Understanding Analytics: Social 101

Social Media Analytics

Understanding Analytics: Social 101

Impressions, Reach, Reactions, Followers, and Engagement – what do all of these buzz words have in common? They all help you truly engage your audience! In the world of social media, where things are constantly updating and being tweaked, it’s easy to get lost in translation. While the differences may seem minuscule, once you understand the basics you’ll be talking the talk in no time. So let’s dive right in and break down some analytic terminology!

Two metrics that are often misinterpreted or used interchangeably are Reach and Impressions. Don’t let this mistake cost you in terms of social media engagement. Essentially, Reach is the total number of people who see your content while Impressions, on the other hand, are the number of times your content is displayed, regardless of if it was clicked or not.

Think of reach as the number of unique people who see your content. In a perfect world, all of your followers would see every piece of content you posted, but alas it isn’t a perfect world so we have to get creative in our approach to social. If you only take away one thing from this post, let it be this: Reach is the number of people who may have seen your content, while Impressions are the total number of times your content was displayed.

Now that we have a grasp on those metrics, the others are a bit simpler. Reactions refer to the emoji-style buttons that you see while scrolling through your news feed. Reactions are native to Facebook and provide users the opportunity to react to posts with emotions versus the old standard “like” button. See a story that you love? – slap a heart emoji on it, read a headline that upsets you? – give it a sad face. You get the picture.

Moving on, we come to Followers, and no I don’t mean someone is following you around. This metric is used on a variety of social platforms, including Twitter and Instagram. Following a brand or a person allows you to stay updated on the content that the account is posting. The Followers metric is a key measurement for determining the success of a social media campaign. It all comes full-circle, the more Followers a company has, the higher the possibility for Engagement and Reach, thus more interaction with the content you want to share!

At this point you may be thinking, okay you’ve mentioned this “Engagement” term several times, but what does that really mean? Engagement refers to the number of unique people who have clicked, liked, commented on, or shared your post over a set amount of time. It’s basically the bread and butter of social media metrics.

So now we’ve reached the “so what” portion of this program… why does it matter to you or your brand? All of these metrics work to paint a picture of your social media marketing performance. They give us an understanding of what content matters to the people we are aiming to reach and connect with. Metrics allow us to see what is working and what isn’t and to adjust our messages accordingly. The key to working with any social media platform is understanding that metrics are going to fluctuate – and that’s okay! These ongoing adjustments allow us to practice the golden rule: delivering the right message, to the right people, at the right time.