Turn a Social Mess into Social Success – with Analytics

Most organizations know they should be doing social and many are, but few feel they are using these platforms to their full potential. The process of analyzing the performance of your social media efforts is not much different from traditional business practice. Social analytics involve gathering data from your brand’s social media profiles, analyzing it, and then making decisions based on what you find. The biggest difference is the vocabulary used.

In order to know which metrics are most important, you must understand your brand’s social media objectives. For example, impressions are most important if you seek brand awareness, engagement is informative if you are looking to build an online community, and traffic information is key if your goal is to drive people to your brand’s website. Determine which of your organization’s goals the data will benefit whether it is collecting feedback, increasing user experience, improving brand perception, or increasing revenues. Then, it’s about gathering data from your accounts and marketing campaigns to track and improve the performance of your social efforts.




Mentions are a measure of brand awareness. It is important to understand which channels you are being mentioned on because that information will help you reach out to your customers where they are already spending time. This measure also allows you to compare performance across paid, owned, and earned media channels.

Paid media: search, programmatic, influencers, social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Owned media: blogs, websites, emails, your business social profiles, and email marketing.

Earned media: user-generated content, free influencer marketing, and press coverage at industry events.


Engagement is a measure of how people are interacting with you and each other. It counts the total number of times a post has been interacted with. It helps you know on which platforms your target audience is most active, in what topics they are interested, who are their influencers, and what topics are trending.

Engagement metrics include counting the number of follows, likes, shares or re-posts, comments, and replies. This measure also allows you to compare performance across paid, owned, and earned media. You can also track and examine relative engagement which is the engagement per post. This metric helps measure the impact and value of a given influencer, specific post, marketing campaign, and so on.


Sentiment measures the strength of emotions on both the good and bad ends of the spectrum. It tells you how audiences feel about your brand. This measure often involves machine learning algorithms that dig into the language used in people’s posts to understand the meaning behind the words. Understanding sentiment allows you to make decisions based on consumer wants and needs instead of on the assumptions held by your organization.


Detractors are the people that undermine your efforts with negative comments and other bad publicity. While uncomfortable to accept, understanding negative sentiment is important because it tells you how (some of) your audience sees your brand. Tracking the actions of these individuals allows you to contain negativity by spotting it early and, hopefully, keeping it from going viral.


Influencers are the positive, outspoken fans who represent your brand through their own interactions with it. The performance of paid influencers is important to understand to keep a handle on the return on your investment. Understanding the performance of unpaid influencers helps your brand stay on top of trends and in touch with the inspiring voices in your audiences’ social arena.


Followers are the people who see your posts on their timelines. While often considered a vanity metric, the number of followers you have on a particular platform does let you know the size of your audience. It just doesn’t tell you anything about the quality of that audience or whether or not they are engaging with your content.

Top Content: Identifies top content by audience segment, channel, etc.

Top Channels: Assesses the quality of the traffic on social platforms and looks at engagement versus bounces.

Top Locations: Looks at engagement, etc. per geographical locations and allows you to understand regional trends, preferences, problems, etc.


The impressions metric counts the number of people who saw a post. It is determined by how many times the particular page is located and loaded. This metric measures your ability to put content in front of your target audience but does not indicate any sort of engagement.

Page Likes: Self-explanatory. Helps you understand which of your content is resonating with your target audience.

Page Views: Are also self-explanatory. It is a simple count of the number of people who have viewed a page (not posts).

Post Reach

Post reach is a measure of the number of people who had any content from your page or about your page on their screen. If one person sees four of your posts, it only counts as one because the metric is counting people, not things. It can be broken down by total, organic (unpaid), and promotions (paid).



Facebook analytics

Page insights: summary of the page’s performance.

Totals for the number of interactions (followers, likes, comments).

Reach – tells you not only how many people had your posts appear on their screen, but you can see how many asked Facebook to hide posts from your page as well.

Page views – learn where your traffic is coming from, which sections of your page are most popular; this is one of the few Facebook metrics that records people who aren’t logged into the platform.

People – understand demographics from location and gender to language.

Organic versus paid reach and engagement.


Twitter analytics

Monthly summary – top tweet, top follower, and top mention.

Tweets – the number of engagements, impressions, and results of any promoted tweets.

Audiences – provides information regarding demographics and interests.

Highlights popular recurring hashtags.


Instagram analytics

General insights – the number of impressions, website clicks, and profile visits as well as reach.

Posts – analyzes engagement for each image and number of people who saved your posts.

Actions – helps you understand which posts prompted viewers to then go to your profile, follow you, or click on your site.

Discovery – allows you to see the percentage of non-followers who saw your posts.

Audience – provides demographics that also includes the average times of day and days of the week people are active on the platform.


LinkedIn analytics

Visitors – provides demographics as well as information about levels of traffic to and from your page.

Updates – track reach, engagement and actions for specific posts.

Followers – provides demographics, allows you to see trends over a period of time, and understand the number of organic vs paid followers.


Truly, we’ve just broached the tip of the iceberg here. The platforms above provide metrics beyond what I’ve shared and there are a number of other Internet-based resources and software options for understanding the performance of your social media efforts. Look for an upcoming blog that digs further into all of that.

Whether you are new to the social media scene or have been in it for a while but know you can get more from your efforts, the experts at Strategy Driven Marketing are here to help! We’d love to provide you with assistance in your social endeavors from content to strategy to analytics. Let’s get started – contact us today!