While we often write about why social media is a must-do for brands, it also is important for companies to know: 1.) what can be measured on their social platforms, 2.) why those numbers contain useful insight for marketers, and 3.) how that information can (and should) be used to advance your brand’s social media goals. Before diving right in to analysis, it’s important to first build a solid knowledge base around what exactly is included in the analytics data you’ll find on your social platforms. Here’s a helpful glossary of basic social media analytics terms, including what each one means, why it is important, and what marketers can do to improve it.
Social Media Analytics Glossary
Reach can be defined as the number of unique views on a piece of content. This number is important because it provides insight into the size of your sphere of influence and how many people are actually seeing your content.
Tips for Maximizing Reach
Hashtags are a great way to increase reach for platforms like Instagram and Twitter, as they make even past posts accessible whenever a user is searching for content like yours. If a platform does not utilize hashtags, reach can best be increased by 1.) growing your community size, 2.) creating content that people want to share with other people, and 3.) paying to boost your post to a larger audience, and/or to current followers who may not have seen your post organically.
While reach refers to individual views, impressions is a measure of the total number of views a piece of content receives—so if one person viewed your post twice, this will count as 2 impressions but only add 1 to your overall reach. This statistic is important because the higher your number of impressions, the more brand recognition and awareness you are building with your audience—even if some of these views are by the same people, it’s a good sign that they returned to view your content!
Tips for Maximizing Impressions
Given that reach and impressions go hand in hand, the same advice for increasing reach applies to upping your impressions. However, you can increase impressions specifically by creating content that your audience finds valuable enough to return to, either to share, to read again, or to use (like with a really bomb recipe, for example!).
Engagement refers to the number of actions your audience takes on a post. This number is important because it tells you whether your content is appealing to your audience—and whether people find it interesting enough to warrant a response of some type. Engagements include actions such as comments, likes, shares, reactions, and saves. As a general rule, the more actions taken on a post, the more engaged and invested the audience.
Tips for Maximizing Engagement
Engagement can be increased by creating exciting content that your audience wants to interact with, as well as by asking a question or including CTAs like “tag a friend” and “comment below”. For 8 more helpful tips to maximize engagement read this post.
These metrics are by no means the only analytics available to measure, but they are the primary measurement and a great place to start if you haven’t been measuring, or are unsure what the analytics meant that you have been pulling. Ultimately, it’s up to each marketer to decide which of these analytics are most important to them and their brand, but all of them can and should be used to inform brands’ social strategy and overall goal-setting.