One of the great benefits of social media is its ability to be able to analyze results in real-time.  No longer do you have to submit an ad…and wait for sales…and wait…and wait.  The setback with many of the traditional marketing mediums like print, radio, television, and even market surveys…is that by the time you realize how well you did, it’s already too late to change anything.

The only thing that analyzing something that has already happened will tell you, is if you’ve wasted a tremendous amount of time and energy or not.  Social media tools offer full capabilities to post, analyze results, and tweak where necessary.

I strongly advise spending some dough on robust tools, but for many business owners or especially individuals, the pricing model of these robust systems is not realistic.

So here are 5 FREE tools to help you master some of the most popular platforms of the real-time web.

Clicky – Real-Time Web Analytics

Google Analytics is fine, but the problem is that it’s not in real-time.  In comes Clicky to the rescue.  Clicky is an amazing tool that tracks your website data to the minute, literally.

With Clicky, I know when the tweets I post are the most effective and driving traffic to my site.  It helps me analyze what time of day the most traffic comes in and from where.  If I see that the majority of my traffic comes from Facebook from 2-4 pm, I know exactly when to post updates with links attached.  I can also judge when I am not getting any traffic and if my current campaign is a flop.  This helps me readjust and change the wording and rearrange the structure of post content until I can get a winning combination.  It’s an invaluable tool…and it’s FREE.     SIGN UP HERE

Tube Mogul – In-Depth Tracking, Analytics for Online Video

If you’re not using video for your social media marketing, start.  Video is proven to sell your products, even if no one is watching it!!  Seriously, read this…HERE (Thanks to Tim Jahn for the link)

TubeMogul is a fantastic and free tool to track all of your video content.

Why is this helpful?

  • One upload to TubeMogul distributes your video to the most popular platforms like YouTube and Blip.tv
  • It tracks the viewing time of every viewer (Great measure to see the attention span of your audience)
  • Syndication Tracking:  Track detailed viewing behavior that occurs outside of your website
  • Location-Based Tracking:  Track your viewed minutes by region (Look for patterns, if one develops cater your content to that location)
  • Player Tracking Analysis:  Compare multiple video players

It’s a winner.  If you create videos, use this tool.

Facebook Page – Analytics

If you haven’t changed the way you use your Facebook Fan page, you might as well shut it down.  The new Facebook algorithm was a punch in the face to marketers, because in most cases your post updates are never seen by the high majority of your fans.  What’s nice about some of the new Page features for admins is that you can see exactly how many folks are viewing it.

Because right now you have no idea if your Facebook Page is actually accomplishing anything.  These new tools will give you that info.  You’ll be able to see how many impressions you get per post, how many people “like” your posts, as well as how many people leave comments.  The Facebook algorithm is based on engagement, so use these new features to analyze what posts are creating the most engagement. (NOTE: these features are in Beta right now and not available for every page)

Twitter Analytics – Hoot Suite

So how do you know if your Twitter account is working? Is it measured by followers?  Is it measured by Retweets?  You don’t know.  Use the third-party application Hootsuite to give your Twitter analytics the boost it so desperately needs.

So you can monitor how, when, and why your marketing on Twitter is working.

  • Monitor the number of clicks in the last 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days or by date range
  • Locate click hits by Geographic location
  • Analyze and locate who the top referrers are, and what the most popular tweets were by clicks
  • For each individual tweet, you can see the individual number of clicks

If you aren’t tracking how your activities are doing online, you never truly know if your time, money, and energy are actually creating any ROI.  Start with these five tools to take your social media marketing to the next level.