Social Media Analytics -  Understand the Basics
Analytics & Reporting Social Media Trends

Social Media Analytics - Understand the Basics

Laura Dascau
Laura Dascau
Table of Contents

If we were to take a step back and look at social media platforms, I’d say that they are the outstanding picture and social media analytics were the frame.

And we all know that without the frame, we cannot hang the picture. And the picture is out of sight, is there really a picture at all?

With the help of social media analytics, digital marketers are able to find out how and what content works best on every social media platform, depending on the audience and all the trends.

However, many people are wondering why social media analytics is important.

In what follows, I will explain the perks of social media analytics and how it can help you improve your marketing strategy.

Why social media analytics is important

  1. What is social media analytics?
  2. Why social media analytics is important
  3. 10 benefits of social media analytics
  4. Segments of social media analytics
  1. Best social media analytics tools
  2. What social media metrics you should look at
  3. How to track your social media analytics performance data

1. What is social media analytics?

Social media analytics consists in the amount of data gathered through your social media platforms that offers you insights about the evolution of your marketing strategy.

Every time you post new content on social media, data will be generated automatically.

You can get access to social media data in a variety of ways:

  • via native app analytics (e.g. Meta Business Suite)
  • via third-party apps like Socialinsider
  • by integrating raw data into data visualization tools like Looker Studio (formerly Google Data Studio)

Here is an example of a dashboard with social media analytics.

By having access to a wide variety of in-depth data about your social media performance,  you can adjust your strategy to align with your audience’s needs and desires.

You should change your content and the way you deliver your brand’s values according to the shifts imposed by your audience.

At the end of the day, your purpose is to sell more. This means that you should pay more attention to social media metrics to know where and when to focus your efforts.

2. Why social media analytics matter

When wondering why social media analytics are important, you need to think first about why you chose to promote your brand on social media in the first place.

And the answer is simple: to attract more clients, a bigger audience and to build a strong and loyal community.

To be able to do so, you need to look at the audience’s interactions with your brand.

Are they watching your videos until the end? Do they like, share or comment your posts? What type of content captivates them most?

To find out the answers to all these, you need to use social media analytics. The data retrieved through social media analytics tools help you answer the question “why social media analytics are important”.

Here are a few clear reasons that will certainly convince you social media analytics matter:

  • Increase the number of customers

Social media analytics help you find out what your audience wants, what is the type of content they interact with the most and what are their expectations.

By interacting with your audience, you will surely star to convert leads into paying customers.

  • Fuel your brand’s health

The messages you send your audience through the content you post on social media say a lot about your brand’s values and touch points.

It’s important to propel your brand’s purpose and authentic goal through your social media posts, while promoting your products and services.

By being honest to your audience, your brand’s voice will be louder and your customers happier for choosing you for YOU.

  • Make the best of product launches

Another reason why social media analytics is important relies on product launches. Product launches should be a great reason to celebrate, but also to take advantage of your audience’s attention.

Offering them actionable insights will help you become a trustworthy brand for them. Clients will be more inclined to use your products and services.

  • Become better at managing crisis

Social media analytics is just a few clicks away, ready to save whenever you have to manage a crisis.

Maybe a client needs you to adjust something for them. Being quick and proactive, while using social media analytics can help you avoid the chaos.

Providing customers with great customer care and being able to download complete reports about your campaign’s performance are just two of the lots of stuff you can do with social media analytics to avoid crises.

  • Boost your social media campaign performance

With the use of social media analytics, you can find out more about your audience’s interests, offering them exactly what they’re looking for.

This means that you can adjust your social media campaign to your audience’s liking and improve your strategy’s performance.

3. 10 benefits of social media analytics

The use of social media analytics brings a lot of benefits when it comes to developing a strong marketing strategy.

From bringing your audience closer to your brand and transforming it into a community to developing data-driven complex reports, these are only the top benefits.

Social media analytics helps you find out which social media platform works best for your brand and what are the main things you should focus on during your campaign.

Another key factor here is that you can always compare your current social media campaign to previous campaigns and see the progress.

When creating a social media strategy, you must take into consideration some key tactics for which social media analytics play the main role:

  • Measure engagement and top social media metrics for every platform
  • Compare your ongoing social media campaigns
  • Make informed business decisions
  • Benchmark against competitors
  • Find trending topics
  • Spot influencers suitable for your brand’s campaigns
  • Track your influencer’s campaign results
  • Develop well-researched social media campaigns
  • Back up your ROI (Return of Investment)
  • Keep an eye on your team’s effectiveness

The social media analytics benefits are meant to help you build an even stronger campaign and a solid marketing strategy to conquer your audience.

4. Segments of social media analytics

4.1 Audience analytics

When starting your social media campaign, one of the first thing to do is to look at your audience.

Otherwise how are you supposed to deliver the kind of content they’d like to see and are interested in?

Even if it may seem impossible to have your social media content loved by everyone, you should do your best.

Firstly, you must direct your posts to those specific users that show interest in the same topics.

This is some of the audience analytics you can get using Socialinsider.

By taking the time and clearly defining your audience, you not only increase the chances of gaining a loyal and authentic community, but also have the opportunity to spare some money - if thinking about ads - which we’ll cover later on.

Now think for a second. How would you describe your ideal buyer persona?

How old or how young are the people you want to reach?

What does their online behavior look like? What needs do they have?

These are all questions that social media analytics can give you an answer to. How great is this?

After you learn about your prospective clients, you can start thinking about creative concepts and communication strategies.

4.2 Performance analytics

When you develop your first social media posts, you need to think about measuring their performance.

This way, you will learn what type of content is appropriate for every social media platform, adapting your strategy to your prospective clients’ needs.

To learn more about your social media performance, it is best to check social media analytics.

Here are some examples of social media performance analytics available in Socialinsider's dashboard.

Having a marketing strategy means knowing how to adapt your core ideas for different audiences, on different platforms.

Social media campaign analytics can offer you insights on what type of campaign performs best on different social media platforms and help you make better decisions in the future.

Looking at social media metrics helps you establish what efforts you need to make to ace your game.

4.3 Fans' sentiment analytics

Your main purpose is to spread the word about your brand, products and services, showing everyone how proud you are of everything you have accomplished.

Of course, brands love having people engaging with their posts and commenting, but there are times when this cannot be seen as a good sign.

Here's an example of how sentiment analytics look like.

They say even bad press is good press, but if we take a look at huge disastrous outcomes for businesses that happened due to some communication errors or misunderstanding, it doesn’t seem like it anymore.

Social media sentiment analytics must not be overlooked simply because it has the power of preventing serious communication crises. And let’s be honest, nobody is in the mood to deal with a crisis, right?

4.4 Community management analytics

Feedback is always helpful, even if you receive positive or negative comments.

Consider engaging with all your followers, irrespective of the way they have already perceived your brand.

The more you interact with your followers, and the more you reply to their questions and inquiries, the faster you’ll win them over. Maybe you will even get the chance to turn them into brand ambassadors.

To examine how open your brand is at communicating with your customers, you’ll want to take a look at your page’s average response time, which will indicate how long is taking your page to reply back to your customers.

This aspect of the communication process is very important since it is one of the determinants of the sentiment we were talking about earlier.

4.5 Competitive social media analytics

To figure out why comparing your brand to others is important, we’ll go even further.

Not only that you need to benchmark your results against your main competitors, but against the whole industry you’re part of.

It may seem like a lot of work, and truth be told, it actually is.

However, by staying up to date with the latest trends in your industry will help you understand how your marketing strategy should be shaped to get the success you’re after.

This is how the competitive analytics section looks like in Socialinsider's dashboard.

An important mention about all these social media analytics segments is that they must be constantly supervised.

Important social and economic factors, such as the COVID19 pandemic, for example, can generate major changes in the online behavior of customers.

By constantly monitoring the data, brands are able to adapt more rapidly and successfully in case of a crisis.

NOTE: Socialinsider is one of the social media tools for reporting that offers competitive analysis and industry benchmarking. Start your free trial!

4.6 Paid social media analytics

Besides the bold initiatives of promoting products marketers may come up with in order to realize outstanding communication campaigns, a big part of the marketing budget will always be directed towards ads.

And when huge amounts of money are at stake, you have to make sure the results are up to the investments. That’s why social media analytics for your ads are crucial.

First of all, you have to make sure the content invested in your ads is bulletproof. Take your time in analyzing your audience, learn what kind of content they most resonate with and then start creating your ad campaigns.

Here's how you can acess paid analytics by using Socialinsider.

Constantly checking your social media campaign analytics for your social ads will help you optimize them and your budget as well.

In an emergent digital landscape like we experience nowadays, where more and more brands are struggling for the user’s attention, you must always keep an eye on your competition.

When doing a competitor’s analysis, in order to really understand how you can outperform them, you must see the whole picture.

It means that you have to go through all the social media analytics presented here, examining their pages as you do with your own.

NOTE: You can analyse the performance of your ads with Socialinsider and get an idea of how much your competitors invest in paid as well.

4.7 Influencer analytics

There’s a point in a marketer’s life when they decide to boost their social media presence by working with influencers.

Well, when that time comes, you need to keep tabs of a few useful things.

When working with influencers you must do a thorough research in order to make sure you find the right ones for your brand.

Think of your audience and who your community can resonate with.

Are they a good fit for your business?

Also, when conducting your influencer research, you have to pay attention to a few metrics, to understand their performance and to identify possible pains or gains if choosing to work with them.

With a quick look at these influencer social media analytics you’ll be able to tell who has the potential of succeeding at telling your brand’s story:

  • engagement rate
  • account’s evolution
  • posting frequency
  • social media content performance

5. Best social media analytics tools


socialinsider homepage

Socialinsider is a social media analytics tool that provides premium social media analytics and reporting, competitive insights, brand metrics, and social media campaign reports as a point solution.

With Socialinsider, you can measure the performance of all of your social accounts at the same time and track all of the important metrics including engagement rate, reach, impressions, follower growth, post evolution, demographics, and much more.

You may also access detailed information on any social profile or hashtag, perform competitive benchmarking, and generate presentation-ready reports.

Price: The starting price for this social media analytics tool is $99 per month.


hootsuite homepage

Hootsuite is a platform that comes in handy for any social media manager, from scheduling posts and organizing content to analyzing ROI and creating social media analytics.

This analytics tool allows you to manage all of your social network accounts from one location. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest are all included.

You may make better marketing decisions with Hootsuite by gaining insights into what type of content works best or monitoring the impact of your social media initiatives.

Price: For this tool, the starting price is $99/ month.

Sprout Social

This image shows the website of Sprout Social's analytics tool.

Sprout Social is a social media management and optimization software that helps you to manage all of your social media publishing, engagement, and analytics in one place.

Its social media analytics tool has the benefit of speeding up the data collection process by allowing you to see the broad picture and so improving your social strategy.

Price: Sprout Social has a starting price of $249/ month.


iconosquare homepage

This is a social media analytics and performance tool that assists clients in tracking channel growth and optimizing their social media strategy.

You can automate your Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter accounts using Iconosquare.

It offers sophisticated analytics, publishing, and monitoring services for small businesses, organizations, and agencies.

Price: For this social media app, you have to pay a starting price of $49/ month.


keyhole homepage

Another social media analytics tool you should try is Keyhole. This app is a must if you are looking for a tool to monitor your brand’s mentions and other industry social conversations.

Moreover, you can find data for all top social media metrics, like engagement, reach, top posts and even infos about your competitors.

With the help of this app, you can easily track keywords, social media campaigns and influencers’ activity to improve your marketing strategy.

Price: For this social media app, the starting price is $99/ month.


A screenshot from the main page of rivaliq

RivalIQ is a social media analytics app which is bound to offer you insights about other brands in your business, comparing your performance against yours.

This feature can help you position yourself in your niche, finding out more on your campaign’s performance and all the SEO compliances.

With this social media analytics tool, you can look at other brands’ social strategies and implement some of their tactics.

Price: The starting price for this social media analytics tool is $239/ month.


A screenshot from the main page of emplifi

Another social media analytics tool you should not miss out is Emplifi. With this app’s features, you can improve your marketing strategy.

However, this analytics app is much more than just that. Emplifi provides you with influencer marketing insights, data about your current campaign and cross-channel benchmarking.

Price: For this app, the starting price is $240 per month.


A screenshot from the main page of quintly

When it comes to the most popular social media analytics tools, you also have to try Quintly. This app is ready to help you monitor metrics for all social media platforms.

With the help of Quintly, you can automate sharable dashboards. Isn’t that great? Moreover, you can easily measure social KPIs.

You can also compare your performance and the one of your competitors against the industry’s benchmarks.

Price: For this social media analytics tool, the starting price is $449/ month.


A screenshot from the main page of agorapulse

AgoraPulse is a social media analytics tools which can take reporting to a new level.

The app provides you with a lot of actionable insights that you can further implement in your social media campaign.

With this analytics tool, you find out what are the appropriate tags and hashtags to use in your posts based on your brand’s interests.

Price: AgoraPulse has a starting price of $49 per month.

6. What social media metrics you should look at

Here is a list of the most important social media metrics you should keep an eye on when checking your analytics tool:

  • Reach - It refers to the total number of unique visitors that have seen your content.
  • Impressions - It refers to the total number of times the content has appeared in a user’s feed.
  • The average engagement rate by followers- It measures the level of interactions an account has through the content published, divided by the number of followers, and multiplied by 100, to get a percentage.
  • The average engagement rate by reach- This reveals how many people interacted with your posts from those who have seen your posts aside from your followers. It’s calculated by dividing the engagement of a post to the reach, all multiplied by 100.
  • Engagement - This social media metric accounts for the number of likes and comments that a post receives in a set period of time.
  • Best posting time - The time at which you can get a higher engagement rate during the selected time period.
  • Video views - This metric accounts for all the video views a video content has gathered over time.
  • Demographics - This accounts for the data you need to know about your audience like, age group, gender, and location.

7. How to track your social media analytics performance data

7.1 Gather all your social media data

Regardless of the social media analytics tool you choose, the first step is to make sure it is collecting data from all relevant and available sources.

Depending on which segment you’ve picked that is in-line with your marketing objectives, make sure that the analytics tool provides you all the data you need to create an overview.

7.2 Create social media benchmarks

Another essential step in the social media analytics process is to set benchmarks.

Performing a competitive analysis on your top competitors or the overall industry can help you to improve your content strategy, uncover your competitors' strategy on social media networks, get better at budget planning, and stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends.

7.3 Generate a social media analytics report

While creating analytics reports might seem scary and time-consuming, with the right tool, it can be an easy peasy process.

Ideally, you should be able to generate a social media analytics report in just a few clicks, and Socialinsider is the tool that does that for you.

You can also create white-label reports so you can use your logo and brand colors.

7.4 Draw conclusions and take action

After you’ve generated your social media analytics report, make sure to draw some conclusions, whether you identify some trends and new opportunities or improve your customers’ experience or content strategy.

7.5 Repeat the process

Running a social media analytics report is not a one-time only kind of deal. If you haven’t generated regular such reports until now, it’s time to include this in your overall strategy.

Set clear time frames for repeating this process and take notes to see how your performance changes over time.

Final thoughts

Instead of wondering why social media analytics is important, you should assess its benefits and save your time for reporting.

At the end of the day, you will be able to develop complex reports with the help of in-depth data retrieved with social media analytics.

Hopefully this article answered your question on why social media analytics is important and you found the right third-party tool to help you with the job.

Laura Dascau

Laura Dascau

Content Writer @Socialinsider

I am a curious, focused learner born to tell stories to win over readers' hearts. Always embracing vulnerable authenticity.

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