23 Dec 2021 What is Social Media Analytics? Everything You Need to Know
It’s one thing to know in your heart that you’re a social media whiz: it’s another to be able to prove it. Which is why social media analytics are so critical to any successful campaign or brand strategy.
What is social media analytics?
Social media analytics is the collection and analysis of data points that help you measure the performance of your social media accounts. These are the metrics that will help you assess your social media marketing strategy on both macro and micro levels. Besides helping you see how social media is contributing to your larger business goals, they can also help you gauge customer sentiment, spot trends, and avoid PR crises before they happen.
To track social media analytics, you’ll look at likes, comments, shares and saves, but you might also monitor mentions and discussion of your brand or consumer insights by practising social listening.
Social media analytics tools help you do all this math, while also creating performance reports to share with your team, stakeholders, and boss — to figure out where you’re succeeding and where you’re struggling.
How to track social media analytics
It may seem like a daunting task, but tracking your social media analytics isn’t difficult. It just requires a little bit of planning and a lot of consistency. You’ve got this! We’ve even made a template for you to plug your social media analytics report into at the end of this post.
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
It’s pretty much impossible to measure your success if you don’t actually know what success looks like. So great social media tracking begins with setting a goal for your brand. To be clear: a social media goal is not the same thing as a social media strategy (although both are important). A social media goal is a statement about something specific you want to achieve with your marketing activity. Your goal can be applied to something short-term and small (for instance, a single ad buy) or can be bigger picture (like a goal for your overall social media campaign).
Either way, we recommend using the S.M.A.R.T. framework for your social media goals to set yourself up for maximum success.
S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
- Specific: Your goal should be as precise as possible. What exactly do you want to achieve? “Improve our Instagram account” is too vague. “Build Instagram engagement by 500%” is far clearer.
- Measurable: Set some quantifiable indicators (a.k.a. hard numbers) to make success clear. For instance, “increase our TikTok followers by 1,000 this month.” Without having a goal that’s measurable, you’ll never know if you’ve achieved it.
- Attainable: Listen, it’s great to want to reach for the stars, but setting the bar a little lower is going to make it much more likely that you’ll actually achieve it. Think baby steps here. If your goal is to push a million views to your website this week, but you just launched it yesterday, you’re only setting yourself up for failure.
- Relevant: How does this goal fit into your overall plan? Go ahead and strive to get Rhianna to follow you back on Twitter, but make sure it’s clear why pursuing that goal is going to benefit your big-picture brand strategy.
- Time-bound: Deadlines are key. When do you want to achieve your goal? If you can’t come up with a timeline, that might be an indicator that your goal just isn’t specific or attainable enough.
Decide which metrics matter to you most
There are a lot of different numbers flying around the social-media-verse. Likes! Followers! Views! Shares! Duets!(?) How do you know which of these social media metrics are important? Well… it’s really up to you.
Remember that goal you set, just moments ago in step number one? (We really hope you remember, it just happened.) That’s going to determine which metrics actually matter because you want to keep an eye on the data that will help you measure your progress towards your goal.
Social media metrics fall into one of four categories:
- Awareness: current and potential audience.
- Engagement: how audiences are interacting with your content.
- Conversion: effectiveness of your social engagement.
- Consumer: how active customers think and feel about your brand.