So you've created your social media strategy, posted your content, and engaged with followers. What's left? Perhaps the most important part: analytics. Without looking at the concrete numbers, you'll never fully know how well your campaigns are performing. Join us as we break down some of the most popular analytics tools and whether or not they're worth your time. Plus, get additional insights from our very own Social Media Analyst, Brandon!
One of our favorite tools at Random is Agorapulse. It's a full-service program, with capabilities for publishing, social listening, response management, and reporting.
Its analytics tools are extensive, with interactive graphs on audience growth, engagements, impressions, brand awareness, hashtag interactions, and more. It also has a built-in comparison feature that tells you the percent change in metrics compared to the previous month.
For Instagram and Facebook, Agorapulse also shows the demographics of your average follower, as well as the top cities, countries, and languages of your audience.
Last (and maybe the best) is the feature that shows when your users are most actively engaging with your content. This is super helpful if you're wondering about the best times to post your content to optimize reach and engagements.
Agorapulse has a free version that supports a maximum of 3 social profiles and a single user. This is perfect for anyone looking to track the most basic metrics for their personal brand or small business.
We think the best deal for agencies and teams is the Premium account for $200 a month, which allows up to 20 social profiles and four users. Have more than four people on your team? No worries! You can add more users and social profiles for small additional monthly charges.
One of the biggest benefits in practice with Agorapulse, has to be its user-friendly layout to read analytics. Between audience visualizations, listed content, and even data on competitors, you can access everything seamlessly within a single interface. Although a lot of the basic social media metrics are available for your posts, you may need to utilize the platform in conjunction with native analytics to retrieve more involved variables such as engagement rates and click-through rates. Otherwise, Agorapulse is a great starting point for parsing your social media platforms.
Sprout is another full-service site for scheduling posts, social listening, and tracking performance. Unlike Agorapulse, Sprout allows you to create highly customized reports and dashboards.
One of the best features is the ability to add multiple profiles to a graph to compare performance across platforms. Sprout also reports on both engagements and engagement rate. You can even connect ad accounts to track performance of paid campaigns.
Finally, a unique feature on Sprout is the ability to look at the posts and performance of competitors of your choosing.
The cost of Sprout is quite pricier than Agorapulse, with the Professional plan for 10 social profiles costing $149 per month per user. The Standard plan is only $89 per month per user, but it only allows five profiles and doesn't include paid campaign or competitor reporting.
In the way of reading analytics, compared to its competitor Agorapulse, Sprout Social offers a more extensive way to analyze the performance of your content. One of its stronger features includes the sorting tools under 'Post Performance' which allows you to filter content through hundreds of different metrics (easily thousands of possible combinations to sort your content). These can include more advanced metrics such as post engagement rates, CTR, and many more. As a result, many first-time users may find the platform much more difficult to navigate and newer users in social media analytics tools will require a more involved learning experience.
While other analytics programs can seem a little overwhelming with the amount of data to sort through, Later is more limited but simplified. With the free plan, a profile summary of total posts and followers is pretty much the extent of what you can access.
The paid plans, however, allow you to see engagements, impressions, audience growth, and more. For Instagram profiles, there are even dedicated tabs for tracking Reel and Story performance.
A unique feature of Later is the Linkin.bio extension. You can create your link and connect it to your Instagram profile right in Later, as well as track its metrics like views and click-through rate.
Later is a great option for individuals or agencies on a budget. The Advanced plan is $80 a month for six social profiles and six users, and you can add extra users for only $5 more a month. If you're a bigger agency handling many brands at once, they also offer higher price-point Scale plans that are still more affordable than Sprout's intermediate plans.
Gain is one of the best publishing platforms, especially for content that needs a chain of approvals. They've recently added analytics capabilities to the site as a beta feature, and we're hoping they'll continue to expand it.
For now, you can see metrics such as impressions, engagement rate, and clicks for each post across all your platforms. Similarly to Agorapulse, there is also a comparison feature that displays the percent change in metrics from the previous month.
While Gain doesn't yet have extensive analytical tools, it has one of the best pricing systems across the sites we've covered. They only have one plan, and it allows for unlimited social profiles. For $99 a month, the first 10 users are free and additional users after that are an extra $10 a month. Are you a non-profit? Gain offers a 50% discount on its subscription for verified non-profit organizations!
Finally, using social platforms' native analytics tools is always free. Meta Business Suite is known for being difficult to use at times, but it does have in-depth results for Facebook and Instagram content. Twitter has downgraded its audience analytics tools in the past few years, but you can still see metrics such as clicks, engagement rate, and impressions.
At the end of the day, any analytics tool you use is helpful for understanding what works well with your audience, what doesn't, and what you can change for the next content calendar. Social media marketing is all about analyzing results in order to adapt and evolve, after all.
What analytics tool do you use? Let us know in the comments. Need someone else to handle all the analyzing and reporting for your socials? Reach out to us below to learn how we can work together!