Tracking and reporting social media analytics used to be a hurdle for digital marketers – now the problem is finding the ideal tool.
The market is filled with different platforms, ranging in niche, effectiveness and user experience. And due to the recent Topsy shut down, more social media managers than ever are searching for a suitable alternative.
Before we list the best 25 tools, it’s important to define social media analytics for those new to the field (if you’re a veteran, please feel free to skip this section):
What is Social Media Analytics?
Instead of thinking about social media analytics as a noun, think of it as a verb. Specifically, it’s gathering data from social platforms to help guide your marketing strategy.
This process begins by prioritizing business goals. For example, your focus may be to double the number of new visitors to your website.
The second step is determining key performance indicators (KPIs). In this case, your chief social media KPI would likely be based on engagement stats. These can be broken down into:
- likes and shares your posts receive
- replies and comments
- (most importantly) clicks your links and content earn
By collecting this data, you can figure out how social media factors into meeting your business goal. From there, you can keep going in the direction you’re headed or adjust your approach.
Now that the definition is clear, here’s our list of the top social media analytics tools:
Use Keyhole to measure, in precise detail, a brand or trend’s impact on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Giving you access to an intuitive and shareable dashboard, it tracks hashtag, keyword and campaign metrics in real-time. These include reach, impressions, periods of high activity and more.
You can also leverage its data to lead your influencer outreach efforts. Clicking the dashboard’s Influencers tab will reveal information surrounding accounts that have the highest reach and interaction numbers. To boost your engagement, identify important accounts in your niche and re-share their most popular content.
Give it a shot:
Price: $89 – $3,000+ USD per month
Operating in multiple languages, you can use AgoraPulse to track enhanced engagement analytics across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Along with standard metrics, the platform ranks users who frequently share your content and notifies you when your pages and profiles have been mentioned. This information, combined with community management stats such as message response rate, will help guide your social outreach efforts. Plus, you can export analytics graphs onto a PowerPoint file.
Price: $29 – $199 USD per month
Offering a suite of tools that work across major social media platforms, Brandwatch is perhaps best used as a research suite. It provides information about the markets you own and want to enter, such as demographic data about gender and occupation. You can even monitor your brand’s reputation in real-time, seeing if users are posting positive or negative messages about you. Best of all, the data is accurate – Brandwatch filters spam and duplicate mentions.
Price: Contact Brandwatch to discuss a unique plan
As a comprehensive social media scheduling tool, you can log in to Buffer to see the engagement numbers for your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn posts. Based on these metrics, it also identifies your top post of the day. But keep in mind, Buffer only tracks the posts you make through its platform.
Price: Free – $2,550 USD per year
You can depend on BuzzSumo to track the top social content in your niche. Simply plug in a URL, phrase or keyword into the search bar to see who’s sharing relevant content on each major social platform. You can then use the tool to promote your material, as it identifies the most influential sharers to reach out to.
Price: $99 – $999 USD per month
For a quick and simple Twitter and Facebook analytics tool, many marketers choose Crowdbooster. Through an intuitive and customizable dashboard, you have access to real-time engagement data that exports to Excel. The tool also makes recommendations about when to post, who to engage and how to improve your interaction efforts in a weekly performance summary.
Price: $9 – $119 USD per month
Edgar automates social scheduling, storing content you collect in a library based on categories such as tips and blog posts. As you make a schedule based on these categories, Edgar creates a never-ending queue that automatically cycles through your library week after week.
But the tool also tracks your engagement metrics, helping you optimize your schedule based which types of content generate the most interaction and when they should be shared.
Price: $49 – $99 USD per month
8. Google Analytics
What’s there to say about Google Analytics that hasn’t already been said? As the clear top choice for analyzing website traffic, it’s also ideal for evaluating certain social media metrics. You can use it to measure the value of traffic coming from social sites, determining how visitors behave and if they convert.
Price: Free – $150,000 USD per month
Similar to Buffer, Hootsuite is a social media management dashboard. On top of scheduling posts and aggregating content, you can use its analytics tools. The platform not only tracks standard engagement numbers, but measures your team’s performance. For example, it records resolution times for customer service issues.
Price: Free; advanced plans vary
Test out Klout to quantify your influence on each major social platform. Giving you a mark out of 100, it grades you based on your ability to engage and drive action. You can see on which platforms you’re most influential, giving you an idea about how to successfully interact with your audience.
Price: Contact Klout to discuss a unique plan
11. Little Bird
For an intricate influencer analytics tool, use Little Bird. Its goal is to eliminate the need for influencer research and instead let you focus on outreach. The tool tracks metrics detailing the most prominent people who interact in your space and with your brand. It discovers the most engaging topics and content for you to share or base ideas on, too. And the influencer list feature helps target qualified individuals throughout your social campaigns.
Price: Contact Little Bird to discuss a unique plan
Specifically targeting enterprise-scale brands and agencies, NetBase advertises that it processes posts nine-times faster and 50 to 70% more accurately than other comprehensive social media analytics platforms. Community managers can use it to quickly make decisions on large accounts they manage. NetBase can read millions of social posts in 42 languages and determines user sentiment regarding trends.
Price: Contact NetBase to discuss a unique plan
Historically, digital marketers have struggled to measure the financial impact of social media. Oktopost addresses that painpoint. The tool tracks conversions, identifying channels and messages that drive financial actions on your website. For example, it allows you to confidently say “this new customer came from our latest Facebook post.”
Price: Starts at $65 USD per month; advanced plans vary
Use quintly to measure your profiles against competitors. Visualizing stats on standard engagement metrics through graphs, it tracks and compares your performance on the major social platforms. This makes it a go-to tool for competitive goal setting.
Price: Starts at $129 USD per month; advanced plans vary
15. Rival IQ
Another analytics tool to monitor competitors, use Rival IQ to track how opposing brands perform on major social media platforms. Prioritizing growth, the tool records how audiences develop or shrink on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis. By giving you access to historical data, you can compare growth rates to major events and business cycles to determine when rivals are expanding their fan bases.
Price: $199 – $439 USD per month
16. Salesforce Marketing Cloud
There isn’t much you can’t use the Marketing Cloud for – it has tools for email, mobile and content marketing, as well as an intuitive social media analytics suite. Through a clean dashboard, you can see metrics on which types of content are yielding the most engagement, where the most influential conversations are happening and what the general user sentiment is about your brand. You have the option of paying for the full cloud or picking the suites you want.
Price: Starts at $400 USD per month; combination packs vary
17. Simply Measured
Give Simply Measured a shot if you’re after a comprehensive social media reporting platform. By connecting to Google Analytics, you can see information about how visitors from social sites are acting and converting on your website. It also has features to analyze competitors and compare accounts across major channels. Plus, you can schedule Simply Measured to automatically send reports with all of this information and more.
Price: Starts at $500 USD per month; agency plans vary
Capturing data across all major social platforms, use the Socialbakers analytics suite to leverage its comprehensive dataset. The features include custom benchmarking and competitive analysis, allowing you to create groups to track yourself against. For companies with locations across the globe, Socialbakers can segment data by individual brand and country. This lets you see where your efforts are most successful and where there’s room to grow.
Price: $120 – $480 USD per month
19. Social Mention
Use this tool as a social search engine with a complementary analytics suite. Just by typing in a keyword, you’ll have access to a long results page of user-generated content from more than 100 platforms. Based on that content, Social Mention tracks traditional metrics along with unique ones, including user sentiment.
Use SumAll to guide your long-term social media strategy. Along with e-commerce data, you can track information from your major social channels in a single interactive chart. As well as standard metrics, it includes features such as goal tracking and performance graphs. You can also set SumAll to send emails summarizing this data.
Price: Free – $99 USD per month
21. Followerwonk (Twitter)
Moz’s Twitter tool provides a detailed look at Twitter analytics, giving you insights about your activity and audience. You can see statistics about when your followers log in, and generate demographic data such as their locations. Use it to identify and connect with influencers – Followerwonk measures social authority to track which accounts have the biggest impact on their followers.
Price: Free – $79 per month
22. Iconosquare (Instagram)
Although it’s a platform-management tool, Iconosquare comes equipped with a thorough Instagram analytics suite. The dashboard has everything from engagement stats to optimization suggestions, such as the best times to post and which filters to use. You can also choose to receive emails that summarize your main metrics.
Price: Free; advanced plans vary
23. SocialBro (Twitter)
Offering price tiers depending on how many followers you have, try SocialBro as an all-in-one Twitter business platform. It tracks a bevy of content and audience metrics, offering tools to improve engagement and build segmented lists for campaigns. You can also use SocialBro to better understand your ads, as it tracks ROI for paid and earned media.
Price: Contact SocialBro to discuss a unique plan
24. Tailwind (Pinterest)
This platform-exclusive tool is designed to optimize your Pinterest strategy. Use it to track engagement metrics, as well as how your posts perform based on boards, keywords, hashtags and categories. Using these stats, Tailwind will find and recommend content for you to share. There’s even Google Analytics integration, so you can analyze website traffic and revenue from Pinterest.
Price: Starts at $9.99 USD per month; advanced plans vary
25. TweetReach (Twitter)
A search engine-like platform, just type in a keyword, hashtag or username to get a look at the analytics behind your term. Useful for checking trends, it illustrates engagement data such as reach and impressions. TweetReach also gives you a long timeline of tweets to inspect.
Price: $99 – $399 USD per month
The Final Verdict
There is not a must-use suite for social media analytics tools for marketers. But as your focus grows more specific, some platforms emerge as clear favourites.
With this list as your guide, you’re sure to find a social media analytics tool that boosts productivity while giving you the valuable information you need.
The Social Media Professor
- Aurora Meyer, University of Missouri Adjunct Professor
The Multimedia Journalist
- Samya Ayish, CNN Reporter and Social Media Producer
KEYHOLE is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free and search your brand below:
Our goal is to accurately measure real-time and historical social media data, illustrating metrics in easy-to-read graphs and layouts to simplify reporting and strategizing.
Use us to track URLs, hashtags, keywords and @usernames on Twitter and Instagram. We also do competitive account reporting.
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