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Free Social Media Analytics Tools

Free social media analytics tools can be just as effective as expensive software. Editor’s picks for the best free social media analytics tools for 2018 include Simply Measured, Sysomos, and Union Metrics.

Free social media analytics tools are a vital part of your business’s social media strategy. Use our powerful, free tools to find out more about your customers and how they’re interacting with you on social.

What is Social Media Analytics?

Social media analytics is the practice of tracking and analyzing data from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

The key metrics you choose to focus on will depend on your goal. For example, if it’s brand awareness, prioritize impressions and reach. Whereas for engagement, look at KPIs such as likes, shares, and comments.

As social media marketers, it’s important—nay, vital—to track these data points daily. 

Social analytics indicate whether you’re heading in the right direction in your social media strategy. You’ll know which specific social media campaigns are performing, and how it fits in a marketing strategy. 

With these social media metrics at your fingertips, you can even:

  • Identify the best social media channels for customer acquisition, conversions, and content marketing
  • Pinpoint the demographics of your target audience (Tip: This is valuable when updating buyer personas!)
  • Improve your customer experience (CX)—according to Hootsuite, 74% of executives in sales, marketing, and customer care departments use social media to improve CX 

Following that, you can adjust your time and budget accordingly, optimize your overall social media performance, and drive better business decisions to boost your bottom line.   

Social Media Analytics Report Template

Gathering analytics across multiple social media platforms is a colossal time suck. It’s already a messy task for one client. Imagine how it looks when you’re juggling dozens of clients all at once!

Our advice is to use a social media reporting tool to pull all your social analytics data. That way, there’s no longer a need to copy-paste two different Facebook Insights reports, a few graphs from LinkedIn, and screenshots of your Instagram posts for each client.

Data visualization reports enable you to easily understand all your data, from Instagram marketing to brand mentions. Automate your social media reports and see at a glance your social media marketing efforts, post engagement, page views, new followers, and much more.

Later

Instagram is one of the most popular social networks, with over 1 billion users active on the platform each month. Later started as an app dedicated to Instagram as a scheduling tool, but since its inception, they’ve added support for other social networks and are continuously adding new features. The app has a strong focus on visual content. Whether you want to schedule in-feed image or video posts, stories, or carousel posts — Later supports all of these options. Later has a free plan available that you can use forever, but you get features such as analytics, saved captions, scheduled stories, and more for paid plans. Their paid plans start at $9/month.

A screenshot of the later dashboard

Socialbakers

Marketers around the world can never go wrong with Socialbakers. Regardless of size or industry, Socialbakers takes analytics and social listening to the next level with predictive AI analytics, content performance, and side-by-side competitor summaries – all in one customizable dashboard.

What makes Socialbakers so unique is the one-calendar publisher, team collaborative community management, and a content creation hub. So there’s no need to flip through different systems just to get the results you need. 

Special features

  • Deep Content Intelligence – It’s the one place for marketers to see a comprehensive overview of their content performance, bringing data and creativity closer together. With automation, marketers have more room for strategy building and content creation.
  • Performance Prediction with Content Grading –  For organic engagement, Socialbakers’ Performance Prediction algorithm grades posts from A+ to D — allowing marketers to spot patterns in engagement and replicate their best-performing messages, images, and content types.

 UTM parameters

Key benefit: See how much web traffic and conversions your social media channels and campaigns generate (to be used with a web analytics platform like Google Analytics).

Paid or free: Free tool

Skill level: intermediate

Best for: all social media managers

Example of a UTM parameter for sharing a Hootsuite blog post

UTM parameters are not a standalone social media analytics tool, but they are essential in helping you set up Google Analytics (or another web analytics platform) to best measure social performance.

Put simply, UTM parameters are short pieces of code appended to the links you share on social media. They very precisely tell you how many people interact with your content and end up on your website.

In the screenshot above, the UTM parameter is everything that comes after the question mark.

UTM parameters aren’t essential if you’re only concerned about reporting on social media performance in terms of engagement, followers, etc. But if you want to take it to the next level, UTM parameters + Google Analytics will give you more precise data on which social media content and channels drive traffic and conversions.

Pro tip: You don’t need to know how to write code to include them on your social media posts. If you use a social media management platform like Hootsuite, you can automatically generate UTM parameters in seconds.

 Keyhole

Keyhole is a social media analytics tool that automatically collects social media data & creates reports for you. It excels at four key things:

  • Getting you inside the minds of your customers.
  • Simplifying your reporting — so you can easily share results with your team.
  • Showing you what attracts your consumers’ attention.
  • Saving you a huge amount of time — as you don’t have to crawl different social platforms looking for and reporting your social analytics.

These are critical features to look out for when making social media analytics software comparisons. 

As Neil Patel says, “This tool (Keyhole) does a lot of things others can’t. And as a bonus, it’s extremely user-friendly.”

The tool shows you when your users are most active, so you get to see your audience’s best engagement days and times. 

Keyhole Dashboard - Social Media Engagement

Using Keyhole, you can find, identify, track, and reach out to your influencers:

Keyhole Dashboard - Influencers

You can also conduct a detailed and in-depth sentiment analysis of social media posts over time:

Keyhole dashboard - sentiment analysis

With Keyhole, you get to see the number of impressions, reach, posts, and engagements that certain accounts or hashtags are getting. You are also able to identify key influencers who get the highest engagement rates and the number of followers in specific industries and reach out to them right from the tool.

And if you ever want to know the demographics of your hashtag users or account interactors or followers, Keyhole shows you those as well — including the percentage of positive and negative sentiments of your followers.

Also, Keyhole customers can publish and schedule unlimited posts each month from all the accounts included in their plan. Managing anywhere from 3 accounts to unlimited accounts depending on your needs.

Pricing: Custom pricing for businesses of all sizes.

 Hootsuite Analytics

Key benefits: Performance data from every social network in one place with easy-to-understand reports

Paid or free? Paid tool

Skill level: Beginner to intermediate

Best for: Business owners who run their own social media, social media managers at small-to-medium sized businesses, marketing teams

Most social media management platforms have built-in analytics tools. We hope you’ll forgive us for saying Hootsuite’s reporting capabilities are our favorite. But it’s the tool we know and love best.

viewing social media analytics on multiple networks in Hootsuite

Imagine Twitter analytics, Instagram analytics, Facebook analytics, Pinterest analytics, LinkedIn analytics all in one place. Hootsuite Analytics offers a complete picture of all your social media efforts, so you don’t have to check each platform individually.

It saves time by making it easy to compare results across networks.

Social posts metrics:

  • Clicks
  • Comments
  • Reach
  • Engagement rate
  • Impressions
  • Shares
  • Saves
  • Video views
  • Video reach
  • And more

Profile metrics:

  • Follower growth over time
  • Negative feedback rate
  • Profile visits
  • Reactions
  • Overall engagement rate
  • And more

Best time to post recommendations:

Ever spend a bunch of time writing and designing a social post only to have it fall completely flat? There could be a lot of reasons for that. But one of the most common reasons this happens is posting at the wrong time. A.k.a. Posting when your target audiences are not online or not interested in engaging with you.

This is why our Best Time to Publish tool is one of the most popular features of Hootsuite Analytics. It looks at your unique historical social media data and recommends the most optimal times to post based on three different goals:

  1. Engagement
  2. Impressions
  3. Link clicks
Best time to publish feature in Hootsuite Analytics

Most social media analytics tools will only recommend posting times based on engagement. Or they’ll use data from universal benchmarks, instead of your unique performance history.

Other cool things you can do with Hootsuite Analytics:

  • Customize report templates for only the metrics you care about
  • Get reports on your competitors
  • Track the productivity of your social team (response times, and resolution time for assigned posts, mentions, and comments)
  • Monitor mentions, comments, and tags related to your business to avoid PR disasters before they happen

Hootsuite Analytics is included in the Hootsuite professional plan, with you can try for free for 30 days.

Buffer Analyze

Buffer Analyze: Buffer’s Facebook and Instagram Analytics and Reporting Tool

Buffer Analyze is our social media analytics tool for online brands that want to make better decisions about their social media strategy and measure their results without feeling overwhelmed.

3 cool features:

  • Instagram Stories analytics
  • Posting strategy recommendations
  • Create professional reports in as few as two clicks

Social media channels:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter

What analytics you get for free:

  • All features for 14 days
    • Overview and charts for key metrics
    • Posts and Stories analytics
    • Audience insights
    • Answers
    • Easy-to-use report builder

Pricing options: $35 and $50 per month

 Agorapulse

AgoraPulse is one of the greatest social media analytics tools that helps you identify your best content and see what users need. And we all know that social media sucks time like a plague… But AgoraPulse is good medicine for it.

This tool is a huge timesaver for social media marketers. It helps you execute virtually all your social media tasks in one place.

agorapulse - sentiment analysis tools

Pro: You’ll be impressed by Agorapulse’s Twitter reporting functionality. The tool generates specific reports for your Tweets, mentions, retweets, and favorites as well as other engagement stats. This makes social listening pretty easy for you. 

You can also post or schedule content across all your profiles at once. Plus, the tool’s chrome plugin helps you do all this at once — saving you time.

Con: Agorapulse’s listening is only available for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. So, if you’re interested in tracking LinkedIn and Pinterest you’ll have to use another tool.

Pricing ranges from $99 – $199 per month.

Conclusion

No matter what your business goals are, discover the finest social media analytics tools that can help you accomplish them. These analytics tools will enable you to gain key insights about your market and target audience. Mastering these tools can be a wise investment for businesses seeking to drive engagement, growth and revenue.

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