I created a list of the top social analytics tools on list.ly and, because it’s crowdsourced, the list grew to 37 from my original list of 15. Not only has the list grown through your additions (keep ’em coming) and more useful through your votes, but because new social analytics tools emerge all the time. If your favorite tool isn’t on the list, be sure to add it.
As the list grew, I realized it was less useful because there were too many tools and not enough guidance on which tools you need. Hence, this post guides you through the social analytics tools listed and adds a few more for good measure.
Enterprise-level social analytics tools
A number of tools on the list are really designed for enterprise-level organizations due to their cost, but also the complexity involved in using the tool.
Among the enterprise-level tools are:
- Radian6 was originally a stand-alone tool, but now it’s part of Salesforce.com.
- SAS social media analytics – I don’t know much about this one, but I’ve used other SAS products and they’re fantastic.
- SAP also offers a combination of social media analytics, CRM software solutions. I don’t know much about it but have great respect for the brand.
- Blitzmetrics – although they offer less powerful solutions for small businesses and agencies.
- Oracle – they also offer a less expensive option for smaller businesses.
- Adobe Marketing Cloud
Free social analytics tools
Some social analytics tools are totally free, while some offer free trials. Here, I’m just listing the ones that are free forever. Most use a fremium model that provides limited social media analytics then charges for more insights.
- Google analytics – this, of course, is the big tuna of free social media analytics tools. It only handles website data, but it’s incredibly powerful in terms of providing insights about what’s happening on your website, especially when linked with Webmaster Tools (another Google product, also free). If you’re a webmaster, you’re absolutely crazy if you don’t install the Google Analytics tracking code on your sites and pay careful attention to the performance of your site across the metrics provided — including insights on the performance of your social media marketing as it relates to building web traffic and conversion. Google also offers an enterprise-level social media monitoring tool.
- Hootsuite – I love Hootsuite, but its social analytics tools are pretty paltry and you must pay to get even simple reports, such as Google Analytics. So, use Hootsuite for its publishing capability, but forget the reports.
- Simply Measured – offers limited free reports, but they’re very valuable.
- Various social networks offer free social analytics tools, including Twitter (finally), Pinterest, and Facebook. Among these, Facebook has the most robust social analytics tools including Power Editor. A must for anyone using these networks.
Social media listening
Some tools listed in the social analytics tools list function mainly as listening tools — an important, but limited area within social media analytics.
- Social Ears
Used correctly, these tools not only provide good assessments of sentiment but can help you identify important conversational trends and provide tools for customer service. Social Ears also provides some tools to improve your content marketing efforts.
Increasingly important as social media matures is real-time social media analytics. I recently published a post dealing with the many challenges associated with real-time social media analytics, but these are increasingly important not only for improving customer service but providing appropriate content.
- Webfluenz – real-time for web only
- UberVU – primarily designed to track conversations about your brand and competitors
A couple of social media tools deserve special attention because they offer a unique take on social media analytics. The first is Curalate, which offers analytics tools for images on Instagram, Pinterest, etc. As the web becomes more visual, such image analysis is more important.
The second is Beckon, which doesn’t measure what’s going on in YOUR social network but builds testable analytics based on how real consumers will likely respond to your marketing efforts.
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