Monitoring traffic is almost just as important as generating it, and I’ve touched on the subject in the past as well. However, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit this subject and not only take a look at a different angle but also make a list of all the best tools to use to monitor your social media traffic.
Monitoring traffic is, as mentioned earlier, extremely important. And, by monitoring your social media traffic carefully, you will be able to:
- Devise better, more efficient social media marketing plans and strategies
- Find out which social networks work best for you and your audience
- Find out at which times your social media followers and friends are most active
- Find out what type of content your social media followers and friends are most interested in
- Find out who likes your content in the social world
- Use all of this information to get more traffic in the future
But before you can start monitoring your traffic, you need to find the perfect tools to use in order to get the information you need. There are so many tools out there, offering some of the most various analytics, that it can be quite difficult to find the best for your needs. Social media analytics especially are still a new subject, and most people aren’t very familiar with these types of tools. Here are some of the best analytics and monitoring tools on the market for social media traffic:
1. Google Analytics + Social Media Metrics Plugin for Google
Google analytics still offer probably the best and most comprehensive analytics out there. All website owners should have a Google Analytics account. You will be able to use it to track all your traffic sources, be they social media related or not. The drawback, however, is that you can’t focus only on social networks, so if you are using social media for marketing and promotional purposes, I recommend you also use other monitoring tools that take a much more in-depth look at your social analytics and will then help you get better results from your social networking. Or, to make things easier, you can try the Social Media Metrics plugin for Google Analytics. It will allow you to see all your social media metrics and traffic directly from your Google Analytics account. For every page on your website, you will get a list of the most important metrics, starting with pageviews and ending with the page’s activity on different social networks. It’s a very useful tool especially for those who use Google Analytics, as they can now get all the information they need from one place.
2. Google Social Plug-in Analytics
Google also offer their own website plugin for tracking social shares. It works with social buttons from websites and tracks which buttons were clicked and for which article, so you know what your readers enjoy the most. Since it is a Google plugin, there is no required setup to track Google+ 1 interactions, however if you want to track any other social networks there is some additional technical setup.
3. Social Metrics plugin for WordPress
If you have a WordPress Website, I highly recommend this free plugin. With it you can track your blog’s performance across all the major social networks. The information this plugin gives you may be simple and limited, but it’s to-the-point and extremely useful. Social Metrics takes all of your individual blog posts and shows you how many shares each one of them has had on each major social network. It’s extremely useful for finding out which blog posts are the most popular on social networks, so you will know what your followers want to read about. With this information you will then know what to write about in the future in order to attract more traffic to your website. The plugin is very easy to install and very easy to use, which is also a great plus.
4. Simply Measured
At first glance, Simply Measured looks like a simple reporting tool. However, it is so much more than that: apart from beautiful reports, it also has some great analytical tools built in. With Simply Measured you can get reports for all the major social networks, not just Twitter and Facebook, and you will also get some useful insights to help with your social media endeavors. One of the features that I really like is that they are one of the few that offer Vine tweets analysis. At the moment, they are offering 18 different free reports that you can choose from.
5. Facebook Insights
If you have a Facebook Page or you are a Facebook platform developer then you have access to Facebook Insights, a very useful analytical tool that is brought by Facebook so the margin for errors is much smaller then if it were an outside party. It’s very easy to use and you get a wealth of information about who likes your page and posts, how many people you reach, what type of content they enjoyed the most and many other useful facts and figures. You won’t get website traffic numbers, but you will still get a glimpse into what type of content your Facebook fans enjoy. And with that information you can create more content optimized for Facebook users and, in turn, get more traffic to your website!
TweetReach is a simple, yet quite effective analytical tool, as it can give you some real insight into exactly how many people your tweets are reaching. All you have to do is connect with your Twitter account and then search for anything you would like, such as a Twitter screen name, a URL, a hashtag or even a phrase. You will then see an estimation of how many accounts were reached, who were the top contributors and how much they contributed, which are the most retweeted tweets and also a timeline of tweets. It’s useful in finding out how far your tweets travel as well as who your top influencers and contributors are.
7. Social Mention
Social Mention is another very easy to use tool, but still one that can offer some interesting insights into your social life. You can do a search for you own name or any other keyword you want and you get some interesting information such as reach, sentiment, strength, the top users using those keywords, an average per mention and many others. It’s great for finding out your reach and strength as well as for finding out if a certain subject is popular on social media; with that information you can then send out better tweets that draw in more engagement, and consequently, more traffic.
Crowdbooster is one of the more complete social media analytical tools, that works with Twitter and Facebook. What is best about Crowdbooster is that it’s very visual and easy to understand and they offer very complete stats in real time. It also gives you a breakdown of all your posts with all the relevant metrics so you can make a pretty clear idea of which posts drive the most engagement. You can also find out who your biggest social fans are (i.e. who retweets, shares, comments etc. the most). It has quite a few interesting and useful features apart from the ones I’ve just mentioned, such as post and tweet scheduling, intelligent alerts and recommendations and the ability to manage multiple accounts.
Monitoring your website traffic is very important, but if you are using social media to promote your business then you also need to carefully monitor that in order to get the best results. Which analytical tools do you use to track your social media? Please leave your comments!
- The Silver Bullet for Effective Social Media Measurement (socialmediatoday.com)
- Tracking the KPIs of Social Media (seomoz.org)
- New Google Analytics metrics for a (not provided) world (raventools.com)
Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net