Much to the relief of social media managers, 2013 seems to be the year when more sophisticated social media analytic tools will become widely available. For years, we’ve been faced with a frustrating reality that social media activities were difficult to track, which made the task of setting key performance indicators (KPIs) an arduous task. While the development of new tools is encouraging for marketers, it is still challenging to determine which tools are best for measuring and reporting on your social media programs.
Social Media Analytics Strategies
In preparation for a webinar, I attended Eye For Travel’s Social Media & Mobile Strategies for Travel Conference. Many of our industry’s digital thought leaders came together for lively, information-rich sessions at the event, yet there was one session that really stood out. Barbara Pezzi, an analytics evangelist from Fairmont Raffles (FRHI), presented on the importance of tracking the right analytics for your social media activities.
During the session, she showed the audience how to properly set up social media tracking URLs in Google Analytics (GA), dug deep into the GA platform to show referral traffic, multi-channel funnels and campaign reports, and provided some very important ideas to keep in mind when measuring the effectiveness of your social media initiatives. Barbara urges us, when setting up our social media tracking, to remember the following:
- Tie social media campaigns to business goals and then measure accordingly
- Measure our social media results, not our activities (“We don’t get paid to gather Likes and followers; we get paid to convert business.”)
- Focus on useful and actionable metrics; if your reporting does not provide valuable insights, revisit your metrics
- Start with web analytics before investing in a proprietary solution; without a foundational analytics strategy in place, even the most sophisticated tool will be rendered useless
- Accept that we will need multiple tools, as no single measurement platform will provide all the social media analytics needed
Social Media Analytics Tools
Barbara followed up these assertions with a list of useful social analytics tools that are worth trying out, in addition to the Google Analytics platform. (Please note that many of these tools charge a monthly subscription fee and will work most effectively when combined with Revinate’s social media platform.)
Barbara’s list includes:
Multiple Social Networks:
- Actionly – provides social media monitoring, social integration with Google Analytics and a workflow model for social media management
- Consumer Barometer – provides insight into how consumers use online and offline information sources in their purchase process
- Crowdbooster – provides real-time Twitter and Facebook analytics, allows users to customize the data range, shows which messages had the highest engagement and identify biggest social advocates
- Simply Measured – provides easy Social Media Measurement and Analytics for data-driven agencies and social media managers; offers free reports on Facebook Pages, Twitter profiles, Google+ pages, Pinterest accounts, YouTube channels and Instagram posts
- True Social Metrics – inspired by analytics guru Avinash Kaushik, it provides insights on his four “best social media metrics”: conversion rate, amplification rate, applause rate and economic value
- Tweet Reach – provides analysis of tweets that match searched for terms as well as reports the exposure and reach data for those tweets
- All My Plus – provides social analytics data on your Google+ page profile as well as your page’s followers, circles and communities that you are a member of
Pinterest & Instagram:
- Curalate – provides visual analytics of your brand’s images on Pinterest and Instagram at a pixel level to measure conversations around your brand’s visual content
- Pin Alerts – provides the same functionality as Google Alerts, where the site notifies you whenever via email whenever a user has pinned content related to your brand or searches you have set up
- Piqora – provides a suite of Pinterest analytics on pins, boards, clicks and pages that help brands engage, grow and measure their audience on Pinterest.
Each of the above tools provides useful insight into your social media activities across multiple social networks and can help report on your social KPIs. However, when considering which tools are right for you, remember this Albert Einstein quote that Barbara closed her session with: “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” By measuring the results and not the activities, you will be on your way to effectively reporting on your social media efforts.