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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