Paid Social Analytics Tools


In the previous blog post, “Free and Native Social Analytics Tools,” a wide variety of social analytics tools were discussed. For some, those analytics tools will suffice in determining how a brand’s social media presence is affecting their B2B or B2C engagement. For other brands, a paid analytics platform is required to better report ROI. Though there is still speculation on the exact merit of these tools, this blog post will discuss and compare the features of some major services.

Over the years, with the rise of social media and then the rise of competitive social media marketing, there has been a desire for good analytics tools. While previously brands spent a lot of time building their social media pages, brands are now beginning to focus on the potential ROI this medium is bringing them. Marketing automation technologies, especially those for social media engagement and monitoring are considered important to both B2B and B2C brands.

Rival IQ is one of the many paid social analytics tools and offers a free fourteen-day trial. While Rival IQ can track individual analytics, its best use is in comparing your social media presence to your competitors. Sure, certain native social tools can track this sort of thing, but not to the extent that Rival IQ does. It has a variety of features, including positioning comparisons, SEO analysis, positioning change tracking, export and share reports, email alerts, social and SEO rankings, and a notable activity summary on a variety of sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and Youtube). There are several interesting methods of analysis. On a larger scale, the same method can then be applied to encompass all the different social sites.  

Lastly, the company also supplies graphs demonstrating when to send brand tweets and what type of media yields the most engagements. 


Simply Measured is another popular social analytics tool. Similar to Rival IQ, they also offer a free trial, in addition to a variety of free reports. The plan supports Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vine, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn. If a company can keep actively updating all eight of those sites, good for you! The features are extensive: web traffic and conversion analysis, competitive analysis, influencer and trend analysis, brand keywords and hashtag monitoring, professional reports and scheduled reporting.

These tools may be a great asset to some companies but may be unneeded by others. The free reports themselves are interesting enough for just the average social analytics experimenter. In the Simply Measured Twitter sales demo, there were a variety of charts and other data demonstrated. The graph below focuses on JetBlue’s Twitter engagement rates, megaphone shaped to demonstrate how a brand’s influence expands with each potential viewer or user.

Another set of data focuses on media type versus engagement. Even though JetBlue get’s outstanding engagement with photos, they hardly ever post any. Maybe seeing this chart will help the airline change its ways. In addition, at the bottom of the graph, it appears that the brand has tweeted over six thousand times, but then receive negligent engagement on that front. Looks like the airline could learn a bit from the Simply Measured graphs.

Socialbakers is another well-known platform for social media analytics, though their free trial period is a lot harder to come by. Compared to Simply Measured, Socialbakers works on fewer platforms, only generating data from Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Google+. Using the demo offered on the Socialbakers site, which compares Lufthansa and Air France, it is easy to see that there is a vast amount of information offered.

As you can see here, the last month has been a rough one for Air France, as they do not get nearly as much engagement as Lufthansa, but the following graph tells a different story. Air France dominated the first half of the month in interactions, while a mere seven days at the bottom set them drastically behind. These two kinds of charts put things into perspective. Maybe there was a Lufthansa flight discount starting September 22 that set their engagement levels skyrocketing.

This kind of chart reminds us of the importance of truly understanding the reasoning behind data. While one chart can show part of the story, several can reveal the hidden reasoning behind the numbers. As with any analytics tools, these platforms do not consume data and then spit them back out with an advised social marketing plan (as great as that would be). In this case, Socialbakers hands its users the chart of information and allows them to glean the information they need and upon which they can capitalize.

Takeaways: Social analytics tools can help, but only if you have the audience numbers that require it or handle several different companies social media accounts. Is any of these three the best choice? No, it all depends on what you are looking for and in what price range. While some of the services offer data from any social platform, others may offer more in-depth analysis of only a few. Rival IQ does seem to offer a wider range of data types, but it must be taken with a grain of salt that these are all free trials and could have additional things to offer under a subscription. Data is data nonetheless, and any that you use will help in some way, whether it is free native analytics or a paid service.