Social media Measurement tools

(Full Disclosure: The author’s company sells a social media measurement product)

At least once a week I run across an article or blog post about tools for measuring social media. Headlines like “5 Social Media Measurement Tools That Save Time and Money” or “Six Free Social Media Measurement Tools for B2B” have become as common as graduation parties in June.

While it is encouraging to see so many measurement options emerging, the wide range of products in this space can be confusing. Part of the problem is that the term “social media measurement” is used to describe tools designed for many different types of users and tasks.

I keep a running list of many different types of tools that can help users measure social media in some way. My list is divided into five categories based on the primary function or use of the tool. Here are my five categories:

Listening Tools

Listening tools are commonly referred to as social media monitoring, buzz monitoring, or social media analytics tools. Their primary function is to monitor social media channels for conversations that are relevant to a particular brand, product, or topic. Although tools in this category span a broad range of sophistication, the analytics component tends to be fairly in-depth across the board.

Primary Use:

  • Used by PR to gain insight into brand or product perception, credibility and awareness
  • Used by marketing to track word of mouth/buzz about the brand and about specific campaigns
  • Used across multiple departments (customer service, PR, marketing) to identify engagement opportunities with customers, prospects or Influencers in social channels
  • Used by customer service to find and respond to questions or complaints

Metrics Examples: Listening tools generate metrics that capture the depth and breadth of online conversations, or “buzz”. Some examples include conversation volume, positive brand mentions, share of voice, competitor buzz.

Variations/Subcategories: Many areas of specialization; sophisticated versions use advanced natural language processing for deep analysis, customer and product research, topic categorization.

Workflow/Management Tools

These tools are not designed primarily for measurement; rather, their main purpose is to manage and organize social media marketing activities across multiple people and departments (for example, posting content to multiple social sites and accounts).

Many of these products incorporate a social media monitoring feature (typically not as robust as tools in the Listening category). Workflow tools almost always include at least an analytics component; some tools in this category provide an extensive set of metrics.

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Popular Q&A

Which social media measurement tool is the most effective?

I (especially since I am a work here) think that Oktopost is very a effective tool for measuring your social media marketing.

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