In Pictures: 10 simple-to-use social media monitoring and analytics tools

It's not hard to find social media marketing tools these days. It's harder to locate social monitoring utilities, in your price range, that do everything your business needs. These 10 simple social tools can help you monitor campaigns and analyse the metrics to draw actionable insights and demonstrate real ROI.

  • Social Media Marketing Tools for Monitoring and Analytics The social analytics market is crowded with more tools than its potential customers will ever really need. Most of these utilities are designed to monitor digital activity, analyze social media behavior and deliver some level of social intelligence. However, few options do all of these things, and most are limited by the platforms they reach and capabilities they deliver. The following 10 tools can all help monitor, analyze and provide valuable insight into your company's social identity, so you can squeeze more ROI out of your social efforts.

  • Facebook Insights Facebook offers a simple place to start monitoring the performance of your social posts and other activity. Facebook Insights is a free tool that lets social administrators track user interaction on their pages to better understand overall performance. The Insights dashboard displays page "Likes," post reach, visits and engagement metrics, including clicks, comments and shares. The data can help marketers make informed decisions on how to best connect with a brand's audience. Admins can also drill down into the details of each metric, including the most effective channels, and the demographics and locations of fans.

  • Google Analytics Google Analytics is a powerful, comprehensive and free set of tools designed to monitor, analyze and gather insight across various media and platforms. Google takes a more business-centric approach to social media by focusing on the aspects that deliver demonstrable value and clear impact for brands. Google Analytics reports aim to identify the full value of traffic coming from social sites by measuring its impact on conversations and purchase intent. The tools place a monetary value on each goal to further illustrate social media's impact and identify followers' most frequent activities. Managers can also set up advanced Google Analytics segments to monitor and compare traffic across multiple social platforms.

  • Twitter Analytics Twitter Analytics, another free tool built by a social provider for its own platform, offers many valuable marketing features. You can dig up details on your tweets and Twitter followers, and also delve deeper into Twitter Cards, mobile app promotions and conversion tracking — assuming these features are enabled in their profile settings. Twitter Analytics' main dashboard displays total impressions, engagement rates, link clicks, re-tweets, favorites and replies. It's simple to quickly identify the tweets that performed best during specific time periods. Twitter's mobile app also offers some of these features. For example, while viewing the full details of a tweet they posted within the app, users can now click on "view tweet activity" to see more information on that tweet's performance.

  • LinkedIn Analytics Administrators of company pages on LinkedIn can view more details on their organizations by clicking on the sites' analytics tabs. The business-oriented social network organizes data by updates, followers and visitors. Updates include information on audience reach, impressions, clicks, interactions, followers and engagement rates. The site displays graphs to illustrate the organic and paid reach of updates, as well as the amounts of clicks, likes, comments and shares generated by both organic and sponsored campaigns. LinkedIn's followers section provides demographic information on followers, data on the number of followers gained with and without advertising, and details on how an organization's followers compare to other companies' Linked audiences. Finally, the visitors section includes information on page views, career-page clicks, unique visitors and specific visitor demographics.

  • Pinterest Analytics Pinterest, a relative newcomer to the social analytics market, currently offers its tools to only business customers. Pinterest's analytics utilities are organized by profile, audience and site. The tools provide details on how people use a site's "Pin It" button, how viewers interact with a site's "pins," and the all-time, highest-performing pins. Pinterest provides advice on how to increase impressions, clicks and "re-pins." Users can also sort data by device type or platform and export data to spreadsheets.

  • Hootsuite Hootsuite, a social media management dashboard that boasts more than 10 million users, is one of the oldest tools of its kind. Hootsuite aims to help companies manage their full social lifecycles by taking on a management-type role in the process. Hootsuite offers a limited set of free tools, and its advanced options start at $10 a month. The utilities can be used to schedule tweets and Facebook posts, monitor conversations, build custom analytics reports and improve workflows via assigned tasks and real-time notifications.

  • Salesforce Salesforce offers a full-featured social marketing tool for the enterprise, and the company continues to build its social portfolio via acquisitions and other moves. Salesforce's tool, Social Studio, analyzes conversations from more than a billion sources to spotlight what consumers are saying about a brand, its products and competitors. Social Studio also integrates with, Salesforce's ad platform for agencies and advertisers, and helps companies identify leads and customer service requests in real time.

  • Brandwatch Brandwatch's emphasis is on social, but its tools pulls data from millions of online sources, including traditional digital media such as reviews, news sites and forums. The company's platform translates all that data into consumer sentiment, and it employs a range of filters, categorization techniques, alerts, charts and analysis to help businesses determine their market perception and identify the people who are most important to their brands. Brandwatch also tracks public Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, without the need for administrator rights, so its users can compare their companies' social presence with competitors. Brandwatch's social media monitoring tools start at $800 a month and increase to as much as $3,200 per month as features and functionality are added.

  • Keyhole Keyhole is a simple social monitoring tool that lets you track and watch hashtags, keywords and URLs across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Keyhole tracking works like a simple search query on Google, and it pulls in relevant results in real time. This level of detail comes with a price, of course, and it ranges from $129 to $3,000 per month. The Keyhole dashboard displays the total number of posts, users, reach, a timeline and impressions for each query. Keyhole also identifies the most influential people discussing the search topic, as well as top sources and the most popular related topics.

  • SocialBro Twitter certifies SocialBro's social-marketing tool, and its dashboard displays a holistic view of the popular service, including details on new followers and recent un-follows, influencers and user demographics. SocialBro's community graph predicts trends, while its engagement graph showcases recent Twitter mentions, re-tweets and favorites. Businesses can also retrieve detailed statistics related to segments of their community and build custom reports to help guide them throughout social campaigns. SocialBro is available as a free offering, and its set of paid plans cost as much as $149 a month.

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