A simple guide to free social media analytics tools

Updated for 2018

Businesses of every size are beginning to realise the importance of social media marketing.

With tools like Twitter and Facebook, small businesses can connect with existing and potential customers with an ease and immediacy that would have been unthinkable a decade ago.

But measuring success on social media can be more difficult. How do you work out how well you are performing across these channels? How do you decide what is working and what is not?

Luckily, there is a range of free tools that can help you measure and analyse your performance on social media. Here’s a roundup of some of the best.


Buffer is quickly becoming the industry standard for social media analytics. It gives you key stats for activity across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. In addition, Buffer allows you to schedule and monitor posts, providing a one-stop shop for all of your social needs.

Google Analytics

Too many marketers forget the importance of Google Analytics for social. Google’s tool is hugely popular for measuring web traffic, and one of its key uses is tracking sources. With a bit of tinkering (and there’s a lot of helpful documentation available on Google’s own site) you can make sure that the benefits of your social marketing are being properly recorded as sources for visits to your own site. Read more in our comprehensive guide to Google Analytics for small businesses.


Cyfe takes a slightly different approach to social media analytics, allowing you to set up custom dashboards that pull in information from a whole range of sources. Within the social section of your Cyfe dashboard you can track activity across all of your chosen social platforms, giving you a quick and easy way to track your success across every channel.


Is your company one of the growing number relying on Instagram and Pinterest for your social marketing? If so, Tailwind is worth a look. Here, you can schedule posts across the two platforms, and investigate detailed analytics explaining the success of your campaigns.


Building up a Twitter following but not sure who they are or where they come from? Audiense can help with that. This tool gives detailed information on your Twitter followers, allowing you to better understand your audience and how to serve them. It’s free for accounts with up to 5,000 followers.


Bit.ly is a link-shortening tool. Indeed, it is one of the world’s most popular. But it also provides users with a powerful set of analytics facilities that help you track where your links are being opened, and how frequently.

By creating a free account with Bit.ly you can unlock added features like in-depth click analysis – and the ability to customise your links.


SocialMention is similar to Topsy, in that it allows you to search for and monitor specific terms across the social web.

The major selling point for SocialMention, though, is that it allows you to set up social media alerts. This means that you will be notified when certain things occur – for example whenever someone mentions your brand on social media.

More free tools…

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