How to become a social media analytics expert

26 Oct 21

Are you struggling to create successful social media campaigns and wondering where you’re going wrong? Maybe you want to learn more about your audience and the topics that interest them?

Either way, social media reporting will help.

After all, as Peter Drucker said “You cannot improve what you don’t measure”. In this article, we’ll run through everything you need to know about social media reporting, including what you should be looking for to drive success.

How can social media reporting help you?

You may have heard the phrase ‘actionable insights’ thrown around by marketers and social media managers but put simply it means using analytics to make decisions on how to improve.

Getting actionable insights is the best way to drive your business forward as you figure out what is and isn’t working it. It’s all about making progress, rather than sticking to the same thing and hoping for different results.

For instance, if you notice that one of your posts has worked particularly well, developing a social media report can help determine why, through spotting patterns and trends.

You may notice that your social media posts containing Medical Device statistics perform particularly well, or posts including images perform better than just plain text. When you notice these trends, you can begin to do more of the posts that work and see more success.

Likewise, social media reports can help you to quickly spot problems. For example, if you notice that you have begun to lose followers, you can look at the content you posted when your followers began to drop.

If you notice that you started losing followers around the time you started posting twice a day instead of once a day, you could deduce that your followers don’t enjoy two posts a day and then stop to protect your follower count.

What can a social media report tell you?

It may seem surprising, but the numbers from your social media can tell you a lot, and you can use this information to optimise your future social media plans and get better results.

1. Which platforms are working

What are the differences across platforms in terms of how well you’re performing? Is one platform performing a lot better than the others? Is one platform really underperforming? What are you doing differently?

Looking at this data will help to tell you where to really focus your time. If you simply cannot get anywhere with one platform, perhaps it is just because your target audience isn’t there, and maybe it’s better to dedicate your time to somewhere you are going to see more success.

If you’re unsure where you should be focusing your social media efforts, you can read our article about the differences between social media platforms.

2. Which content is best?

Are some of your posts better than others? What makes it different? When you can nail down what your users enjoy seeing from you the most, you can keep creating more of it.

If you need help coming up with content ideas, we filmed a podcast discussing great content and sharing our top tips for idea creation.

3. When is the optimal time to post?

In our article on social media strategy, we spoke about the importance of the time you post. Developing a report is when you can dive into your posting times and see what times have worked best for you. You can figure out when your target audience is online and ready to engage and get in front of them at just the right time.

Studies show that the first hour after you post is when you will receive 50% of your total engagement.

Posting when your audience is online will naturally increase how much that 50% represents and therefore how much engagement you receive overall. So, the importance of posting at the right time really can’t be underestimated.

Check out our 4 tips for social media success to learn more about this.

Looking for personalised advice on your social media efforts?

What data points should you look for in a social media report?

With so much data available, it’s hard to know which are the key metrics and where to start when it comes to creating a social media report template.

When it comes to deciding which metrics are important to you, you should consider your goals and how improving each metric will help you to achieve it – if it doesn’t help, what’s the point?

This is what is referred to as sanity metrics vs. Vanity metrics – you should also ask yourself why you’re focusing on a certain metric. We did a podcast on social media mistakes in which we discussed vanity metrics, have a listen to it to learn more. The podcast is also available to watch on YouTube.

Here are some possible metrics to look at:

1. Click-through-rate (CTR)

CTR is available to look at when your post includes a link. It’s determined by the number of people who followed the link, divided by the number of impressions (which is when at least 50% of your post has appeared on someone’s screen). That result is then multiplied by 100 to give you a percentage.

Click-through-rate is important to look at as it gives you a good idea of how well your post is performing in terms of moving users through their buyer’s journey, whether it is registration for a webinar, or maybe just a visit to your website.

Ultimately, social media is probably not the channel your leads will convert on, rather it’s where you nurture them, so CTR is incredibly important. What’s the point of having lots of social media followers if they’re not moving on to your selling channels?

When you have gathered enough data points, you can analyse which posts have performed well in terms of CTR and the ones that haven’t performed as well. You can compare them and see what it is about the higher CTR posts that are making them successful, can you spot a trend in the visuals? How does your call-to-action statement differ? This is how you create actionable insights to see a continually higher CTR.

2. Engagement rate

Engagement rate looks at how many likes, shares, impressions and comments your posts get to measure the amount of social interaction they have received. Different platforms will calculate engagement rate differently, but one way to do it might be to divide the number of interactions by the number of followers.

Measuring engagement is extremely important to help you understand which of your content your followers are enjoying the most to create more of it. Likewise, if your engagement is down, it may mean that you’re not doing enough to encourage it, you could try ending your posts with a question, and ask users to comment. After a while of doing this, you can check your engagement rates again, to see if it has worked.

The number of shares that your posts are receiving is a particularly good metric to look at and try to improve upon. This is because as your posts are shared, they potentially get in front of new people, and the more people that can see your posts, the better.

Wondering how you can improve your engagement rate? Check out our article featuring our top tips.


Your number of followers is probably the easiest metric to track and can be quite a useful indicator of how your posts are resonating with your audience and whether you’re growing your brand awareness.

If your followers are growing, it can mean that your recent posts are doing exactly as they are supposed to, and creating a connection with your audience, or providing with useful or entertaining information that they want to see more of. Likewise, if your follower count is falling, it can be an indicator that you need to readjust your campaigns to be more like what your audience wants to see.

4. Social traffic

Using Google Analytics, you can see you how much of your website traffic has come through social media. It is different from CTR as it gives you a good idea of how your social media is performing in terms of driving traffic towards the website, rather than just how individual posts are performing. You can even see which platforms are driving the most traffic.

There needs to be a goal that is driving your social media campaigns, and if that goal is to increase sales, you will probably want to drive users towards your website.

If you find that traffic from social media is not as high as you would like, it could be useful to start creating more content that links back to your website. This will make it easier for followers to navigate there. As well as this, you need to ensure that you have linked to your website somewhere on your social media page.

5. Website conversion

It can also be useful to look at the conversion rates of your various channels and compared how your social traffic is comparing to the others. You may find that it’s not converting as much as your organic traffic.

If you find that you have a problem like this, you’ll need to consider what can done to improve it. Maybe you need to be linking elsewhere on your site in your social posts? Maybe the content you’re linking to isn’t encouraging conversion.

Conversion is an incredibly important metric as it’s what really drives your business forward. We wrote an article on improving conversion rates which may be useful to look at.

How often should you create social media reports?

Effective marketing campaigns are reported on at least once per month, which is a good place to start.

Although you could report more often, waiting a month between reports allows time for trends to develop.

When you have more data, it acts as more evidence for your conclusions and therefore, you can feel more certain about your next actions.

Where to get the data?

In terms of how you can practically access the data, you’ll find that you every channel has their own analytics section and most of the time the metrics will be the same as the ones we discussed above.

You can also use Google Analytics to find out how social media is impacting your website traffic. Diving down deeper into that, you can set up UTM tracking links to find out exactly how much traffic each of your posts is bringing to your site and more of an insight into what they did once there.

Social media reporting tools

Although a month seems a long time to wait between reports, you’d be surprised at how quickly it comes around. Reporting can be a long process if you sit and do it manually, but luckily, there are many tools to help.

Google’s Data Studio is a particularly good tool as it allows you to draw in data from different platforms, such as Facebook Insights and Google Analytics, to create one customised dashboard.

Although setting up a template may take time, your reporting should be a quick and streamlined once you have set it up. You will only need to take the time to sit down and analyse the data to make conclusions as to what your next steps should be.

To save you time, platforms such as Funnel and Supermetrics can automatically pull data from your various channels for you, meaning you won’t have to manually pull data for every report.

Healthcare social media from Podymos

Do you want to communicate more effectively with HCPs and patients? Do you want to be able to deliver high-quality social media campaigns as part of your larger multichannel marketing strategy? You’ve come to the right place.

Podymos is a healthcare marketing agency, specialising in downstream Medical Device marketing.

We’re more expensive than non-specialised agencies and freelance teams because we only work in the Medical Device space so we have specialist knowledge and experience that other agencies may not be able to offer you.

If you want high-quality, compliant campaigns that help achieve your business goals, we’d love to hear from you. Simply leave us your contact details below and we’ll get back to you very soon for a no obligation chat.

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