Marketing Expert: The Best Tools for Understanding Your Social-Media Accounts For our Ask the Expert column, marketing guru Joanna Lord highlights the top tools she uses for social media.

By Joanna Lord

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Q: What offline/online tools do you use for [social media] analytics?
-Valon Canhasi

A: So much data. Over the past few years there have been analytics tools popping up all over the place, and frankly, it can be incredibly overwhelming for marketers. Over the years I've grown to leverage a number of them on a daily or weekly basis to keep an eye on how different campaigns and channels are performing.

Below are a few of my favorite analytics tools.

Google Analytics. While other analytics tools and apps have come and gone, I still use Google Analytics at the core of my reporting. They announced a week ago that Universal Analytics, or Google Analytcs for all devices, is out of beta, and I think this is a huge step in the right direction. They have been moving toward user-centric reporting and visualizations, which is where marketers need to be putting their efforts. It's a match made in heaven.

Related: 6 Ways to Master SEO Without Google Analytics

If you are looking to learn about the latest ways to leverage Google Analytics, check out Justin Cutroni's blog. He is an analytics advocate for Google and is honestly pushing analytics in the right direction.

HubSpot. I'm a big fan of what this inbound-marketing software company has done to show visibility at the top of the funnel for marketers. The app is amazing, and it allows me to keep a pulse on things over the weekend and out of the office as well. HubSpot does full funnel reporting amazingly well, so their data has become integral to how we report on the state of marketing and sales. They are also building out fast. It will be exciting to see what other views and reports they introduce in the year to come.

Tableau. Getting the data is only half the battle. Once you have it, it needs to tell a story. Tableau helps you visualize the data effectively. It makes the analytics approachable.

Too many marketers obsess about the raw data and forget that the average business colleague doesn't love the data the way marketers do. They need the key insights pulled out, they need charts and trend lines for context. Tableau is a great tool for empowering everyone on the team to get in the data and use it. Social ROI For the win! Marketers today are expected to build and share content that helps grow our businesses. To do that effectively you need to understand your most successful posts, channels, content and identify the influencers that matter most. is great for that. I'd also throw a hat tip out to the team over at FollowerWonk, because they are also really diving into social analytics and making waves.

Related: 37 Marketing Tools to Spy on Your Competitors

Native social-platform analytics. It's worth mentioning that the social platforms themselves are working and improving their analytics. While their paid advertising options tend to offer the best insights, I often leverage the native analytics for Twitter, Facebook (insights) and LinkedIn. I am hoping they continue to invest there.

Bonus! Some non-marketing-focused analytics apps I like that help me stay productive…

Toggl. Great time tracking analytics so I can see how I am spending my time and identify areas for optimization.

SleepCycle App. To hit maximum productivity during the day you need to be getting good sleep. That means something different to everyone. SleepCycle has helped me assure that I am getting "good"sleep so I am ready to tackle the day.

MapMyRun/WeightGuru/LoseIt. Basically if there is an app out there that helps me track my health I have it on my phone and use it. It's really easy to neglect that part of our life, but just like I optimize my marketing campaigns I want to be optimizing my health and energy levels. These apps have analytics to keep me eating healthy, staying hydrated and getting those endorphins.

Hopefully this was a helpful list. Over the years I've seen a lot of analytics tools pop up and some have faded away, while others have made it into our daily routines. There is a very clear trend toward centralizing our analytics and making a marketer's day more efficient. The result is we have single log-in dashboards with really rich, effective data. I love this.

One thing is clear -- the analytics game will only continue to heat up, and I personally can't wait to see what comes out of it!

Related: Beyond Web Analytics: 5 Types of Online Data You Should Be Tracking

Wavy Line
Joanna Lord

VP of Marketing at Porch

Joanna Lord is the vice president of marketing at, a home network for homeowners to find professionals, get inspired and manage their home.

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