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Social Media Analytics and Research Tools

The Social Media Analytics & Research Tool (SMART) is a cloud computing application that allows users to search and analyze social media content from millions of sources. It rapidly grows with the needs of our analysts, driven by intuitive features and modern user interface.

In this course, you’ll gain an overview of cutting edge social media analytics tools available for researchers and businesses. You’ll learn about the benefits and drawbacks of each tool (e.g., costs, limitations on data access), along with their major features.

 Brandwatch

Data is huge these days and BrandWatch is all about it. They set you up with the right industry data to make smart marketing decisions.

Monitoring your brand online has never been easier. BrandWatch provides you with in-depth insights into your target customers’ thinking per time, which makes it super easy to sell to them.

Pro: You can search the Internet for specific conversations about your brand, segment those conversations into categories, and analyze them to spot out critical information. Additionally, they have an image analysis tool that can uncover logos.

Con: Brandwatch can be quite technical for someone new to brand monitoring tools and the query structure can be tedious. However, for someone with medium to expert experience, this is one of the best tools to monitor online brand mentions.

Pricing begins at $1,000 according to PC Mag

BrandMentions

BrandMentions is another powerful tool for measuring your social media marketing impact.

From brand monitoring, reputation management, business intelligence to competitor spying, the tool provides you with the relevant information about the success of your brand awareness campaigns.

brand mentions

BrandMentions also provides real-time notifications; you get notified once your site gets a new backlink or is mentioned in places that matter across the web.

Pro: BrandMentions is a great option even for small businesses and is easy to use even for a novice. 

Con: Be sure to include/exclude mentions based on keywords otherwise you’ll get results that include spamming sites or results that are too generic.

Price: $99 – $499 USD per month.

 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

 Curalate

More and more brands are trying their hands at direct social selling.

Platforms such as Curalate serve as a hybrid storefront and analytics tool for companies looking to maximize their sales from Instagram

Chances are you’ve seen a branded or unbranded “Like2Buy” link in the wild. Major brands like Bose take advantage of Curalate for social sales – take a peek at their Instagram bio.

Bose uses Curalate's Like2Buy link to drive Instagram sales

Upon clicking through, we’re led to a social storefront where users can shop directly.

Curalate makes it easier for users to buy directly from Instagram

Curalate’s platform empowers businesses to understand which products score the most clicks and sales. This can directly inform your future campaigns and product strategy as you learn which sort of posts click with customers.

Additionally, Curalate tracks product tags and mentions, making it a cinch to spot and analyze the performance of user-generated content campaigns.

Curalate tracks the performance of products sold from social media

Meltwater

Meltwater is the go-to social media tool if you want to focus on brand engagement, while also monitoring what is being said about you and your industry online.

This social media analytics tool can also help you connect with influencers and quantify your PR impact. 

One of the best ways to drive engagement is by using influencers. Meltwater makes it easy to connect with and vet influencers for your brand. You can also use the tool to manage influencer relationships and measure their ROI.

Meltwater - social media analysis tools

And like most other social media analytics tools, Meltwater provides email alerts that matter and reporting capabilities.

Pro: The site has over 1 million influencer accounts that you can easily filter and sort. This makes prospecting new high-profile accounts that are relevant to your brand easy. 

Con: Meltwater offers a limited number of users and you have to pay more for more users. Additionally, the price can increase easily for basic functions such as reporting.

Price: Contact Meltwater for pricing.

Reputology

A single customer can make a review on your product that impacts several other customers. Reputology helps you monitor and analyze your reviews online so you get to monitor, catch and handle bad customer reviews before it spreads like wildfire.

reputology - social media analysis tools

This social media analytics tool is particularly great for companies that have multiple reviews across multiple platforms because it lets you view all your reviews in one dashboard. 

Pro: You can respond to the reviews straight from your dashboard without having to visit every review source; which saves you a whole lot of time, and ensures you respond to all reviews – or complaints – in a timely fashion. 

Con: At the moment you can’t reply to Yelp reviews within the software, which is unfortunate because Yelp is one of the most popular review sites.

Price: $180 – $2500 per month.

Keyhole

For the sake of expanding your content’s reach, hashtag analytics are a must-have.

Tools such as Keyhole provide a real-time performance analysis of the industry and campaign-specific hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. Doing so allows brands to promote during peak times and likewise understand which tags are most popular among their followers.

Keyhole's dashboard measures a hashtag's optimal times for engagement

 Google Analytics

Key benefit: See how much traffic and leads flow to your website from your social media channels

Paid or free: Free tool

Skill level: all skill levels

Best for: all social media professionals should be familiar with Google Analytics, but especially those who work for a web-based business

You’ve probably heard of Google Analytics already. That’s because it’s one of the best free tools to use to learn about your website visitors. And if you’re a social marketer who likes to drive traffic to your website, then it’s an invaluable resource to have in your back pocket.

While it’s not a social media reporting tool per se, you can use it to set up reports that will help you:

  • See which social media platforms give you the most traffic
  • See what content drives the most leads and traffic on which social networks
  • Get to know your audience with demographic data
  • Calculate the ROI of your social media campaigns
Google Analytics dashboard showing sources of traffic for a blog post

With these data points, you’ll be able to get the most out of your social media campaigns and effectively strategize for the future. No social media strategy is complete without Google analytics.

 Sprout Social

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a comprehensive social media management and monitoring tool that provides a host of enterprise-level options. Its cross-channel social listening features you perform a contextual and qualitative analysis of topics, hashtags, and keywords. You can tell how your content is performing on various social networks from its visual and intuitive reports.

3 cool features:

  • Analyze paid campaign performance across networks
  • Get group report of your social media profiles
  • Analyze your team’s performance (task performance, response rates, etc.)

Social media channels:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

What analytics you get for free:

  • All features for 30 days
    • Report builder
    • Reports for each social media channel
    • Reports for internal team performance

Paid options: $99, $149, and $249 per month

TapInfluence

Without a doubt, influencer marketing has become one of the most effective ways to reach today’s audiences.

But before spending a dime on any influencer, you want to measure the impact they actually have on your audience.

That’s where TapInfluence comes in; it helps you find the right influencers (who have a real impact) for your business.

Social Media Analytics Tools - Tapinfluence

It can be difficult to determine what to pay your influencers or even what they should be doing for your brand. From intelligence about an influencer’s reach and impact to their potential rates, TapInfluence can provide you with all this information. 

Pro: TapInfluence allows you to create campaigns, schedule, manage, and track influencer deliverables. Also, you can monitor engagement analytics on your campaigns from the platform.

Con: There’s still a lot of work needed to set everything up as the process is not fully automated. Also, Tapinfluence caters to enterprises, so the price is inaccessible for most agencies.

Price: Contact TapInfluence for pricing.

Hootsuite

There’s hardly any social media marketer who doesn’t know Hootsuite.

Use Hootsuite to publish and schedule your social media posts. You can also generate powerful social media analytics so you can see which content performs best or worst and make smarter decisions.

The tool integrates with all social media platforms so your social media analytics and management are done from one platform.

Pro: Compared to other similar tools, Hootsuite’s primary advantage is that it connects to more social networks. 

Con: On the downside, having so many social networks and profiles on one dashboard can get confusing and feel cluttered. Also, some integrations are less functional than others.

Price: $29 – $599 USD per month + custom pricing.

 ShortStack

Typically, running a social media contest requires a surprising amount of legwork.

From the process of picking a winner to analyzing engagement from a giveaway campaign, ShortStack can pick up the slack.

For brands running frequent contests or giveaways, a dedicated contest analytics tool ensures that you aren’t just giving away freebies for no reason. ShortStack looks at everything from entry data to long-term campaign performance to do just that.

Shortstack makes it easy to assess the performance and reach of social media contests

By analyzing your contest’s performance with a social analytics tool like ShortStack, you’ll be able to see engagement metrics and identify which types of contests work best with your audience.

Conclusion

Boast your social media presence by showcasing up-to-date analytics on your most important pages. Gain new insights into followers growth, engagement, and behaviors. Use research tools to learn about your competitors and stay on top of emerging trends.

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