Written on March 22, 2011 by  /  with 2 comments  /  in the Social Media, Web Analytics category.

Top 7 Free Applications for Gathering Social Analytics Data

Social Analytics is becoming more and more synonymous with Web Analytics for online publishers and internet marketers. But where can you retrieve Social Analytics data from? Here are 7 free services that you can integrate your website/blog with to get this data.

1. PostRank Analytics

PostRank Analytics helps you find out, track, and analyze how “socially engaging” your website is (how much it drives visitors to share it). With PostRank Analytics, you can track both your onsite (blog articles, etc), and your offsite (PDF’s, YouTube videos, MySpace pages, etc) content to see how engaging it is.

PostRank provides you with analytics from over 20 of the top social networks (digg, twitter, reddit, delicious, etc). It tracks and rates visitors’ different activities that they do with your content like comments, tweets, diggs, rss views, and more. It then gives each “event” a different number of points, depending on the level of effort each event takes to perform. It integrates with Google Analytics to track those metrics also. That way, you can gauge how engaging you content truly is!

PostRank Analytics also helps you discover who, when and where your audience is engaging in real-time, so you can see exactly who and where your “influencers” are.

2. AddThis Analytics

AddThis is a great tool to “make sharing easy.” It adds clickable icons for the social media sites you choose (facebook, twitter, gmail, etc) to your content. When someone wants to share your content, they just click on the icon and it immediately takes them to that site, and it will automatically add a link and a preview. So, all the visitor has to do is click the icon and hit submit (and add a comment if they want to). This lets them skip any copying and pasting, manually going to the social media site, etc.

AddThis Analytics provides you with analytics information on all of the shares from your AddThis icons. It provides you with very easy to read graphs and graphics to see exactly what content is being shared, and how and where your content is being shared.

AddThis Analytics also provides you with information to see things like your audience breakdown, audience interests, searches & referrers to your site, and more.

3. HootSuite

HootSuite is a social media dashboard that allows you to manage multiple social media networks in one tool. It’s a great tool to help you with your own/your company’s social media activities. Through HootSuite, you can:

  • Update multiple networks (twitter, facebook, etc….even wordpress!) in one step
  • Give multiple contributors access to the same profile (without sharing your passwords)
  • Assign tasks to different team members
  • Schedule out updates/messages
  • Convert your messages to different languages
  • Monitor the mentions of your name, brand, or company
  • Track your social media results
  • View multiple social media streams in one place

And to top it all of you get analytical data back from all of this activity.

4. Google Analytics

If you’ve been using Google Analytics to track and analyze your traffic, take a look at the this article. It breaks down for you, step by step, how to create a filter to compare visits from the different social networks. By using this custom Social Networks Filter, you can track and analyze the traffic coming to your site from the different social networks (as opposed to just viewing it with all of the other traffic mediums to your site).

5. Goo.gl – The Google URL Shortener

If you aren’t familiar with URL Shorteners, they are great tools for those social media sites that limit your characters (think Twitter). Basically, they shorten the amount of characters that your URL takes up. They take your URL (ex: http://chasesagum.com/category/social-media (43 characters)), and turn the display URL into a much shorter URL (ex: http://goo.gl/lEwjW) (19 characters)). Your link still goes to your desired page, but it saves you many precious characters (in this example’s case, 24).

There are many URL shortening services out there (goo.gl, bit.ly, tinyurl.com, and many more). The great thing about using Google’s goo.gl is that you have access to Google tracking on these new shortened URL’s. Usually if you type a url into Twitter, you don’t have access to much tracking after it’s posted. But, when using Google’s shortened URL’s you can view clicks, traffic sources, the countries, browsers, and platforms clicks came from, and more on the posted short URL’s. Also, Google typically gives you shorter URL’s than most of the other shortening services, so that’s an added bonus.

6. YouTube Insight

YouTube Insight is basically YouTube’s Analytics: their internal way for you to track and analyze the info for your videos. It has similar features to any other analytics tools you’re using, but this is specific for your videos. You can view data for one video, or all the videos within a channel. With YouTube Insight, you can view the demographics of the people that have viewed your video(s), where/when views are coming from, even the “hot spots” in your videos (bounce and rewind rates, etc), and more.

7. Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights gives you metrics around your Facebook page content. It allows you to view and analyze numbers and trends within user growth, user demographics, etc. It gives you information about how many new/lifetime likes you’ve received, how many active users you have, how many post views, how much post feedback, etc, and how those numbers compare to past numbers.

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