7 Social Media Analytics and Reporting Tips for Becoming a Data-Savvy Marketer. The key is social media analytics and reporting. In this post, you’ll learn how to analyze, evaluate and use your social media data to boost and report your social media marketing results -- from exporting your data to creating benchmarks to finding your best times to post. The stat everyone loves: Total engagement Total engagement is the sum of all interactions on your post: clicks, reshares, comments and Likes. In this report, you’ll see the trend of your key social media metrics such as clicks, likes, reshares and followers. Find your best time to post There’s no one ideal time to post in 2017. Instead, we believe every brand has its own set of best times to post. If you repeat this flow for a while, you can build up a nice repository of social media posts -- that have proven to be great -- to fall back on whenever you are having a social media manager’s block. You can also get similar data from Twitter Analytics (Tweets > Top Tweets) and Facebook Insights (Posts > All Post Published > Sort by Reach or Engagement). If you click the retweets in your Buffer stats, you’ll get a list of everyone who has retweeted you -- and you can follow back and click through to their profile right from the Buffer dashboard.)
How do you know what’s working on social media and what’s not working?
Social networks provide us with a ton of data about our posts but it can be hard to distinguish the signals from the noise.
Imagine having a framework to pull out the signals from the noise — a framework that points you to the key information about your social media performance. With this framework, you can easily identify successful posts and understand why they did well.
The key is social media analytics and reporting.
In this post, you’ll learn how to analyze, evaluate and use your social media data to boost and report your social media marketing results — from exporting your data to creating benchmarks to finding your best times to post.
To give you a quick overview of what we’ll go through in this post, here are the seven tips:
Most of the tips use data from Buffer, which can be exported with a Buffer for Business plan. We’d love for you to give it a try for free if you haven’t tried it before. You can also get most of the data and graphs for free directly from Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights.
The most powerful tool in your toolbox: The data export
For the longest time, I was scared of a data export. What’s a .csv? What do I do with it once I have it? Exports gave me more questions than answers. I was frozen.
Fortunately, my Buffer friends came to the rescue! I picked up some awesome tips from the community on the power of data exports.
I’d love to share the highlights!
First, export your data.
You can get an export of your data from any screen in the analytics section of your Buffer dashboard. Bonus: You can grab data from any date range imaginable; the defaults are 7 days, 30 days and 90 days, with an option to set a custom date range, too.
(The Export option is part of our Buffer for Business plan. You can also grab free data exports from Facebook and Twitter themselves.)
Next, import the data into a Google Sheet, or open the data in Excel.
Next, set a baseline.
Once your stats are out of Buffer, Facebook or Twitter and into a spreadsheet, consider removing any outliers from the dataset.
For instance, in Buffer’s case, we have a lot of #bufferchat tweets on Twitter, and these aren’t necessarily part of the social media marketing posts that we’d love to analyze.
Then run the averages and the medians to find your baseline.
(The median finds the middle value in a set of numbers, which can be helpful if the data still has any outliers.)
Next, find the rates.
There are a couple of rates that are key for us at Buffer: social media stats per impression and per follower.
For instance, is a post a success if it gets 100 clicks? Maybe. Depends on how many people saw it, right! This is where stats per impression comes into play.
We can do the same with stats per followers, which ends up being a useful measure for comparing different networks like Twitter to Instagram. If we have 100 engagements on an average Instagram post and we have 5,000 Instagram followers, that might be an amazing area for us to double-down — especially if we know our Twitter average is 100 engagements per tweet with 400,000 Twitter followers!
Here’s one way that we’ve heard it explained to us:
- Crawling: Stats per day, e.g. total clicks
- Walking: Stats per post, e.g. average clicks
- Running: Stats per impression/follower, e.g. click rate
Here’re some templates to get you started with analyzing all the stats mentioned here: baselines, engagement, rates and more.
- Basic baseline template: Likes, reshares, mentions, clicks and impressions
- Template for rates: All the above plus rates (stats per impression and per follower)
If you prefer following a video, here’s a quick 7-minute walk-through on how to build a simple social media report with your data.
2. Set benchmarks for your performance
Benchmarks can be aspirational, earned, traditional and competitive
One thing we’ll often ask ourselves — just today even — when looking through our social media stats is this:
So … is that good?
We’re always on the hunt for answers here, and one of our latest tactics has made analyzing our social media updates a million times faster and smarter — not to mention saved us an hour a day on our social media processes.
Here’s the key: Setting benchmarks for what makes a good post.
And here’s how we’ve gone about it:
Once you have your social media data in your spreadsheet (steps 1 to 3 of Tip 1), run this formula on each of the stat columns that matter to you; Likes, clicks, comments, etc.:
Awesome, now that you’ve got your average, we like to bump ours up slightly so that the benchmark is a bit aspirational.
And just like that, you’ve set yourself a benchmark!
Now, when you’re scrolling through your Buffer history, you can see at-a-glance which posts have gone above and beyond your benchmark. You can recognize your best posts in a second or less!
Great question! I tend to rethink my benchmarks anytime I’m noticing that I’m reaching the benchmark more often than I’m not. It’s a rather soft science! I’m sure you’ll have a great intuition on when it feels best to bump the benchmark up.
This all just scratches the surface of what benchmarks can mean for you and your organization. We’ve written a full 2,000 words on the topic in case you’re at all interested in more. Here’s a link to the full article:
3. Evaluate your social media performance
Total engagement and other fun social media stats
We all might have our favorite actors, favorite foods and favorite places. I have a sense the same is true for favorite social media stats!
(For me, it’s Jennifer Lawrence, pizza, the ski slopes and total engagement.)
Certain stats are more important to some people than they are to others.
For instance, do you care deeply for traffic? Do you feel strongly for building awareness? Is tracking revenue a major key to your success?
I’d love to share a couple ideas here, including the one stat that everyone loves and the one stat that everyone wishes came easier.
The stat everyone loves: Total engagement
Total engagement is the sum of all interactions on your post: clicks, reshares, comments and Likes. It is the social media analyst’s peanut butter sandwich. Almost everyone loves it.
Finding total engagement is as simple as adding up the interactions on a post. In your data spreadsheet, make an extra column in the spreadsheet to sum the number of clicks, reshares, comments and likes of each post.
There are several social media analytics tools that automatically calculate…