The Creative Juice Report - making sense of the numbers: what are social media analytics

What Are Social Media Analytics?

If you’re interested in using digital marketing to promote your brand — especially by building a strong social media presence — you probably hear the term “social analytics” a lot. You might know enough about analytics to understand that it is important, but beyond that, it might just seem like a confusing set of statistics. With so many different numbers and metrics to track, it can be hard to know exactly where to start and why it even matters for your brand. If this sounds like you, don’t worry — we’re here to break it down for you. 

What are social media analytics?

What are social media analytics anyway?

Social media analytics is data collected from your social media channels that tells you about your audience and how they are responding to your content. This data ranges from obvious factors such as your follower count and the number of likes to more in-depth information such as how many total views a certain post received. 

This data is important because the numbers can provide you with insight about how effective your social media strategy is (or where you need improvement). You can use this information to change your goals and strategy to improve your engagement, profits, and ROI (return on investment) on social media. Plus, many platforms give you insight to more than just your own analytics. You can look at your competitor’s analytics to see how their posts perform compared to yours and optimize your own content based on what your target audience seems more likely to engage with. 

There are dozens of social media analytics to look at. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • The total times that anyone has interacted with a single post in any way makes up your engagement. This can include likes, comments, shares, and saves. Engagement is typically regarded as one of the most important pieces of data in analytics because it shows how many people are interested enough in your content to be active with it. These users are more likely to help you reach your goals on social media due to their participation in boosting your content. 
  • On the other hand, impressions are the number of people who saw your post, regardless of if they interacted with it or not. People can see your post in many ways. If they follow you, your post will most likely show up on their feed. However, there are still many ways people who don’t follow you can see your post. For example, someone they follow may have liked or reshared it, or a social media platform such as Instagram or Facebook may have shown it to them as a suggested post. Promoting your posts to new audiences can also get your content to different people. This can be helpful to keep in mind when creating your content — remember, you want to think about people who might see your profile for the first time and may be persuaded to follow you or learn more about your brand, not just those who already follow you.  
  • Your engagement rate is the amount of engagements a certain post receives divided by the number of impressions. For example, if 1,000 people are looking at your post but you only have about 50 likes and comments, your engagement rate is around 5%. This might seem pretty low, but a decent engagement rate on social media is actually considered to be between 1-5% depending on the platform. However, you can always aim for a higher rate!   
  • Your follower count is the amount of people who see your posts on their feeds or timelines. These users, who can also be considered your audience, have made the conscious decision to stay up-to-date with your posts and will consistently view and engage with your content. Make sure you post content that is relevant to them!
  • Page views are just that — the amount that your profile has been viewed. This number might not regularly tell you too much about your audience or strategy, but it can be a helpful number to look at after trying something new. For example, if you collaborated with another brand and your page views didn’t increase significantly, you might not have a similar enough audience, and it’s probably best not to collaborate with that account again.
  • Your post reach on Facebook is very similar to impressions, but it refers to all of your posts instead of individual ones. This metric is also broken down by total, organic, and promotional posts, which can help you decide if paying to boost your posts to increase your reach is truly benefiting your brand. 
  • Another very important number to look out for is actions on page on Facebook or website clicks on Instagram. Actions on page tells you how many times your contact information or call-to-action buttons have been clicked. Similarly, website clicks can also let you know how many people are clicking on the link in your bio. This is why it’s important to keep these links and information up-to-date and promote the most important links for your brand. If you are selling a product or service, it’s likely that these website clicks will be vital to achieving conversions through social media. 
  • Account mentions include things such as being tagged in an Instagram story or someone mentioning you on Twitter. These are considered organic mentions when they come unprompted; for example, if the @mention is not a reply to you on Twitter. This analytic is a great indicator of brand awareness — it means people are thinking about your brand and engaging with your account even without you having to engage with them first. 

As you can see, there are lots and lots of metrics to follow. So how do you begin to decide which are the most important?

How do you determine which analytics to look at?

How do you determine which analytics to look at?

Well, you can certainly look at all of them, but it’s generally better to hone in on a few key analytics that you can work to grow. Determining which social analytics to look at depends on your business goals. What are the most important things you want your audience to do? For each goal you come up with, you should have a corresponding metric that can help you decide how to shape your social media strategy. 

If your business is focused on getting people to sign up for your weekly newsletter, maybe your goal is to increase conversions. This means that you want to measure how your social media strategy is helping you encourage people to sign up. Therefore, looking at website clicks or the conversion rate can be a major indicator of how well certain posts are helping to achieve this goal. 

What if your goal to be one of the top brands in your niche? This is where looking at your competitors’ analytics may come in handy. Having more followers than other brands in your field can be a good measurement of this, but what’s more important is that they are engaged and are actively sharing your posts with others. This means that metrics such as shares, retweets, and saves are some of the main analytics you should keep track of. And while likes are also nice to have, Instagram’s latest algorithm change is actually favoring saves and shares of content over likes. This is possibly due to the fact that saving and sharing a post proves that it is truly relevant to them, and Instagram is incentivized to show your post to new accounts such as via the explore page. 

If your goal is to establish a strong and interactive community, you might want to prioritize analytics such as comments, story replies, or participation in polls or question boxes. Not only does this kind of engagement help boost your content according to social media algorithms, but having a responsive audience can offer you true insight to what your customers or clients are looking for, and you will be better equipped to meet their needs. It’s a win-win! Remember, too, that being responsive goes both ways — tracking your own response time to DMs and comments can help you understand how helpful or engaged your audience might find your brand to be with its following, which is just as important. After all — people like to be heard, not just seen!

How do you track analytics?

How do you track analytics?

Every social platform offers insights to your posts for free directly through its website, as long as you have a business account. On Twitter, for example, your Tweet Analytics can tell you how many impressions and engagements a certain post has received, and it further breaks it down by profile clicks, likes, replies, retweets, and detail expands, with more information on what each of these analytics means. On Facebook, the Insights tab offers similar information such as post reach, actions on page, and page likes and views. You can also find analytics for each individual post. For social platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, you need to convert your account to a business profile in order to see your analytics. Once you do, you’ll receive insights such as shares, saves, website clicks, profile views and more. Some of these built-in analytics allow you to see this data from the previous 7 to 30 days, which can be helpful for analyzing trends among your content. 

However, some of this information can still be limited. Third-party analytics apps such as SproutSocial, Hootsuite, and Hubspot can offer you more in-depth information with specialized reports to help you key in on certain analytics and better understand your audience and their relationship with your content.       

Still feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry — we get it! Social Media Analytics can be, well, a bit much. If you need help creating a top notch social media strategy or deciding what goals you want your brand’s digital presence to have, let us know! We’re here to help. Tell us what you’re looking for on our website, or drop us a DM on Instagram. We’ll help you get on the path to social media success!🍑