Truly measuring and analyzing the impact of social media efforts has been a difficult, time intensive process that often leads to more questions than answers.
Why? Because a true social media analytics tool doesn't exist. Yet.
This means we're left pulling data from multiple sources in an attempt to cobble together a way to analyze our social data that we hope will provide the insights necessary to evaluate the success of our social media efforts.
If you've tried to do this on your own, you know the headaches involved with compiling data from Facebook Insights, YouTube Insight, Twitter data, social media monitoring data, web analytics data, and any other social source that you're involved with.
The solution to this problem is a means to bring all the data together into a single social media analytics tool where you can analyze each social channel individually, as well as analyze across channels to uncover a true holistic social media view.
A social media analytics tool would have many benefits well beyond any tools that are currently available.
Plenty of social media monitoring tools are based on a defined set of keywords and allow you to monitor conversions that are taking place, as well as engage in those conversations. They also have some ability to measure, but they're definitely limited in the scope of their ability because they only include the social media monitoring data that's returned from the searches your perform and, in some cases, some basic web analytics data.
While that can provide you with some good insights, it doesn't give you a holistic view, and definitely doesn't allow for any robust analysis.
Because a social media analytics tool would bring data together from many different social sources, it would give you some pretty powerful analysis capabilities. You'd have the ability to analyze each social channel individually, as well as analyze across channels to uncover a true holistic view of all your social media activities.
Want to see the trend for all your social connections for the past six months and compare it to those connections that are actively engaging with your brand? How about seeing the correlation of audience engagements to your gross social media views? Or maybe the historical trend of your social media reach in comparison to your own social media engagements?
With a social media analytics tool, finding the answers to these questions and countless others would take just a few seconds.
It's time for a true social media analytics tool. I'm willing to bet many others out there feel the same way.
A social media analytics tool that seamlessly brings your company's Facebook page data, your YouTube channel data, your Twitter data, your social media monitoring data, your social related web analytics data, and even your social media advertising data into a single tool would have the ability to do for social media what the first true web analytics tools did for websites and the measurement of digital marketing campaigns.
While none of these types of tools available now, they'll be here soon, and they'll have the potential to drastically alter how we analyze and evaluate our social media efforts.