Marketers in all industries are realizing the value of social media in reaching customers online. Through effective use of sites such as Facebook and Twitter, brands can earn word-of-mouth advertising as users recommend their products or services to their friends and family.
In a survey, 79 percent of companies said they are either currently using or plan to use social media, but many businesses are still uncertain of what to do with it.
Through the use of effective analytics tools, businesses can get a clear picture of how users are interacting with their posts to gain a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Here are a few popular social-media analytics tools that can help with your next campaign.
Google Social Analytics
The best place to start is with a tool you’re likely already using. Google Analytics has the ability to show you where your website stands, but a new social reporting feature allows you to add your social-media results to that, as well. Best of all, it’s free.
Google’s reporting on social media is limited, but it can tell you how many people are talking about your website on social media, as well as how many interacted with the Like, Share and Plus buttons you have on your site. It’s a valuable free addition to your social-media analytics toolbox.
Because marketing efforts are divided across multiple social-media sites, it’s important for marketers to have an all-in-one analytics tool. SumAll combines a user’s Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus sites into one dashboard, giving an overall picture of how social-media users are reacting to their posts.
Instead of actively pulling reports, SumAll users can have reports delivered to their email inbox each morning. SumAll delivers information on how many retweets, likes and shares a brand got within a designated period, as well as how far each of those activities reached. These features are all free, with a premium version adding more intensive analytics and an individual reporting consultation.
Facebook remains by far the most popular social-media network, making it an important part of any social-media marketing campaign. For Facebook marketers, investing the time necessary to familiarize yourself with the site’s built-in analytics can make a big difference. The tool is available to users of Facebook Pages, so if you haven’t already you’ll first need to set up a page for your business. Once your page is set up, you’ll see “Insights” at the top.
Insights aggregates data about the users that interact with your page and any information that isn’t publicly displayed by users isn’t available to businesses. Through Insights, you’ll be able to see how many people liked your page, how many people saw your post, and of those people, how many clicked on it. This information on your posts’ reach and engagement levels will help you determine the types of posts your customers enjoy seeing most.
Through this free service, Twitter users can see how many impressions each tweet received, how many engagements occurred with those tweets and the engagement rate for each tweet. In addition to showing this information for individual tweets, Twitter gives a bar graph that reveals how many impressions an account received over a 28-day period to allow users to see when activity peaked.
For that same 28-day period, users can also see how many times their tweets were favorited or retweeted. If a marketer pays for promoted tweets, the service also tracks the impressions, engagement and engagement rate for each of those posts. This allows a brand to see whether its ad dollars are paying off.
As businesses create new social-media campaigns, analytics are a great way to measure performance. This information can be used to determine the direction of future campaigns, as well as make changes to campaigns that are currently in progress. Since these tools are all free, a business has nothing to lose by trying each of them out.