Social media analytics, or “social analytics,” is the gathering of data from social media sites and blogs to analyze it and make smarter business decisions. Monitoring social media analytics can prove very valuable to trade publishers who want to reach a particular target audience.
Social analytics lets you mine your social media pages for answers such as:
What are the best times to post on Facebook and Twitter?
How far did a particular Tweet go?
What blog posts get the most attention?
What posts are getting the most Likes and re-Tweets?
You can find many social analytics tools on the web, both free and paid. Here are 5 free social analytics tools you can try right now to get answers about your social media reach.
As long as at least 30 people Like your business’s Facebook page, all page administrators can see Facebook insights to gauge page performance. You can learn the best time and day to post and what type of content fares best. Facebook Insights are constantly updated, so checking regularly is recommended. You access Facebook Insights by clicking on your page’s gear wheel and selecting “View Insights.” Here’s some of what you’ll see:
A dashboard displaying total Likes, number of friends of fans available, how many are talking about your page, and weekly page reach
Demographics and locations of those who Like your page, which helps you tailor future posts
Page views and unique visitor views (those who found your page due to a search rather than by clicking on a Facebook ad)
Demographics on those talking about your page
You can export this data in Microsoft Excel format, too.
Minilytics is a free subset of paid social analytics suite PageLever. Minilytics provides information on the best time to post on Facebook, which posts had strongest audience engagement, and what percentage of fans you’re reaching with your posts. You can also obtain estimates of how much it would cost to extend your reach. Minilytics provides basic demographic information about your page’s fans. Log in to Minilytics using your Facebook login, and then select questions you want answered.
TweetReach offers use of a few tools for free, and you can purchase Pro access for more advanced tools. All you do is type query information into a search box, such as a Twitter handle, a URL, hashtag, or phrase, and TweetReach tells you how far it reached in Twitterspace. You can use TweetReach for event tracking using hashtags, or for tracking marketing promotions that use specific links. The free account gives you a report archive and data export. If you upgrade to Pro, you’ll gain a dashboard, reach tracking, get multi-user access, and premium user support.
As long as your website gets 10 million or fewer hits each month, you can use Google Analytics for free. To use the Overview Report feature, you have to first set up Goals in your Google Analytics account. Goals measure your website’s business objectives such as conversions, downloads of reports, or sign-ups for webinars. Each Goal must contain a business objective, visitor action, and a success metric. With Goals, your Overview Report shows total conversions, and how many conversions were “Assisted Social Conversions” through your social media pages.
Google Analytics offers Social Reports that help you measure the impact of your social media efforts. The Social Sources report shows you the paths that social network visitors use to get to your site, plus metrics on engagement and conversions for each social network you use. To use Social Plugin Analytics, you need to set up Website Analytics and Mobile App Analytics. Social Plugins tells you which articles are shared most, and how they are shared such as by Facebook Likes or Google +1s. The Activity Stream shows how visitors to your website engage with content on sites external to yours such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
If you’re not measuring your business’s social media reach, you should be, particularly if you’re exploring audience monetization. Several free tools are available to give you valuable insight on how well your social media strategy is working with information about how far your social media content reaches and demographics of those who are using and sharing your content.
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