Analytics for Social CRM: The Best Options for Social CRM Analytics

Written by Scott NesbittJanuary 3, 2011

You’ve got your social CRM system set up. Data, which started as a trickle, is now coming into the system like a steadily-flowing stream.

But what do you do with it? And, more importantly, how do you interpret it? That’s where analytics come into play. Analytics help you make sense of all that data flowing into your social CRM system, and can help you better focus your strategy.

Working within a budget

Not every firm that implements social CRM can afford the more expensive analytics tools that are discussed later in this post. But that doesn’t mean that a useful analytics solution is out of your reach.

Here are three analytics tools that won’t break your budget but which can go a long way to helping you interpret all the data that your social CRM is collecting.

Woopra LogoFirst up, Woopra. It takes a slightly different approach to tracking and analyzing information. Instead of a Web interface, you download a desktop client. Using that client, you get information that’s updated in real time. You can view over 40 different kinds of statistics and analytics, and generate reports on the fly.

ChartbeatLike Woopra, Chartbeat offers real-time analytics but in a Web-based interface. And unlike many other analytics tools, Chartbeat is very user friendly. The dashboard is graphical, easy to read, and even measures engagement. Chartbeat can even integrate information about your social impact using a service called BackType.

PiwikIf you want a little more control then you should consider Piwik. It’s an Open Source application, intended to be an alternative to Google Analytics, that you install on your own Web server. You can customize the information on Piwik’s dashboard by adding or removing widgets, or you can drill deeper to look at metrics like visitor engagement, inbound and outbound links, and referring Web sites. As well, you can use Piwik to track campaigns and generate reports.

The main drawback of using these solutions is that they don’t give you as much breadth or depth as more expensive analytics tools. On top of that the lower-priced options generally aren’t specifically geared towards social media monitoring.

On the other hand, analytics tools like these won’t break your budget -- they range in price from free to under $30 per month. If you’re unsure about moving up to a more fully-featured and expensive analytics solution, or are just starting to experiment with analytics, tools like these can be a useful introduction to the world of social CRM analytics.

The big guns

The budget analytics tools are fine and dandy. But many firms need more -- more features, more functions, and better social media monitoring and analytics. The latter are keys to effectively using social CRM in your business.

Here are two powerful social CRM analytics tools. They cost more than the budget solutions, but you’re getting a lot more bang for the bucks you’re spending.

Explore from Autonomy Interwoven packs all of the features that you’re looking for in social CRM analytics. It not only looks at all of your online interactions with customers, but can automatically group them around a theme. Explore can also try to determine whether those interactions were positive or negative and can classify those sentiments based on a product or a campaign.

If you want true depth in your analytics, then you should take a close look at Analytics from Gigya. Analytics looks at both interaction with your brand as well as traffic heading to you – broken down by total numbers and by individual social media sites. The app also peers closely into the social media sites one which your brand or product is engaged, as well as the number of users (total and new) that are engaging with you. On top of that, you can identify the people who are advocating your brand or product and discover what content drives the most traffic to you. Add to that an easy-to-use dashboard and you have a killer analytics tool.

Radian6 Dashboard is arguably the industry standard for social CRM analytics. In fact, it’s designed specifically for monitoring and analyzing social media and social CRM metrics. As with Explore, you can drill down into your data for a more focused view, and you can group your results into meaningful segments like the type of media and engagement statistics. Best of all, Radian6 Dashboard can operate on its own or if you’re using Salesforce.com you can tie it into your database. Or, you can combine Dashboard with Web analytics tools like Google Analytics to gain a broader perspective on your social media results.

These tools are definitely powerful. But they can be expensive -- the cost of Radian6 Dashboard, for example, starts at $600 per month. Then again, by being able to act on those analytics you can save or earn much more than what you pay for your tools.

There are a number of social CRM analytics tools that fit your needs and your budget. While the saying goes that you get what you pay for, in this case you’ll be paying for just what you need.

Do you have a favorite social CRM analytics tool that wasn’t covered in this post? Feel free to share your picks, and your impressions, by leaving a comment.

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