Social Media Analytics -  Understand the Basics
Analytics & Reporting

Social Media Analytics - Understand the Basics

Theodora Stanciu
Theodora Stanciu

Table of Contents

We live in times when social media platforms have become a second home for a vast majority of people.

It is clear that these social media tools became the future of marketing the second they were launched.

Now that you count on the online communities you built around your brand, you need to check social media analytics to see what keeps the world spinning and how your marketing strategy works.

Are you ready to learn everything you need to know about social media analytics?

Social media analytics - understand the basics

  1. What is social media analytics?
  2. 7 benefits of social media analytics
  3. 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
  4. What is social media listening

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, social data will be generated automatically.

Likes, comments, sentiment, reactions, shares, retweets, etc. is information that will help you ace your social media marketing campaigns on your way to success.

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

Analytics for social media helps marketers design and implement a better social media strategy based on their audience’s needs and customer’s desires.

Having access to a wide variety of social media metrics allows you to see what works and what needs changing when it comes to your social media content.

Since your main purpose is to attract more clients, you should always focus on altering your strategy to suit demographics, like age, gender, location, best posting time and more.

Do not forget that your social media audience has all its eyes on you. That is why you should make sure that they paint a great picture about your brand and that the numbers, charts and data back it all up.

2. 7 benefits of social media analytics

Through the power of social media analytics you can see which are the social media platforms that work best for your business and put all your efforts into them.

Moreover, you can always compare present campaigns to previous ones, especially if they have a similar objective.

This way, you will be able to track the changes that might have appeared in your fans’ behavior or interests.

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 by social channel
  • Compare your ongoing social media campaigns
  • Get insights from your competitors
  • Tracks your influencer’s campaign results

Social media analytics provide you with the useful data to build a powerful marketing strategy to ace your game.

Analytics reports for social media help you increase brand awareness, develop better content and build a loyal community in the online world, who is always satisfied with your social media presence.

Yeah, social media is not everything about pretty pictures and videos with amazing edits.

Behind all this lies a social media manager that puts a lot of work into it, sitting on piles of data, while periodically tracking the most important metrics to keep tabs on their brand’s evolution.

And since we know that everything worth having, like success, doesn’t come easy, as a marketer, you need to strive to make things right.

Being able to develop something greater and better than what your competitors have is a tough challenge, but the outcome is extremely satisfying.

Here are the benefits of social media analytics:

  • Develop well-researched social media campaigns
  • Back up your ROI (Return of Investment)
  • Keep an eye on your team’s effectiveness
  • Find trending topics
  • Benchmark against competitors
  • Make better business decisions
  • Spot influencers suitable for your brand’s campaigns

All these benefits will offer you the boost you need to keep your content interesting, your audience curious and your competitors angry.

3. Segments of social media analytics

3.1 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.

3.2 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.

3.3 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?

3.4 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.

3.5 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!

3.6 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.

3.7 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

4. Best social media analytics tools



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.


This image shows the website of Hootsuite's analytics tool.

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.

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.


This image shows the website of Iconosquare's analytics tool.

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.

5. What social media metrics you should look at

When it comes to looking at the development of your social media campaigns, it is best to focus on the most important metrics to track the changes that occur.

Social media metrics offer you the insights you need to create powerful content that will certainly have an impact on your readers.

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.

6. How to track your social media analytics performance data

6.1 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.

6.2 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.

6.3 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.

6.4 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.

6.5 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.

7. What is social listening

Social listening provides you with supplementary insights regarding your audience interaction with your brand. Basically, this tool analyzes the overall landscape on a social media platform on how your brand is perceived and how users react to your campaigns.

Your main purpose is to gather as many positive reactions to your marketing campaigns as possible.

Due to social listening, you get more data about the new topics that are of interest for your business and are related to the ones you already explored in your content.

When broadly learning about the landscape, you will be able to unfold only the elements that will provide you with the needed information to complete your marketing strategy.

Through social listening, you will be able to develop content in which you will rely not only on industry reports, but also on your audience’s mentions and campaign hashtags.

Final thoughts

Being a marketer does not only mean rainbows and butterflies. It is hard work, strategies to put in place and campaigns to build while looking at data.

Even if not everything sounds fun, you need to make every effort count at the end of the day, when you look at your brand’s results.

At the foundation  of social media analytics lies a bundle of data about your marketing strategy and audience to help you make informed business decisions.

And let’s face it! You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

Keep in mind that there are always new things to discover and hopefully this social media analytics guide is just the right thing for you and your brand.

Theodora Stanciu

Theodora Stanciu

Content Writer @Socialinsider

I am a curious sociologist with an analytical mind and a passion for everything social. I like mixing words with data and documenting social phenomena and human behaviors.

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