How to Establish a Social Media Analytics Strategy

By Jessica Ramirez

March 3, 2022

Why Data Matters

If you’re in social media marketing, you know that content isn’t free. It takes precious time, resources, and dollars to create the content that your audience loves. So, it’s essential to constantly monitor performance to make sure your investments in content creation are actually driving the results you want.

4.55 billion people use social media daily. That’s more than half the population of the planet. And those users are active on social approximately two hours and 27 minutes every day, according to Datareportal.  So how do you stand out among all the content the world is consuming every day?

You set goals, track your performance metrics, and adapt your strategy as needed. We are at an incredible moment in social media’s evolution where we have access to an endless stream of data. That data is incredibly valuable—and it’s the key to building a winning strategy on social.

Think S-M-A-R-T

So now you know you need to set clear goals for your social team. But how do you decide what those goals are? The most achievable goals are those that are set up in the S-M-A-R-T structure. What are smart goals? Well, they’re:

  • Specific: What’s the ultimate goal you’re hoping to reach? General goals are difficult to act on. Having a specifically outlined goal will make it easier to take action.
  • Measurable: Are there unique metrics or KPIs I can reference to know I’m working towards my goal? You won’t know if you’re succeeding if you can’t measure it.
  • Attainable: Is the goal reasonable? Shooting for the stars is important, but you want to make sure you aren’t setting yourself up for failure.
  • Relevant: Does this goal tie into what your overall business is working to achieve? If you run a small candle shop in the US, you might not want to set a goal to grow your international audience if you have no plans for international shipping.
  • Time-sensitive: What’s my timeline? Can I set up weekly, monthly, or quarterly check points to see how I’m progressing towards my goals? If we don’t set timelines, we’ll inevitably push back our plans as other priorities come up.

Here’s an example of a well-built S-M-A-R-T goal:

Fiona’s Flower Shop wants to build brand awareness and grow their audience by increasing their follower count by 10% by the end of June. Their recent social data shows their follower growth around 6% monthly.

Why does this goal work? It’s:

  • Specific: growing brand awareness and audience size
  • Measurable: number of followers, follower growth rate
  • Attainable: past data shows they can reasonably reach their stretch goal
  • Relevant: more followers mean more brand awareness and likely more sales
  • Time-sensitive: June deadline

When setting a goal, keep in mind that different people on your team might have different priorities. Your content and community team might want to prioritize engagement, but your sales team might only care about the leads generated through social. It’s important to set up clear goals for your overall social media strategy that take into consideration the priorities of your team members but is still specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-sensitive.

The Metrics That Matter

You’ve gotten this far—now how do you decide which metrics are most important to you? And how do you measure them? Don’t worry! We prepped a few examples of goals you can set and what metrics you’d associate with each.

If you care about…. Content Engagement

It’s every social media manager’s dream to create content people love. Content engagement is an important part of determining whether your content is resonating with your audience. If you have low engagement, you might want to analyze your performance data and switch up your content strategy.

We know content isn’t free—so it’s important to make sure it’s worth the time and effort it takes to develop.

Goal: Boost content engagement by increasing likes, comments, and views on video content by 10% in Q2.

Why it matters: You can identify what types of content work best to boost engagement and why. Once you find the type of content that your audience engages with the most, you can adjust your strategy and increase your overall engagement.

Metrics to keep in mind:

  • Total engagement (likes, comments, shares, views)
  • Impressions
  • Post reach
  • Link clicks
  • Video views
  • Mentions
  • Conversations and quality of discussions

Example of content engagement content


How you can measure content engagement with Social Insights

Conviva demo data

If you care about…. Audience Growth

Gone are the days when having the most followers was the No. 1 measure of success on social, but it’s definitely still an essential measure of your audience. With the growth of niche communities and micro-influencers, having an engaged, loyal audience can be just as important as having a large one.

So how do you grow your audience and increase their engagement? You listen. Take your past performance and identify the posts that grew your following and had high engagement. This is the type of content your audience cares about, and you want to create more of it.

Goal: Grow audience by increasing follower count by 15% and post comments by 10% by September.

Why it matters: Growing a following is essential to building brand awareness. The more eyeballs on your content, the more brand recognition you build. But you also want to make sure that audience is engaged and interested in your brand’s content. Having an engaged audience is the gold standard for success in social.

As you measure audience growth, you can identify strategies that work best to grow your audience, determine the content that they resonate with, and start to get a picture of the habits, interests, and demographic details of your audience.

Metrics to keep in mind:

  • Total followers
  • Follower growth rate
  • Total engagements (likes, comments, shares, views)
  • Mentions
  • Demographic and behavioral data

Example of audience growth content


How you can measure audience growth in Social Insights

Conviva demo data

If you care about…. Unique Campaign Performance

We can’t post the same type of content every day and expect the same results. Social media managers are constantly testing new platforms, strategies, formats, and messaging to see how they can boost their top line metrics.

Imagine you run an online jewelry shop coming out with two new collections for spring. To measure interest, you run two unique campaigns in paid and organic social promoting each collection. While one collection had tons of comments, likes, and shares, the other did not. With that insight, you can decide which collection to promote more heavily, how much stock you want to hold of each collection, and even if you want to scrap the low performing collection all together.

Having unique campaigns is essential to testing and learning new information about your audience. It can even have implications for your wider business strategy.

Goal: Our brand has never experimented with video. The goal is to run a two-month video campaign with exclusive content that has a 30% higher engagement rate than our static content.

Why it matters: Running new campaigns is all about testing and isolating. It’s science. You’ll have the most insightful learnings if you can isolate all other variables and focus on the one piece you’re testing. For this example, the brand wants to know if video content will resonate with their audience. It’s a new format, so they want to run a short-term campaign to see if it’s worth a larger investment.

Metrics to keep in mind:

  • Unique hashtag usage
  • Engagements on campaign content
  • Engagement rate
  • Follower growth
  • Campaign link clicks

Example of unique campaign performance content

@squarespace Be savvy like Sally — sell anything with #Squarespace. Starring #Zendaya & narrated by #Andre3000 ♬ original sound – Squarespace


How to measure campaign performance in Social Insights

Conviva demo data

If you care about…. Competitive Benchmarks

You’re going to have competition on social media—it’s inevitable. There is always going to be a stream of content that’s competing for your target audience’s attention. Since we can’t avoid it, the best we can do is learn from it and improve our content strategy.

The way you choose to measure your position against competitors can vary depending on your business. If you’re a big-box retailer, you might want to create a baseline for competitive performance so that when Black Friday rolls around you can see whose promotions got people’s attention on social. That’s a measure that you can tie directly to your brand’s overall revenue generated on the most important shopping day of the year.

Goal: Have the highest content engagement rate among key competitors by the end of 2022.

Why it matters: Higher engagement on your content means your target audience is spending less time looking at your competitor’s content. In especially competitive industries, this has a direct impact on your bottom line.

Metrics to keep in mind:

  • Share of voice
  • Engagement rate
  • Post frequency
  • Campaign performance

Example of competitive benchmark content


How you can benchmark competitors in Social Insights

Conviva demo data


By now you should have the basics to create actionable social media goals and a good understanding of the analytics capabilities you need to measure your progress. The social media landscape is always changing, so don’t worry if your goals adjust and adapt throughout the year. The thing to always keep in mind is—go back to the data. When in doubt, look at your performance, identify how you’re performing on your most important metrics, and pivot your strategy to fill any gaps. If you’ve got that down, you’ll always find at least some success on social.

Learn more about how Conviva can help you improve your social media strategies.