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Social Media Analytics: A Guide To Get Started

Learn more about your social media marketing and advertising efforts with social media analytics.

According to data from Statista, 92.1% of U.S. marketers in companies larger than 100 employees use social media marketing to achieve a wide range of goals. Marketers in the U.S. will spend $80.6 million on social media advertising in 2022.

This makes sense considering that 4.62 billion people worldwide use social media. Specifically, 26.3% use social media to find products to purchase, and 27.7% use it to find inspiration for things to do and buy.

In other words, if your company has a product or service to sell, your potential customers could be looking for a reason to buy from you and your competitors on social media.

To determine how social media affects business, you need social media analytics.

What Is Social Media Analytics?

Social media analytics offers valuable data marketers can use to measure audience growth and engagement with your business. Social media analytics allows marketers to answer various questions, including:

  • What demographics make up my social media audience?
  • What social networks drive the most traffic to your website?
  • How well did a specific message resonate with your audience?
  • How well did a particular campaign perform?
  • Is social media helping you achieve specific goals for your business?
  • How are my competitors using social media to reach their customers?

Ultimately, social media analytics gives marketers the insights they need to choose the right social media networks to focus their efforts upon and know what type of social media tactics will generate the best results.

What Are The Most Important Metrics To Track?

Most marketers want to know the return on investment (ROI) of their social media marketing. Does social media marketing positively impact their business’s bottom line?

For those that invest in advertising, platforms like Facebook and YouTube offer social media analytics that can show which ads and ad campaigns generate the most impressions, clicks to your website, leads, and sales.

These metrics allow marketers to invest their budget into the ad strategies that will generate the most revenue for their business.

Organic social media marketing, however, can be harder to analyze. Social networks typically offer metrics that allow you to see the following.

  • How your audience has grown over time. This data can be valuable in determining what has helped you increase your followers vs. what has resulted in a loss of followers.
  • The general demographic makeup of your audience. Suppose your business only sells to customers in a specific region, but 90% of your followers are not from that region. In that case, you will have to modify your tactics to attract the right demographic of followers.
  • How many people see your content. To achieve increased brand awareness, you need to post the type of content that drives more impressions and reach.
  • How well your audience engages with your content. You can use metrics such as likes, shares, and comments to see the types of posts that not only reach your audience but also moves them to engage with it.
  • How well competitors are doing with social media. Some social media analytics tools allow you to monitor competitors to determine where your audience is most active and engaged and what content they resonate with the most.

Metrics related to audience growth, demographics, and content engagement won’t specifically tell you what tactics led to your business’s most leads or sales. However, they can tell you whether your marketing messages are reaching the right people and impacting them.

If you have no audience, your audience doesn’t align with your ideal customer demographic, or your content doesn’t elicit any interactions, it can be safe to assume two things:

  • You are not achieving any business goals through your current approach to social media marketing.
  • Your current approach to social media marketing needs to change.

If your content has few impressions and engagements, it can be safe to assume that your target customers aren’t receiving your marketing messages and aren’t moving from those posts to the next stage in your sales funnel.

Social Media Analytics Examples

Most social networks offer social media analytics for marketers who want to gain better insights to improve their efforts on social media.

Here are some examples of analytics data that you can access from your social media accounts.


Facebook offers insights for Pages, Groups, and Ads.

Facebook Page Insights shares analytics about your Page’s audience growth, audience demographics, and post engagement. Detailed information and metrics for your Page include the following.

  • Post reach, engagement, reactions, shares, comments, photo views, and link clicks.
  • New followers and unfollows.
  • Audience age, gender, and location.

Facebook Group Insights (for groups with over 50 members) shares analytics about your group’s top contributors, when group members are active, and how many members have joined your group over a specific timeframe.

Meta Ads Manager shares detailed analytics about your ad campaigns. This data covers the performance of your ads, ad audiences, performance by platform (Facebook vs. Instagram), and projected vs. actual delivery of results. Metrics include the following (based on ad type and conversion tracking setup).

  • Performance and clicks.
  • Results based on the ad objective, reach, impressions, cost per result, and amount spent.
  • Cost per 1,000 reached and cost per 1,000 impressions.
  • Page engagement, post reactions, post saves, post shares, link clicks, Page likes, and cost per link clicks.
  • Video impressions, play duration, 2-3 second plays, ThruPlays (videos watched for at least 15 seconds to completed videos), and cost per viewing duration.
  • App engagements, installs, and cost per engagement and installs.
  • Website leads, content views, registrations completed, add to carts, checkouts, and registrations completed.
  • Click-through rates and cost per click.
  • Offline leads and conversions.
  • Messaging conversations started, replies, new connections, and purchases.


YouTube offers analytics for your Channel, videos, and ads.

Channel analytics shares detailed information and metrics about your audience and engagement. This data includes the following:

  • Channel views, overall watch time, and changes in subscriber count over a specific timeframe.
  • Top content, including length of the video and number of views.
  • Content analytics, broken down by videos, shorts, and live streams.
  • A funnel showing the number of impressions, views, and watch time for your content.
  • How viewers found your content (direct, YouTube search, embedded players on other websites, and suggested videos).
  • Returning viewers, unique viewers, and subscribers.
  • Audience demographics (age, gender, and location).
  • When your viewers are online.
  • Other channels and videos your viewers watch.

Video analytics dives into the specifics of each of the videos you upload.

  • Views, watch time, and resulting subscribers.
  • Average viewing duration time and percentage.
  • Traffic sources for your video.
  • Impressions, click-through rates, views, and unique viewers.
  • External sites and apps that have embedded your video, search terms leading to your video, and content suggesting your video.
  • Likes and dislikes.
  • Watch time from subscribers.
  • Audience demographics.

Video ad analytics shares details about ad performance within Google Ads Manager alongside your Google Ads.

In addition, you will find Brand Lift metrics and Creative Analytics.


Instagram users with a business or creator account can view insights about their audience and content within the Instagram app. Detailed information and metrics for your account include the following:

  • The number of Instagram accounts you have reached and engaged with your profile and content.
  • A breakdown of reached accounts (followers vs. non-followers), the type of content that reached them, top content by type, impressions, and profile activity.
  • A breakdown of engaged accounts (followers vs. non-followers) and interactions based on content type.
  • Total followers and number of follows and unfollows over a specific timeframe.
  • Audience demographics (age, gender, and location).
  • Times when your audience is most active (days and hours of the day).
  • Top content based on business address taps, call button taps, email button taps, comments, follows, impressions, likes, interactions, profile visits, reach, saves, shares, text button taps, video views, and website taps.

Detailed post insights are offered based on content type.

  • Post insights include interactions (likes, comments, shares, and saves), accounts reached, and profile activity (visits, follows, and button taps).
  • Story insights include accounts reached, interactions, profile activity, impressions, shares, replies, and navigation (forward, next story, exited, or back).
  • Reel insights include plays, accounts reached, and interactions.
  • Video insights include views, accounts reached, interactions, and profile activity.
  • Live video insights include accounts reached, interactions, profile activity, and peak concurrent viewers.

Instagram ad analytics can be found within the Meta Ads Manager, as mentioned above in the Facebook section.


TikTok offers analytics for your account, content, and ads.

Access analytics for your account and content under creator tools. Detailed information and metrics for your account include the following:

  • Engagement (video views, profile views, likes, comments, and shares) over a specific timeframe.
  • Follower growth rate, demographics (gender and location), and activity times (days and hours of the day).

Detailed content insights include total play time, average watch time, number of users who watched the full video, likes, comments, shares, saves, retention rate, traffic sources, and new followers.

Detailed LIVE analytics include total LIVE views, total LIVE time, new viewers, unique viewers, new followers, and diamonds earned.

TikTok ad analytics also offers detailed information about ad performance, including cost per click (CPC), CPM, impressions, clicks, click-through rate (CTR), conversions, cost per action (CPA), conversion rate (CVR), video views, and cost per conversion.

Additional Social Media Analytics

If you use the following social networks, learn more about how you can access your account’s social media analytics.

  • Twitter: Offers analytics for your account, tweets, and ads.
  • LinkedIn: Offers analytics for creators, profiles, pages, and ads.
  • Snapchat: Offers analytics for your account, content, and ads.
  • Pinterest: Offers analytics for your business account, content, and ads.

Social Media Analytics Tools

Many social media management tools offer analytics about your accounts and content.

Additional social media analytics tools also bring together analytics data from your accounts and content across multiple platforms and your competitor’s accounts and content.

If you are looking for deeper insights into your social media activity and your competitors, here are a few options to check out.

  • Tailwind allows you to manage content and view analytics data for Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. Pricing starts at $9.99 per month.
  • Cyfe allows you to create analytics dashboards for data from social media accounts, your website, finance tools, sales tools, and more. Pricing starts at $19 per month.
  • Rival IQ allows you to track your organic and paid social media performance and your competitors. Pricing starts at $239 per month.
  • Quintly allows you to track your organic and paid social media performance across multiple platforms. Pricing starts at $315 per month.


Between the insights provided by social platforms and third-party social media tools, you should be able to find the data needed to make better marketing and advertising decisions. Once you review the available data, you should be able to determine what additional data sources you need to access and the tool that can provide it.

More Resources:

Featured Image: antstang/Shutterstock

Kristi Hines

Covering the latest news in AI, search, and social media.

Social Media Analytics: A Guide To Get Started

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