Social Media Analytics are a big area of growth… but beware the wrong focus. A lot of analytics can be like looking in the rear-view mirror whilst driving. Tells you where you’ve just been, allows you to make some course adjustments safely but you really want to keep most of your focus on the road ahead.
Instead, think more in terms of awareness. Real-time analytics can be hugely beneficial if it makes you aware of a conversation taking place that you should be involved in. That means monitoring the various channels, currently including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+… and having a social media strategy that enables you to respond effectively to whatever the monitoring brings up. By all means have your regular reviews, rank people’s contributions if you must. But don’t let the bells and whistles distract you from what matters.