10 Social Media Analytics Tools

By Janine Warner, David LaFontaine

Measuring influence on social media is a big business. Smart companies are using social networking sites to identify influencers, generate sales, and measure sentiment. Many services produce sophisticated analytics and reports, and the best ones charge big fees to do so.

Get a global view with Trendsmap

Visit Trendsmap anytime day or night, and you’ll see the most important keywords being shared on Twitter around the globe. This highly visual site displays a map, overlaid with the current most popular keywords on Twitter.

As you scroll around the map onscreen, you see the keywords over the United States at the time this screenshot was captured. You can change the screen view on Trendsmap and see the trending keywords change while you move around the globe.

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This real-time view of the Twitter-verse is quite a wonder to behold when you consider that it offers a glimpse of what’s on the minds of millions of people all over the world.

Pricing for Trendsmap varies based on the specific services engaged. Free trials are available.

Measure Your Klout score

The Klout web service assigns every social media user a score between 1 and 100 that purports to show how influential you are.

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Klout scores are based on how many connections you have, how many sites you use, how often you post on social media sites, and perhaps most importantly, how often your comments are Liked and shared by others.

Most social media users have a Klout score below 20, and only a very few celebrities with huge social media following score close to 100.

Many big companies are using Klout to identify opinion leaders who they believe may be especially valuable when it comes to promoting their products or brands because they represent a large following. As a result, Klout users with high scores are awarded prizes from sponsors hoping to win their favor.

Earn deals with PeerIndex

PeerIndex is similar to Klout in that it purports to measure influence. However, PeerIndex offers a different way of ranking users and uses a system of rewards based on offering product discounts than prizes.

You can log in to PeerIndex by connecting through Facebook or Twitter and immediately see what your current ranking is on a scale of 1 to 100. Based on your score and areas of interest or influence, PeerIndex then produces a list of products and services you can buy at a discount.

Trade favors at Empire Avenue

Although Empire Avenue is yet another site designed to help rank social media users, it’s quite different from PeerIndex or Klout. Empire Avenue functions like a social stock market, where participants use virtual currency to buy and sell shares in each other’s profiles.

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Using the site is like playing a big online game, and active players can dramatically affect each other’s valuations while building connections. It is free to create an Empire Avenue profile.

Explore social media with Topsy

Topsy is a search engine, similar to Google or Bing, except that it searches social media sites, including YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Enter a name, keyword, or phrase, and Topsy crawls through the social sites you’ve selected, looking for matches.

You can use Topsy to compare trending search times. Search for competing terms to find out whether people are talking about you, your brand, your business, or any person or topic you find interesting.

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Topsy offers a free search and a professional level of service that is more advanced (for a fee). This site can be especially useful if you’re trying to build your network around a specialty and you want to identify other people who are sharing information on that topic.

Study metrics with Radian6

At the top of the heap of social media metrics tools, you’ll find Radian6, now owned by Salesforce. Radian6 is one of the most advanced — and expensive — ways to track keywords, identify opinion leaders, and explore social media in depth.

Big companies spend thousands of dollars per month to use Radian6 to track what people are saying about brands online and even to help target followers with specific demographics. This is a powerful tool — with high price tags to match.

Enjoy the view with uberVU

You can use uberVU to follow keywords over time, study audience engagement, and schedule and market posts through a sophisticated online dashboard.

Although uberVU isn’t as expensive as Radian6, it is a professional tool that starts at $499 per month. If you’re working for a large or medium-sized business, the quality of leads this program can generate may be well worth the price.

Check Facebook engagement

The EdgeRank Checker online tool is specifically designed to monitor and assess social media interactions on Facebook. Use EdgeRank Checker to compare the popularity of posts and help you determine what kinds of posts are most likely to gain attention and rank high on Facebook.

Measure social sentiment

Enter any name into PeopleBrowsr and you’ll get an in-depth look at online activity related to that name over a period of up to 1,000 days.

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You can search for a person’s name, brand name, or other keywords. PeopleBrowsr not only lists matches, but it also displays who mentioned the name and how often it was shared, Liked, or retweeted. The service also identifies the locations where the name is most frequently mentioned, what communities may be sharing the name, and whether the sentiment expressed is primarily negative or positive.

Full use of the service requires a subscription, but the first nine searches are free.

Report results with Viralheat

Viralheat offers a suite of tools for social media marketing, monitoring, and analytics. The price is lower than uberVU or Radian6, but this is still a professional set of tools you can use to manage small to large business accounts online.

You can use Viralheat to identify sales leads, measure sentiment, and produce a variety of reports.