MARKETING

What is social media analytics? Everything you need to know


It’s one thing to know in your heart that you’re a wizard on social media, and it’s another to be able to prove it. This is why social media analysis is so critical to any successful brand campaign or strategy.

Data keeps you on track to achieve your goals on social media, proving what works and what’s equally important – what doesn’t. Read on to learn how to track social media analytics and social media analytics and why these numbers are key to unlocking your engagement and reach.

Bonus: Get a free social media analysis report template which shows you the most important tracking metrics for each network.

What is social media analytics?

Social media analytics is the collection and analysis of data that helps you measure the impact of your social media accounts.

These are metrics that will help you evaluate your social media marketing strategy at both the macro and micro levels. In addition to helping you see how social media contributes to your larger business goals, they can also help you assess customer mood, spot trends, and avoid PR crises before they happen.

To follow social media analytics, you’ll watch likes, comments, shares, and save, but you can also follow mentions and discussions about your brand or consumer insights by practicing social listening.

Social media analysis tools help you do all this math while creating impact reports to share with your team, stakeholders, and boss – to understand where you’re succeeding and where you’re fighting.

How to follow social media analytics

It may seem like a daunting task, but following your social media analytics is not difficult. It only takes a little planning and a lot of consistency. You got this!

We’ve even made a template in which you can include your social media analysis report at the end of this post.

Set SMART goals

It’s almost impossible to measure your success if you don’t really know what success looks like. So, great social media coverage starts with setting a goal for your brand.

To be clear: the goal of social media is not the same as the strategy of social media (although both are important).

The goal of social media is to make a statement about something specific that you want to achieve with your marketing activity. Your goal can be applied to something short-term and small (for example, buying one ad) or it can be a broader picture (like the goal of your entire social media campaign).

In any case, we recommend using the SMART framework for your social media goals to set yourself up for maximum success.

SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

  • Specifically: Your goal should be as precise as possible. What exactly do you want to achieve? “Improve our Instagram account” is too vague. “Build an engagement on Instagram by 500%” is far clearer.
  • measurable: Set some measurable indicators (known as solid numbers) to make success clear. For example, “increase our TikTok followers by 1,000 this month.” Without a goal that is measurable, you will never know if you have achieved it.
  • Achievable: Listen, it’s great to want to reach the stars, but if you set the bar a little lower, it will increase the probability that you will achieve it. Imagine baby steps. If your goal is to push a million views to your website this week, but you only launched it yesterday, you’re just preparing for failure.
  • Relevant: How does this goal fit into your overall plan? Go ahead and make sure Rhianna follows you on Twitter, but make sure it’s clear why Achieving that goal will benefit your big image brand strategy.
  • Time limited: Deadlines are key. When do you want to achieve your goal? If you can’t come up with a time frame, it could be an indication that your goal just isn’t specific or achievable enough.

Here are some suggestions for social media goals if you need a place to start. Once you set it up, it’s time to figure out how best to measure your progress toward that goal. What brings us to…

Decide which indicators are most important to you

There are many different numbers flying around social networks. Likes! Followers! Reviews! Stocks! Duets! (?) How do you know which of these social media indicators are important? So… it really depends on you.

Instagram Analytics

Do you remember that goal you set just moments ago in step number one? (We really hope you remember that it just happened.)

This will determine which indicators are actually important because you want to keep an eye on the data that will help you measure your progress towards your goal.

social media metrics fall into one of four categories:

  • consciousness: current and potential audience.
  • engagement: how the audience interacts with your content.
  • Conversion: the effectiveness of your social engagement.
  • consumer: how active customers think and feel about your brand.

If your goal is to increase the number of followers on Instagram, then the metrics that track engagement (such as tracking and likes) are probably the most important to pay attention to. If your goal is sales, conversion metrics are more relevant (which may include views or click-through rates).

report on performance growth including public growth on brand awareness and engagement rate
Hootsuite Analytics Social Media Analysis Report

Not all metrics are equally important for every goal, so save yourself the hassle of tracking numbers that really matter.

Check regularly

Importantly, social media analytics should not be used only for “before and after” recordings of the impact of your goal. Check your analytics regularly during a campaign or project with reports on social media to make sure you’re on the right track.

“What cannot be measured cannot be managed,” as the old saying goes. If you just set your strategy and let it play out without any observation, you miss opportunities to adjust and adjust along the way.

All major social media accounts have their own analysis tools on the platform. In fact, here is a list of step-by-step guides for using the Insights tool for almost any social platform you can dream of:

But here’s a hot time-saving tip: Hootsuite Analytics or Impact are great all-in-one tools for viewing your data at a glance … and, usefully, scheduling regular custom reports.

With Hootsuite Analytics, each report has a flexible, interactive interface that is completely customizable: drag and drop an unlimited number of “tiles”, each showing a specific metric.

Instagram post Hootsuite Analytics
Hootsuite Analytics custom report

Try Hootsuite for free

Choose your ideal metric combination or use an existing template. Export now in the format of your choice or schedule them for automatic email delivery.

Hootsuite Impact is another, more expensive, but nerdy option that is part of the Hootsuite toolkit. Impact measures metrics of organic and paid content for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as metrics of organic content on Pinterest and YouTube.

Get a free demo

Pay attention to spikes and falls

Once you get your hot report in your hands, it’s time to analyze this analytics. the metrics of social media give a hint of what is happening on the world wide web: it is up to you to interpret what they really mean.

Look for any ups and downs in your numbers, and then investigate why these anomalies occurred.

Did you run a new, experimental campaign that inspired a bunch of comments? Did your product have an unpleasant appearance in a hit TV show that distracted customers? You may discover information that will help you repeat those highs or avoid another fall.

Instagram engagement chart views and profile likes

As you follow the social mood over time, you will begin to understand how your messages can affect how your followers feel about you (for better or worse!). By following trends and unusual behaviors, you can more clearly understand the impact of your messages and better develop a strategy for future posts.

Use the right tools

Technology is your friend when it comes to social media analytics, and there are dozens of tools to help you understand the numbers.

The right social media analysis tools can help you answer questions such as:

  • Do my followers comment more on photos or text posts?
  • Which social network has attracted the most traffic to our website this month?
  • Should we publish more on TikTok next quarter?
  • Is it worth it for my brand to keep my Pinterest account active?
  • What are our Facebook posts that we liked the most this year?
  • … And on and on and on. You know, all the juicy stuff.

As you’ve probably noticed in our love letter above, we’re fans of Hootsuite Analytics ’custom drag-and-drop reporting features, but if you’re looking for even more brilliant analytics tools, check out our list of the best free social media analytics tools here (with a few paid options listed for good measure, in case you really want to dive deep into the numbers).

Social Media Analysis Report Template

Are you ready to start following your social media analytics like a real data hero? We have a table of your dreams right here. Download our free social media analysis report template and show your team what a star you are.

Bonus: Get a free social media analysis report template which shows you the most important tracking metrics for each network.

Track social media performance and increase your budget with Hootsuite. Publish your posts and analyze the results on the same easy-to-use dashboard. Try it for free today.

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All your social media analytics in one place. Use Hootsuite to see what works and where to improve performance.





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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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