Brands spend a lot of time, resources, and money on creating great content for their audiences. To better understand how that content leads to sales and boosts brand recognition, social media analytics tools help uncover valuable data and statistics. Most of today’s largest social media platforms provide users with analytics tools free of charge. Here, NetInfluencer dives into built-in social media analytics tools and some of the most popular independent options.
Why Should I Use Social Media Analytics Tools?
Using social media analytics tools, you can gain insight into audience behavior and key data patterns to help you create the best content. By analyzing metrics like engagement and reach, you can continue to streamline your posts and videos and customize them based on what your audience wants to see the most.
If you spend money on advertising, social media analytics tools can track your return on investment (ROI) and measure how well your ads performed. Some platforms also allow you to see how well you stack up against competitors to stay ahead of the curve.
Here are some of the main reasons why creators and brands use social media analytics tools:
- Track product and service category trends
- Track customer service data
- Discover new customer segments
- Identify potential influencer partners
- Track brand mentions and content shares
- Measure the effectiveness of paid advertisements and marketing campaigns
- Collect data and statistics requested by brand stakeholders
Built-In Social Media Analytics Tools
Many of today’s most popular social media platforms have free, built-in analytics tools. Here are several of the most notable and how they can assist content creators.
Facebook Audience Insights
The goal of Facebook Audience Insights is to provide users with detailed information on people who visit both personal profiles and business pages. This free tool includes a demographic breakdown of gender, age, and location. You can even look at your audience’s relationship status and education level. Facebook also allows you to look at how organic reach and engagement compared to any paid marketing campaigns.
If you’re a Pinterest user, the platform’s Analytics feature shows statistics on how well your pins perform. The audience insights provide a deeper dive into what content your audience likes the best so you can better customize future campaigns. You can also look at how your audience engages with your content and what they save to their own Pinterest boards. Note that you’ll need a Pinterest business account to access Pinterest Analytics.
Available only on the Instagram mobile app, Instagram’s account insights allow creators to view data related to engagement, reach, and content interactions. The Recent Highlights section tracks all significant increases in account performance from the last 90 days. Like Facebook, you can also access demographic audience data, including age, gender, and geographical location. Additional insights include the number of plays on a posted video and performance on paid or “boosted” ads.
Available within the Studio area of your account, YouTube Analytics is a one-stop shop for statistics on your posted videos. Gain insight into engagement and reach and dive deeper by filtering by audience demographics to see where your videos are the most popular. Through the Audience Retention report, creators can look at average watch time. If you run paid advertisements, the included earnings reports will show statistics such as total views and which ad formats generated the most ad revenue.
Free Social Media Analytics Tools
If you’re looking for more than what the above built-in tools offer, there are several free social media analytics tools to provide you with even more insights. Here are some of today’s top options.
Hootsuite is a suite of social media tools that helps businesses and creators simplify marketing, streamline customer service, and boost sales. It also supports 20 different social media networks, including Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Hootsuite is known for its post-scheduling capabilities, allowing batches of content to be uploaded and posted automatically at set dates and times.
Hootsuite’s analytics allow users to run customizable data reports and gain insight into the best time to post. Note that you’ll only have access to the analytics tools during a free 30-day trial. However, you can downgrade to the free version and still benefit from the automatic posting tools.
If you’re an Instagram-focused creator, Squarelovin provides insights specifically for the Instagram platform. The tool tracks recent posts and audience growth along with a history of your posts which you can filter down by month, day, and even hour. Squarelovin also provides users with statistics on the best and worst times to post, as well as the best hashtags and filters to use. You can get started by creating a free account and later upgrade to a paid plan if you want access to additional features and support.
Rival IQ by NetBase Quid provides competitive social media metrics and benchmarking for today’s major platforms. The company offers several paid plans where you can analyze social content, track paid advertisement performance, and schedule reports to run according to your needs.
Although most of Rival IQ’s features can only be accessed through a paid subscription, several helpful free tools are available on their website. Through their Head-to-Head reporting tool, you can see how you stack up with a competitor account in terms of engagement and activity. The company also posts a variety of social media benchmark reports in top industries like healthcare, higher education, and beauty.
If you’re interested in how often your brand is mentioned across the world wide web, check out Boardreader. Boardreader is more old-school in that it tracks brand mentions on internet forums and product review pages, but they are still an impactful form of social media to monitor. From the website, type your brand’s name into the search bar to pull up a list of mentions. You can also use Broadreader’s “Trendy” feature to track your number of mentions against competitors in a graph format. Filter by date for a more granular look at how you stack up.
Karina Gandola was born and raised outside the city of Charleston, in the beautiful mountain state of West Virginia. Karina loves writing about the influencer marketing space and an area she is passionate about. She considers her faith and family to be most important to her. If she isn’t spending time with her friends and family, you can almost always find her around her sweet yellow Labrador retriever, Poshna.