If you’re using Google Analytics to monitor traffic, you’ve already won half the battle – especially if you’re using the data to improve results.
But what about social media? Sure, Google Analytics already tells you what percentage of your traffic comes from social media links. What it doesn’t tell you, however, are things like how others share content that appears on your site or how many people your Facebook page actually reaches in a given day.
These are all functions of social media analytics, and lots of organisations are using them to understand and improve upon their outreach efforts all over the Web. Here are four of the best tools for monitoring social actions:
1. Simply Measured
One of the new big kahunas of social media analytics, Simply Measured now boasts Fortune 500 companies and well-known digital media brands as users.
If you’re running a small business, Simply Measured might give you way more than you could ever need analytics-wise. Still, it’s good to know what’s out there, and understanding how larger companies track and monitor their social media reach can help you improve your own practices on a smaller scale.
With Simply Measured, you get competitive analysis for social impact, Facebook and Twitter analytics, and a full suite of monitoring and reporting tools. It’s really a lot, and you need not even worry about the big data analytics “stuff” happening on the backend. All data is clearly rendered, and reports look polished and professional.
For businesses trying to generate more buzz through their Facebook pages, PageLever may be worth a look.
While it’s a totally Facebook-centric analytics solution, PageLever gives you literally all the monitoring and reporting tools you could ever need to get the most out of your Facebook page. You can see where your “likes” are coming from and who in your audience is leaving. The whole point is understanding how and where you’re receiving the most attention so that you can start building a higher quality audience – definitely a better strategy than just racking up as many “likes” as possible.
PageLever isn’t free, however, and is mean for businesses prepare to invest heavily in their Facebook pages. If that sounds like you, there’s nothing to lose from at least giving it a trial run.
If you’re thinking this must be the same thing as Bit.ly, you would be correct. Sort of.
Yes, Tiny.ly is another URL shortener, but that’s not all it is. Sign up with Tin.ly, and start getting real-time click stats and other analytical data that can improve your social media strategy. While Bit.ly already gives you click stats and referral details, Tiny.ly gives you all that plus real-time updates.
It’s not particularly robust – hey, they’re giving it away for free – but for small operations, Tiny.ly packs a pretty big analytics punch.
4. Google Social Plugin
Another lightweight social media analytics tool, the Google social plugin tells you which articles on your site receive the most Facebook “likes,” Twitter tweets, +1s, and other shares. You can then use the tool to generate social engagement reports.
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Meant to work alongside your standard analytics reporting, this plugin takes Google Analytics to the next level. And if you’re a very small business or solo entrepreneur who only runs one site, it may be all you ever need for social tracking.
Whether you choose a big solution or a lightweight one, using social media analytics is a big step. It means you’re ready to work for more traction in the social sphere – and with better data, your efforts are sure to be more effective.