What are the best social media measurement tools?

As social media and marketing become more and more intrinsically linked, more and more measurement tools are appearing to help the normal marketer measure the all important ROI of social media.

Before, it was just Google Analytics and Excel Spreadsheets. Now you have Sysomos, Sprout Social and Brandwatch to name but a few social media measurement tools.

But which ones are the best? Which ones give you the information that you need? And which just dazzle you with a lovely dashboard that doesn’t allow you any intelligence at all?

Firstly, as we always say on this blog, you need to identify your goals and measurements, and then you can use those metrics to get, erm, your metrics. 

The problem with many social media measurement tools is that they are always seeking to give you added value measurements, including their own, arbitrary rating that you can use to see where you are against peers with their rating.
The most popular is without a doubt Klout or Peer Index. As they are popular, they are very good for measuring your performance against your peers. If everyone’s on it, you can quickly see how well you are doing against other people.

A good tool for more in-depth social analysis is Sprout Social, which gives the user a plethora of data to use, but also more numbers, such as theoretical presence and impact of tweets.

This, however, should be approached with caution as the numbers that are giving a theoretical presence are very high and could be seized upon as a real time measurement.

Brand Watch is another very good tool. A fully paid for proposition, it is an evolving offering that can also track your PR and marketing activities. So although not fully geared for social, they are a great tool for a holistic measurement campaign.

In the end it depends on what you like, what you find works for you and buy what you’re willing to pay. If you’re successful in social media, you would not need that many tools to tell you, you just need to know how to present that success.

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lucy.tyerman
4 Jan 2013, 12:14 p.m.

It is common practice to 'shop around' when finding the best social media monitoring tool as each tool tends to specialise in something different.

I would also add Sentiment Metrics to this list as we're not featured and should be :) The tool has won awards for it's ease of use and deployment.

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gareth.crew
10 Jan 2013, 10:46 a.m.

Yes, they are also a good one to use, but it does go back to what you want and need from a tool and also which one you can get on with best.

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