Publishers Favorite Social Media Tracking Tools
Social media audiences have effectively become another universe of prospects to tap, which means measurement and tracking is essential to yielding from these visitors both direct and indirect revenue. While Facebook and Twitter offer their own analytics tools, a host of third-party offerings exist to pick up where they leave off. Here, digital audience marketers chime in on the ones they’re using now, and why.Tool: Adobe SitecatalystWhat It Does: Segments traffic to determine “high-value” Web visitors and offers real-time analytics.The Breakdown: “We get most of our Facebook data by marrying up Facebook Insights data with our Web analytics from Adobe Sitecatalyst. We use Sitecatalyst to analyze all of the traffic coming back to our sites and what is getting them there. We have integrated some of our other social vendors like Gigya into Sitecatalyst so that we can look at our shares, likes, tweets, pins, social logins, comments, etc., and the impact of those for our traffic.” –Erin Hoskins, Senior Marketing Director, New Media, MeredithTool: CuralateWhat It Does: Monitors and measures traffic from “visual-based platforms”—namely (for now, at least) Pinterest.The Breakdown: “Pinterest doesn’t have an open API yet, so data has been pretty limited. Curalate allows us to see how the content we pin to our boards is performing, as well as the content people are organically pinning from our sites, and more importantly how viral those actions are, since it’s reported that 80 percent of Pinterest activity comes from repins.” –Erin Hoskins, Senior Marketing Director, New Media, Meredith Tool: Radian6 (Salesforce)What It Does: Gathers, tracks, analyzes and reports on what people are saying about a brand, on blogs and through comments and posts on social media sites. The Breakdown: “Capturing conversation outside brand-owned channels is not a perfect science, but at the moment, Radian6 is leading the pack. It’s decent at capturing blog and Twitter-based content but not as accurate at capturing content that is behind a ‘sign-in’ gate, most notably Facebook. This means there is always a margin of error in what the tool is measuring. For this reason, we prefer to pull specific data on each platform from each platform and create our own cumulative reports.” –Raman Kia, Executive Director, Digital Strategy, Condé Nast Media Group.Tool: SysomosWhat it does: Like Radian6, Sysomos is designed to help brands “listen” to what people are saying about them online, particularly through social media. The Breakdown: “This is a new vendor for us. It will allow us to track conversations about our brands and campaigns, spot trends in core content areas and identify key influencers that are connected to our brands.” –Erin Hoskins, Senior Marketing Director, New Media, MeredithTool: Open Site Explorer (SEOmoz)What It Does: Offers data on most-linked-to content and most-linked-from sites, and allows Web publishers to compare their own data against the competition. The Breakdown: “We prefer to take the extra step when measuring ‘influence’ and look at the value of referral links in terms of page authority. Open Site Explorer is a great tool for this.” –Raman Kia, Executive Director, Digital Strategy, Condé Nast Media Group.Tool: Chartbeat Publishing (formerly Newsbeat)What It Does: Shows the most popular content on a site at a given time, how readers move around the site, the level of engagement for each story and which stories people read all the way through versus abandoned after one paragraph.The Breakdown: “The Chartbeat interface is very intuitive and visual, so you can get a lot of information in one place. There is something about the color and tone that’s very easy to look at for hours. It’s also simple to customize.” –Leslie Ellwood, Executive Director, Audience Development, American Media Inc.Tool: Bitly What It Does: Allows users to share and bookmark links, powers shortened URLs used especially on Twitter and offers an enterprise analytics platform.The Breakdown: “I like Bitly to measure external traffic, so looking at our brands versus the competition.” –Leslie Ellwood, Executive Director, Audience Development, American Media Inc.