Hands-On With HootSuite’s New Social Analytics Dashboard
Social media management dashboard HootSuite launched a dramatic overhaul to its analytics dashboard earlier this week, giving marketers and community managers more powerful reporting tools.
We spent some time with the new dashboard, and it’s pretty impressive. It’s not without its drawbacks, but it definitely takes social media metrics reporting to a new level.
Under “Quick Analytics” HootSuite offers a handful of simple metrics about Ow.ly links for free. Facebook Insights and Google Analytics integrations are available, but only to Pro account members.
The real magic lies in the new “Custom Reports” tab, a drag-and-drop interface from which you can hand-select modules with a wide selection of metrics for any date range.
As an example, let’s say you wanted to build a report showing a general overview of your company’s overall social media activity. You could start out with the Twitter profile summary module, which breaks down the basics: number of followers, number of people your account is following and the number of lists on which the account is included.
In the next section of the report, you might include the account’s most-clicked links or show which Twitter accounts mention yours the most. Other Twitter modules offer the ability to track certain keywords, follower growth over time and even user sentiment analysis based on data from Lymbix. One particularly useful module for businesses is the aggregate follower growth chart, which allows you to track the number of followers over time across multiple accounts. This is great for companies with multiple Twitter accounts or for tracking the competition.
In the same report, you can include data from Facebook Insights, whether just a snapshot of general activity on your Facebook Page or more granular break-downs, such as the number of daily likes, demographic information or daily post feedback.
HootSuite also integrates with Google Analytics, enabling you to pull in website traffic data irrespective of social media, as well produce a chart showing Twitter-to-website conversions over time.
The report builder doesn’t cost extra for HootSuite Pro users, but it may end up costing you a few more dollars, depending on your needs. Each module costs a certain number of points to add and each account starts out with 50 free points. Once you exceed that, HootSuite wants you to start paying up. Most of the modules are only 10 or 20 points apiece, but some of the more sophisticated charts cost as much as 30.
The system is not without its issues. We had trouble viewing Facebook Insights data at first, but reconnecting the account to HootSuite solved that problem right away. In some cases, historical Twitter follower data would not display past the last few weeks.
These reports can include a few quick snapshots or more in-depth analysis. You can even add custom headings and paragraphs of text for added context. All reports can be printed, exported as a PDF or emailed to others.