Q16: Can you tell us more about current trends and hot new tools in social media analytics?

This question can lead to its own 20 part FAQ itself. As we all have witnessed, the daily growth in both social media channels and social media users can be an analytics nightmare.

Trying to capture the right data you need and not get side-tracked by useless data, while at the same time looking for new data to add value, in conjunction with storing your data in secure and accessible places, and constantly having to provide new data and analysis to decision-makers… it can make your head spin.

And then you add the complexity of social media, not knowing which platform has legs and will become the new thing, which ones are losing their edge and which ones are already dinosaurs. We all have way more apps on our phone then we every use and we probably have signed up for more social media services and have forgotten about them then ones we are currently using.

SO with all that in front of us, how do we look for current trends and tools in to use in our social media analytics. My answer to that, do what I do. Every few months I block off a day to review blog posts and articles I’ve bookmarked commenting on social media analytics.

Based on my latest research below is a couple of lists of what the experts predict will be the top social media analytics trends in 2016 and what are the best analytics tools to manage your data with. But this post comes with a Use By date… what’s hot today may be gone tomorrow… Friendster, FourSquare, My Space, we love you once, not we barely remember you.

Top Social Media Analytics Trends for 2016:

  1. Omni-Channel Analysis. The new buzzword for cross-channel. How do you get your Facebook Insights to match up to your YouTube Hits and your Instagram Likes and fee them to your LinkedIn connections? You need to have an omni-channel strategy and there are several tools you can use to do this.
  2. Real-Time Customer Engagement Analytics. Knowing when potential customers are in front of you and engaging them in a conversation. We have the data to know when they are likely to be shopping and what they are probably looking for… which will allow marketers to do more pulling and less pushing.
  3. Mobile Specific Data. Companies that use social media effectively can tell you what % of users, candidates, clients, etc can to you via mobile. And they will all tell you the same thing, the % of mobile versus web has shifted dramatically and is not slowing down. If you don’t have a mobile solution for whatever it is you do, then your business is on the verge of going extinct.
  4. Machine-Learning. If you are a point where you have invested into automation in your social media posting, monitoring and reporting you are a step ahead. If you are actually using AI to drive social media engagements, then you are on the cutting edge. If you don’t understand these concepts, then you need to start learning about them and how to bring them into your business now. It’s not the future any more.
  5. Data Visualization. This one is constant year after year, because we keep creating better and better tools to allow us to make engaging visuals with our data. If you are going to spend anywhere in your social media budget, make sure data visualization doesn’t get undervalued.
  6. Data-Driven Decision-Making. More and more people are figuring out the just being on social media isn’t enough. Nor is hiring people to just do social-media. You have to have decision-makers who look at social media strategically to use it do broaden your message, share your brand and offer your services. You have to have a culture in place that knows what to do with the data you gather and turn analysis into action.

There are many other trends, but these are the ones I see being the most important to my current and future clients.

So now for a few tools that I have used that can help you capitalize on these trends:

  1. Hootsuite – The market leader. Manage up to 3 social profiles, Basic Analytics Reports, Basic Scheduling, Add up to 2 RSS connections and basic integration.
  2. Keyhole – Measure your overall impact on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Giving you access to an intuitive and shareable dashboard, it tracks hashtag, keyword and campaign metrics in real-time. These include reach, impressions, periods of high activity and more.
  3. Buffer – See the engagement numbers for your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn posts. Based on these metrics, it also identifies your top post of the day.
  4. Cyfe – All-in-one business dashboard app which helps to easily monitor all the business data from one place.
  5. quintly – Track, benchmark and optimize social media performance against competitors’ and derive an optimal social media strategy.
  6. Klout – Quantify your influence on each major social platform. Giving you a mark out of 100, it grades you based on your ability to engage and drive action.
  7. Google Analytics – Top choice for analyzing website traffic that can be uses to measure the value of traffic coming from social sites, determining how visitors behave and if they convert.

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I have also heard good things about Datasift and Social Harvest, but they require coding to really get the best value from.

So there you go, an 8-hour discussion wrapped up in a few pages. Connect with me if you want to learn more about how to get handle on all the data you are creating using social media. If it’s not giving you the strategic edge you expected, then I can help you change that.