I’ll start by laying my cards out on the table. I am not a techy. I don’t know how to program or what most of the function keys on my computer do. On the other hand, I like a challenge and don’t mind spending some time figuring out how to use a new program. In order to narrow down the overwhelming array of reporting tools available, I decided to focus on programs that our company has used in the past. This way, all of the employees would have a basic level of familiarity with the program, allowing them to independently access analytic data as needed.
In evaluating the tools, I paid special attention to:
- Ease of Use – Are the reports intuitive and easy to set up? Are the instructions clear?
- Aesthetics – Does the report include attractive, easy-to-understand visual representations of the data? Is it a simple process to export the graphic to my PowerPoint slide?
- Customization – Which parameters of the report can I alter easily? Can I filter by account? Campaign? Can I customize the report for the client by inserting their logo?
- Automation – Once I’ve created my perfect report, can I just press “go” and have it sent to me on a routine schedule?
The graphics are pretty plain, with a look and feel similar to Google Analytics, and the side-by-side charts aren’t scaled, so you can’t compare them visually. For example, the LinkedIn and Facebook bars for number of views are of equal height, but one represents 413 views while the other represents only 82 views. Drilling down from the campaign level to the individual level is a bit clunky; for example, I can see which campaign performed well, but from that screen cannot see the individual messages within the campaign. Oktopost is great for keeping track of content, but less helpful for automated graphic reporting.
All of their plans include monitoring of nine different networks (including Pinterest!). If you spring for their social plan, you can also sync with Google Analytics. Another nice feature is the ability to download raw data into Excel spreadsheets.
For straight-up reporting, I favor Raven or Simply Measured. I could also envision us using their reporting functions to create reports for potential clients, showing them where they are now, and based on that, make suggestions for how we can help them improve their outreach and engagement.