There is no question about it, social media has become an integral part of your digital marketing strategy.
The success of your campaigns is more dependent on data and as a digital marketer you need to be able to identify the vital key metrics of your campaigns through social media analytical tools.
These tools help you to zero in on exactly what is work and what need to be improved upon.
While tools are only part of the play here, a more comprehensive strategy must be put in place to develop an approach to the top CMO expectations:
- Take on top-line growth
- Own the customer experience
- Dig into data-based insights
- Operate in real-time
- Master metrics that matter
With any social media campaign, or marketing campaigns in general, you must also get answer to these critical business questions:
• What is our most cost-effective marketing channel?
• Which messages resonate best over Twitter (or your most topical social network)?
• What is the best channel for building awareness?
• What is the most efficient way to drive customer engagement? (Is it also the most effective?)
• Which campaign brought in the best return last year? Last quarter?
• How healthy is our brand? (reputation)
• What product or line of business drives the most brand value? (See 80/20 rule of business)
As you are well aware trying to keep up with the trends in social media can be a full-time job in itself. For your social media campaigns to be effective you need to be able to balance a combination of customer insight, entertainment, and timing. In short, you have to be an almost perfect human being, at the very least a really good digital marketer.
Since we are not all perfect, I have found some of the best social media tools that are going to help take your efforts to the next level. Without any particular order let’s begin!
Let’s start out by looking at one of the most popular analytical tools on the market, Kissmetrics. (Update Sept 2018 – domain was sold, try Tend.io instead! BTW, Ryan and team have top-notch support and very knowledgeable in this space!)
Kissmetrics keeps things easy to track all the visits on your website, as well as what they do and where they come from.
Through using this software, you have the ability to super focus in on what is exactly bringing visitors to your site and keep replicating it.
Unlike other analytical tools, Kissmetrics dives deep into the ROI of your account.
Some of the incredible features of Kissmetrics include reports of how many opt-in and outs, extensive A/B split test reports, as well as how people are behaving on your site.
Kissmetrics operates on a principle of volume as to cost. With the lowest of plans beginning at $200 and moving up the chain to $2000. Kissmetrics is the brain-child of super-entrepreneur Neil Patel and you can have the opportunity to try it free for 30 days.
2) Social Searcher
Social Searcher is a set of tools that believes in having some serious power under the hood! There is no sign-up even required and you can begin by entering in your brand name. It is literally that easy! The program offers an easy to use interface with simple side-by-side reports for Facebook, Twitter, as Google+.
Through Social Searcher, you can also generate detailed analytics. The free version will show you such information as how many posts per hour, day, or even week.
When you upgrade to a premium package you have many more options available to you. Included features of the premium package include email notifications as well as the ability to export data directly to Excel.
You can get started with Social Searcher for free or upgrade for around $30.
Have you ever wanted to dive into your Twitter followers and learn more about them…if you are that brave?
By using this tool that was developed (bought out) by Moz, you have the ability to find out:
- where your followers are from
- when they are active
- how long they have been on Twitter
Followerwonk presents all of this information in easy to understand charts and graphs. This allows you to connect with the most active users in your niche and follow the type of content that is being actively shared.
Followerwonk’s basic service can be used for free.
To unlock all of the features, you will need a Moz Pro account which starts out a $99 a month.
5) Sprout Social
Sprout Social is much more than your typical social media management software. You are able to create reports for multiple Facebook and Twitter profiles.
This enables you to easily follow multiple niche accounts. The reports give you more information than you could possibly use and is very user-friendly.
Sprout Social allows you to generate engagement reports that allow you to analyze response times, follow trends, as well as workflows.
This is a tool that will be used for multiple tasks throughout the day and will become the essential go-to tool.
Social Sprout begins at just $59 per month.
6) Google Analytics
Perhaps the granddaddy of analytic tools on our list, Google Analytics has superb social media metrics that will enable you to measure the conversion values of your social media efforts. (Note: make sure to use with Google Tag Manager)
The problem with Google Analytics is there is more of a learning curve involved with setting it up and understanding some of the terminology.
However, once you do get set up the information you receive will have a large impact on your social media efforts.
Google Analytics requires you to input more information than the other options on our list.
GA is best used to find out where your visitors are coming from and which social media channels are the most relevant.
For those who are on a budget, the free price tag of Google Analytics is highly valued, and can’t be beat. Some will not use it because of privacy concerns, but that’s not you?
Perhaps one of the very helpful social media tools on the market right now is Social Mention.
This tool will provide you with all the information you need to analyze your keywords and top influencers in the market. (Note: there are many others, like Radian6 (Salesforce) and buzzsumo that can be used for larger corporations and projects.)
SocialMention manages to combine all of these various metrics and give you everything you need to know about your target audience. It’s easy to expert keywords and data into CSV files.
This can be a huge time saver when trying to determine content needs and offers.
And searching and monitoring for your brand reputation is an important part of your ongoing digital marketing work.
This is another tool that has made it to the list, simply based on its ease of use.
If you are like us, you do not want to read a 100 page manual just to get started. With SocialMention all you have to do is type in your brand name and the software gets to work!
A tool like that you would expect to be paying for in blood, but this is another essential that is free to use.
If you have been struggling with keeping track of your social media accounts and overall market research, you can rest easier and become more productive with any of these featured tools.
You will now have all the data you need at the tips of your fingers, enabling you to make much more informed decisions as to what you should be posting and when among other issues.
There is a tool for every budget as well. Whether you are just starting out or already have several clients under your belt.
Do not leave your social media marketing tracking and management to chance, start using one of these tools today and see the difference they can make.
FAVORABLE MENTIONS: (we like both)
Jon Rognerud and Chaosmap work with Fortune 500 companies, small business and entrepreneurs to create digital traffic strategies that scales up customers, leads and sales. Mr. Rognerud wrote a best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur). Connect directly here.