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How to Understand Social Media Analytics

Rachael Luckham

If you’re using business profiles, pages or professional accounts, each social media platform offers analytics in some shape or form. Understanding and using social media analytics can help you:  

  • better understand your audience
  • compare your business to your competitors
  • craft better social media content
  • measure campaign success

Analytics are so much more than a follower count or a record of how many views your last TikTok received! Once you’ve learned how to understand social media analytics, we guarantee you’ll be checking them more regularly…  

What can I measure? 

Every social media platform will provide details on the number of followers and likes you receive, and this makes a good starting point for measuring your growth.  

Through Facebook Business Suite you’re able to view the growth of your Facebook Page and Instagram Account. It’s worth noting that Instagram also has its own ‘Professional Dashboard’ which can provide additional analytics for your account.

Along with the actual number of new followers/page likes, analytics will provide you with a percentage total as well. Both metrics are presented over the previous 28-30 days, however on some platforms you’re able to change the dates to a more custom view.  

What do these metrics tell us?  

Seeing an increase in followers (or page likes) shows that people like the content you’re creating and that they’re resonating with your brand. By liking your page they’re signing up to see more content from you in their news feeds! 

Impressions and Reach:  

People may not follow your account, but they might still see your content! Cool right?! That’s why we always encourage our clients to focus more on Impressions, Engagement & Reach, over follower count.  

While impressions and reach sound the same there is a subtle difference between the two.

Impressions refers to the number of times that content could have been seen, and as such, accounts for duplicate shares.  Reach refers to the number of unique times that your content was seen.   

Each platform displays different metrics within their analytics dashboard and whether you’re looking at the reach total or impressions total you’ll be able to use this metric to see what type of content is working better for your audience. 

Here’s a quick breakdown of which metric each platform uses:  

  • Facebook – Reach and Impressions 
  • Instagram – Reach and Impressions 
  • Twitter – Impressions 
  • Pinterest – Impressions
  • LinkedIn – Impressions 
  • TikTok – Video Views  


While reach and impressions tell you how many times your content has been seen, engagements tell you how many times someone has acted on your content.  

The following actions fall under the term ‘engagement’:  

  • Reactions 
  • Comments  
  • Shares  
  • Retweets / Reposts / Pin saves 
  • Link clicks 
  • Photo clicks 

 By audiences taking action on your content, they’re not just scrolling past it – they’re taking additional time to view what you’re sharing. 

"Analytics are so much more than a follower count or a record of how many views your last TikTok received!"

Why does this matter?  

Well, first and foremost, it tells you that your audience connects with the content you’re sharing. If they’re taking action, it means they have found it entertaining, inspiring or informative. Not only that, but the more engagements you get, the more the algorithm will push your content further! Engagements are a signal that you’re creating content of value. 

What about LinkedIn?  

The analytics on LinkedIn are very much the same as other platforms. They show you the number of impressions and engagements on posts but within your own account you’ll see a dashboard private to you! The analytics recorded here, show:  

  • Post impressions
  • Profile views 
  • Search appearances 

‘Search appearances’ is a great metric to monitor, because it’s generally a good sign that the key words you’re using in your profile are relevant, and so is your content. You can see what search terms have been used for your profile to appear in the search results.  

Pinteresting Analytics:  

Pinterest is another platform that is recording both engagements and impressions, but the analytics don’t stop there! Total audience and engaged audience are also recorded!  

So, what’s the difference?  

  • The total audience refers to the number of pinners who have seen or engaged with your Pinterest content.  
  • The total engaged audience refers to the number of pinners who took action on your pins – this could be by saving your pin, clicking or liking.  

When you look further into Pinterest analytics, you’re able to view your top content based on: 

  • Impressions
  • Engagement
  • Pin clicks
  • Outbound clicks
  • Saves 

As Pinterest is a visual search engine, outbound clicks are a great measurement to keep track of. These metrics tell you the number of times pinners found what they were looking for and took action – leaving the Pinterest platform and going to your website. 

Take analytics one step further and set targets: 

A new feature for Facebook Business Suite users, means that you can now set goals for your Facebook page. These goals are built into Business Suite and allow you to set targets that look at increasing your follower bases as well as reach!  

Targeting isn’t available via other platforms (yet!) but that shouldn’t prevent you from setting SMART goals with your team!  

We’d love to hear from you:  

If you’ve made it to the end of the blog, thanks for being here! We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions, so let us know via our Instagram account 

If you’re ready to learn more about social media marketing then we’d recommend reading our blog on the difference between Sales and Marketing 

See you next time, and remember to stay social!

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