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Social Media Analytics Tools Are A Must For Modern Businesses

For companies that are serious about staying ahead of competitors and minimizing manual research and analysis tasks, paid social media analytics tools such as NetBase are ideal.

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Social Media Analytics
Netbase Social Media Analytic Tools
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More businesses are now becoming global because of the internet. When companies have a greater reach, markets become more competitive. Today, even businesses that have one or more offices or stores often operate online as well. Social media is becoming a powerful tool for marketing and for maintaining good customer relations. Companies that can identify and measure social media insights can build better growth strategies. To measure social insights properly, a company must have the right analytics tools. There are several types of social media analytics tools.

What Is Social Media Analytics?

It is important to understand the features of social media analytics before choosing tools. NetBase defines social media analytics as gathering data from social platforms and various content sources to enhance business-related decisions. Although analytical tools come in many forms, they all share the goal of creating actionable insights that help a company boost its strategies. Some programs are simple to use, and some programs are complex. However, they share the same three stages.

The first stage is identifying the top business goals. For some companies, this may include increasing online traffic, boosting the number of file downloads or building a stronger brand. With clearer objectives, a company has a stronger sense of purpose. The second stage is determining key performance indicators from social media channels. A few examples of performance metrics include followers’ engagement with paid or posted media, how people feel about a company or product and how sales revenue relates to social strategies. These metrics help determine failure or success, and metrics vary from one company to another based on goals. The third stage is measuring and analyzing social data. In this stage, a company has already determined what is important and why. It uses that data to customize business strategies based on its mission, its vision and its aspirations.

Social Media Analytic
As business becomes increasingly global, it becomes increasingly competitive. You can thank the Internet for that – or perhaps curse it if you’re struggling to keep up.Pixabay

Choosing The Right Social Media Analytics Tools

With the right tools, even small companies can compete against large global enterprises. Fortunately, there are analytics tools for all budgets regardless of business size. To find the right tools, a business must determine its needs and its budget. As a business succeeds, an owner can upgrade to more sophisticated tools.

Built-in Dashboards

Many social media platforms offer their own dashboards. Although they are free to use, companies or individuals must pay to advertise. These are some of the top dashboards for useful features:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
Social Media Analytics
With the right tools, even small companies can compete against large global enterprises. Pixabay

Free Tools

Free tools are great for smaller businesses or startups with limited funds. While free built-in dashboards often provide in-depth insights, they only offer them for one platform. Also, not all social media sites offer dashboards. Tumblr is one example. For those who use multiple social media platforms or have accounts on sites that lack dashboards, these are some good free tools to use:

  • Boardreader
  • Buffer
  • Followerwonk
  • Friends+Me
  • Google Alerts
  • Hootsuite
  • HowSociable
  • Likealyzer
  • Social Oomph
  • SumAll
  • Twitonomy

Paid Tools

For companies that are serious about staying ahead of competitors and minimizing manual research and analysis tasks, paid social media analytics tools such as NetBase are ideal. NetBase offers an intuitive platform with time-saving features. Also, the program is so advanced that it can generate insights based on multiple languages, slang and even emojis. The best way to find the right program is to compare the features with the company’s needs.

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Facebook Expands Its Feature Showing Local Information

Facebook uses software filters to weed out objectionable content, just as it does on people's regular news feed.

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A smartphone user displays a Facebook newsfeed .VOA

Facebook is cautiously expanding a feature that shows people local news and information, including missing-person alerts, road closures, crime reports and school announcements.

Called “Today In,” the service shows people information from their towns and cities from such sources as news outlets, government entities and community groups. Facebook launched the service in January with six cities and expanded that to 25, then more. On Wednesday, “Today In” is expanding to 400 cities in the U.S. — and a few others in Australia.

The move comes as Facebook tries to shake off its reputation as a hotbed for misinformation and elections-meddling and rather a place for communities and people to come together and stay informed.

Here are some things to know about this effort, and why it matters:

Facebook
A Facebook logo is displayed at a start-up companies’ gathering in Paris, France. VOA

The big picture

It’s something users have asked for, the company says. Think of it as an evolution of a “trending” feature the company dropped earlier this year. That feature, which showed news articles that were popular among users, but was rife with such problems as fake news and accusations of bias.

Anthea Watson Strong, product manager for local news and community information, said her team learned from the problems with that feature.

“We feel deeply the mistakes of our foremothers and forefathers,” she said.

This time around, Facebook employees went to some of the cities they were launching in and met with users. They tried to predict problems by doing “pre-mortem” assessments, she said. That is, instead of a “post-mortem” where engineers dissect what went wrong after the fact, they tried to anticipate how people might misuse a feature — for financial gain, for example

 

Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech, Russia, Sheryl Sandberg, digital
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

.Facebook isn’t saying how long it has been taking this “pre-mortem” approach, though the practice isn’t unique to the company. Nonetheless, it’s a significant step given that many of Facebook’s current problems stem from its failure to foresee how bad actors might co-opt the service.

 

Facebook also hopes the feature’s slow rollout will prevent problems.

How it works

To find out if “Today In” is available in your city or town, tap the “menu” icon with the three horizontal lines. Then scroll down until you see it. If you want, you can choose to see the local updates directly in your news feed.

For now, the company is offering this only in small and mid-sized cities such as Conroe, Texas, Morgantown, West Virginia, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Large cities such as New York or Los Angeles have added challenges, such as an abundance of news and information, and may need to be broken up into smaller neighborhoods.

 

Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech, Russia, digital
A Facebook panel is seen during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes, France. VOA

 

The posts in “Today In” are curated by artificial intelligence; there is no human involvement. The service aggregates posts from the Facebook pages for news organizations, government agencies and community groups like dog shelters. For this reason, a kid couldn’t declare a snow day, because “Today In” relies on the school’s official page. Discussion posts from local Facebook groups may also be included.

For now, the information is tailored only by geography, but this might change. A person with no kids, for example, might not want to see updates from schools.

Also Read: Social Media laws Should Be Tightened: Germany

Safeguards?

Facebook uses software filters to weed out objectionable content, just as it does on people’s regular news feed. But the filters are turned up for “Today In.” If a good friend posts something a bit objectionable, you are still likely to see it because Facebook takes your friendship into account. But “Today In” posts aren’t coming from your friends, so Facebook is more likely to keep it out. (VOA)