Evaluating the 7 Best Social Media Analytics Tools: From Starter to Scalable

There is a vast range of different social media analytics tools available and it can be difficult to work out what’s best for your needs.

Broadly speaking, the tools fall into two buckets, depending on what you’re analyzing:

  • Tools to analyze and report on your social media campaign performance. These are the all-encompassing tools that offer a multitude of features that allow you to pull together a lot of different data, analyze it, and report on it to your stakeholders.

  • Tools that help analyze the social media landscape, trends, hashtags, and other accounts. These range from the super-specific ones that might track your competitors or a single social media platform to ones that help uncover trends across several social media channels.


There are free and paid versions within each camp, some of which are native to a particular social media channel (e.g. Facebook Analytics, Instagram Insights). What you need will depend on the size of your business and whether you want to analyze your campaign performance (#1 above) or analyze activity and trends on social platforms, in general, to help build better social media marketing campaigns (#2 above).

In this post, we’ll cover:

  • The challenges of reporting on multiple social media marketing clients and/or campaigns if you’re using native/basic social media management platforms or specific analytics tools.
  • How TapClicks solves these challenges.
  • Bonus features offered by TapClicks.
  • 3 tools that help you analyze and report on your social media campaigns:
  • 3 specific social media management tools that help you analyze the social media landscape (e.g. competitive analysis, social media monitoring, brand awareness, share of voice, target audience):


Want to see how easy it is to use the TapClicks analytics tool or learn how it can help your agency or marketing department? Try our free 14-day trial.

The Challenges of Reporting on Your Social Media Campaigns at Scale If You’re Using Basic or Specific Tools

If you’re not using a tool like TapClicks, you’re likely using free or basic analytics tools (e.g. Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, Instagram Analytics) to analyze the performance of your social media campaigns.

This is fine for a couple of campaigns, but what if you have tens, hundreds, or even thousands of clients? Or what if you work for a big brand company that has multiple product lines with different social media campaigns for each that you need to keep track of?

Twitter analytics per article

The basic tools are not going to make analytics reports easy for you, for the following reasons:

Accessing Data via Different Basic Tools is Laborious and Time-Consuming

To access data for your social media campaigns, you have to go into each individual platform to pull the data you need for that social media channel and download it into whatever format you want (e.g. an excel spreadsheet).

So, if you have a client where you’re running multiple campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you’ve got to individually pull the data for each one to report on it.

Let’s say you want to analyze the CTR (click-through rate) for each campaign. You would need to do this in your spreadsheet, adding up all the impressions and clicks for each campaign, from each social platform, then dividing clicks by impressions to get the total click-through rate.

An example of a manual Excel spreadsheet used to calculate Impressions, Clicks, and CTR.

This kind of manual calculation would have to happen for any overall stats you want to report to clients or management:

  • Total cost per lead or cost per conversion.
  • Total return on ad spend.

In fact, even simply adding up total engagement or total clicks from all social platforms has to be done manually because you need to get the numbers from each campaign, on each social platform, and add them up yourself.

These steps sound simple, and they are, but they are tedious to do manually. They have to be done every month (or however often you report on social media campaign performance) for all campaigns or clients.

This might be possible if you have a handful of clients (although still time-consuming), but it becomes a huge time suck if you have more than ten clients and almost impossible if you have hundreds of clients or campaigns unless you have an army of staff dedicated to doing just that.

As we’ll explain below, TapClicks allows you to automate this entire process, from pulling that data from almost any social media platform under the sun to doing calculations on that data (e.g. adding up all engagement metrics into one, or defining click-through rates or costs per engagement across multiple campaigns or platforms), and even reporting on it.

This is a massive time saver.

Basic Tools Have Basic Analysis Capability

The native or basic tools are restrictive in terms of what they allow you to do. And the specific tools are just that — specific — so, while they might be fine for what they set out to do (e.g. track competitor activity, sentiment analysis, or share of voice on social media channels), they are limited.

For example, if Facebook Insights is set up to give you your ‘engagements’ but it doesn’t break that down into CTRs, direct messages, and post comments, you’ll have to do that automatically, or your team will have to spend hours every week or month doing those calculations in spreadsheets.

An example of what Facebook analytics look like.

As we’ve said above, TapClicks allows you to create custom metrics based on whatever calculation you want on the metrics that social media platforms output.

You can create a “Brand ‘A’ Total CTR” metric and set up that calculation once and it will forever be ready for you to report on. You can even create custom metrics based on metrics from multiple social networks. So “Total CTR” could incorporate Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn data, for example.

Limited in Viewing Data for Multi-Locations

If you’re running social media campaigns for the same client or for your own brand in multiple locations (e.g. a chain of retail stores or restaurants), you want to be able to track social media posts and results by each location individually or grouped.

You can look at geographical areas to a certain extent within some free social media analytics tools (e.g. Facebook Analytics) but they do not allow you the flexibility of zooming in and out of locations for deeper insights so you can report on those insights to the relevant people in those locations to inform your marketing strategy

TapClicks has a default mapping function so zooming into data by location is easy.

Inability to Track Your Performance Against Your Goals

Most agencies and companies want to be able to track social media performance against goals so that social media strategy can be adjusted, if needed.

For example, they don’t just want a report on the number of clicks in a campaign this month but may want to see how a campaign is doing relative to previous months and relative to the intended goal — in one graph.

The free or basic tools do not allow you to do this, unlike TapClicks which has a ‘Goals versus Pacing’ feature.

Generating Polished PowerPoint or PDF Reports from the Data Is Really Time-Consuming

On top of all the inefficiencies with the analysis we discussed above, actually turning the data you’ve crunched into a polished PowerPoint report (or whichever format you want) to send to executives or clients is yet another drain on valuable time.

It’s also a tedious task to plot data every month, paste it into presentation slides, make sure things are sized, formatted, and cropped properly, so it looks good.

TapClicks is one of the only social media analytics tools that has a presentation builder in the analytics tool so you can automate generating weekly and monthly analytics reports that will always have the current social media data in each graph and slide.

In our experience, we’ve learned that some Account Managers at enterprise agencies are spending up to 27 hours per week doing these laborious tasks. This time is not spent building better campaigns or improving strategy.

The TapClicks software tool means you can analyze and report on all your social media campaigns for all your clients or products with ease as everything is done in one place.

We’ll explain how below.

How TapClicks Automates Social Media Analysis and Reporting

TapClicks is designed for agencies and companies that are running multiple social media campaigns, often for dozens of brands or clients, who have to regularly report on campaign performance to stakeholders (management teams, clients, etc.).

TapClicks was built with two things in mind: scalability and automation. 

TapClicks overcomes the challenges we outlined above by allowing you to:

Pull Data from All Your Social Media Channels

TapClicks integrates with over 250 instant-on connectors, some of which are shown here.

As we mentioned above, it is extremely time consuming for agencies or in-house marketers to pull social media analytics data from all platforms every month/week/quarter.

With TapClicks, you can connect to more than 250+ marketing-specific platforms (we call them ‘instant-on’ connectors) and start pulling your data from them immediately and automatically. These include all the leading social media platforms such as:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat


And, if there’s a lesser-known influencer marketing or social media platform that we don’t yet have an instant-on connector for, the TapClicks team can usually set this up for you, so that you can easily access that data, as well.

TapClicks also connects to Google Analytics and other marketing platforms.

Once you’re set up with the connectors for the social networks you need, your data is automatically pulled into your TapClicks account daily (or at any frequency needed).

Data will always be up-to-date because the team at TapClicks manages the connectors and ensures that the API is always updated, making it one less thing for you to worry about.

It’s worth noting that when you first set up your connectors, you can pull in 12 months of historical data — which can immediately be incorporated into your analysis and reports.

Easily Customize and Combine Metrics from Different Social Media Platforms

As we explained above, combining similar metrics from different social media platforms is not easy if you’re pulling data manually from the native or basic tools.

With TapClicks, you can decide what you’re going to call a particular umbrella metric across a variety of platforms and the TapClicks software will categorize it for you so you can view and compare the data together.

An example of this might be choosing ‘engagement’ as the umbrella term for different metrics within different platforms. For example, a post-reaction on Facebook, a ‘view’ on YouTube, or a click-through on LinkedIn (see our screenshot below).

Edit engagement for all channels within TapClicks.
Active metrics are easily combined with TapClicks

You can set up which social media data you want to be included in ‘engagement’ just once and these will be used for everything — dashboards, reports, campaigns, and clients. This is a massive time saver.

TapClicks Bonus: View Your Ad Creative Alongside Your Campaign Data

In addition to viewing all the metrics you want for each social media campaign, you can also view your ad creative alongside the data it relates to.

For example, if you’ve run a Facebook ad campaign, you can view all the metrics for that campaign depending on what widgets (different metrics) you’ve set up, and you can see the visual for the actual ad right next to those metrics (see below).

Reporting and Analytics within TapClicks

Seeing everything in one place helps tell a story and contextualize the data.

Set Up Customized Live Dashboards That Can Be Used across Hundreds of Clients or Campaigns

Above, we discussed how TapClicks can (1) automate pulling social media analytics data from multiple platforms and (2) automate doing calculations on that data to create new or combined metrics (total clickthrough rate, total engagement rate, etc.).

TapClicks goes further, however, and can also automate turning all of this data into visuals in a live, near real-time, or daily updated dashboard. Because the (1) pulling of data and (2) analysis and calculations on that data are automatic, the data on the dashboards is also automatically updated.

Creating these dashboards is easy: We have templates for dashboards and individual graphs, charts, and visuals (what we call “widgets”).

Dashboard templates on TapClicks

By default, every TapClicks dashboard is a template, so you can set it up once and use it across tens or hundreds of different clients or campaigns. This is a marked difference from dashboards like Google Data Studio (GDS).

In Google Data Studio, if you have 50 clients, you’ll generally have 50 separate dashboards. If you want to make a change to how you report on something for all 50 clients, you have to make that change 50 separate times.

With TapClicks, you can just change the master dashboard that all 50 are using and the change is made to all 50 dashboards at once. TapClicks dashboards can also dynamically hide sectors if there is no data for that particular graph, visual, or client.

Note: You can also make a change to just one dashboard, if you prefer.

Performance Over Time, Impressions by State, Impression Share, etc. within TapClicks.

TapClicks Bonus: Set up Alerts

TapClicks offers a really useful alert function where you can get notified if any metric hits a set threshold.

In the example below, an alert has been set for when the cost per click in a particular Facebook Ads campaign is greater than $5.50.

Setting Up Alerts in TapClicks

You can set up as many alerts as you wish, allowing you to keep close tabs on your campaigns and quickly make any needed adjustments.

Multi-Location Scalability

If you run a business with multiple locations, or if you have clients who have several locations, and you want to analyze social media campaigns at different levels, TapClicks can easily combine stats at local, regional, or national levels.

For example, if you were running social media campaigns for a car dealership, you might want to look at social media spend for one specific dealership. Or you may want to group together, say, three dealerships in a certain area (see below). Any of this can be done with TapClicks.

Likewise, you can view your performance data for the entire car dealership.

Multi-Location Client Report with TapClicks

TapClicks has a default mapping function which means you can report on social media campaigns for an individual location right up to an overall company level as well as every other segment in between. You can home into whatever location you want to view data for by hovering over that area on a map — zooming in and out of cities, countries, or even globally!

Widgets can be configured so you can view the data as you wish (e.g CTR by month), shown below, and you can then view this by location where the data will update dynamically.

Social media analytics tools: Easily see all of your data in one place with TapClicks

Click here to check out our post on Marketing Reporting for Multi-Location Businesses.

TapClicks Bonus: Goal versus Pacing Tool

In our experience, all our customers including enterprise agencies and large brands, want to be able to track their social media performance metrics alongside their goals. So, we’ve developed a function that does that for you. With TapClicks, you can view your campaign performance and costs against the goals you set out, shown below.

This means you can scrutinize the pace and KPIs of a campaign as it unfolds and make adjustments as necessary, rather than reacting to the results retroactively.

As with all the other functions, the data is dynamic, so you can view just one social media campaign for one location for one client, right up to several campaigns for hundreds of clients, and every segment in between.

Multiple goals can be easily measured with TapClicks.

Easily Create and Schedule Reports

As well as being able to view your data in your live dashboard whenever you want, TapClicks offers a reporting tool called ReportStudio, which is the equivalent of having a PowerPoint presentation that is connected to all of your social media stats and thus can automatically keep slides updated with the latest data.

Combined with the automatic pulling in and analyzing of data, this means you can build weekly or monthly analytics reports of your social media campaign data once, and schedule it to go out weekly, monthly, or whenever you want. All stats, graphs, charts, and visuals will automatically be updated with the latest data for that month.

You can schedule these reports to be emailed as attachments at whatever frequency you want so the entire reporting process can be automated.

You can set up permissions so that only the people you want seeing the reports have access to them, and you can customize what they see, too. For example, if you don’t want them to see your mark-up costs, the widget for this can be customized so that this is not viewable from their perspective.

Scheduled Report Scheduling is made simple in TapClicks

Other Tools That Help You Analyze and Report on Your Social Media Campaigns


Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a social media management and monitoring tool that not only analyzes your social media campaigns (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn) but also offers what it calls ‘advanced listening’ features. These provide insight into audience demographics, industry influences, and consumer sentiment.

It offers templated and customizable reporting options as well as access to data on your internal team’s performance as well as competitor analysis.


HubSpot

HubSpot offers a comprehensive social media analytics tool within its full marketing platform.

As it also offers sales, customer service, and CRM software, you can combine your social media analytics with your entire customer journey.

With HubSpot, you can publish social media content, such as blogs and videos, allowing you to use the same platform to create your social media campaigns and monitor them.


Quintly

Quintly is a social media analytics tool that allows you to pull data from major social media accounts and track performance across hundreds of profiles. It has flexible dashboards which analyze your performance and also allow you to gain insights into your competitors.

Quinty integrates with 350+ metrics and allows you to export data in several formats including CSV, PDF, and PowerPoint.

Tools that Help you Analyze the Social Media Landscape


Followerwonk

Followerwonk is a social analytics tool specifically for Twitter. It gives you details of your Twitter followers and allows you to search Twitter bios, tweets, compare users, analyze data, and track and sort followers.

It allows you to compare Twitter accounts so you can find new overlaps and target influencers. You can also analyze your followers by location, bio, and who they follow to help inform your social media strategy.


Iconosquare

Iconosquare is an analytics platform that helps you track and report on performance for the main social media channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

There is a competitor tracking feature which means you can compare and benchmark your performance with other brands, and agencies can manage several accounts from a single dashboard.

With Iconosquare, you can publish social media content automatically. Plus, it can monitor metrics such as the best time to post along with your performance against that of your competitors.


Keyhole

Keyhole is a social media tracking tool that allows you to track and monitor hashtags, brand mentions, competitor activity, influencers, events, and campaigns.

It does this for all of the main social media channels and can provide you with reports detailing audience insights — based on its social listening and brand monitoring features.

Easily Scale Your Social Media Metrics with TapClicks

We’ve discussed the challenges of analyzing and reporting on your social media campaigns if you have hundreds of digital marketing clients and/or campaigns. Using native or basic tools may be all you need for a handful of clients or social media campaigns but these will quickly become hugely restrictive if you need to scale.

Having TapClicks do all this for you automatically and seamlessly will free up a significant amount of your team’s time. This means your account managers will be able to do what you want them to do: Drive your marketing campaigns forward and make strategic decisions to improve your ROI.

Want to see how easy it is to use the TapClicks analytics tool for all your social media campaigns and clients? Try our free 14-day trial.

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