For example, take Wildfire, a great free app you can use to monitor the behaviour of up to three Facebook pages and three Twitter profiles. It will show growth in likes, check-ins and followers, allowing you to see how you stack up against the metrics of your competitors.
Open Site Explorer can give you a snapshot of Tweets, followers, +1’s or likes of any website, but these metrics aren’t that accurate, and it is recommended to double-check the numbers on the actual profiles.
But nearly all of these tools have one thing in common – they are mostly reporting on the quantitative aspects of social media – the metrics which can easily be counted. These statistics are fantastic for finding out the number of people a profile is reaching, how much they like things, how much they engage – but this is only half the story. Your quantitative analysis might show amazing volumes, response rates and engagements – but then you might see that all the comments are spam or negative. You really need the rest of the information.
The qualitative analysis is harder to outsource to a third party tool, and in fact, why would you even want to? Looking first hand through your competitor’s profiles to get qualitative information may take a lot more time, but it will also tell you a lot more. It can give you insights into what works and what doesn’t. It can inspire your own campaigns. It can alert you to relationships you didn’t know existed.
To look into the qualitative side of social media performance, you might want to ask some of the following questions;