Social Media Analytics for Data Analysts

social media analytics for data analysts

I talk a lot about analytics in traditional business analyst and data analyst roles.

Today we’re looking at a more recent development - social media analytics.

If you’re working in a marketing analyst role, supporting a marketing team, or even running your own business, it’s important to understand social media analytics and how they impact the business.

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Which social media platforms track analytics?

All the most popular social media platforms have some amount of analytics built into their applications, sometimes requiring a free pro or business account to access.

There’s YouTube analytics, Facebook analytics, Instagram analytics, LinkedIn analytics, twitter analytics, Pinterest analytics...even tiktok analytics.

There are also dozens of options for managing social media analytics outside of these platforms. 

Beyond the platforms we traditionally think of as social media, most people consider customer sentiment mining on forums to also fall under social media analytics.

What are customers saying on Reddit or forums that are industry or topic specific?

What types of data is available?

There’s some variation from platform to platform with what metrics are available and the terminology can differ.

The major metrics that cross all platforms include: 

  • Followers (or page likes): How many people are requesting to see the posts?
  • Impressions / Reach: How many people saw the post / video content? How many people had the chance to see more?
  • Engagement: Of those that saw the content that was posted, how many interacted with it? Depending on the platform, this could be video views, link clicks, likes, etc. Engagement is one of the most important metrics across social media platforms because it shows if people are interacting with your posts.
  • Engagement Rate: The number of engagements divided by the number of impressions
  • Click Through Rate / Post Clicks: These aren’t exactly the same metric, but availability differs by platforms
  • Shares: How many people shared your post? Retweeted the content? Shares are also a form of engagement.

Beyond these universal metrics, you’ll also find additional useful information on many platforms including how people found the content - whether it was suggested to them, they searched for it, they came from an external source.

These types of metrics can be very helpful for building a future strategy for maximizing impact.

How can social media analytics drive business improvements?

Tracking different metrics can indicate which things are working well and which aren’t.

For instance, if content is getting a very high number of impressions, but the engagement is low, then you don’t need to focus on getting in front of more people - you need to engage the people you are finding. 

You’ll also need to be aware of what your goal is with any given piece of content.

Sometimes you’re just sharing informational details like the business is closed for a holiday in which case you don’t need a lot of engagement - you just need impressions.

Other times, for instance if you’re trying to sell spots in a workshop, you care more about click through rate - and likely will combine that with sales data for additional effectiveness.

Which social media metrics should you analyze?

Track metrics that align with why content is being made in the first place.

Sometimes the goal is awareness, other times it’s fundraising, and sometimes it’s product or service sales.

It’s helpful to periodically check on all different metrics, but the main focus should be on metrics that provide information where you can take action.

Impressions are high, but not engagement? This leads to a specific action.

Impressions aren’t high? Your focus should be on impressions first.