Everyone is after data. If you're running social media for a brand or company, it's best you're armed with information on the social accounts you manage — not only so you can show how social efforts are lining up with business goals, but also for the sake of a deeper understanding of what works and what doesn't.
There's no shortage of tools that will tell you various parts of the story, from who is mentioning you and where, to what hashtags mean and how to best to use them. The following 10 tools, however, are built for giving users analytics. Most of the them are free or have a free version to get you started.
Riffle is a free Chrome extension that's compatible with 16 other Twitter platforms like Hootsuite or TweetDeck. Stats include usage data, top hashtags, top tweets, top mentions, and top URLs.
2. My Top Tweet
My Top Tweet comes from CrowdRiff, the makers of Riffle. Users can enter their handles, and My Top Tweet shows which tweets have been tweeted the most out of the past 3,200 on the account.
SocialRank's focus is on sorting and filtering. Users can filter by location, keyword, or with other terms like most valuable ("most in-demand, useful, and important follower"), or best followers ("combination of your most valuable and most engaged followers"), according to the website. There's also a premium version of SocialRank that comes with more features, like additional filters.
With HowSociable, users can set up a free account and can look at their "media brand magnitude" across various platforms such as Twitter, Google Plus, Youtube, or FourSquare. Each platform gets its own magnitude number. The free account comes with 12 platform metrics, and the Pro account comes with 36, including some of the more desirable and commonly-used platforms like Facebook and Pinterest.
Twitonomy has a wealth of information. When users sign in, they get a dashboard with stats on their account's engagement— how often they tweet, how many links, @ replies, retweets, and favorites. Users can also see which other users they reply to most often, who is or is not following back, and a breakdown of the most commonly used hashtags. The premium version lets users export Excel and PDF documents of analytics reports, set custom date ranges for analyses, and obtain advanced search analytics.
6. Simply Measured
Simply Measured offers several free, platform-specific tools for social media analytics. For example, if you use the Twitter tool, you'd get a report back with an audience summary, follower distribution, top keywords in audience profiles, Klout scores, and other location-based information.
7. Social Mention
Social Mention is good for a quick glimpse of how people are talking about your brand online. You can type in your brand name and get information about the last time it was mentioned and where. The service provides percentages detailing reach, passion, sentiment, and strength, as well as top keywords used.
SocialBro offers a multi-tier pricing plan, starting with a free version. The free version's features mainly just include follower management, but higher tiers offer more in-depth analytics and information on engagement, as well as the ability to monitor competitors, hashtags, URLs, and other items.
The free version of TweetReach shows a limited number of the most recent tweets, but that information will give you a quick snapshot of how many Twitter accounts you've reached, your number of impressions (when a tweet is delivered to the newsfeed of an account, but not necessarily read), and who your top contributors are.
SumAll pulls together multiple social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook, along with other things like Facebook ads, Google and Bing ads, and email clients so you can manage them from one spot. SumAll also sends daily and weekly emails with core facts — retweets, tweet reach, likes, shares — about your account. There's a premium edition as well.
Erin Carson has nothing to disclose. She doesn't hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Erin Carson is a Staff Reporter for CNET and a former Multimedia Editor for TechRepublic.