by Jeffrey Walker | Jun 11, 2014
It’s amazing just how fast social media technology has developed over the past decade. Ten years ago MySpace was all the rage, a little known firm called Facebook was just launching, and a tweet was the sound that a bird makes. My how times have changed! The huge explosion in social media channels, including weblogs, message forums, and social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, has created an immense “corpus” of digital buzz that companies of all sizes are clamoring after. Whether a forum on diabetes, a travel site offering the latest hotel reviews, or the pros and cons of the latest iPad, companies of all sizes can now leverage the latest technologies to listen in firsthand to what others are saying about their products, goods, and services. This is all fueled and enhanced of course by the immense growth in Big Data over the past few years.
Social media analytics is a field that grew out of the exponential rise in social and digital content over the past decade, and which focuses on giving companies insights on their brands, products, and services to help drive business decisions. SM analytics are delivered via “Listening Platforms,” which are web or cloud based software services with built in metrics, charts, data visualizations, and other discovery features that together enable businesses to collect, sift, analyze, and interpret the vast ocean of social media data.
To stay relevant in today’s ultra-competitive digital world, small businesses absolutely must consider social media analytics as a critical part of their branding and marketing strategies. In this two part segment, we’ll take a look at the top 7 most popular social media analytics solutions on the market today that can add real value to your organization’s marketing, branding, and PR efforts.
Google Analytics remains one of the most well-known sites to offer website statistics and analysis and is used on around 55% of the 10,000 most popular websites. GA offers a comprehensive suite of analytics tools divided into content, mobile, advertising, and conversion that is ideal for small business owners who are serious about their marketing efforts. Google Analytics not only provides a rich set of tools to measure sales and conversions, but also gives you fresh insights into how visitors use your site, how they arrived on your site, and how you can keep them coming back. GA is also perfect for helping firms adjust their advertisement campaigns, creating new and effective ads, as well as increasing website conversions.
Raven is a powerful real-time social media management platform that draws data from 20-plus sources including Twitter, Facebook, Stumble Upon, YouTube, Flickr, Picasa, WordPress and Disqus, as well as newspapers. The ‘Social Monitor’ tool allows users to search on brand, competitor, or industry terms, with returns that are tagged with automated sentiment on every mention. For example, a user can search on any keyword and determine which Twitter or Facebook influencers are discussing that specific keyword.
Raven’s real-time ‘Social Stream’ tool aggregates Facebook, Twitter, and other social media conversations into one simple, yet comprehensive, view. The user can Post and schedule messages directly from the Social Stream tool and push them to more than one account. You can also reply, retweet and favorite messages in real-time, or assign tasks for follow-up. With one click you can store influencer contact information.
Raven’s Pro plan is the most popular package at $99/month, followed by the Agency package for $249/month. Raven Tools are free for 30 days without any credit card requirements.
Sprout Social has received numerous accolades in the industry for its robust and visually appealing social media management dashboard. Functionalities such as contact management, competitive insight, lead generation, reporting, analytics and more are wrapped together in a package that’s intuitive and easy to use.
Some of the features offered by Sprout are: ability to make specific keyword, profile, and geo location searches to identify the most popular Tweets and track the most influential social referrals to their website; a full complement of collaboration tools for messaging, scheduling, and posting to team members; and generation of detailed, customized reports that describe follower demographics and trends.
Depending on services and tools required, Sprout’s offers several pricing plans ranging from Deluxe at $59 per user/month to Premium at $99 per user/month to the Enterprise version starting at $1500/month. Each package is available as a free trial with no credit card requirements.