The Basics of Social Media Analytics

by Nathan Halnin

Jul 27, 2020

Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

Social media is a great outlet for entertainment and connection. However, for companies and marketers, social media is a platform that can be used to advance business goals through the use of strategic advertising campaigns. Whether it is an ad displayed on the platform, or a company integrating their promotions on their social media platforms, it can certainly reach the right audiences through the right strategy.

But how exactly can you measure the effectiveness of your social media presence? While it is typical for companies to run promotion campaigns or advertisements, these strategies are measured in the form of analytics. While the definition of analytics can be broad and vague, it is simply the calculation of data and statistics that measures certain metrics. 

In the context of social media, there are a number of analytics that you may want to track to have a more informed approach on how to implement your next promotion strategy. Depending on the social media platform you use, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, or even Pinterest, you will certainly see these same analytics throughout. However, some platforms offer more data than others.

It is also important to mention that there are external websites that specialize in tracking social media analytics, such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social. In the context of this blog, we will only focus on the free ones offered by social media platforms. Here are some of the important social media analytics you should consider.

Analytics to Measure

Reach refers to the total amount of people who have viewed some type of content on your social media channels. This also applies to ads that you run to promote your content. For instance, if a total of 20 people saw your content, then your reach would be at 20. Reach is important in understanding how your content is doing in terms of reaching a number of audiences.

Impressions is the total amount of times that your ad or content has appeared on the screens of people’s devices. In this case, if your ad has appeared multiple times, the total number of impressions will continue to increase as your content or ad appears. For example, if an individual saw your ad for a total of five times, this is all added up to the total number of impressions on your analytics, where it accounts for all the number of times your audience has viewed your content. 

Engagement measures the overall interactions that your audience takes on your social media channels. These include whether they have liked, commented or shared any of your content. However, these can also include clicks to your social media channel page, or if your page was mentioned elsewhere by being tagged. This metric is important in seeing how your audience reacts to the content you post, as higher engagement rates can often be an indication that people are interested in the content you post, depending on the reactions.

There are other forms of analytics that you should also consider, but these are much more easy to understand. The likes and/or followers of your page are a good analytic to track to see the growth of your social media channel. Another analytic to consider are the locations in which your followers are from, as this gives you better insight as to who your audience is and how you can tailor your content to them in a better way through localization. A few more analytics to analyze would be the days and times most active, the age group, as well as the gender of your followers to potentially shape your content strategy.

While this may not entirely cover all analytics that are present on social media, it could give you a better understanding of some areas to track to shape your content strategy. As previously stated, it is important to remember that  analytics can vary from platform to platform. If you are interested in learning more social media definitions that go beyond analytics, please check out our social media dictionary

How Analytics Can Shape Your Social Media Strategy

Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

In the previous blog, we discussed certain social media management tools that can be beneficial in helping your content strategy. Analytics can be helpful in determining your social media strategy as these forms of data can give you a better understanding as to how your audience reacts and engages with the content you put out. With this data, you can then create content that would meet the interests of your audience, and possibly reach more with the right content strategy.

For instance, gauging the impressions and reach of your posts gives you an idea as to how popular your posts are, as having higher numbers for these metrics would indicate that your posts are reaching larger audiences. Since you can track these two metrics on a weekly or monthly basis (depending on the social media platform), you can use this information to adjust your content, where you can assess past trends to see which previous posts have been popular.

In addition, the easiest metric to understand would certainly be engagement, particularly the amount of likes a post gets, or the amount of followers an account receives in a certain time period. These forms of engagement gives you an idea as to what type of content your audience enjoys to see, as you can use this information to shape your next content strategy.

Lastly, the personal characteristics of your followers are another consideration that can affect your strategy. Personal characteristics can include the age group of your followers, their geographic location, as well as their own behaviours as to what time they are frequently online on social media platforms. With these tidbits of data, you can create a strategy that meets the interests of your audience that could also align with your consumers’ behaviours. 

If you do not have the resources available to generate a content strategy, then our team at Qode Social can assist you with our years of proven experience using social media analytics to develop a strategy that will suit your social media needs.

Qode Social is a Toronto-based social media marketing agency that specializes in community building, account growth, ad analysis, Facebook and Instagram support, and more. Led by experienced social media experts, Qode Social has worked with companies such as Gay Lea Foods, Days Inn Canada, TP-Link and more. Qode Social is a division of Qode Media, which is the parent company that focuses on SEO and graphic design.