Why Do We Need Social Media Analytics?

Reba Liddy
4 min readMar 13, 2021

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Let me preface this by saying: I am not a social media aficionado when it comes to analytics. I have been managing social media accounts since I was in college, and there is still so much that I need to know. Social media is a powerhouse where people go to waste time, talk to fellow users, and learn about the latest news. According to Andrew Hutchinson, a content and social media manager for Social Media Today, “around 71% of people now get at least some of their news input from social media platform.” Social media is a powerful tool, and if done right, can bring traffic to an organization’s website, gather attention for the brand, and increase sales for products.

For social media managers and content creators, their jobs are based on the analytics on an organization’s social media accounts. “Social media metrics are important because they prove you can measure how successful a campaign is, how well your social strategy is performing, and ultimately if you will have an impact on your overall business.” In order to properly assess different metrics, I will look into three different sets of analytics: daily reports, weekly reports and monthly reports.

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Daily Reports

Those daily analytics are for the social media content creator to view. Like all reports, the daily analytics should stem from an organization’s goals. This “report” is not necessarily formal, but it is the most detail-oriented report because it contains the minuscule details that can range from individual post engagement to analyzing the most successful post of the day.

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Ashley Ward, an author for Social Media Examiner, suggests that personally tracking analytics can help with content metrics, timing metrics, audience metrics, engagement metrics among other helpful measurements. She wrote that “tracking content metrics allows you to analyze the content you share on social media and spot specific patterns.” From there, the social media content creator will have the opportunity to analyze timing, audience and engagement metrics by identifying the time(s) of day that posts are reaching the most people and when people are most likely going to interact with a post.

Weekly Reports

These reports are composed for the content creator’s immediate boss. This report gives a summary of the daily reports and may include overall statics related to audience size and growth, reach, top posts for the week for click-through rates (CTR), follower growth, and competitor metrics. These measurements can “focus on the data that matters — the numbers that prove your effort has had a positive, bottom-line impact on the business.” For increased readability, I would suggest having it broken down per social media platform.

First, it is important to include audience size and growth along with reach, especially for organizations that are focused on brand awareness. As content creators start to compile reports, managers and others will have the ability to identify growth patterns with the organization’s followers.

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Highlighting 2 to 3 top posts for the week “will indicate audience health (how responsive your audience is and how many are ‘real’ followers), interesting content types and your awareness of your brand.” It will give the manager examples of successful content, and provide click-through rates for them. Hootsuite states that “tracking CTR, often and accurately, will give you invaluable insight into how compelling your offer is to the target audience.”

Finally, competitor metrics are useful because it can “benchmark your social media campaigns with those of your competitors.” Other than using competitors accounts to benchmark success, it can be helpful to see what similar organizations are doing that are successful, and adapt it with your organization’s social media strategy.

Monthly Reports

These reports are given to the leaders and c-suite executives of the company. They are less specific and gives a snapshot of top analytics across platforms. CEOs and leaders care about how social media impacts the company’s awareness, reputation and most importantly, revenue, they don’t necessarily have time to comb through details.

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As previously stated, all reports are goal-oriented, but this report is deliberately simplified to relay how social media impacts the business. “If you can identify areas of your website and social media that are driving value, what actions drove that value and then show how investing in more of those actions could increase the revenue or conversion, you have something the CEO can understand.”

Lexie Carbone, a writer for Later, stated that it is “important to present your social media report in a results-oriented fashion, tying together your goals, methods for reaching them, and outcome.” With this in mind, I would include follower count, competitor analysis, successful posts (3 at most), campaign results and opportunities for improvement. My goal is to prove how we are obtaining our goals — through follower updates and engagement based on the most successful posts. Opportunities for improvement leaves space for the team to explore new potential campaigns based on competitor analysis and reassessing our goals for the month.

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Reba Liddy

Reba Liddy is a marketing and communications professional with nearly a decade of experience. She has her MA in Public Relations