There are numerous low cost or free online resources and social media tracking tools available to nonprofits. While most social networks have their own integrated analytics tools, many professionals prefer third-party tracking software. We’ve looked at a number of services and (while we don’t endorse any product mentioned over any others), below is a list of some free or low cost tools that nonprofits should evaluate.
SproutSocial allows nonprofits to manage multiple social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ pages. SproutSocial comes with a free 30-day trial. After that, make sure to request the nonprofit discount.
Followerwonk, which only tracks Twitter data, shows nonprofits detailed breakdowns of followers as well as the nonprofit’s own activity on Twitter. The service is as simple as clicking on the analytics tab, entering a Twitter username and then viewing information on followers. For example, managers can access stats such as when followers are online, when content is typically posted, and how followers fall into categories such as social media authority, total number of tweets, activity, and follower count.
For Twitter accounts with less than 5,000 followers, Audiense is a solid choice. Audiense lets nonprofits analyize followers’ demographics, interests, and influence. This free tool can also be used to manage Twitter contacts and to find the optimal time to post.
SocialMention is a social search engine that goes way beyond mere mentions. It breaks mentions down by sentiment, keywords, networks, users and frequency. It allows nonprofits to easily track and measure what social media users are saying about an organization, or any topic in real-time. SocialMention also can be used to set up alerts, RSS feeds, and CSV exports for additional analysis in Excel.
Quintly is a free tool that lets your organization access analytics for up to three Facebook pages, offering stats on the chief engagement metrics, and additionally stats on follower growth.
PostPlanner is used for Facebook only. This tool has a large database of status update ideas and offers post suggestions that are already currently trending, in addition to letting managers schedule updates to multiple social media pages at the same time. The basic account is free.
Twitonomy, which only tracks Twitter, gives users detailed and visual analytics on any users’ tweets, retweets, replies, hashtags and mentions. Basic Twitonomy accounts are free, while subscriptions are $20/a month.