5 Tools for Measuring Social Marketing Results

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Social media has become an essential part of the local marketer’s playbook. But with so many platforms and networks to choose from, and so many metrics to measure, it’s challenging for small business owners to know what they’re getting in return for their budgets. Social media spending is expected to increase by 126 percent over the next five years, according to a recent report by The CMO Survey, but only 15 percent of marketers say they can show the impact of social spending using quantitative approaches.

Back in 2012, 38 percent of marketers were blaming their inability to tie social media to revenue on “poor tools,” but the same cannot be said today. A number of hyperlocal technology providers have stepped up to the plate with advanced tools for measuring results on social spending. Here are six platforms that are available right now.

1. Simply Measured: Tie social spending to KPIs.
Social marketers who are looking for better ways to identify which tactics are working best for their organizations can use Simply Measured to discover the impact that various channels and posts are having on audience engagement. Sudden spikes in audience engagement can be explained right away, and ad spending can be tied to KPIs like clicks, app installs, and leads. Simply Measured is also able to standardize metrics to facilitate cross-channel measurement. Businesses can add context by comparing their KPIs to competitors in their industries. Simply Measured’s Social plan starts at $500 per month.

2. Qualia: Analyze website visits to assess changes in consumer intent.
Formerly known as LocalResponse, Qualia gives marketers the ability to respond to real-time expression of consumer intent. It also offers a way to understand social campaign performance by listening to intent signals before and after social campaigns are delivered. Qualia helps businesses understand how their campaigns have influenced consumer purchases by listening for shifts in online discussions, analyzing search and website visitation data, and analyzing proprietary data used to measure lifts in consumer engagement, preferences, and brand affinity. Businesses can contact Qualia for specific pricing information.

3. Union Metrics: Track metrics across multiple projects.
Union Metrics measures social conversations that businesses are having with customers across multiple networks — including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr — and uses the resulting data to piece together a comprehensive social strategy. Merchants get a high-level view of how their social media spending is paying off when Union Metrics identifies things like which hashtags and posts are most effective for increasing follower counts or promoting engagement. Merchants also can compare individual campaigns across social media to determine where their budgets should be focused. Pricing for Union Metrics starts at $99 per month for a single-channel plan.

4. Sendible: Tie website traffic to social efforts.
A social media management vendor based in London, Sendible offers powerful analytics tools for businesses looking to measure social media success. The platform stands out for its ability to generate presentation-ready reports. More importantly, Sendible uses a Google Analytics integration to enable its clients to track the impact that social accounts and email campaigns are having on their website visits and pageviews. Businesses can parse this information to uncover geographical data as well, which can be useful when determining what type of content to post on social networks. Pricing starts at $59 per month for Sendible’s Startup plan.

5. Trackur: Make data-driven decisions on social spending.
Trackur provides its users with social media measurement tools, letting them see “everything there is to know” about their own social media presence. Trackur archives every conversation that happens about a company on social media and automatically scores posts based on user sentiment and influence. Trackur monitors “hundreds of millions of sources,” including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and online forums. Looking at Trackur’s dashboards, merchants can determine whether increases in their social spending are resulting in improved sentiment online, and whether influential social media users are posting about their products or services. Trackur’s pricing starts at $97 per month.

Know of other tools that businesses can use to measure and evaluate social spending? Leave a description in the comments.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.