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Social Media Analytics: What To Measure And Why

While a lot of marketers are able to write amazing social media strategies, develop wowing content and identify the correct objectives, they fail in analysis and reporting. There are so many metrics that we sometimes get swamped and confused on what best to monitor and measure, sometimes, metrics with the same name mean different definitions depending on the network you are analyzing. It can be overwhelming!

In this article, we outline what you need to be monitoring on social media.


If you are trying to grow your fan base or get a certain post seen, Reach may be the metric for you. However if you are trying to build a relationship with customers, build brand loyalty or measure purchase intent, you should pay attention to Engagement metrics. If no one is engaging with your content you have either the wrong content or the wrong audience!

In an audience you will typically have the following:

  • The Influencers- These are people with large following who (based on relationship with your target audience) have the ability to influence the audience.
  • The Ghosts: These people do not interact with what you share. They just add to the numbers of follower you have.
  • The Loyalists- These are your real fans. They stick to you no matter what. They take their relationship with your brand very seriously and they engage passionately with your brand.
  • The Advocates- Your social warriors. These people enjoy your content so much that they begin to fight and advocate for you. If anyone says something negative about your brand, you can trust your advocates to fight right back!




As you are growing your audience you need to make sure you have the right audience profile. On Twitter you can run a report to see what categories of people are part of your profile. For example, are they entrepreneurs, marketers etc. On Facebook you can set up an ad (you don’t have to run it) targeted to your Facebook fans and then change the targeting options to work out the profile of your audience, RDM can help you with this.



Does the size of your audience matter? Yes, of course it does….if you are building a relevant audience. You need to continuously build your audience. Your audience typically grows gradually unless you use tools or paid advertisement to grow. There is nothing wrong in investing in audience growth tactics if you have a process of converting that audience.


Typically you will want to generate traffic back to your website from content you share and you’ll need to measure the impact of that traffic. For some companies traffic is enough. For example, if you are media site you get paid for advertisements and more traffic means more money!


Leads or Sales

You can also monitor and measure how many leads you generate or sales you complete per campaign. This analysis helps you know where on the sales funnel your potential customers drop off and know when to start retargeting.

Content Analysis

Creating and sharing content is an expensive task. On a regular basis you need to analyze your content to see what’s working/not working.

  • Are videos, pictures or text updates working best?
  • Do you have the right mix of content?
  • Are you getting engagement on your questions?
  • What changes have happened on the platforms that means you need to change? (e.g. changes to profile images).

You’ll need to monitor this on an ongoing basis.

Community Responsiveness

If you’re not responsive to your community they’ll stop interacting so it’s important to measure this. This is particularly important if you are using social media as a customer service channel. The response rates are going to be equally important as an email support request.


Competitor Benchmarking

We should all learn from our competitors as they are probably learning from us! Do a comparison of your account versus your competitors. What are their engagement stats like, audience profile, audience size growth etc. This active monitoring will give you ideas. Thing to learn from and things to avoid!

Sentiment Analysis

This is where you analyze positive, negative, or neutral mentions of your product or service. Sentiment

analysis tools are not 100% reliable but they can give you a good indicator when there’s a problem.

Here’s a full description of sentiment analysis taken from wikipedia: “Sentiment analysis (also known as opinion mining) refers to the use of natural language processing, text analysis and computational linguistics to identify and extract subjective information in source materials”

When you are going through all your analytics you’ll need to start splitting out paid and unpaid media. All social media channels will require some paid media over time but this will affect your statistics.



Written by PH

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