What Are Social Media Analytics and Why Are They Important?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published March 25, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

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Organizations may use a variety of tools, including social media analytics, to understand how consumers interact with their brands' marketing content. A business may review various social media metrics to learn about its target audience's interests, priorities and preferences. Understanding this data collecting method can help companies improve their digital marketing strategies. In this article, we describe what social media analytics are, review why they're important, list the top metrics companies can consider, discuss how they can benefit a business and review different types of social media analytics.

Related: How To Improve Social Media Engagement in 9 Steps

What are social media analytics?

Social media analytics (SMA) are tools that an organization can use to collect and analyze data related to customers' engagement with content on various social networking platforms. This data may include a variety of information, such as feedback from customers on a new product or the number of times individuals engage with a promotional post. Businesses often analyze this information to gain critical information about the interests and habits of consumers who use social media platforms frequently. This can help a company learn more about its target audience and alter its promotional content accordingly.

Related: What Is Social Media Marketing?

Why are analytics important in social media?

SMA are important because they allow an organization to evaluate how people interact with the content they view on social media. This can encourage businesses to reconsider their marketing content based on consumers' engagement. Here are some reasons reviewing analytics can be important for a business:

  • Discovering valuable trends: Social media analytics gather data that can help show trends in an industry or track consumer purchasing patterns for a particular brand. They can help professionals understand which product or services customers may look for based on social media users' interests and purchases, allowing a brand to develop items its customers prefer.

  • Tracking company and product success: A company may use social media analytics to track how people feel about a company or a specific product an organization offers. SMA may reveal why consumers prefer a particular brand or allow digital marketing professionals to assess how an item or service may benefit from improvement based on user feedback.

  • Engaging with customers: SMA allow businesses to discover consumer reactions to their social media marketing content. Companies can see if their customers approve of how the business is presenting itself and advertising its products on its social media platforms and allows consumers to communicate with the brand regarding their interests or concerns.

  • Following the competition: Tracking social media analytics also helps companies gauge how their competitors perform on social media and review public comments that other organizations make about their brand. Identifying techniques that their competitors benefit from can allow an organization to change its marketing strategies and social media content.

  • Monitoring third-party sites: SMA can help determine whether third-party websites influence the success of a company's social media campaigns. This can help a business analyze whether third-party sites, such as social media influencer profiles that recommend a brand or product, benefit the company and are worth a company's financial investment.

  • Checking demographics: Reviewing social media analytics allows businesses to track consumer demographics and understand who typically supports or buys a product. This can also allow an organization to understand whether its target audience engages with its digital content, allowing marketing professionals to refine and alter their posts if necessary.

Related: Pros and Cons of Social Media Marketing

Benefits of using social media analytics in business

SMA provides businesses with key information about the quality of their social media content. Marketing professionals can use this knowledge to improve a social networking profile or determine which strategies can help a company increase revenue overall. Here are more ways a business might benefit from using social media analytics:

Improve products

By analyzing SMA across multiple channels, businesses can discover what features of their products people like and which aspects of their brand or services may benefit from improvement. This information can help them address challenges or glitches with a current product and develop additional high-value features on existing merchandise. This can allow a brand to create more successful products in the future that may get better approval rates from social media users and increase profit overall.

Beat out the competition

By monitoring how consumers feel about other businesses and products, companies can understand what approaches other organizations are doing well and assess areas of the market where they may have a competitive advantage . For example, a company may decide to increase marketing for a certain product that's similar to their competitors' to gain new clients who are already interested in a particular item.

Alternatively, a business may choose to develop entirely new products that differ from the items industry competitors offer because they identify an unmet consumer priority. If a brand's competitor is discontinuing one of their products, internal design professionals may decide to create a new version of the same item to acquire customers that previously purchased goods from their competitor.

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Improve overall customer experience

Social media analytics can help businesses understand how customers interact with their brands, what they like about the products the companies offer and what clients hope to see more of from an organization. With this information, companies can continue to implement successful branding strategies and try to improve aspects of their organizations that customers feel may benefit from improvement.

This strategy, also called behavioral analysis, gauges how customers behave based on what they see on social media and how they interact with the digital content. If customers have a good experience on a company's social media channels, they're more likely to buy a product and spend money on its services regularly.

Create brand loyalty

Besides highlighting what clients like about a certain product, social media analytics can show what they like about a company overall. By reaching their customers through their social media, businesses try to increase brand loyalty and develop an audience of social media users who may become repeat customers because of a positive association with the brand.

A company may use social media content to highlight brand values, describe product features or demonstrate support from influencers and celebrities. This means that a business can use SMA to review how well it's connecting with members of its target audience and encourage clients to create a personal connection with the company that promotes brand loyalty.

Related: How To Use Social Media Branding

Top metrics for social media analytics

Here are some of the top metrics for social media analytics a business can consider and assess:

Impressions and reach

Tracking impressions and reach can help a company increase brand awareness and improve its perception among members of its target audience. Impressions measure the number of times a post appears on a social media user's screen or timeline, and reach describes the potential number of unique viewers a post may reach.

For example, the reach of a social media post an influencer shared with their audience from a company's profile includes the number of followers the company has and the number of people who follow the influencer's content because this is the number of people who may potentially view the post. Understanding these metrics and how to increase them can help a company grow its follower-base and the number of potential customers who are familiar with its brand.

Engagement

Companies may track various types of engagement with their content, including comments, shares and likes. This information can help a company understand how effective its social media campaigns are and how often their viewers find their content valuable enough to share, respond to or save. High engagement rates may indicate that a large portion of a company's followers view and interact with their posts, which can demonstrate that the company's marketing strategy effectively reaches its target audience.

Some types of engagement can also show high levels of brand awareness. For example, when audience members tag or mention a company in one of their unsponsored posts without a brand deal or contract, it may indicate that the individual has a positive association with the brand.

Response rate and time

Rather than assessing customers' and followers' interactions with a brand, response rate and time track how efficiently employees reply to audience members on social media and whether they're able to address individuals' questions and concerns effectively. This can allow a company to evaluate whether its marketing and communication strategies are successful and identify aspects of interactions that may benefit from improvement. Reviewing these metrics can help a company increase customer satisfaction and retention rates, which can also improve brand loyalty and perception.

Referrals and conversions

A company can use referrals and conversions to track how effectively social media content directs followers to its website and whether social media engagement leads to consumer purchases. This is an important tool for understanding whether a marketing campaign helps establish a larger client base and increases the organization's revenue.

Referrals describe how a potential client arrives at your website and allow a brand to assess whether social media content influences individuals to make online purchases. Conversions evaluate the number of purchases customers make from a business' website, and a social conversion indicates that a client viewed your product or service on a social media platform and then decided to purchase the item.

Types of social media analytics

There are several types of social media analytics, all of which companies can use to evaluate different data and improve various aspects of their social media content. Here's a list of some of the most common types of SMA:

  • Performance metrics: Performance metrics assess how well a social media marketing campaign is performing. It evaluates such things as user interactions, click-through rates for posted links, numbers of followers and allows professionals to track whether those numbers consistently increase.

  • Audience analytics: These look at who is seeing a business' social media across multiple channels and who their target audience is so that the company can create content that their specific audience most appreciates. SMA data shows an audience's behavior, demographics and areas of interest.

  • Competitor analytics: Competitor analytics examine the social media platforms of competing businesses to see how their competitor's social media content performs and how the brand's audience members engage with their posts. This can help a company understand which social media marketing methods they may adopt from other industry leaders.

  • Paid social analytics: Paid social analytics evaluates which social media content is a good investment for a company based on audience interactions with sponsored posts. These analytics review the number of ads, how much they cost, the total number of times users click on their links and how much each click can increase the company's revenue and profit.

  • Influencer analytics: When a company uses social media influencers to help increase its reach, it may rely on influencer analytics to measure whether this approach is successful. For example, a brand may assess the total interactions per 1,000 followers, consider which hashtags yield the highest amount of likes or analyze how many posts the influencers create.

  • Sentiment analysis: This type of social media analytic evaluates how customers respond to a social media campaign and assess the campaign's favorability rating, which tracks whether viewers like a specific type of marketing content. They may conduct sentiment analysis by reviewing the number of purchases made following the release of a social media campaign.


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