What is the best social media analytics dashboard for overviews on Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook/Instagram?

My answer to What is the best social media analytics dashboard for overviews on Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook/Instagram?

Answer by Mike Allton:

Whenever a business asks the question, “What’s the best tool for social media […]” it’s challenging to answer. Every business has their own unique needs and perspectives, and every tool has their own strengths and weaknesses, capabilities and features.

Ideally, a business owner might speak with a social media expert and ask, “given our set of business needs, and that platforms we’re active on, what’s the best tool for monitoring or measuring social media performance?”

And while I’ll attempt to answer this question from a broader perspective, I do want to encourage you to take that extra step and consider what your own needs are, compared to what the available tools can offer.

Good Social Media Analytics Dashboard

From a “good” or “good enough” perspective, many businesses would do well to use each network’s provided analytics. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram all offer businesses access to basic analytics that can help you monitor engagement, audience growth, and reach.

Key data points can be placed into a Google Sheet and combined with data from Google Analytics to present a fairly comprehensive dashboard.

While this represents $0 out of pocket expense, it’s certainly more time-consuming than other tools and options, and therefore is ideal only when specific metrics are needed, or when a business is just getting started and it isn’t yet clear what you want to measure.

In that instance, taking the time to pull together your own dashboard is actually more effective than using a fancier tool, as it brings you that much closer to the data.

Better Social Media Analytics Dashboard

For a better tool, we’ll be looking for one that supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Instagram, perhaps even Google Analytics, so that all the requisite platforms are included.

That’s more challenging than you might imagine.

My favorite social media reporting tool, AgoraPulse, doesn’t include LinkedIn analytics. Hootsuite, on the other hand, supports LinkedIn but not Instagram.

The most popular tool that supports all of the mentioned platforms is Sprout Social.

Starting at $59 per month, you would be able to connect a Facebook Page, Twitter profile, LinkedIn Company Page and Instagram Business profile and gather great overview reports for each of those accounts were performing.

Here’s what their “Group” report looks like, which you can pull along with a variety of network-specific reports:

Best Social Media Analytics Dashboard

When it comes to considering what the best measuring tool for social media is, to me it becomes less about price and more about support, features and customization.

And for customized reports, there’s no better option than Simply Measured.

Simply Measured is set up so that you create “Data Sources” for each of your selected social profiles, then determine the specific reports that you want to generate – either as-needed or on a recurring basis.

You can also use the new Brand Performance overview report for a true dashboard comparing various profiles and metrics over designated timeframes, like this:

Whether you choose good (free), better (inexpensive) or best (expensive) will depend on your budget and needs – but the bottom line is that it’s better to be measuring something than nothing at all, so do the best you can with what you can afford, and try to draw the best conclusions possible.

About Mike

Mike Allton is an award-winning blogger and author at The Social Media Hat, as well as the CMO for SiteSell. As a Content Marketing Practitioner, Mike enjoys experimenting with social media and blogging techniques, and then sharing his wild successes and tremendous failures with his audience. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

What is the best social media analytics dashboard for overviews on Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook/Instagram?