhile.
SimplyMeasured is another tool that focuses exclusively on analytics and measuring – rather than on updating your social presence. It does monitoring, competitive analysis, benchmarking, and analytics, providing reports and analytics data online as well as in Excel format.
SimplyMeasured offers granularity. You can drill down into specific data regarding a single Tweet, a Google+ update or a Facebook status update.
SimplyMeasured is targeted toward large enterprises and agencies that manage dozens if not hundreds of social media accounts. The site calls itself “Enterprise Grade Analytics & Reporting.” They say it is used by 30% of the top 100 Global Brands. The service is pricey, starting at $500 per month, and up.
However, for small businesses they offer “free reports” that help you analyze, say, how your Google+ page is engaging, and which updates performed best.
Moz Analytics 
Spending an insane number of hours on social media while indulging in small talk won’t help if you don’t know what kind of impact your “small talk,” “managed engagement,” and “brand conversions” have for your business. Marketing intelligence lies in how your social content helps you to bring the kind of results that you seek. That’s when social search, conversation monitoring, and analytics tools come into play.
Moz’s new analytics does more than just give social metrics and analysis; it ties it together with other facets of your marketing. Your social activity, link building, guest blogger outreach programs, branding, and other lead generation tactics flow into a single system giving you an overall view of how your content works for your business.
Moz started out as SEOMoz, then changed its name. But the origins reflect that the company’s focus is much broader than just social — it’s on how your business performs online.
Moz offers other tools, which we have covered in our review of Moz search engine tools .
Presently Moz Analytics is in beta and you must request an invitation.
Hootsuite is one of those multi-function social media tools. You can use it to update your status and manage your social presence on a multitude of social media accounts. It also offers analytics and reports, which is why I include it here.
You can post updates on a wide range of social media accounts: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube – just to name some. Hootsuite is also helpful to plan and schedule social updates in advance. For example, you can use the “auto-scheduling” feature for automated social media workflow.
On top of the updating functionality, HootSuite has built-in analytics and reporting feature for metrics such as engagement, follower/fan growth, and best performing updates in real time. Reports can be sent to you via email.
Hootsuite’s reporting is very limited in the free offering. Even at the Pro level it won’t be as in-depth as some of the other solutions we’ve covered today. But for time-starved small businesses that only have a small amount of time to devote to monitoring their social media performance, Hootsuite’s analytics may be more than enough.
I once called Hootsuite “the gold standard for managing your social media accounts” in a small business — and I still feel that way. For an in-depth look at the pros and cons, see my detailed review of hootsuite .
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list. Remember to check out our 20 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools , for more.
So, we are curious – what social media analytics tools do you use? Please let us know in a comment!