The rise of Big Data has prompted many merchants to utilize data analysis for informed marketing decisions. With its vast amount of data available, social media is an important channel to track. A number of companies now produce tools intended for that purpose.
Here are six of the leading free and low cost social media analytics tools.
Due to its ability to integrate with and track data from Shopify, eBay, and Etsy, Social Report is one of two analytics tools on this list designed for ecommerce companies.
Social Report also tracks many social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, as well as sites like Vimeo, Reddit, Xing, and Slideshare.
In addition, Social Report integrates with web analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Clicky, business review sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor, and the content management platforms Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress.
Social Report one of the most comprehensive social analytics tools on this list. And with plans starting at $9 per month, it is easily one of the more affordable.
Social Mention is a free analytics tool intended for real time search on blogs, microblogs, social bookmarking sites, images, and videos. Although it lacks features found on the other platforms, it is ideal for performing a quick search of a company’s brand name and products.
In addition to search returns, Social Mention provides the following meta data.
- Strength. The likelihood a brand is being talked about in social media.
- Sentiment. Ratio of positive to negative mentions.
- Passion. Degree of advocacy for a brand measured by repeat mentions.
- Reach. Level of a brand’s influence.
Also included is a list of the top users, keywords, hashtags, and sources.
Users who wish to keep an ongoing record of social media activity surrounding their brand can download reports to a .csv file or track updates via email alerts or RSS.
Simply Measured, an analytics tool designed for large companies and advertising agencies, is priced well beyond the budget of smaller merchants. It makes the list only because it offers a number of helpful free reports, such as:
- Twitter followers;
- Twitter customer service analysis;
- Facebook Page, Google+ and LinkedIn Company page data;
- Facebook content analysis, Insights, and competitive analysis;
- Vine Tweet analysis and Instagram user data.
For example, the Twitter follower report contains follower demographics, Klout influence scores, top keywords and topics, and a list of the most influential followers.
If tools that provide the ability to analyze social media data aren’t impressive enough, how about one that combines all your business data into a single dashboard?
Cyfe is an all-in-one business dashboard application that enables merchants to monitor and analyze not just social media, but other forms of business data into a single location.
Here is the list of categories.
- Advertising (Google AdWords, AdSense, Marchex).
- Blogging (WordPress).
- Email (AWeber, Constant Contact, Gmail, MailChimp, and others).
- Brand Monitoring (Google Alerts, Google Trends, Pingdom).
- Sales & Finance (FreshBooks, Infusionsoft, PayPal, Salesforce).
- SEO (Google Webmaster Tools, Moz, SERPS.com).
- Social Media (AddThis, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and others).
- Web Analytics (Alexa, Compete, Google Analytics, Quantcast, and others).
Dashboard items appear as tiled widgets. Here is a sample dashboard I created using MailChimp, Google Analytics, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Users can create dashboards tied to different types of data such as social media, sales, web analytics, and marketing.
Cyfe offers a free plan, but it is limited to the use of up to five widgets. A Premium plan is available that costs $19 per month and provides users with unlimited dashboards and widgets. Premium plans also come with a TV viewing mode, which automatically rotates dashboards for big screen monitors.
Generally considered a posting application, Sprout Social offers an analytics dashboard designed to track social media engagement activity in near real time.
Users can see audience demographics, activity across all social profiles, recent followers, as well as statistics on unique visits, page impressions, and interactions.
Reports cover Facebook Page and Twitter activity, sent messages for Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and comparisons against competitors.
Pricing for Sprout Social starts at $39 per user per month.
The best way to describe SumAll, the second application that supports ecommerce to make the list, is “robust.” Not only does it integrate with an array of ecommerce platforms, but a number of payment gateways, as well.
Here is the complete list.
- Shopping Carts
- Payment Gateways
- Amazon Payments
- Simplify Commerce
SumAll also provides data from major social networks, email services, blogs, SEO tools, and web analytics.
Data from different sources can be combined to provide a detailed, comprehensive picture of the effect social media has in converting likes and followers into traffic and sales.
Due to the level of sophistication and diversity in which data can be analyzed, merchants may find that SumAll requires a steep learning curve. Ample training and support materials are available on the site to help, however.
SumAll is currently in beta and is free to use.