Social Media Measurement Tools

As a business owner, you should understand the return on your investment, or ROI, of the time and money you spend to market your business. Measurement is an important part of any marketing effort - and that includes social media marketing. Understanding how to value and measure what you’re doing in social media - and how others respond to what you’re doing - is critical to making smarter decisions about how you allocate money and resources for your social media marketing efforts.

Determine your overall goals for using social media and being specific about what outcomes spell success for your company. Leverage free and fee-based tools that can help you monitor, measure and analyze your social media marketing activities and campaigns. Start with the analytics tools offered by each social network:

Facebook Insights – Tracks user interactions and behaviors on your Facebook Page including top posts, the number of people reached, how many clicked on posts, reactions, comments, and shares.

Twitter Analytics – Twitter shows tweet impressions, page visits, number of mentions, follower growth and top tweets.

Pinterest Analytics – As long as you have a Pinterest business account, you can access their analytics dashboard including average daily profile impressions and viewers, average monthly viewers and monthly engaged and top pin impressions.

YouTube Analytics – See watch time, average view duration, and views as well as a list of your Top 10 videos. If you monetize your videos, you can also see your estimated revenue.

Instagram Insights – You can see impressions, reach and profile views as well as follower demographics such as gender, age range and location. You can also see which posts your audience sees and engages with the most.

In addition to analytics tools embedded in most of the popular social networks, you can get metrics from social media dashboards such as HootSuite, Buffer, Cyfe and SproutSocial. URL shorteners such as Bitly also provide metrics.

Here are other monitoring, tracking, measuring and analyzing tools out there that cover a variety of social networks. Most require that you give authorization access to your social media accounts, a standard practice that is relatively secure if you are using reputable tools.

Simply Measured – This tool provides fee-based social analysis and monitoring for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube. For free, you can access limited but useful reports for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.

Iconosquare – This app exclusively provides additional insights for Instagram and enhances the analytics you get from Instagram Insights including follower growth, custom time periods and top followers.

Followerwonk - Analyze followers and compare users, find out where they’re located and when they tweet. Search Twitter bios. Find and connect with new influencers in your areas of interest.

TweetStats – Get basic stats about your Twitter account including your tweet frequency by month, days of the week and times of day.

Twittercounter – Use this free app to track your follower growth trends. Compare your Twitter trends with other Twitter users such as your competitors. Receive email notifications of trends you’re tracking. The premium levels of the service provide deeper insights, more granular reports and performance forecasting.

While most companies want to measure the success of social media marketing in resulting sales, understanding that social media marketing is not a direct sales tool is important. Look for conversions and actions of any kind that can help you grow your company, from people sharing your content and amplifying your reach to direct business inquiries that come through social media as well as the ability to provide more immediate customer service and strengthening customer relationships. Overall, be realistic about what social media can do for your company and take advantage of available tools to get a clear picture of how you’re doing in social media.