One of the things a lot of marketers and startup founders say is there are two levels of analytics: not enough monitoring, or too much monitoring.
This is usually said in relation to the energy and time spent, which is either not enough to make the progress they need, or so much that they can't get anything else done.
I can sympathize. Analytics, whether web or social, are an incredibly helpful tool that can be a nightmare to gather and interpret.
Many of the dashboards out there that promise useful reports fall short, giving too little data, or too much without any context that doesn't require hours of working it into a usable framework.
It is no surprise that so many people get a management tool, barely glancing at the analytics and so narrow focus their strategy to reach its full potential.
Related Article: Analyze This: The Comprehensive Guide to Social Media Analytics
Why Analytics Are the Best Tool You Aren't Using Correctly
Analytics tools don't just show you how things are faring in the moment. It is important to look over long-term progress in order to establish genuine patterns. Your audience is going to change over time, but by seeing what works and what doesn't, you can start controlling who that audience is.
In order to use it correctly, what you need is the right kind of tool. One that will be more productive than the average monitoring system. One that will properly analyze the data for you, and give you the big picture without too much energy and time put in on your part.
You see, analytics should be something that informs you strategy. And your strategy is what you should be putting your work into, both planning and implementation. If you are spending too much effort on analytics, you are doing it wrong.
Here are five platforms to choose from for more intensive, thorough and productive social media analytics. They will change the way you address such data forever.
It should be noted right off the bat that this is not going to be a premium service that everyone can afford, or will even need. Aimed at businesses that require a more thorough monitoring process with consultancy, it starts at $500 a month and only gets more expensive from there.
But Simply Measured has become more well known for their free tools, of which there are an impressive number covering plenty of platforms. They have features for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Google+ and Google Analytics. You can create an entire campaign monitoring system for most platforms just on their free tools alone.
It is no wonder Simply Measured has become the most commonly recommended tool for brands, blogs, and personal branding on the web. If you can afford their premium features, they have regularly been found to increase engagement and lead - to - conversions by an impressive margin. So they may be worth the investment if it is scalable for your business.
Being productive is often about combining processes as much as possible. What if you could monitor and improve all of your different business needs into a single dashboard, and barely pay anything for it?
That is where Cyfe comes in. They call themselves an all-in-one business tool, and they definitely deliver on the title. You can monitor Social media, analytics, marketing, sales, customer support, and infrastructure, using customized or pre-built widgets and features.
Their basic tools are free, but their premium service is 100 percent worth it. It only costs $19 a month, or $14 a month if you pay annually. So you could cancel quite a few other dashboards and move things over to Cyfe, saving a ton of money while being more efficient.
Related Article: Which Social Media Metrics Actually Matter?
Not everyone needs multi-platform cross compatibility in their dashboard. If you are like so many brands these days and focusing on the more open Twitter network, you can enjoy the many benefits of using Followerwonk. Run by Moz, it is an analytics analyzer.
This might seem like a redundancy, but using it will show you why that isn't the case. Like so many other Moz products, this is about breaking down and really understanding data, not just collecting it. If you want to optimize your growth, this is the tool to do it with.
Want something that is really going to focus on your brand, not just your social clout? Unmetric is a unique platform that is about social branding, and the way that can grow a business.
It provides the insights, and then it shows you how to take those insights and turn them into real actionable strategies. They present it as a cycle on their website to show how the process works, feeding into greater gains over time. You publish, listen, analyze, adapt... before long you have an ever widening circle of influence with your brand in the center.
You will have at least heard of Hootsuite, certainly, but do you really know what it does? Their Pro accounts are intimidating to new analytics users, because of the sheer number of potential uses the dashboard has. There are a ton of report options, team collaboration and scheduling features, social monitoring, third party connectable apps, and so much more.
If you want to see how far their platform goes, it is worth checking out their webinars. Experts create videos that show how different features are made, and go through its many analytics sections step by step. It is interesting to see how other Pro features can also be used to make the data more effective.
Useful Monitoring Apps
Getting back to the introduction of this article, there are a few more useful apps to mention here. Monitoring apps make analytics process more productive, so here a few top picks:
- Hooks is an awesome Android app that you can use to track anything including analytics and reputation. BestAndroidApps has a detailed description of how it works
- Sitegeek has a great hosting monitoring tool that tracks uptime of hundreds of hosting companies: It's a great competitive advantage and monitoring tool which is also free.
- Buzzsumo Content Alerts is the best (and I'd say the only working) solution when it comes to monitoring content mentions (for your brand and competitors)
Do Analytics the Smart Way
There is little reason to use analytics if you aren't going to properly implement what you have learned. But that doesn't mean you have to spend endless time and energy poring over every detail.
Instead, use one of these five platforms. They will be more productive in how they gather, curate and present your analytics. From there, you can customize what you learn to best fit your strategy, without tearing out your hair in frustration.
Have a tool to recommend? Let us know in the comments.