We’ve refreshed this post for 2018. See the updated list of tools below!
Few fields have changed as quickly or thoroughly as market research. Forward-thinking brands have moved from relying on extensive surveys and traditional focus groups to leveraging mathematically derived insights from the number one source of public opinion: social media.
Why are social media analytic tools so valuable?
There are various use cases that make social media analytics tools critical to most organizations:
- Brand perception management
- Competitive intelligence
- Campaign measurement
- Audience analysis
- Industry and product trend discovery
- Performance benchmarking
- Reach and engagement tracking
But it’s not so easy to know where to start. What social media analytics tools are best for marketers?
Social Media Analytics Tools
Twitter’s built-in analytics tool, the Tweet Activity Dashboard, analyzes how your tweets are received by your audience. Loading up to 3,200 Tweets as far back as 2013, it can measure impressions and engagement, including your engagement rate, link clicks, retweets, likes, and replies. In Audiences, you can find your audiences’ break-up into interests, occupation, buying behavior, household income, net worth, and more. The Events tab informs you which current events are most talked about around the world, such as the MTV Video Music Awards.
With all these instant metrics that you can access, you’ll know how to reach your Twitter audience effectively. Once signed into your account, open the Analytics site and click ‘Turn analytics on’ and you’re ready to go!
Image via Twitter
Hootsuite offers free and paid tools to help you schedule, monitor, and analyze your brand’s social media channels. Their analytics tools give you a clear, concise snapshot of your key Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter activity to track trends and measure growth. You can build and share simple reports and dashboards within the platform to keep track of how your followers are engaging with your content.
Proclaimed as one of the best free tools for analyzing Twitter accounts, Twitonomy offers different features, such as followers reports with insights on their interests, location and influences, as well as an analysis of your mentions, and information about your competitor’s engagement. All these insights can help you understand your Twitter account more in-depth and benchmark with your competitors’ account.
Image via Marketing Land
With 1.71 billion monthly active users as of 2016, it is clear why companies are expected to reach audiences through Facebook. In order to understand your Facebook presence, Facebook has released two built-in analytics tools: Page Insights and Audience Insights.
Facebook Page Insights is used to understand how your audience engages with your fan page.
Once you click on the Insights tab, you will find an overview of your page with simplified information about the number of views, likes, reach, engagements, and more. Page Insights is an easy way to get started analyzing your page information on Facebook.
Facebook Audience Insights
Facebook Audience Insights provides deeper customer insights from your audience and your competitors’, which in turn will help deliver relevant content.
Audience Insights aggregates relevant information of different segments of people, such as demographics, page likes, locations and language, usage frequency, purchase activity, and more. Using this tool for market research, you can understand your audience’s’ behavior and therefore target ads more effectively.
Image via TrackMaven
Quintly offers a free version of their analytics tools that allows for competitive benchmarking as well as a review of your social media performance. This plan allows the single user to add three Facebook profiles and a dashboard, but the main limitation is that it can only go as far as 30 days of a data period. When utilizing one of their core features, competitive benchmarking, you can use their dashboard and inbuilt metrics to compare your performance to your competitors’.
LikeAlyzer is a free-of-charge online tool that monitors the health of your Facebook page in a matter of seconds. By adding the URL, you can get an instant overview of your Facebook Page with tips and recommendations on how to improve your engagement with your fans. For competitive research and benchmarking, you can add your competitor’s Facebook URL, and further analyze their performance. LikeAlyzer’s intuitive interface and lack of complex analytics will make it easier for you to manage the tool and get suggestions you can act upon.
Sociograph.io is a surprisingly free tool that analyzes your Facebook Page activity since its inception. You can get started by connecting your personal Facebook account and choosing the Page you want to review. In its sleek, modern interface, you can find an activity graph with an overview of all posts ranked with the number of likes, comments, and shares. Another useful feature is Visitors tab, where you can see who your main contributors are and their activity on your page. This tool not only lets you see this data, but you can also export all of your findings to CSV or XLS file for a further offline analysis.
8. Instagram Insights
Instagram released its newest built-in feature for businesses called ‘Insights.’ Free of charge, businesses that have a verified business page on Facebook can access information about their Instagram audience more in-depth.
According to Later, the new Instagram Business Profiles with the analytics feature will show “demographic information about followers, popular times and dates that your followers are on Instagram, post impressions, and more”. Knowing this information will help businesses understand the performance of past posts and guide them in their future campaigns on Instagram.
Image via Later
Union Metrics provides a free Instagram Account Checkup that determines your Instagram’s health. With this quick and simple tool, you can analyze metrics such as time and date where you get a higher percentage of engagement, find your top fans, understand your most engaging hashtag, and get an estimate of likes per post. These features will allow you to understand the optimal time to post, the audience you should be reaching, and the content that you should be posting.
Image via Union Metrics
Their second tool, the Twitter Snapshot Report, can analyze any recent conversation on Twitter about your campaigns, competitors, trends, and more. This information will help you find the scope of conversation with top influencers, measure reach and impressions, understand which Tweets generated the highest engagement, and create a shareable report of all these findings.
Image via TweetReach
Pinterest Analytics is exclusively for business accounts, but a personal account can be easily converted into a business one for free. It allows you to understand your Pinterest profile and your audience more exhaustively, learn how they interact with your Pins, and find out what they save from your company’s website. By using the feature “What your followers are into”, you can know which audience they follow, and therefore, pin content more relevant and tailored to your audience’s interests and boost your company’s Pinterest presence.
Image via Pinterest
YouTube’s built-in analytics provides an exhaustive analysis of your videos’ performance. As video becomes one of the most engaging types of content in social media, it is mandatory that companies know how their videos are performing and where the traffic is coming from.
This tool is comprised of reports that provide information about specific metrics, such as the Revenue Reports, Watch-time Reports, Engagement Reports, and more. These provide crucial information such as demographic information about the audience, the sites that led to your content, the devices used to watch the videos, the number of video shares, the number of subscribers, and more.
Image via Act-On
If you’re looking for a dashboard where you can organize and visualize multiple social media platforms, then Cyfe is the best option. In this custom dashboard, you can see detailed stats from 5 chosen platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest or others – and compare the performance of each. All in real time, you can visualize and extract data such as engagement, reach, views, and more. The downside? With the free version, you can only get data from as far back as 30 days.
Image via Cyfe
13. Simply Measured
Aside from the pricier options they offer, Simply Measured offers ‘freebies’ for marketers with smaller businesses or that want to try out the product before committing to a plan. When clicking on the “Free Tools” tab, you can request different analysis reports from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Vine, and more. The free trial offers insights such as your common keywords, popular locations, engagement, best time to post, followers’ interests, and your page visitors’ activity. Despite their requirements, such as a capped number of followers allowed, it is still worth figuring out whether they are a free tool that might work for your business.
Image via Simply Measured
Finding the right tools for social media data analysis, and using these tools regularly as part of team processes, will help businesses make informed decisions and boost the success of future efforts.
The list above, with basic, easy-to-use tools can help businesses get started with the basics of social media analytics. For those looking for a more comprehensive and versatile solution for social media analysis, check out the Crimson Hexagon platform.