These days, businesses across every industry are investing in social media marketing. But no matter how great your social media content is or how many people follow your accounts, you won't be able to grow your audience, reach, and presence if you don't understand the data behind it all.
In-depth knowledge about the status and success of your social media marketing will offer actionable insight into things like which strategies should remain in place and what you should change or experiment with in order to grow. Social media analytics tools are able to help you with just that.In this post, we cover the following:
- What is social media analytics?
- Why use social media analytics?
- How to track social media analytics
- Best social media analytics tools
Social Media Analytics
In this blog post, we'll review the importance of social media analytics and some great options to help you measure your social media marketing success.
What is social media analytics?
Social media analytics is the process of gathering, analyzing, and applying data, information, and reports related to the content shared on your social profiles and the social profiles themselves.
Why use social media analytics?
With social media analytics, you can:
- Understand the metrics that matter most to your team and business such as engagement, reposts, shares, clicks, impressions, and sessions.
- Identify effective ways to boost brand awareness and reach.
- Resonate with your audience.
- Boost traffic to your other content and website.
- Increase conversions.
- Improve customer loyalty.
How to Track Social Media Analytics
Here are the steps involved in tracking social media analytics
- Identify which social media platforms you'll be measuring impact on (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram).
- Determine which metrics you're doing to track (e.g. clicks, impressions, likes, shares).
- Choose a time period to analyze (e.g. last quarter, last month, last week, duration of your campaign).
- Determine which tools you'll use to track and measure success (we'll cover your options in the next section).
- Review and analyze your data (depending on your tool of choice, there may be internal features to help you understand and analyze your data — such as this one with HubSpot).
- Apply your findings and conclusions to improve growth in the future.
Best Social Media Analytics Tools
- Sprout Social
- Social Status
HubSpot provides a deep look into the way social media impacts your bottom line and gives you the ability to report on social media ROI. View and compare performance across different platforms, campaigns, and publishing times — all from a single tool.
Monitor your brand on social to understand how your target audience perceives your business and content. Additionally, YouTube Reports provide insight into how your audience and buyer personas engage with your videos. Lastly, effectively reach certain audiences by using data and context from the Contacts in your CRM (which this social tool integrates seamlessly with).
Feature highlights: Social campaign publisher, social mentions monitoring, social reports
Sprout Social is a social media planning service with expansive analytics and reports that help you understand the performance of all of your social accounts.
Configure and customize reports and metrics to help you scale your business's presence on social. And if you're a HubSpot customer, integrate your CRM with Sprout Social to collect and view accurate reports all in one place.
Feature highlights: Competitor comparison tool, integrated publishing and engagement tools, social listening
Brandwatch is a consumer intelligence tool and social media management solution with analytics capabilities.
Social insights like social listening and competitor benchmarking can inform your content creation. You can gain a better understanding of the audiences engaging with your social content with audience profile cards. View key data in one place with customizable dashboards.
Feature highlights: Audience profile cards, customizable dashboards
Mailchimp is a full-service marketing platform that offers analytics for social media ads. It's easy to use for small marketing teams and requires little time to pour over the accompanying analytics.
With Mailchimp, you'll have an audience dashboard, which is a page dedicated to understanding audience behavior. Additionally, the software offers tools to look into smart targeting and mobile integrations. These tools can diversify a social strategy and deliver higher engagement numbers by helping you create content that specific audiences will respond to.
Feature highlights: Content optimizer with AI-assisted suggestions, content studio for managing digital assets
Keyhole is an all-in-one social media analytics tool that’s trusted by 100,000+ brands like Amazon, Google, Spotify, and more. The tool supports the top social media platforms for social listening, profile tracking, trend analysis, and influencer marketing.
You can set your custom dashboard and see your profile metrics like engagement rate, follower growth, reach, impressions, and more in one place. The best part is you can even track competitors and check what’s working for them or not.
Moreover, in one shot, you can discover the best time to post and schedule unlimited posts to your favorite platforms.
Feature highlights: Custom dashboard, automated report generation
Social Status is a dedicated social media analytics tool with robust reporting features. The platform comprehensively covers Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Social Status reports can be completely customized and white-labeled making them perfect for agencies and brands with complex requirements. Reports can be exported to PDF, PowerPoint, and Google Slides. The tool also covers paid and organic performance, competitor benchmarking, and influencer campaign tracking all in one powerful social analytics tool.
Feature highlights: Social media reports across multiple channels, influencer campaign tracking
Databox is an expansive analytics platform that lets you set and track social media campaign goals. It's a good choice for businesses that have many contacts, social accounts, campaign goals, and target audiences.
Customize metrics that matter most to your campaign or social channels for your reports. Any integration you have, such as HubSpot, will be visible from your dashboard as well.
Feature highlights: Dashboard designer, custom metric builder
Grow users gain full visibility into engagement on all of the social accounts. The tool integrates with HubSpot, Salesforce, Google Ads, Facebook, Marketo, and Microsoft Office so you can view all data in one place.
Grow breaks down complex data into graphs and visuals, and your social reports are easily sharable which is helpful if multiple people are working on the same project. Grow's reports are built with metrics chosen by the user — meaning, you can customize reports in a way that works for your needs.
Feature highlights: Data modeling, dashboards
ActiveCampaign is an email marketing software with social media features including reporting. You can connect Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and other platforms to gather insights related to performance.
Since you'll have both social media and email metrics in one place, this is a good option for businesses with a heavy email marketing focus. Additionally, ActiveCampaign's reports track what contacts do after they click through to your site. Further, if you're a HubSpot customer, the software integrates with your CRM.
Feature highlights: Site tracking, landing pages, reports
Meltwater is a global company specializing in media intelligence and social listening. They provide software solutions and services to help businesses monitor their online presence, track media coverage, and gain insights from social media and other online sources.
Meltwater collects data from various online channels, including social media platforms, news websites, blogs, and forums. Their social media analytics capabilities allow businesses to understand their brand's reputation and industry trends.
Feature highlights: Sentiment Analysis, Demographic Analysis, Influencer Identification, Social Media Reach and Engagement, Trend Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Campaign Performance Measurement
CoSchedule gathers social network, campaign, and engagement data for your profiles and compiles that real-time data into reports.
On your dashboard, compare multiple campaigns to determine the evolving ecosystem of audiences. You'll also be able to see the top fans of your social accounts, making it easier to create targeted content for them (and followers like them).
Feature highlights: Content organizer, dashboard
Hootsuite is a social media calendar and planner with analytics capabilities. In one streamlined place, you can measure and analyze performance across different social media platforms.
Reports inform the best times to post based on when your audience is the most active and identify top-performing posts. Pre-built templates make reports customizable and easy to digest.
Feature highlights: Customizable report templates, recommended posting times
If you're a brand, social media is a valuable tool for e-commerce. According to HubSpot's Social Media Report, 50% of survey respondents said social shopping is very important to their overall social media marketing strategy.
Bazaarvoice helps make your content shoppable with their link in bio solution called Like2Buy. You'll be able to retarget shoppers who clicked the link by creating lookalike audiences and segmenting social campaigns. Tools like Showroom turns your content into a storefront. Bazaarvoice also helps measure ROI from your social commerce efforts.
Feature highlights: Link in bio solution, pop-up shop
Buffer measures and analyzes how your content performs across different social channels. With Buffer, you'll be able to gain insight into how your organic content compares to boosted posts, measure engagement for individual posts and stories, and figure out your audience demographics.
You can also extract data to help you determine the best time to post and the optimal posting frequency.
Feature highlights: Custom reports, daily updates
BuzzSumo helps with social content creation with tools like the Content Analyzer — by using the Content Analyzer, you will be able to figure out what topics receive the greatest engagement, broken down by platform.
BuzzSumo can also analyze the social engagement your content receives. This way, you will be able to see the number of shares from each platform and use these insights to determine which pieces of content to focus on in the future.
Feature highlights: Keyword tool, real-time view of trends, Content Analyzer
Choose a Social Media Analytics Tool
Ultimately, choosing the right social media analytics tools for your business shouldn't be a stressful process. The tools should align with your business goals and deliver the metrics you need to be successful. So review the options above and choose the right one for your business.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in March 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.