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Free Analytic Tools for Niche Social Media Measurement
By: Jennifer Stack
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Social Media Measurement is a major hot-button issue in the marketing and advertising industries as investors want to know the quantitative benefit of their monetary investments in the social media platforms. Social media isn’t free; it requires time, money, and constant maintenance. In terms of yields, social media is still very much the wild wild West to the average marketer, which is why any numeric results that can be captured and potentially used to spearhead insights are essential to field.  

Facebook understood the need for marketers to have measurable results, which is why Facebook Insights exists in such a concrete and solidified manner. Twitter quickly realized the importance of an automatic analytical measurement feature vs. simply allowing results to be calculated manually and adapted to provide such a product. At this time, the new social media darlings on the block, Pinterest and Instagram, lack the ability for programmed measurement, which conveys the collected information in a digestible manner for marketers to draw correlations and ROI.

This is where the demand for hard analytics has created opportunities for third parties to create services and products to piggyback off of the social media platforms that have failed to recognize the crucial results aspect of a network. The answer for Instagram analytics lies in Statigram, which goes way beyond the standard number of likes and comments received and tells you the best times to post new photos, reveals a photo’s average lifespan, notes which filters yield the most likes and comments, address your most engaged followers, includes a tag cloud and averages per photo. Additionally, Statigram also allows you to view Instagram with a web viewer.

Pinterest users can measure their activity via PinReach and Pinerly, which coined the phrase “pinalytics.” PinReach provides you with a PinReach score, a combination of various social activities you complete while using Pinterest. This is an indicator of your engagement rate on Pinterest and creates a scale to determine which pieces of content are working better and which are not in terms of the activity they create. Pinerly is the ideal measurement tool for tracking specific campaigns for added tracking of click-throughs, re-pins, and likes. Pinerly provides insight into their measurement strategy via their website by explaining, "A single click is counted when a user comes across your pin, on Pinterest, and clicks on it to be re-directed to the destination URL you specified.”
The important idea to take away here is that moving forward, social networks should be built with analytical functionality readily available to be purchased by marketers or advertisers. Alternatively, startups should be ready to make up for these social media outlets' ignorance of measurement in order to capitalize on big data and its lucrative prospects.

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About the Author
Jennifer Stack is a Social Media Strategist at a digital advertising agency. She was a 2011 Notable.ca YP Social Media Finalist. International Marketing Communication, MA. International Marketing Strategy, MSc. LinkedIn + Twitter.
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