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How to Make Sense of Social Media Analytics

Social media analytics is the process of understanding data from your social media platforms and using that information to direct future action. And it isn’t a “one-and-done” task, but a continuing process of evaluation, implementation, and reevaluation.

There are two main aspects of social media analytics—metrics and listening. Metrics is what most businesses think of when they hear ‘social media analytics.’ It’s the stats you see as a business account on Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook…the impressions, follower counts, conversion rates, shares, etc. But metrics are not enough! They may tell you what is happening, but they don’t tell you why. That’s why social listening is its partner in crime.

What is Social Listening?

Social listening is the practice of monitoring one’s social platforms for problems and opportunities. You’re “listening” to (i.e. reading and analyzing) online conversations about your brand. Paired with your social media metrics, social listening is your key to understanding how customers really feel and to making impactful business decisions down the line.

Okay, but why exactly are social media analytics important? Is social media really all that important when it comes to running a successful business? We’re biased so we’ll let you answer the latter question for yourself, but when it comes to the importance of social media analytics, it enables businesses to:

  • Notice trends and conversations

  • Interpret how customers feel about certain products and services

  • See what competitors are saying and doing

  • Find partnership opportunities with brands and influencers

  • Refine the customer journey

  • Develop engaging marketing campaigns

  • Measure the social customer service experience (response times, case resolutions, etc.)

These can all influence your business’s:

  • Product or service development because you’re more aware of your customers’ wants and needs

  • Customer experience as social media increases opportunities to make loyal customers feel valued

  • Branding since you can adjust positioning based on positive or negative feedback

  • Competitive analysis when you can see and compare your business to your competitors in the industry

  • Operational efficiency as you maximize supply and demand

So now that you understand the importance of social media analytics, it’s time we get into the nitty gritty. Here are a few of our best practices for social media analytics:

5 Best Practices for Social Media Analytics

1. Invest in a cross-platform analytics program.

Just over 40% of businesses unify their social media analytics—from all social media platforms—into a single app. While investing in a cross-platform analytics program is an expense, it allows for the most accurate and cohesive understanding of your metrics and social listening data. G2 lists the top social media analytics apps of 2023, including Sprout Social and Hootsuite.

2. Never stop learning about your audience.

Our world—and the people in it—are constantly evolving. Don’t set in stone who you believe to be your core audience because it’s shifting by the minute. Continue to dive into your social media metrics and social listening tactics to better understand the delicate demographics and psychographics that define your current (and future) customer base.

3. Don’t assume you know everything about your audience.

We all learned in middle school what happens when you assume…”It makes an a$$ out of U and ME.” Stay open and curious to what you might discover when analyzing your social media metrics and listening data. You might stumble upon insights that will transform how you conduct your business and lead to greater success than you could have ever imagined.

4. Prioritize privacy.

Modern day consumers are highly concerned with having their personal information shared and sold. Always work to be transparent about and secure with users’ information. It never hurts to go above and beyond when it comes to user-privacy.

5. Implement changes based on analytics.

Gut feelings are good but hard data is better. What are your top-performing posts and why? How can you leverage these insights into future campaigns and content? If the data is showing you over and over again that consumers prefer purple to green or a subscription system versus class packages, listen.

See? Social media analytics goes far beyond follower count. So, while we’re proud that you hit X thousand followers on Instagram, we want you to understand who those people are and what those follows really mean. Need some guidance in the analytics department? We got you! Schedule a discovery call to find out how Media À La Carte can up your analytics game.

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