The Global Source for Social Media Researchers

Guide to Social Media Analytics

19 Dec 2018 12:34 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

Is your social media strategy strong? Are you gaining new followers every day? Are your customers engaged? If you don’t know the answers to these questions you probably need a better handle on the data you are collecting. Measuring the success of your posts is a critical component of social media marketing. It's important to check your analytics regularly to spot trends and see what's working.

"Without this, you may be catching red flags too little too late or missing massive opportunities to better your audience's experience on your social," said Marissa Heckman, organic social project manager at Power Digital Marketing. "Every data point is an opportunity to better your social strategy."

To determine what analytic is most important to your business, you need to define your social media objectives, according to Ryan Sweeney, director of analytics at Ignite Social Media. If you're trying to raise brand awareness, impression is the most important. If you want to build a community, engagement is the measurement to look at. If your goal is to drive users to your website, you should pay attention to traffic and conversions.

Regardless of your social media strategy, the vast amount of data available can be overwhelming. Here are some important terms to know for social media analytics.

Actions on page: The number of clicks on your business's contact information and call-to-action button.

Engagement: Total number of times someone has interacted or engaged with a post. Engagement is one of the most important metrics across social media platforms because it shows if people are interacting with your posts.

Followers: The number of people who see your posts on their timelines.

Impressions: The number of users who saw the post.

Page likes: The number of people who like your page. People who have liked your Facebook page see your posts on their timelines.

Page views: The number of times your profile page has been viewed.

Post clicks: Any clicks on the entire post. 

Post reach: The number of people who had any posts from your page on their screens, broken down by total, organic and promotions. This is one of the most important analytics.

Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights is free to all business pages. It's designed to help you understand your audience and how they interact with your posts. Insights shows a snapshot of your profile analytics, including page views, page likes, reach, post engagements and information on your recent posts. Heckman believes engagement is one of the most important metrics on Facebook because of its newsfeed algorithm. "If you are not receiving engagement, your content will barely ever appear to your audience," she said. "If that does happen, consider a creative refresh, messaging refresh and boosted budget." You can find engagement both on your overview tab and posts tab. The posts tab shows analytics on each of your posts, including the date it was published, its reach and engagement. The other tabs provide more information for promotions, followers, likes, reach, page views, page previews, actions on page, events, videos, people and messages.

Twitter Analytics

Twitter Analytics is a free program available to every Twitter account that analyzes your tweets and followers. The analytics homepage shows high-level statistics such as number of tweets, tweet impressions, profile visits, mentions and followers. This page also highlights your top-performing tweets and potential influencers. This overview is helpful because you can quickly identify strong tweets and tweet impressions, which Heckman says is the most important measurement on Twitter. "Tweet impressions allow you to see your reach on Twitter," said Heckman. "If your reach is low, consider your own Twitter outreach strategies to increase your presence and impressions." The next page is your tweet activity dashboard, which showcases metrics for each individual tweet, including retweets, likes and replies.

Other social networks

While Facebook and Twitter reign supreme as the social media content kings, don’t count out Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube. They all have their own benefits and quirks.

In Snapchat, you can now see total story views by week, month and year; time spent viewing stories in minutes; daily unique story viewers; and some audience demographics and interests.

Instagram Insights allow businesses to view impressions, reach and profile visits. You can also see what times of the day your followers engage with your profile, which can help you determine times you should post new content.

LinkedIn now allows your page administrator to see engagement with individual posts, follower demographics, comments, shares and number of new followers. But it only shows you that data for the last seven days.

With so many social media platforms, it can be tricky to track results, analyze data, and measure success. That's when a social media management platform such as Buffer can come in very handy. Buffer lets you link up several separate platforms in one place rather than trying to stay on top of all of them by yourself. Find patterns and compare results to discover what works for your brand. Track campaign performance in real-time with our easy-to-use dashboards so you can see the impact of your social marketing every day, hour, or minute.

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