Social media marketing is vital for any business trying to compete in the contemporary marketplace. As social media’s use in business grew, so did the companies that analyze these posts for their effectiveness. Whether you use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Instagram, you have several tools at your disposal for measuring social media marketing success.

Check out these 10 of the best tools for measuring your social media marketing. Some are free and some cost money, but all of them can give you insights into how to track your investments in social media.

1. Google Analytics

Everyone starts with Google Analytics and the tech giant’s massive data aggregation capabilities. Google is king of the digital realm, and rightfully so. Its algorithms are some of the most complicated, thorough and efficient ways of mining information from the web.

The Social Analytics section of Google Analytics allows you to set goals that measure the value of your social media. Do you want a particular post to reach 100 shares? How about the posts that generate new qualified sales leads? Set a particular event as the goal, such as watching a video or clicking on a link. If that link or video is only shared through social media, that’s one way Google Analytics shows you the success rate of a social media marketing campaign. Essentially, Google determines which posts were most effective at accomplishing your goals.

This software also tracks conversions so you know which marketing campaigns worked the best. You can tap into Google Analytics for free, and that’s always a plus.

2. Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics is also a powerhouse when it comes to mining data from the internet. The “kiss” part stands for “keep it simple, silly,” and that’s how the platform is presented. Kissmetrics takes complex sets of data and breaks it down for you into easily understood key performance indicators, conversion rates and customer behavior.

This software evaluates when customers engage with your site or social media, when they leave and when they return. The most valuable aspect of Kissmetrics is when it measures someone returning to your website. For instance, a Los Angeles social media company clicks on a Facebook post, follows the posted link and views the attached picture. Kissmetrics examines how that customer interacted with the post and for how long. When that customer comes back to view another post, Kissmetrics recognizes the same Los Angeles social media company as a return customer.

Once you have that return customer in hand, it becomes easier to target an advertisement or post to that client. The more interactions you have, the easier it becomes to create targeted content.

3. HootSuite

HootSuite is another giant of the industry. This program lets you run more than 30 individual reports at a time as you track multiple social media channels at once. HootSuite measures who gives a hoot as a good, basic tool for users. The free version isn’t as comprehensive as the premium versions, but if you’re a startup looking for some extra help, HootSuite’s platform is a relevant choice for beginners because the platform is easy to use.

View a specific social media campaign on one side or call up a summary of your metrics in a small pop-up window. Metrics include favorite tweets, hot posts and what happens when a customer interacts with your social media feeds.

4. SocialMention

SocialMention is a simple tool similar to Google Alerts except that it’s for social media. The beauty of social media platforms is that you get to see when and how someone engages with those posts. You receive alerts when someone shares a Twitter post, likes a Facebook comment or says something on YouTube.

Instead of checking each individual social media tool to see, SocialMention gauges the sentiment of a certain social media push across all channels. If you created a hashtag specific for your content, SocialMention shows how people respond to it, what they say and puts it all into a spreadsheet for further evaluation.

5. Klout

Klout lets individual users who serve as an influencer marketing campaign. When a post’s clout is raised, you get to see how people determined which posts were the most valuable to them. Klout develops a scoring system for each post. The higher the clout number, the better your campaign. This system works across as many channels as you see fit. You can read Klout scores across a graph that goes up or down based on people’s sentiments.

You get a score out of 100 as to the effectiveness of a post. It also lets you engage with your influencer marketing campaign by showing you which people has the most successful interactions within a campaign. Did the one person who re-tweeted your post have 1,000 followers or 1 million? This tool is a good way to gauge the long-term viability of a post in your push for better social media management

6. Little Bird

Little Bird specializes in reaching out to influencers during an influencer marketing campaign. The idea is that this software tracks highly prominent people so your sales team can turn them into qualified leads. This makes your staff time more efficient by eliminating people who don’t have the responsibility to place orders or get things done in a firm.

7. Buffer

Buffer is a comprehensive scheduling tool that posts targeted messages when you want them posted to your social media channels. Examine individual posts and rank them by how much potential of a particular social media push. The potential takes into account someone’s followers, friends and subscribers who might take an interest in your content. The only snafu is that you must create social media posts through its platform to get the numbers. Otherwise, it’s a great tool to gauge how a post does throughout the day.

8. SumAll

SumAll breaks down your day and your week into easily digestible numbers. The program sums up your week and compares it to previous weeks. It also measures your reach and mentions to gauge the sentiment of a social media marketing campaign. This program saves you time by letting you determine what posts work during specific times of the week.

9. Followerwonk

Followerwonk limits itself to Twitter, but the beauty of this program is that it lets you track the competition. Then you see how your own social media management does compared to similar companies. If you want to get a leg up on the largest company in your market, here’s a good way to see how their Twitter campaigns work versus yours. It may not represent the final answer to gaining greater market share, but Followerwonk gives you insight as to how your competition thinks and what other people think of your rivals.

10. Cyfe

Cyfe is a free service that aggregates everything from your social media marketing into one easy-to-see dashboard. Although it creates information and analyzes data much like every other social media analytics program, this software compiles it all into one dashboard view that’s easy to see. Colored graphs monitor everything across all of your social media all at once. Cyfe gives you a great snapshot of how influencer marketing works in real-time.

Final Thoughts

Your return on investment isn’t just about whether a social media campaign brought in more sales. Social media posts are successful when your customers engage with your social media platforms. A post shared 50 times can still be valuable, because you may not realize how many times someone else shares that post down the line.

Another thing to remember is that social media posts have a very short lifespan. In 30 minutes, your social media post may quickly become irrelevant, especially if you try to reach people at a particular time of day. That’s where analytics software comes in handy when you gauge what happens to a post during a particular time of day. Knowledge is power, and when you know what’s going on in the social media realm, you have the power to influence customers.

That’s where the best social media marketing tools help you the most. Viable analytics programs can track precisely where someone engaged with your social media campaigns even after someone shares your initial post. Once you have that data, it’s time to target some content towards the people who responded. You can narrow down the best time of day to post things, who to mention in a post and even what hashtags are most relevant to your company. That’s how you develop loyal customers and repeat business through your social media management strategy.

See what Stranger Social can do for you. This Los Angeles influencer marketing company shows you how to take your social media campaigns to new levels when you learn to tap into all of the data out there. We are the Los Angeles influencer marketing company with the drive, determination and heart to help you succeed in a sea of social media management companies in southern California.