Running marketing and social media for any organisation is a time-consuming task and we all look to find ways of making it easier using the best analytics software.

Social media managing tools, including web analytics and traffic monitoring options, can help marketers save time, stay organised, and optimise their efficiency.

According to August’s The CMO Survey, there was a significant drop in the use of outside social media agencies last year, with only 16.6% of brands delegating social media management to agencies in February 2017 compared with 20.7% in August 2016.

This has coincided with a rise in the number of businesses taking things in-house and enterprise social media management software (ESMMS) solutions becoming more popular.

However, in spite of the industry’s continued focus on seeking to prove Return on Investment (ROI), many firms have still not made the leap to using available data to drive decision-making.

Marketing analytics are currently only used to drive 31.6% of projects according to The CMO Survey. A lack of processes and tools to measure success through analytics was cited as the main reason for this, followed by a lack of people who can link analytics to marketing practice.

If you’re one of the 68.4% of businesses who aren’t using the best analytics software to drive your marketing strategy, then you need to seriously consider changing that and investing in the right tools for your organisation.

Where do we start?

How do we know which is the best analytics software for our business, or which will work best for the size of our team?

We also need to consider the technical capabilities our systems and our staff have and what they can successfully handle and work out the benefits to our company for introducing analytics software.

Firstly you need to outline the parameters you’re going to want to be using the analytics software for. Will it be just for checking traffic, or do you want to know engagement percentages, bounce rates and time on site?

Are you wanting an ‘all-in-one’ tool which allows you to compose, schedule, track and analyse to compare results?

Alfred Lua, growth editor at Buffer, the social media management tool, has created a very handy spreadsheet which outlines 15 different options for small to medium size business which he believes are the best. You can find that here: https://goo.gl/BSLEAg

This spreadsheet includes tools most people working in social media will have heard of including Buffer, Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Sendible, but also includes some of the less well-known like Friends+Me and Edgar.

Create Your Marketing Priority Areas

The resources you have available, staff, time and budget, will determine the complexity of your marketing strategy and help you decide what is the best analytics software and social media toolkit for your business. In general, a complete strategy would include tools which help in some, or all, of the following areas:

  1. Web Analytics
  2. Social Media Posting
  3. Content Discovery
  4. Email Marketing
  5. Lead Generation
  6. Content Marketing

When it comes to number one on this list, as far as we’re concerned, Beacon is the tool you need in your marketing arsenal. Beacon provides a one-stop web analytics platform designed for organisations and agencies to better measure and manage their marketing campaigns, save considerable time and effort, and transform their digital marketing ROI.

Beacon’s simple and intuitive interface and powerful analytics engine combines all the features of your favourite link shortening and web analytics tools to create an all-in-one digital marketing measurement solution.

Businesses driving traffic to their website from social media, PPC, email and other channels should use Beacon so they can discover the true value of their marketing efforts. It delivers insights for those who promote their business online and provides data that drills down to the individual performance of each unique Beacon Link, as well as a top-level overview of a campaign’s success.

For social media posting then Hootsuite or Buffer are usually at the top of the most recommended lists. Both tools provide comprehensive capabilities which cover publishing, engagement, and team collaboration.

Enterprise Scale Tools

If you’re looking for something which includes the ability to build customer profiles and build relationships, then Sprout Social’s one of the best contenders. As well as the same capabilities for posting, scheduling and reporting as Buffer and Hootsuite, it also includes a customer relationship management (CRM) option.

For large scale enterprise businesses, look at HubSpot, Falcon.io or SalesForce’s Social Studio, a part of its Marketing Cloud platform. All of these tools are designed to reach out to customers on a much greater level, dealing with hundreds, or thousands, of queries and interactions on a daily basis.

Brand Awareness and Content Discovery Tools

When it comes to finding out what is being said about your brand there are, as with all the categories in our list, dozens of different alternatives. Personally, I find Mention is a standout product at doing exactly what it says it will do – monitor your brand, and your competitors, anywhere on the web.

But other useful options to consider include Brandwatch, which is merging with AI data and machine learning offering Crimson Hexagon to create a powerful tool which will incorporate the best of both platforms and provide a powerful tool for social listening.

SEMrush gives users powerful insights into how their website is performing via top-rated keywords, business intelligence and online competitor analysis and Talkwalker monitors what’s happening on all social channels and online media in real-time, on all markets, in 187 languages.

These types of listening and awareness tools are invaluable when it comes to your brand because you need to know what’s been said and, when it’s negative, act immediately to reduce the impact. However, you shouldn’t be afraid of having negativity either, no business will ever please all its customers or potential clients.

As Microsoft’s Bill Gates once said: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

Bill Gates, philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, participates in a session titled “Investing in Prevention and Resilient Health Systems,” September 27, 2015 at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York.

To Conclude

Our intention with our social media marketing is the same as any form of marketing – to promote our organisation, create leads and/or convert into sales. Marketing tells a company’s story, highlights a product’s value, establishes brand presence and gets consumers engaged.

Today’s consumers expect more from companies. They increasingly look for brands that engage with them online and organisations that do, reap real benefits.

Finding the best analytics software to carry out this job is as important as finding the right staff to use them. Don’t skimp on your learning experience, use trials where they exist to test out software and get feedback from your team on how they feel about using them.

Then, once you’ve got those tools in place, check and monitor them regularly, the more you use and study analytics, the more you’ll come to understand what’s working for your brand and on what platform.

Analytics software is a vital component in the marketer’s toolkit, make sure you’re using the best one for your business.