How To Understand Social Media Analytics

How to understand social media analytics

Social Media Servants Co-Founder Elana Harari explains how to read your social media analytics, which statistics to ignore and how to make the most out of them.

The Important Details

Engagement is arguably the most important analytic because it shows you whether you’re doing a good job or not. For example, does your community care about what you’re saying and do they want to connect with you on a daily basis? Achieving that should be a focus of your social media strategy across all platforms.

Engagement is the number of people who see a post divided by the number of people who interact with it. Would you rather have a community of 2,000 with 2 people engaged, or a community of 200 with 20 engaging with you?

Reach is also important to look at, for two reasons. Firstly, you’ll find the time and day that works best for you because more people have seen a piece of content. Secondly, the more engagement you get on a post, the further its organic reach, therefore letting you know your community has deemed this piece of content worthwhile.

Twitter is a prime example of eyeballs being valuable, simply because there are no content blocks (Facebook has a block on how much content is seen by your community), therefore your community is more likely to see every post .

Retweets, favourites and mentions should be key metrics. Also, you should be able to find how many times the links you update have been clicked on. More clicks means higher engagement due to quality content, and more likelihood that you’ll get retweeted, favourited, and mentioned.

If you have a monitoring and analytical system for your twitter, you’ll be able to track your influence and engagement statistics. Engagement is how your community interacts with you, including retweeting, mentioning and favouriting your tweets. Influence is your level of influence (obviously) in your Twitter network.

For Pinterest and Instagram there are no fool-proof metrics at the moment. You can focus on general analytics such as followers, comments and likes, regrams, repins, etc. The general rule is the higher the quality of engagement (a comment is higher quality than a like), the greater your engagement on that platform is.

On Google+, you want comments on posts, +1s, and shares.

Ensure you have Google Analytics set up, as it will tell you who came to your website from which platform. Once you know where your web traffic is coming from, you can correlate it back to the types of content you posted.

Facebook logo - how to understand social media analytics

Forget About It

Clearly, all analytics are important, but some are confusing and when it comes to saving time and achieving your goals, they’re not a focal point.

One of these is impressions on Facebook. The reason is simple: impressions include everyone who could have seen your post, whether they like your page or not. Not everyone who has seen your post, but anyone who could have potentially seen it one way or another. So when it comes to hard data and fact, it gives you nothing. It’s an assumption of what could have happened.

While Facebook likes are phenomenal and getting them takes good strategy and knowledge, there are far more important analytical measures you should be focusing on. We understand likes will always be a key measure, however if you’re looking for sales, there is no direct correlation.

Follows on Twitter are similar to likes in terms of no correlation with sales, but because there is no content blockage, more of your followers will see your posts.

Twitter logo - how to understand social media analytics

How To Use Your Analytics

Social media needs to be about what the consumer wants. Therefore if you find through your analytics that certain times of day get higher traction, then that’s when consumers are on and that’s when you should schedule posts.

If you find that certain pieces of content get higher traction, ensure that you continue to provide this style of content to the community. You should be looking at the different styles of popular content, the most popular days, and best time of day in order to establish when is the ideal time and day to post which type of content.

You should also be looking at your least popular, as sometimes it’s better to know what’s not working and what your community doesn’t want, so you can rectify the strategy and ensure that everything that goes up is meaningful and desired.

Recently Facebook made a change to their algorithm, with “low quality” content being penalised and “meaningful and relevant” content being promoted.

Low quality content – memes, sales and product items that don’t create excitement – is pushed further down the news feed and blocked from the community. Your meaningful content, which creates engagement within the community, is pushed up the news feed, so that it stays in the news cycle for longer, gets more eyeballs, and therefore generates more engagement.

What this means for you is boring content will not do well, while timely meaningful and relevant content will help you achieve your digital objectives. Using your analytics will help you know which content is best for you.

Instagram logo - how to understand social media analytics

At The End Of The Day…

Social media is about building your community and finding your advocates, rather than sales. This is why it’s important to be posting “meaningful” content, rather than just product posts. Understanding your analytics will help you to provide the most interesting content to your audience. Once you have your loyal followers, the sales will come naturally.


Did you enjoy Elana’s article? Find her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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2 responses to “How To Understand Social Media Analytics

  1. Pingback: Quick Fix: Bite Sized Social Media Tips | The Servant·

  2. Pingback: Tips For Managing Your Social Media | The Servant·

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