When it comes to marketing, the rise of social media has done wonders for the average business owner. Never before have companies created a community of consumers that are so involved. But how heavily have you mined the information from your social media accounts to understand more about your consumers and your business performance? It’s easy to hear the terms analytics and data and feel your eyes glazing over. Yet many business owners don’t realize that social media is so much more than just interacting with people. Simple data analysis can give you great insight with your business goals, and what areas you can improve in. Fortunately, with the creation of social media comes the means to manage it through social media management tools. Whether creating an online presence or brand, growing your business or leveraging social media for sales, these tools are essential to getting the job done. Here are five of the most popular social media management tools on the web today, each with their own unique style and way of analyzing data:
With its simple layout and powerful data analytics capacity, Google Analytics is considered the gold standard of all online data analysis tools. It’s a great resource for social media analytics on your website. Google Analytics can show you what’s trending and what’s not working, while providing solutions to solve those problems. The dashboard is fairly simple, and it is incredibly user friendly with plenty of visuals and navigation.
Google has recently added social reports to their analytics, which can help you determine specific data, like the conversion value of visitors from various social platforms. In other words, how much money are you making from customers that come to you through Twitter or Instagram? It can help you quickly determine whether advertising and other efforts are profitable. Google Analytics can even analyze a consumer’s behavior on your site. The “Activity Stream” feature demonstrates how and when people are talking about your site, in real time, so your business can always be one-step ahead.
One of the most popular social media management tools on the web, Hootsuite is loved by many for its clean, straightforward dashboard. From one streamlined user interface, you can simultaneously reach audiences from Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, to name a few. You can schedule the same information, to post at the same time, on all of your social media platforms. The integration of being able to manage content, analytics and interaction from one space can save you time on social media management – and encourage you to spot trends you otherwise might have missed.
In addition to its simple networking design, Hootsuite also provides a set of analytics tools that are easy to use. They give you an in-depth look at how your social media efforts are being received, and what areas could use a little tweaking. Like Google Analytics, it shows you data such as conversion metrics, social influencers and engagement. While Google’s platform has the benefit of integrating with broader website analytics, Hootsuite has the benefit of combining analysis and content management into a single system.
More than 2 million people use Buffer for their social media management needs, and it’s not hard to see why. Like Hootsuite, Buffer is incredibly user friendly, with a simple dashboard. The site functions just as their name suggests, as a “buffer” to your social media campaigning. In simpler terms: it spaces out your posting, so you don’t annoy all of your customers. You can also schedule posts months in advance, which can maximize engagement by optimizing peak publishing times. The site’s intelligent algorithm helps you determine the best times to post and can automate that feature for you.
In addition, Buffer now offers a plan for businesses, with detailed analytics about which avenues to travel and what roadblocks to avoid. They can help you to determine the best times and places for your social media campaigning. Buffer takes the guesswork out of analytics, and is the perfect program for any novice user trying to further their social media efforts.
Like most analytics suites, Brandwatch is a platform that monitors all conversations across social media networks. It is considered the ideal platform for international business, as it supports 25 languages across the world. The company also claims that it has devised a special algorithm that skips over social spam to find the most meaningful conversations that can affect your brand.
Brandwatch has partnered with Hootsuite on the analytics side to offer users data gathering and parsing tools for social media management online. With more than 70 million data sources, they are your best bet for casting the widest social net – especially when you’re focused on global markets or interested in multiple language capabilities.
Salesforce was created in the late 90’s as one of the first customer relationship management tools (CRM) on the web. CRM systems allow companies to centralize all of their data collection into a single location to ensure that customers have more personalized, positive interactions. It has now morphed into a powerful social media management tool as well, with their branch known as the “Marketing Cloud.”
They have partnered with several companies to essentially conduct the biggest eavesdropping venture on social media the web has seen. They use Radian6‘s technology for listening to conversations on social media. They have partnered with Buddy Media for scheduled posting across the web, and Social.com’s extensive advertising solutions for social media. Although one of the costlier platforms on this list, Salesforce is the most thorough in their overall approach to social media marketing. From listening, to engaging, advertising and analyzing, they have you fully covered.
What is your business doing for social media analytics? Let us know about your favorite tools in the comments below or join the conversation on one of our social media channels.