What is Social Media Analytics, and How Can It Help You? Everything You Need To Know

While it is one thing to believe that you are a social media expert, it’s quite another to actually be able prove it. Social media analytics are crucial to any campaign or brand strategy.

Data helps you stay on track to reach your social media goals by showing what’s working, and what’s not. Continue reading to learn how to track social media analytics.

Bonus: Receive a social media analytics report template that shows you the most important metrics for each network.

What is social media analytics?

Social media analytics allows you to collect and analyze data points that can help you evaluate the performance of your social networks accounts.

These metrics will allow you to assess the effectiveness of your social media marketing strategy at both micro and macro levels. These metrics can help you assess how social media contributes to your business goals. They can also help you spot trends and gauge customer sentiment.

You will need to track social media analytics by looking at likes, comments and shares. However, you can also monitor mentions of your brand and consumer insights through social listening.

Social media analytics tools allow you to do all the math and create performance reports that you can share with your boss, stakeholders, and team — to see where you are succeeding and where there is room for improvement.

How to track social media analytics

Although it may seem daunting, tracking your social media analytics doesn’t have to be difficult. It takes a bit of planning and a lot more consistency. This is possible!

You can even download a template to use for your social media analytics reports at the end.

S.M.A.R.T. Set S.M.A.R.T.

If you don’t know what success means, it’s almost impossible to measure it. Setting a goal for your brand is the first step to great social media tracking.

It is important to be clear that a social-media goal does not necessarily mean a strategy, even though both are important.

A social media goal describes what you are trying to accomplish with your marketing activities. You can use your goal to achieve something small and short-term (such as a single ad purchase) or a larger goal (such as a goal for your entire social media campaign).

We recommend the S.M.A.R.T. To maximize your success in social media, use the S.M.A.R.T. framework

S.M.A.R.T. S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable and attainable.

Specific: Be specific. What is your goal? “Improve Instagram account” is too broad. It is much more precise to say “Build Instagram engagement up by 500%”. To make your success clear, you need to have hard numbers. You might say, “increase our TikTok users by 1,000 each month.” This is a great goal, but it will make it more likely that you actually reach it. Take baby steps. You don’t want to fail if your goal is to get a million people to your website by the end of this week. You can try to get Rhianna on Twitter. But make sure you are clear about why this goal is important for your overall brand strategy. What date do you plan to reach your goal? You might not be able to come up with a time frame, which could indicate that your goal isn’t precise enough or achievable enough.

If you don’t know where to begin, here are some ideas for goals on social media. Once you have one, it is time to determine how to measure your progress towards that goal. This leads us to…

Decide which metrics are most important to you

There are many numbers floating around in the social-media-verse. Likes! Followers! Views! Shares! Duets!(?) What is the best way to know which social media metrics are most important? It’s up to you.

social media metrics audience reach

Instagram Analytics

Do you remember the goal that you set just seconds ago in step one? (We hope that you will remember it. It just happened.

This will determine which metrics are most important. You want to monitor the data that will help measure your progress towards your goal.

Four categories are available for social media metrics:

Awareness: Current and potential audiences. Engagement: How active customers feel about your brand.

You should be tracking engagement metrics if your goal is to increase your Instagram following. Conversion-related metrics, which might include click-through rates or views, are more pertinent if your goal is to sell.

report of performance growth including brand awareness audience growth and engagement rate

Hootsuite Analytics provides a social media analytics report

You don’t need to track every metric for every goal.

Keep checking back

Social media analytics should not be used to capture “before and after” snapshots of your goal’s impact. To ensure that you are on the right track, check in on your analytics throughout a campaign or project using social media reports.

According to the old leadership saying, “What can’t’ be measured, can’t’ be managed.” You’re missing the opportunity to adapt and adjust as you plan and leave it all alone.

Each major social media account has its own analytics tool. Here’s a guide that will show you how to use the Insights tools on any social media platform.

How to Use Facebook AnalyticsHow To Use Instagram AnalyticsHow To Use Youtube AnalyticsHow To Use LinkedIn AnalyticsHow Do You Use Pinterest AnalyticsHow Do You Use Twitter AnalyticsHow Do I Use TikTok Analytics

Here’s an easy tip to save time: Hootsuite Analytics and Impact are both great tools that allow you to quickly review your data, schedule custom reports, and more.

Hootsuite Analytics gives each report a flexible and customizable interface. Drag-and-drop unlimited “tiles” to display a specific metric.

Hootsuite Analytics Instagram Publishing Report

Hootsuite Analytics custom report

Hootsuite is free to use

You can choose the best combination of metrics or use a pre-existing one. You can export them immediately in the format you prefer or schedule them to be sent by email.

Bonus: Receive a social media analytics report template that shows you the most important metrics for each network.

Get the template for free now!

Hootsuite Impact, another option in the Hootsuite toolkit is pricier, but more technical. Impact measures organic and paid metrics for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as organic content metrics on Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Free Demo

Be aware of spikes and falls

Now it’s time for you to analyse these data. The social media metrics can give you a hint as to what’s happening on the internet. It’s up to your interpretation of what they really mean.

Examine your data for spikes or drops, then investigate the reasons why.

Did you run a novel, experimental campaign that drew a lot of attention? Was your product portrayed in a negative light on a popular television program that turned off customers? It is possible to find information that can help you replicate those highs or avoid another low.


Instagram engagement graph of profile views and likes

You’ll begin to see how your messaging influences the opinions of your followers. You can better understand the impact of your messaging by observing trends and unusual behavior and strategize for future posts.

Make sure you have the right tools

Social media analytics is a friend of technology, and there are many tools to help you make sense of the data.

You can answer questions such as:

What percentage of my followers commented more on text posts than photo posts? All the juicy stuff.

We love Hootsuite Analytics’ drag-and-drop reporting feature. But, if you want even more powerful analytics tools, you can check out our list here of the top free tools for social media analysis. There are also a few paid options for those who really want to dig into the numbers.

Template for social media analytics report

Are you ready to track your social media analytics like an actual data hero? You’ll find the spreadsheet you need right here. Get our social media analytics report template for free and show your team how great you are.

Bonus: Receive a social media analytics report template that shows you the most important metrics for each network.

Hootsuite helps you track your social media performance, and optimize your budget. You can publish your posts and view the results from the same dashboard. Get it today for free.

Get Started

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All of your social media analytics in one location. Hootsuite allows you to analyze your social media performance and identify areas for improvement.

Get it free> What is Social Media Analytics? All You Need To Know.

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