Social Media Analytics

Social Media Marketing
Social Media Analytics
Article by Bisera Stankovska
Last Updated: March 29, 2023

Social media has revolutionized not only the way we communicate and interact with one another but how we do business too. Having a presence on social media can do wonders for your image, but capitalizing on that presence requires understanding more than just likes and comments. 

That’s where social media analytics come into play. 

By leveraging analytics tools, you can make well-informed decisions about how to optimize your social media strategies. In this article, we'll explore what social media analytics are, why they're important, and how businesses can utilize them to better understand their customers and maximize their results.

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What Are Social Media Analytics? 

Social media analytics is a systematic process of gathering and analyzing data from various social media networks to gain insights into user behavior and trends. Analytics measure a variety of metrics including audience growth, engagement rates, customer demographics, brand sentiment and more. 

Through this analysis, organizations can: 

  • Discover the types of content that perform best with their target audience
  • Gauge customers’ opinions about a particular product or service
  • Assess how competitors are performing
  • Measure the impact of their campaigns
  • Determine the return on investment 

... but we’ll discuss all the benefits later. 

In a nutshell, all this equips businesses with the knowledge they need to make informed strategic decisions and maximize profitability. And the fact it helps with growth hacking doesn’t hurt. 

Types of Social Media Analytics

Depending on the businesses’ objectives, we can talk about different data analytics in social media that track all kinds of social media metrics, the four key types being: 

Descriptive Analytics 

Descriptive analytics provides descriptive information about what has occurred on social media—describing the past and present state of interactions and activities. It uses collected data to identify patterns and trends, which businesses can use to make informed decisions. 

Additionally, descriptive analytics can be used to compare results against industry benchmarks and analyze individuals or groups within specific target markets.

Diagnostic Analysis 

Diagnostic analysis helps companies gain insights into their customers’ needs and opinions. It involves analyzing past data to discover trends, target audience characteristics, key influencers, customer preferences and various other factors. 

This type of analysis examines the performance of past marketing campaigns to establish which ones performed better than others and why, enabling organizations to develop better social media marketing strategies in the future.

Predictive Analysis

Unlike descriptive and diagnostic, predictive analysis focuses on the future. As the name suggests, it helps predict future trends and customer behavior by using current and past data. 

Relying on machine learning algorithms, statistical modeling and data mining techniques, it enables companies to make structured decisions about their marketing efforts, customer service strategies or product development plans. 

This form of analytics can also influence decision-making in areas such as hiring, budgeting or allocating resources.

Prescriptive Analytics

Prescriptive analytics combines past data with predictive models to provide advice and guidance for decision-making. It uses data mining, machine learning algorithms and natural language processing techniques to identify potential opportunities and risks in the near future. 

The prescriptive analysis helps users identify potential changes before they take place by providing insights into what actions need to be taken based on given assumptions and circumstances. 

Although an invaluable tool, prescriptive analytics requires tons of data to live up to its potential, which is why businesses often opt for other types of analytics. 

Why Social Media Analytics Are Important?

Analyzing the data created by social media platforms is becoming increasingly important in modern business. Social media analytics provide a wealth of insight into customer behavior and preferences, allowing companies to: 

  • Pinpoint improvement opportunities through predictive analytics
  • Monitor correlations between campaigns and revenue
  • Make better decisions and monitor brand reputation 
  • Gain insights into competitor activity and strategies
  • Reach their target audience more effectively
  • Measure the ROI of their campaigns

All this ultimately supports the development of comprehensive, winning digital strategies which is what every business should strive for. 

Moreover, social media analytics: 

Helps Businesses Identify the Target Audience

By using analytics, businesses get to know their customer base and understand their demographic characteristics, behavior patterns and preferences. 

Through this data, companies can tailor their marketing campaigns and product offerings more effectively to meet customers’ needs, thus improving engagement levels with existing and new customers alike. 

Allows Companies to Make Sense of Customer Insights and Behavior

Companies have the unique opportunity to use metrics such as likes, shares, comments, followers and engagement rates to measure user interaction and better grasp what resonates with their audience.

By understanding their audience, businesses can scale and grow to new heights. 

Provides Detailed Intelligence on the Content That Resonates With Consumers

With the ability to measure and analyze customer conversation on social media, companies get valuable insights into what their target audience wants. This helps them create tailored and personalized content and share it more widely. 

Additionally, analyzing customer conversations reveals emerging trends in the market as well as feedback from other customers which can be used as inspiration for creating a winning social media content strategy.  

Uncovers Trends That Inspire New Product/Service Ideas 

By analyzing conversations, topics, hashtags and influencers on social media, businesses can identify customer preferences and tastes they can use as a jumping-off point for developing new offerings. 

Through tracking engagement metrics such as likes, shares and comments associated with existing products or services, companies can quickly see what’s hot and what’s not and adjust their future product plans accordingly. 

Increases Customer Acquisition & Retention 

Since social media analytics provide valuable insights into customer interests, demographics, and behavior patterns, it enables companies to create targeted advertising campaigns that attract customers and boost conversions. 

Analytics also enable marketers to identify trending topics related to their brand and create content that appeals to their target audience. Additionally, it helps businesses identify new potential customers, tailor their messaging accordingly and personalize their marketing approach for better results. 

By taking advantage of analytics, companies can gain a competitive edge in the marketplace and drive sales growth through improved customer engagement.

Best Social Media Analytics Tools

If you want to maximize your reach and build lasting relationships with customers by leveraging the power of social media analytics, consider trying these user-friendly tools:

Hootsuite Analytics

Hootsuite Analytics offers businesses the ability to measure their performance on multiple social media networks. Users can monitor their spikes in engagement, audience sentiment, profile visits, reactions, follower growth, content performance over time and more—enabling them to evaluate which strategies are working best and where areas of improvement lie. 

The built-in reporting features are highly customizable, allowing users to pull specific data points from campaigns or channels into visually appealing graphs and charts that make it easy to share insights with stakeholders. 

This makes it an ideal solution for both small businesses looking to understand the impact of their campaigns and larger corporations interested in tracking trends across their entire social presence.


This powerful platform offers comprehensive and in-depth insights into multiple aspects of a company's online presence including web, social, influencers and market data. Even more so, it delivers detailed reporting capabilities to easily measure key performance indicators such as website visits or engagements on posts. 

By leveraging Brandwatch's powerful suite of features and advanced analytics capabilities, companies can gain essential information to inform their marketing strategy and ensure they stay ahead of the competition.

The best part is, its intuitive dashboard allows users to quickly analyze the effectiveness of their campaigns across various channels and identify trends or changes in sentiment over time.

Rival IQ

Providing insights into key performance metrics, Rival IQ helps marketers compare their own activities with their competitors and optimize strategies accordingly. The metrics include engagement rate, reach, likes, comments, shares and more. 

It also gives content optimization suggestions and detailed audience analysis. Additionally, it enables users to measure the effectiveness of campaigns across different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. 

As a result, Rival IQ assists marketers in understanding the return on investment of their social media efforts and adjusting strategies to increase visibility quickly.


Talkwalker provides a comprehensive analysis of online conversations on virtually every platform, giving key insights into customer sentiment and brand performance. Talkwalker’s AI-powered technology offers you detailed real-time data which helps quickly identify trends, ensure your reputation is safe and respond quickly to any possible crises. 

You can also track and compare mentions across various channels with Talkwalker and it supports over 180 languages, making it an ideal tool for international businesses looking to monitor their brand performance globally. 

The dashboard is easy to understand, allowing users to customize visualizations such as charts or diagrams according to their own preferences. All this combined makes Talkwalker a great choice when deciding which social media analytics tool will best suit your needs.


With its ability to track conversations across different platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, Keyhole is one of the best social media analytics tools available. 

It provides detailed insights into how users interact with your brand online, from hashtag performance and sentiment analysis to competitor benchmarking. Keyhole also enables you to measure ROI for campaigns by providing metrics such as reach, engagement, website traffic and conversions. 

With sophisticated reporting features and flexible filters, Keyhole allows you to easily create customized reports that provide deep insights into user behavior, enabling more accurate decisions when it comes to optimizing your social media marketing efforts. 

Should You Outsource Social Media Analytics? 

As invaluable social media analytics have become, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows—there are also certain challenges associated with them.

For starters, you’re supposed to deal with vast data. With numerous metrics and data points, sorting through information and finding important trends can be difficult and time-consuming.

Note that social media analytics only paint part of the picture as they do not always account for the overall customer sentiment or qualitative feedback. Let’s not forget that the accuracy of social media analytics can vary widely, depending on the source. Not all tools are created equal—unfortunately, there are a lot of unreliable ones. 

If you’re not an expert in analyzing social media data, we already talked about how to choose a social media marketing agency to handle all your needs, so you should consider bringing a third-party expert on board. 

For instance, they can show you how to optimize Facebook ads based on the analytics and see for yourself why Facebook ads are worth it.

Social media marketing companies can also help you set up targeted campaigns, teach you how to make sense of all that data and use it to your advantage and reap all the benefits of social media marketing. 

Social Media Analytics: Key Takeaways 

Social media analytics provide businesses with an invaluable tool to gain insights into their customer base, track and manage trends, optimize marketing campaigns and ultimately increase overall performance.

While the use of these tools can be overwhelming at first, with patience and practice, they can become a powerful asset. With the right guidance, you can leverage this data to better understand consumer behavior, engage with customers more effectively and make smarter marketing decisions. 

With the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, it’s safe to say that staying on top of social media analytics is essential for any business that wants to remain competitive.

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