Review: Social Media Analytics Tools for NGOs


Toolbox (Photo: Meena Kadri on Flickr)

I recently helped a large non-profit organization to better understand their social media followers and fans. In the course of this project, I looked at a number of social media analytics tools. Here are the services that I found useful – and the ones I didn’t like.

All of the services listed below are paid services, some of which will be too expensive for many non-profit organizations. However, in my experience, many of these companies are willing to discuss non-profit discounts – so it’s worth asking.

In addition, all of them offer free trials for two to four weeks so that you can get a better idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the different platforms.

Recommended tools:

  • SocialBro (7 – 150 USD/month)
    SocialBro is a pure Twitter analytics platform and particularly useful if you want to segment and analyse your Twitter followers. The prize depends on the number of  followers you have. SocialBro cannot analyse individual tweets, but it can provide important information about your followers and can export all followers or segments of your followers as Excel or CSV, which is incredibly useful if you want to do a qualitative analysis. I was particularly impressed with SocialBro’s support. SocialBro has a free version of their service but for most professional purposes you’ll need the paid version.
  • SproutSocial (39 USD/month)
    While SocialBro is great for people who like to work with and analyse raw data, SproutSocial is for people who like dashboards that show the bigger picture and trends. In addition, SproutSocial is not limited to Twitter, but connects to Facebook and LinkedIn as well. You can also use SproutSocial to schedule messages and generally manage your account from within the SproutSocial platform, so you are getting much more than “just” analytics.
  • Crowdbooster (7-79 USD/month)
    Sadly, Crowdbooster just got rid of their free version and most NGOs will need the 39 USD/month plan. While you can use Crowdbooster to schedule and publish updates, the platform’s strength is the analytics module. I absolutely love the bubble-graphic that shows which posts have reached the most people or have attracted the most engagement! If you want to know what your audience likes and what they don’t like, then this is one of the fastest ways to find out. Crowdbooster can connect to Twitter and Facebook.

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Not recommended: 

  • PeopleBrowsr (149 USD/month)
    Peoplebowser is a Twitter analytics platform that specializes in identifying influencers and tracking the performance of brands. It is of course possible that PeopleBrowser is amazing, if you work in the retail industry, but I didn’t find it very useful for our sector. One of things I had really hoped to be able to achieve was to find influencers with whom the client could connect, however that data was very poor in the non-profit sector. In addition, the interface is definitely not user friendly! It is of course entirely possible that I was just to dumb to understand it, but I would not recommend it.
  • Followerwonk (99 USD/month)
    Followerwonk provides a number of interesting insights into your Twitter followers and makes it particularly easy to see the big picture regarding geographic distribution, active vs inactive accounts etc. In fact there is nothing wrong with Followerwonk – except for the price. At 99 USD/month I think it’s simply too expensive to recommend. If it’d cost 39 USD it’d be a different story.

One challenge with many of these tools is that they only start storing data about your social media profiles, after an account has been opened with them. This means that it might be necessary to subscribe for multiple months in order to see meaningful trends. Of course this is mainly an issue when trying to analyse engagement and the performance of individual tweets and less of an issue when analysing followers.

Are there any social media analytics tools that you would recommend? Please share them below!

One Response

  1. @AdieuArcheB March 20, 2013