2015 was a great year for Content marketers and brand owners. Social analytics and video marketing are likely to be the key marketing trends for 2016. The pace of technology has altered the way we view digital and connect with our customers. Most small business and Startup founders are talking about customer engagement and social presence beyond the customary likes and one-post-a-month schedules. Brands that will stand-out in 2016 will leverage the power of the community and create a strong ROI based on measurable data-backed decisions. We talked to global social media experts and influencers to share with us their top social analytics tools for the coming year. Keep this list printed out next to your marketing plans!
The top tools listed include: Native analytics support by social platforms, Buffer, Klout, Novi, SproutSocial, Moz Pro, BuzzSumo, Google Analytics, KeyHole, Hootsuite, Iconosquare, Raven Tools, TweetDeck, ShareTally. Read further to know which ones you need to adopt and why these tools work so well!
Come for our first 2016 digital marketing workshop on Jan 15 (3pm to 6pm) in Delhi, India. Ask for details and register at firstname.lastname@example.org
16 Top Social Analytics Tools For 2016
#Tools 1 to 3: Native Analytics at Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook
1. Ken Herron, CMO, Unified Inbox– Twitter’s native analytics
My two go-to Twitter analytics and search tools? Twitter’s own analytics and search. I’ve tried many different apps, tools, and websites, but I always come back to the native apps for a simple reason — they work! Yes, it’s a bonus that they’re free – I don’t know a marketer alive who doesn’t get the stink eye from their CFO for all the monthly tool subscriptions they use – and even better, they work flawlessly on my mobile phone.
Ken Herron is the CMO of Unified Inbox, and voted #2 CMO on Twitter.
2.Maggie Kravchuk, Rubenstein, PR
Me personally, I enjoy using the tools already built into existing platforms. For one these tools are entirely free and they provide a very in-depth look into how your account is performing on social media. One of the most thorough is of course none other than social media giant Facebook, their analytics tools can break down reach and engagement by post and even provide insight into what type of engagement the post is receiving (are people clicking the link, are they simply liking, etc.). These are effective tools to use, for example, if you notice that people are liking the post but for some reason not clicking through to the link – then you can determine what you need to do to achieve that conversion! In addition, Facebook allows you to look at the demographic of your audience and pinpoint which days/times they are active. Twitter also has an analytics feature, and while it is not as robust, it does give you a fairly decent picture of how your account is performing and also allows you to look into the analytics by narrowing it down to a specific day or range of days. It also provides post by post analytics so that you can determine how people are engaging with your post. There are several other great platforms out there, some more popular than others, but it doesn’t get better than free and easy to access for every person involved!
Maggie Kravchuk has had work experience on social media brand management and now works for Rubenstein PR.
3. Tina Chan, Social Media Manager, GEECL
My favorite social media analytics tool is actually LinkedIn analytics. Working in a B2B field, LinkedIn’s analytics are sensitive enough to track your audience by industry, seniority, function, and company size. This helps significantly when you’re targeting your audience and evaluating the effectiveness of your LinkedIn channel as a whole. Are you reaching the right audience? Who is looking at your content? Are you reaching the right people in your target companies? LinkedIn has a number of shortcomings, don’t get me wrong, but it captures a snapshot of your company’s audience better than most of the other social media channels that don’t track these demographics.
Tina Chan is a Social Media Manager at Great Eastern Energy who is fascinated by the way social media has shaped the age of information.
4. Carrie Aulenbacher, Author
I’ve found Twitter analytics to have been a great help in building my author presence from the ground up. I’m still starting out but well on my way because it shows me in real time what feedback I’m getting on each tweet. I’m one click away from it right in my Twitter profile, even! The charts give me a good visual so I can keep shooting for higher numbers each month. I can watch the response per number of daily tweets and I can break down when each tweet peaks to better determine what time of day my audience is most active.
Carrie Aulenbacher, is the author of ‘The Early Bird Café’ and a secretary at a Building Management Firm in Erie, PA.
#Tool 4: Buffer
5. Lyda Mclallen, Marketing expert (publishing)
I used to use Hootsuite, but I switched to Buffer. Buffer is simpler, scan-able and makes publishing content on 6+ social media channels faster. The team at Buffer are very friendly and will reply to your emails quickly. Buffer is minimalistic and Hootsuite is a little bit crowded.
Lyda Mclallen has worked in the marketing and publishing industry for the past 4 years in a variety of positions including publicity and event planning.
On the social analytics side, I have been using Buffer for more that an year now, and it’s downright fantastic. The app is very intuitive as far as the functionality goes. The Top Tweet/Post tab really helps take a quick glance at how your social networks are doing, even when you’re running short of time – it also helps quickly fish out and re-buffer (re-share) the ones that have done well. I have been receiving a social media analytics report from Buffer every week – it is pretty much all the data one needs. Isn’t if great when the app is super easy to use, and you do not need a crash course to understand its weekly reports.
Niraj Ranjan Rout is the founder of Hiver (formerly GrexIt)
#Tool 5: Klout
7. Martin Harrison, Co-founder, Copify
My favorite social media analytics tool by far is Klout. It is brilliant, not only for helping me to measure the impact of the content that we share, but also to help me curate the most popular, impactful content in our industry. This is perfect for companies such as ours who struggle to produce lots of new content on a regular basis. Curating the work of others helps us to present ourselves as thought leaders, without having to invest time or budget in producing content.
Martin Harrison is co-founder of online content service Copify
# Tool 6: Nuvi
8. Michelle Johnson, Communications director, Obrella
I would have to say my favorite social media analytics tool is Nuvi. Nuvi is a software that generates real time analytics to help track specific demographics, keywords and phrases, geo-targeted audiences, conversion rates, industry trends, competitor analysis, and much more. It’s special because it’s the only tool that actually provides real-time results. As you set up specific monitors that relate to your brand/ company, Nuvi will pull all the social reactions that are happening in the moment. It trolls the web and targets each conversation that is talking about the monitor you set up. This means that if you want to find out who’s talking about “car insurance”, Nuvi will track those conversation and provide real-time results to show you who’s talking about car insurance on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vimeo, blog sites, etc. Their software is very user friendly, and they also provide you with an account manager when you sign up for membership. I have recommended Nuvi to several other people, and I always hear great results from their experience.
Michelle Johnson is the External Communications Director for Obrella.com.
9. Kevin Pike, President, Rank Fuse Interactive
My favorite SM analytics tool is NUVI. I have tested a lot of tools that do a great job of measuring aggregate data and spitting out a recap, but NUVI has a unique way of score influencers, color coding sentiment, and finding trends in real-time. For companies looking for real-time analytics, NUVI’s unique bubble stream is hard to beat. With NUVI you can monitor your own custom hashtags, keywords, and brand mentions globally. Nuvi also provides audience demographic data as well as engagement data that can be further used to guide your content marketing and ad messaging.
Kevin Pike is the President of Rank Fuse Interactive, a digital marketing expert located in Kansas City. He has 12 years of experience helping agencies & businesses improve their online marketing efforts through SEO, SEM, and social media services.
# Tool 7: Moz Pro
10. Kirsten Bailey, Founder, 5 Starr Salon and Spa
My favorite analytics tool for social media is Moz Pro. Moz lets me monitor my website’s domain authority and shows how many shares and retweets our posts have on each social media channel. This lets me know which posts do the best and which ones are not good.
Name: Kirsten Bailey is the Founder/Owner of 5 Starr Salon and Spa
#Tool 8: KeyHole
11. Vanhishikha Bhargava, Digital Storyteller Brandanew
Keyhole is a real-time hashtag tracking tool for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It offers a simple visual dashboard that is not just easy to comprehend, but also shareable. It offers a) Simple search – keywords, hashtag, URL; b) Visual, easy to understand dashboard ; c) Easy reporting – shareable URL to show live data ; d) Downloadable data – XLS or CSV. You work smart.
Vanhishikha is a social media marketer and has been Brandanew’s digital storyteller.
# Tool 9: BuzzSumo
12. Adam Busch, Content Marketer, RentLingo
I find that BuzzSumo is, by far, the most unique and useful tool for working with Twitter. In many ways, Twitter is limited for brand exposure except when using it to encourage influencer marketing. Because BuzzSumo allows for the easiest way to identify the influencers within the industry that you are targeting with your content, it unlocks Twitter’s essential application for business: viral content exposure.
Adam Busch is a Content Marketer and SEO Specialist for RentLingo
13. Alayna Frankenberry, Social Media Marketer, the Content Factory
Enter a site’s url and instantly see its most shared pages broken down by social network. You can limit search results to the past day, week, month, six months or year. I constantly use this tool to gauge which of my clients’ pages are being shared the most. It also allows me to measure the popularity of blog posts I’ve written for clients and when I see what’s working, I’m able to adjust my content strategy to create even more optimized posts! Click on the “trending now” tab and you can also see which articles are going viral across the web. It’s a great way to source content to share on your social channels — and to get more ideas for blog topics.
Alayna Frankenberry is a social media marketer for The Content Factory. Over the years, she’s managed social media accounts for a variety of clients from Fairtrade America to Astroglide.
14. Laurence Bradford, Creator, Learntocodewith.me
My favorite social media analytics tool is BuzzSumo, without a doubt. It allows me to spy on my competitors essentially. It also shows my most popular content, which day of the week social media sharing happens the most (across platforms), my article word count that gets the most shares, and more. Buzzsumo is pricer than other tools out there, but the value it brings is undeniable.
Laurence Bradford is the creator of learntocodewith.me, an online resource for those teaching themselves digital skills.
#Tool 10: SproutSocial
15. Dianne Dixon, Social Media book marketer and author
I was working for a social media person and I got introduced to SproutSocial. The minute I saw the dashboard, I was in love. After using another popular tool that I wasn’t too fond of this was a breath of fresh air. I had a full view of all of my stats across all media and then general stats broken down by specific media. All the messages I have received are shown and can be filtered by media along with message type. I can schedule messages multiple times a week or however I need them sent and I can see which messages are scheduled when so that I avoid collisions. The reports interface is also great. I can see my sent message, how many replies and responses I received as well as the ability to download the results as a CSV file. I also have the ability to mark messages as complete in bulk. I can see my Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts all at once, which saves me so much time. To me, it’s such a complete tool that I have no need to go with anyone else!
Dianne Dixon is a published author under the pseudonym Palessa and a social media book marketer and online seller. She also owns an agribusiness with her father that includes a farm.
16. Ayelet Golz, Social media and community management specialist, Mack Web
My favorite social media analytics tool is Sprout Social because you can connect multiple social networks into one account and view the stats from Facebook and Twitter altogether. We often pull monthly or post-campaign stats from Sprout Social to make custom graphs and charts. Also, it’s helpful because we have multiple clients’ social media accounts that we manage. And there’s a feature to compare yourself to your competition on Twitter. Lots of advantages to the platform!
Ayelet Golz is the Social Media & Community Management Strategist at Mack Web, a purpose-driven marketing team. She has been working in the social media and community space for nearly 10 years.
17. Bao Nguyen, Social Media Coordinator, Amazing.com
My favorite social media analytics tool is SproutSocial for 3 reasons:
1. SproutSocial monitors brand keywords and brings in all messages from your social profiles to a single stream. This way, you won’t miss a single message or comment about your brand and it’s so easy to respond to your audience. I make sure to monitor this once a day and interact with any audience who was engaged.
2. SproutSocial manages the entire publishing process (drafting, scheduling, queuing) and allows you to plan your content calendar as a team. Their ViralPost feature also allows you to see which times are the best times to reach maximum engagement with your audience.
3. SproutSocial tracks & measures your brand performance across all of your social profiles. This is my most favorite feature because these are the reports I use to communicate social results with the C-Suite.
Bao Nguyen is the Social Media Coordinator for Amazing.com, a technology education company headquartered in Austin, Texas.
18. Jason M. Baumann, Founder & Chief Social Strategist, Boxless Media
When it comes to analytics, we have evaluated many tools and implemented a few over the past few years. One that really stands out (and the one we use most now) is Sprout Social. Sprout is exceptional and many things including publishing, monitoring and analytics. Their reports are quick and easy. They give you all the essential information in a format that both the digital marketing expert and non-tech savvy business owner can comprehend. The best part about it is that it is built right into UI so that data is part of all you do online.
I’m not sure how much more you want to know, but I can talk for hours (or pages) about the power of Sprout. We are a Sprout customer because of their reporting, publishing platform and excellent customer service. We used to use RavenTools which also had some great reporting capabilities but terrible customer service. That made the transition to Sprout very easy.
Jason Baumann is the founder and Chief Digital Strategist of Boxless Media – a Chicago-based digital marketing agency that specializes in social media.
#Tool 11: Google Analytics
19. Hassan Nawaz, Founder, Bidthrone
Do I use social media tools? More like do I ever NOT use social media tools? Being a marketer, social media is part of the job, and staying up to date with every platform is essential. Thus, my favourite social media analytics is Google analytics. What’s special about Google Analytics as appose to other analytic tools? Google Analytics allows me to get real time information about my users, followers and viewers without overburdening the information flow. The geographic location about my most active users is given to me, and constantly updating as the data changes. Along with this, google analytics has Advance Segmentations through I can analyze each marketing campaign that I run individually. What’s essential to every marketer is staying informed as to what aspect of the website their users like most, thus Google has in page analytics which automatically tells you which part of the website is clicked on the most. Last but certainly not least, are the funnels which allow me to analyze where the user has dropped the shopping cart on the website. Through this, I can determine what needs changing, or what may have triggered the dropping of the shopping cart.
Hassan has a knack for innovation, a maven in marketing and is obsessed with startups! Currently he is completing his HBA at the University of Toronto, and is keen on reviving vintage auctions under one platform called BidThrone.
#Tool 12: ShareTally
20. Chris Arter, Public Relations Manager, Webimax
My favorite social media analytics tool right now is Share Tally. It’s a great way to get instant feedback on your PR efforts as well as the quality and relevancy of you content. With Share Tally you simply copy and paste the URL of the content you are measuring, and it tallies up activity, i.e., shares, likes, comments and pins, across 20 different social platforms.
Chris Arter is the Public Relations Manager for leading Digital Marketer WebiMax
#Tool 13: Hootsuite
21. Rachel Parker, CEO, Resonance
I’d have to say my favorite social media analytics tool is Hootsuite. It gives me a single source for analytics from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and it can even pull in Google Analytics. The reports are visually appealing and easy to read, and they provide just the right amount of information without teetering into data overload.
22. Denise Morrison, Member, Continental Blinds and Care
My favorite social media tool that we use at Continental Blinds is HootSuite. Our team has to cover many different roles, so this program allows us to receive notifications through email. This way we can be more efficient with our daily tasks and we don’t have to be constantly monitoring the social media pages. We set up a monthly social media report through Hootsuite that generates the report on the first of the month.
Denise Morrison is a Member of the Ohio based family run business, Continental Blinds and Care, serving all of Ohio with blind fashions, cleaning and repairs since 1994.
#Tool 14: TweetDeck
23. Patrick Antinozzi, owner, RapidWebLaunch
I have a few tools I use to monitor social media, but seeing as Twitter is my favorite social network to market my business on, I love using Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck makes monitoring super easy, allowing you to create as many feeds as you like, and line them up side by side. Each feed can be dedicated to following specific users, searches, or keywords, with many customization features to further fine-tune it. I like to monitor 12-15 keywords and phrases on Twitter, and Tweetdeck helps me keep an eye on each of these with real-time monitoring. Oh, and all of this is completely free, making it even more attractive for small businesses on a tight budget.
Patrick Antinozzi is the owner of RapidWebLaunch, a small firm specializing in affordable web design and online marketing.
#Tool 15: Raven Tools
24. Justin Kerby, Managing Partner, CaveSocial
At Cave, we use Raven Tools to analyze all of our social media efforts. Raven puts together reports that we customize for each of our clients, depending on the metrics that they need to see. From Facebook Page growth to LinkedIn reach, Raven Tools makes it easy for us to stay on top of our analytics. They even let us customize their reports to include proper logos and branding. I recommend them highly.
Justin Kerby is a Founder and Managing Partner at Cave Social, a digital marketing agency with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Vancouver, and Toronto. He specializes in digital marketing and content creation and works with clients across the USA, Canada, and Internationally.
#Tool 16: Iconosquare
25. David Mitchell, Social Media Head, Lane Gainer Sports
I’ve found Iconosquare to be very useful for monitoring Instagram. The dashboard is user friendly. It includes options to interact with those you follow, to see media you’ve posted or media you’ve liked, it tracks interactions and narrows down the best times/days to post based on the activity of your followers. The recent addition of a reposting tool is also helpful!
David Mitchell is in charge of social media for a small sporting goods manufacturing company, Lane Gainer Sports
Which social analytics tools are you vouching for in 2016? Do share your favorites with us!
Learn the digital rules from experts in our first 2016 digital marketing workshop on Jan 15 (3pm to 6pm) in Delhi, India. Ask for details and register at email@example.com
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