A Social Media Budget For Every Strategy: Analytics

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With social media being so ubiquitous in marketing activities, marketers have many options to choose from when considering what platform to use. The Smart-Idea1numbers can be very confusing sometimes, in addition to the identification of why the marketer needs a particular platform.

As I look at my social media efforts month over month, I always consider what is around, my budget, ROI considerations, and more, beyond sales pitches. As a marketer, while our work may be emotional, opening up the pocketbook (or closing it) is all business. In this series we’ll be covering the high, middle, and low end social media tools that will help make any marketer — perhaps yours — an easier one.

Today’s topic is analytics. With data becoming more and more important in marketing, companies must find a way to interpret that data so they can best reach their audience. Luckily there are a lot of tools being created to help meet this demand.

Let us know what you think:

The High End

Who: Radian 6, Sprinklr, SimplyMeasured, Sysomos

How Much: $500 into the tens of thousands of dollars

Why So Much: It is the author’s opinion here that many analytics companies are founded to serve the needs and wishes of large corporations, because large corporations have the money to pay to support the need for all this data that the tools above want to find. Large companies use these tools to figure out how they rank in sentiment towards their competitors, understand the industry landscape, and of course, have a big shiny toy to play with. If you’re a small business owner, this is something that you can only dream of using (or you can quit your business and find a day job that allows for this — it is a growing field after all).

You Would Use This If: If you were rich, knock yourself out. Otherwise you’d have to be a corporation in fairly good standing with thousands of employees and millions to billions in revenue to afford the support services, functionality, and more.

The Middle End

Who: HootSuite, Buffer

How Much: $8-50 per month

Why: For the regular business owner, sometimes its cool to see how many times our cat video link was clicked. In all seriousness however, many of the same tools you use for platform management and content management also have some great built-in analytics tools. HootSuite uses its in-house ow.ly links to measure engagement, and Buffer has a built-in analytics platform on the $50 per month and higher tier. If you’re already paying for these tools, go one step further and take a look at the analytics tools.

You Would Use This If: Sometimes investors, friends, and potential buyers of business come along and simply want to know how well you are doing on your social media. Even if the numbers come down to clicks, likes, and comments, those numbers still can mean something since it shows how aware the world is of your business. However if your bottom line is the only convincing metric that can sway you, let me lift the last line from the previous paragraph: “If you’re already paying for these tools, go one step further and take a look at the analytics tools” — it’s part of the package!

The Low End

Who: Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, Google Analytics, Topsy (Hashtags), Manual Search, Klout, TweetLevel, and many, many, many more

How Much: Just your time, blood, sweat, and tears

Why: The low end of the analytics landscape is filled with a cocktail of tools for you to get drunk over. While at the end of the day your social media results should really be the amount of sales you’re driving sometimes you just want to know what’s leading to that. The tools above do all that, and many of the paid tools you saw above feed from these to give a better, more visual report. If you’re willing to spend the time digging through the data, your social media data is your oyster.

You Would Use This If: You were crazy. And you really did have the time to try and look through every dimensional data point you were attempting to measure in your social media efforts.

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Albert Qian

Albert Qian is a social media professional passionate about analytics and the human potential, born and raised in Silicon Valley, California. Qian has a unique background having worked done social media for B2B, B2C, startups, and higher education clients, and is author of "The Social Media Ecosystem" In his free time he enjoys a hearty meal with great conversation with some smooth jazz in the background. Visit his site here.

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