Written by Anna Sonnenberg

Ultimate Guide to Social Media Analytics


Are your social media efforts really working? You’ll need social media analytics to help you measure progress and results.

For social media agencies, tracking results and gauging success requires much more than guesswork.

Let’s say you’ve mapped out a smart social media strategy for your agency or clients. You’re publishing great social media content, gaining new followers, driving engagement, and connecting with influencers.

At a glance, your strategy looks strong. But how do you know if your approach is really working?

You need social media analytics to measure progress and chart results. Find out why analysis and reporting are so important for marketers and learn how to use social media analytics to your agency’s advantage.

What Is Social Media Analytics? Why Are They Important?

Social media analytics refers to the process of collecting data, evaluating findings, and preparing reports for a social media account.

Analytics let you measure the results from your social media strategy, so you can improve and optimize your approach. You can generate and leverage analytics for both organic and paid strategies.

Curious to see some real-life applications?

By using social media analytics, your team can accomplish tasks like:

Demonstrating return on investment (ROI)

Need to prove the value of your work to your boss or clients? You can show how your social media strategy has generated revenue or affected the value of the brand.

Creating higher-impact campaigns

Want to design campaigns that get better results? You can review the outcomes of your social media efforts and do more of what works best.

Getting to know your followers

Need to know more about your audience’s demographics, interests, or behaviors on social media? You can access follower data to help your team produce more compelling social media content.

Assessing your brand reputation

Want to know whether your target audience has a positive or negative view of your brand? You can gauge sentiment, address concerns, and ensure brand reputation trends in the right direction.

Connecting with social media influencers

Eager to increase brand awareness and reach? You can find and forge relationships with influential figures to grow your audience and boost your brand’s impact.

Knowing how you stack up against competitors

Wondering how your brand compares to others in the same space? You can track their results, learn from their mistakes, and use their successes to inform your own strategy.

Key Types of Social Media Analytics

With social media analytics, your agency can tap into an impressive array of insights.

To measure your brand’s success, your team can use any number of the standard reports below.

Performance analytics

From links and status updates to photos and livestreams, your team likely publishes a wide variety of social media content. How consistently are you posting? Which posts received the most likes, comments, or retweets?

With content analytics, you can assess how often you’re posting and what type of content generates the best results. Then you can invest your production budget in the most effective way, ultimately improving your ROI.

Audience analytics

Attracting more social media followers is a great way to reach more customers and grow your brand. But how quickly is your follower count increasing? Where are your new followers coming from? Are you losing fans at the same rate as you’re gaining them?

An audience analytics report can answer all these questions.

But that’s not all.

Audience reports also allow you to get to know your fans better. With audience analytics, you can learn when your followers are most active, where they live, and what language they speak.

audience analytics

Community management analytics

Social media engagement is a two-way street, and tracking audience interactions tells only part of the story. Has your team been responding to messages consistently? How does your response time compare to last quarter?

community management analytics

With community management analytics, you can assess response rates and times and monitor your team’s performance.

Then you can make sure your engagement and customer service strategies are on track.

Reputation analytics

Whether you want to improve customer service or cultivate loyal customers, you need to know how people view your brand.

With reputation analytics, you can track reviews and recommendations on channels from Facebook to Google My Business. You can also pull in mentions and public conversations on channels like Instagram and Twitter.

Then you can evaluate the general sentiment, identify patterns, and gauge ways to maintain a positive brand reputation.

Influencer analytics

To make the most of your influencer marketing strategy, you have to keep track of your partners and your campaigns. Which influencers are the best fit for your brand? Which campaigns provided the best ROI?

With influencer analytics, you can monitor popular figures’ engagement rates, typical reach, and top-performing content.

You can also evaluate the success of your influencer campaigns so you can make the next one even better.

Competitor analytics

Tracking your brand’s social media performance is critical. But how does it compare to your competitors? Is your brand’s audience growth and engagement rate better or worse than others in your space?

competitor analytics

With competitor analytics, you can set performance benchmarks and gain more context for interpreting your results.

You can also gain a better understanding of the competitive landscape and adjust your brand’s strategy accordingly.

Advertising analytics

If you’re running social media ads to amplify your clients’ brands, you need to analyze performance for your paid campaigns. How many users did your campaigns reach? How many website clicks did your ads generate? What’s the total revenue from your paid campaigns?

With advertising analytics, you can monitor paid social performance and ensure your clients get the best possible ROI from every campaign.

How to Monitor Social Analytics

To get the most out of your analytics, you have to collect and evaluate the right data. Follow the four steps below to monitor social media analytics for your agency or client.

Establish social media marketing goals

Before you get started with social analytics, you have to know what to measure and why. Depending on your brand’s goals, some analytics will prove much more important than others.

How do you decide?

If you haven’t already set social media marketing goals, now is the time. Follow the SMART goals method to structure your objectives:

  • Specific: Make it easier for your team to succeed by setting specific rather than general goals. To get specific, ask questions to narrow down the scope. For example, ask who is responsible for achieving the goal and what steps your team should take.
  • Measurable: When you quantify your social media objectives, you can track progress more easily. Always make sure you can measure your goals with numbers or percentages. For example, you might want to increase social media revenue by 10%.
  • Achievable: It’s OK to be ambitious. However, setting goals your team could never achieve doesn’t help anyone. For example, your client’s new Facebook Page can probably attract 100 new followers in the next week. Yet gaining one million followers in the next month probably isn’t in the realm of possibility.
  • Relevant: When your team has limited time and resources, it’s important to make sure every goal counts. Rather than setting arbitrary goals, establish goals that align with your business objectives. For example, if your business objective is to expand into a new market, increasing brand awareness by a certain percentage might be a good social media goal.
  • Time-based: If your objectives have open-ended time frames, it’s tough to measure progress or know when you’ve achieved them. Always set a reasonable deadline for your social media marketing goals. For example, you might aim to meet your goal by the end of the upcoming month or quarter.

Know your social media metrics and KPIs

Once your team has goals in mind, you can identify the right measurements, or metrics, to track.

Here are some types of social media metrics that align with common marketing goals

  • Brand awareness: Lets you assess audience growth and exposure to your brand
  • Engagement: Helps you track user interactions and interest levels in your brand and content
  • Traffic: Lets you monitor clicks to your website. You can add UTM parameters, or snippets of code, to the end your URLs to attribute clicks to specific social media posts.
  • Conversions: Helps you keep an eye on customers and leads. With UTM parameters, you can track which posts and channels drive lead generation and sales.
  • Customer service: Lets you assess response rates and times

Each social media platform has its own set available metrics.

Here’s what to track on all of the major social channels.


  • Brand awareness: Fans, reach, impressions
  • Engagement: Reactions, comments, shares, private messages, video views, video retention, engagement rate
  • Traffic: Post clicks, click-through rate
  • Conversions: UTM parameters, lead forms (paid), purchases (paid)
  • Customer service: Replies sent, comments reviewed, average response time


  • Brand awareness: Followers, impressions
  • Engagement: Likes, comments, saves, direct messages, engagement rate, hashtag performance, Stories views
  • Traffic: Bio URL clicks, Stories clicks
  • Conversions: Product clicks, UTM parameters
  • Customer service: Replies sent, comments reviewed, average response time


  • Brand awareness: Followers, visitors, impressions, mentions
  • Engagement: Likes, shares, comments, video views, engagement rate
  • Traffic: Clicks, click-through rate
  • Conversions: UTM parameters
  • Customer service: Replies sent, comments reviewed, average response time


  • Brand awareness: Followers, impressions
  • Engagement: Likes, replies, retweets, direct messages, video completion rate, engagement rate, hashtag performance
  • Traffic: Clicks, click-through rate
  • Conversions: UTM parameters
  • Customer service: Replies sent, comments reviewed, average response time


  • Brand awareness: Followers, impressions, reach
  • Engagement: Close-ups, likes, saves, comments, repins
  • Traffic: Link clicks
  • Conversions: UTM parameters
  • Customer service: Replies sent, comments reviewed, average response time


  • Brand awareness: Subscribers, keywords
  • Engagement: Audience retention, watch time, average percentage viewed, average view duration
  • Traffic: Impressions click-through rate, card click-through rate
  • Conversions: UTM parameters
  • Customer service: Replies sent, comments reviewed, average response time

Identifying the right social media metrics tells you what category to measure. But how do you know if you’re doing well or when you’ve reached your goals?

You need key performance indicators (KPIs), or specific values that show how effectively your team is working toward your objectives.

For example, say your client is launching a new product on their e-commerce site. To meet their revenue goals, they need to sell 1,000 products within three months. On average, their website conversion rate is 10%, so they need about 10,000 website visitors to meet their goal.

That means your team should aim to publish social media content that generates about 3,500 clicks per month. If this KPI is above the typical organic levels your team has achieved for the client in the past, you may need to consider additional tactics, such as a paid social campaign.

Compile social media data

After identifying the metrics and KPIs that matter to your team, pull the raw social media data to analyze. In some cases, you can access data directly from the social media platform, such as Facebook Insights or Twitter Analytics.

To make sense of the data, you may need to organize it in a spreadsheet or visualize it with a chart.

For more complex metrics and more advanced visualizations, your team can use a social media analytics tool instead. Most analytics tools can compile key metrics from multiple social channels or even generate reports automatically.

To choose the right tool, make sure it supports the channels you use and provides the insights you need. (See below for social analytics tool recommendations.)

Provide analysis and takeaways

A social media analytics report includes more than data and charts. It should also feature your team’s analysis of the results and your takeaways from the campaign.

Always watch for declining performance or trends in the wrong direction.

For example, you might determine that you’re on track to fall short of your KPI in the first month of your web traffic campaign. What’s going wrong, and how can you address it?

Perhaps your client’s average click-through rate dropped or their average reach decreased. In the latter case, you might brainstorm ways to increase your client’s social media reach. You may recommend paying to promote posts, encouraging influencers to share your posts, or creating more compelling content.

Either way, plan and implement the necessary changes to your social media strategy.

Continue to track the same analytics so you can assess progress and ultimately meet your goal.

10 Social Media Analytics Tools to Try

Each social media channel offers its own insights. Yet native social data is limited, and relying on multiple separate platforms can make for a disjointed approach.

To streamline your reporting, consider using one of the top social media analytics tools instead.

1. Agorapulse

social media analytics tools - AgorapulseAgorapulse is a social media management solution with a social media dashboard that offers reporting, scheduling, engagement, and listening. It provides audience, content, competitor, and community management analytics to help your team develop a successful social media strategy.

With Agorapulse’s Power Reports, you can create combined reports for multiple social media channels to get a complete overview of your brand’s performance.

Why choose this tool? It saves your team time by handling all major social media management tasks in a single dashboard.

Social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube

Starting price: $99 per month

2. Brandwatch

social media analytics tools - Brandwatch

Brandwatch bills itself as the top digital consumer intelligence platform and specializes in monitoring brand reputation and tracking consumer trends. With Brandwatch analytics, you can understand which social media posts, hashtags, and influencer interactions drive the most results. Then you can use your analysis to produce better content and drive better results for your clients.

Why choose this tool? It searches millions of conversations across social media channels and uses artificial intelligence (AI) to provide actionable insights.

Social channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube

Starting price: Contact Brandwatch for details

3. BuzzSumo

social media analytics tools - BuzzSumoBuzzSumo is a content and influencer analytics platform designed to optimize your brand’s performance and reach. With BuzzSumo analytics, you can research trends, identify viral content, and find influencers to amplify your campaigns. This tool also offers competitor intelligence that can inform your strategy.

Why choose this tool? It’s ideal for curating top-tier social media content and for pursuing both organic and paid influencer marketing strategies.

Social channels: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube

Starting price: $99 per month

4. Cyfe

social media analytics tools - Cyfe

Cyfe is a dashboard tool that lets you monitor almost any aspect of your business—including social media. You can use pre-made dashboard templates or build a custom layout for your agency. Cyfe has over 100 integrations, so it’s ideal for monitoring multiple channels at once.

Why choose this tool? Its widgets are great for setting goals and measuring social media results against business objectives.

Social channels: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube

Starting price: $29 per month

5. Keyhole

social media analytics tools - Keyhole

Keyhole is a hashtag analytics tool that tracks social media and influencer marketing campaigns. With Keyhole analytics, you can monitor hashtags, access influencer data, and report on social media campaigns. You can also measure ROI to quantify the value of every campaign your team runs.

Why choose this tool? It’s ideal for social monitoring and influencer marketing across social media platforms.

Social channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube

Starting price: $49 per month

6. Khoros

social media analytics tools - Khoros

Khoros is an enterprise-level social media tool that does everything from analytics to community management to customer service. With Khoros analytics, you can customize dashboards and track the metrics that matter most to your brand. You can also input business goals to keep your team on track.

Why choose this tool? It offers customizable goal-oriented reporting that can help agencies work more efficiently.

Social channels: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter

Starting price: Contact Khoros for details

7. Klear

social media analytics tools - Klear

Klear is an influencer marketing platform that helps you discover and connect with key figures in your industry. With Klear analytics, you can vet influencer performance and audience makeup before working together. You can also track and measure your own influencer campaign performance and calculate ROI.

Why choose this tool? It’s ideal for influencer discovery, analysis, and measurement on key social media platforms.

Social channels: Instagram, TikTok, YouTube

Starting price: Contact Klear for details

8. Meltwater

social media analytics tools - Meltwater

Meltwater is an enterprise-level tool that provides social media monitoring, publishing, engagement, and analytics. With Meltwater analytics, you can learn about your audience, track consumer behaviors, and find the right influencers for your followers. You can also access competitive intelligence to make better decisions about your brand’s social media strategy.

Why choose this tool? It meets the needs of marketing, communications, and PR professionals, making it ideal for multi-functional teams.

Social channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube

Starting price: Contact Meltwater for details

9. Quintly

social media analytics tools - Quintly

Quintly is a social analytics tool for agencies that specializes in reporting and benchmarking. With Quintly analytics, you can track virtually any metric that matters to your brand. You can also incorporate social media data with business intelligence to get deeper insights and greater value from marketing efforts.

Why choose this tool? It has hundreds of dashboards and metrics that you can combine for the ultimate social media marketing report.

Social channels: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube

Starting price: $300 per month

10. RivalIQ

social media analytics tools - Rival IQ

RivalIQ is a social analytics platform that specializes in competitive analysis. With this tool, you can compare clients against competitors, audit social accounts efficiently, and glean valuable insights from reports. You can also identify the best times and types of content to post to help clients reach their goals.

Why choose this tool? It lets you add competitive data to your social reports to give your clients and team more context and insight.

Social channels: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube

Starting price: $169 per month

In Conclusion

Whether you’re handling social media management for your clients or your agency, analytics are essential.

Put these tools and tips to work and start leveraging social media analytics to monitor marketing performance, identify trends and patterns, calculate ROI, and make smarter decisions for your brand.

Ultimate Guide to Social Media Analytics
Anna Sonnenberg

Anna Sonnenberg is a digital marketer who specializes in paid social strategy, social media management, content strategy, and email marketing. For over six years, she has run Sonnenberg Media, a digital micro agency that works with small businesses in the natural food and beverage industry, health and sustainability market, and travel space.