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4 Types of Social Media Analytics Explained

Social media is one of the most important tools in your business toolkit. And, for some businesses, it can be even more powerful than ever. But understanding how social media is affecting your business can be a challenge. That’s where Social Media Examiner comes in—we provide you with insights on how social media is impacting your business so you can make the most impactful decisions.

4 Types of Social Media Analytics Explained

Social Media Analytics: What is it?

Social media analytics is the ability to gather and find meaning in data gathered from social channels to support business decisions — and measure the performance of actions based on those decisions through social media.

Social media analytics is broader than metrics such as likes, follows, retweets, previews, clicks, and impressions gathered from individual channels. It also differs from reporting offered by services that support marketing campaigns such as LinkedIn or Google Analytics.

Social media analytics uses specifically designed software platforms that work similarly to web search tools. Data about keywords or topics is retrieved through search queries or web ‘crawlers’ that span channels. Fragments of text are returned, loaded into a database, categorized and analyzed to derive meaningful insights.

Social media analytics includes the concept of social listening. Listening is monitoring social channels for problems and opportunities. Social media analytics tools typically incorporate listening into more comprehensive reporting that involves listening and performance analysis.

Why Social Media Analytics Are Important

There are many avenues to be explored via social analytics insights. It’s like peeling back an orange to discover the segmented fruit within.

In fact, the insights found through social media analytics can inform every part of brand operations. Here are six examples:

  • Increase Customer Acquisition

Your customers are your brand’s lifeblood. Carefully managing their journey from early awareness to established customer through social media analytics is vital for retention, and for your brand’s long-term health.

Consistently engaging with your consumers is critical, as is developing a track record of being there for them with fresh innovation when new needs arise.

Case in point, Activision has seen their brand grow by delivering what they know their audience wanted. Their Overwatch League netted more than 10M views in its first week, and more than 200K per session.

And during COVID, when Amtrak saw opportunity during the pandemic to make sweeping changes, it delivered tools and experiences to make their customers feel safe as they traveled the rails.

  • Protect Brand Health

A brand is the collective whole of all the touchpoints and interactions consumers have with a brand, and this includes the messaging coming directly from the company.

Ultimately, the consumer holds the keys to brand perception with brands constantly striving to influence positive consumer sentiment. Brand perception affects many things, with the biggest impact being your balance sheet.

Smart brands focus on keeping consumers happy.

Like when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, Chick-fil-A responded immediately by donating $10.8 million to coronavirus relief efforts. And when social unrest broke out earlier this year, they were quick to reach out on social media to their customers, letting them know they care.

It’s quick and focused action like this that captures consumer love every time.

  • Lower Customer Care Costs

Customer care takes dedicated attention, and these days customer care is an ‘always on’ situation. Consumers have no hesitation reaching out to brands when issues arise, and they expect answers.

In fact, consumers know that brands have data on them, and they expect that companies will use it to build and deepen relationships.

Consistent social media analytics monitoring helps brands put the puzzle pieces of consumer needs together to inform innovations to address frequent issues in the most cost-effective manner.

For example, The Westin circumvented fitness amenity complaints by answering consumer “wishes.” They provided “well-being” experts to guide their fitness experiences while staying at the hotel. They also signed a deal with Peloton to offer virtual group cycling to their guests.

  • Maximize Product Launches

Social media analytics helps brands get in on emerging trends by informing them about products and services that consumers want. Additionally, the actionable insights produced help pinpoint market opportunities thereby minimizing risks to ensure your product launch is a success.

For instance, check out how Ugg for Men made the most of their new line by gifting some slippers to the right influencers, reaching more than 3 million consumers.

  • Boost Campaign Performance

Social media analytics allows brands to learn what their audience cares about and what influences their purchasing decisions.

These insights allow marketing departments to craft more personalized and relevant experiences. The opportunities here for brands are enormous with the additional benefit of real-time feedback allowing for adjustment mid-campaign.

The ways in which brands put their social media analytics intel to work are only limited by creativity. For example, by smartly using influencers, iHeartRadio generated huge engagement for the iHeartRadio Awards and nominated artists.

By creating thoughtful and engaging marketing initiatives, brands can build the emotional customer connections that boost campaign performance – just ask the city of Las Vegas.

  • Improve Crisis Management

The insight social media analytics offers brands when crisis hits is worth the price of admission alone, as it saves both cost and reputational damage from speed of reaction.

An unhappy customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. With everyone online these days, that 9-15 people can turn into hundreds and thousands in a very short time.

The severity of the crisis and the length of time that it languishes unmitigated, or worse unseen, can bring critical consequences to brands that can linger for years. Their sudden nature points to the necessity of social media analytics in helping to round out your crisis management response protocols.

In 2020, when Zion Williamson blew out one of his Nike’s in the Duke-UNC game on national television, it stood to shake up Nike if they didn’t get ahead of the online narrative fast. Everybody saw it in real-time and they took to social media like wildfire. Luckily, Nike got in front of it quickly, and successfully steered the conversation.

Also, check out how James Madison University uses Social Monitoring to understand public misperception and gauge when, if and how to respond to potential crises – amongst other things.

Having a social media analytics tool is great, just be sure to vet your provider carefully. Sometimes tools are labeled similarly and may lead you to believe that they’re a social media analytics tool when, in fact, they aren’t.

Key Capabilities Of Effective Social Media Analytics

The first step for effective social media analytics is developing a goal. Goals can range from increasing revenue to pinpointing service issues. From there, topics or keywords can be selected and parameters such as date range can be set. Sources also need to be specified — responses to YouTube videos, Facebook conversations, Twitter arguments, Amazon product reviews, comments from news sites. It is important to select sources pertinent to a given product, service or brand.

Typically, a data set will be established to support the goals, topics, parameters and sources. Data is retrieved, analyzed and reported through visualizations that make it easier to understand and manipulate.

These steps are typical of a general social media analytics approach that can be made more effective by capabilities found in social media analytics platforms.

  • Natural language processing and machine learning technologies identify entities and relationships in unstructured data — information not pre-formatted to work with data analytics. Virtually all social media content is unstructured. These technologies are critical to deriving meaningful insights.
  • Segmentation is a fundamental need in social media analytics. It categorizes social media participants by geography, age, gender, marital status, parental status and other demographics. It can help identify influencers in those categories. Messages, initiatives and responses can be better tuned and targeted by understanding who is interacting on key topics.
  • Behavior analysis is used to understand the concerns of social media participants by assigning behavioral types such as user, recommender, prospective user and detractor. Understanding these roles helps develop targeted messages and responses to meet, change or deflect their perceptions.
  • Sentiment analysis measures the tone and intent of social media comments. It typically involves natural language processing technologies to help understand entities and relationships to reveal positive, negative, neutral or ambivalent attributes.
  • Share of voice analyzes prevalence and intensity in conversations regarding brand, products, services, reputation and more. It helps determine key issues and important topics. It also helps classify discussions as positive, negative, neutral or ambivalent.
  • Clustering analysis can uncover hidden conversations and unexpected insights. It makes associations between keywords or phrases that appear together frequently and derives new topics, issues and opportunities. The people that make baking soda, for example, discovered new uses and opportunities using clustering analysis.
  • Dashboards and visualization charts, graphs, tables and other presentation tools summarize and share social media analytics findings — a critical capability for communicating and acting on what has been learned. They also enable users to grasp meaning and insights more quickly and look deeper into specific findings without advanced technical skills.

Types of Social Media Analytics

Descriptive analytics

Descriptive analytics answer the question “what is happening”? “What happened”? These types of analytics cluster similar types of data together in order to produce a cohesive view. Comments and posts can be grouped together, for instance, for the purpose of sentiment analysis (as offered, for instance, by our very own SentiOne platform). Any time you gather a lot of similar data points in order to analyse them looking for patterns, sentiments, and/or trends, you’re dealing with descriptive analytics.

Predictive analytics

This kind of analytics is probably the most sought-after and yet, the most difficult one to perform. As the name suggests, it’s all about telling how the trend will shape up instead of the trend itself, which takes analytical powers to a whole new levels. From future of trends to the emergence of new ones in the future as an event- predictive analytics tells you why it will happen in the future. So, if an user expresses something regarding the product, such analytics will tell you whether the user ends up buying it or not.

Diagnostic Analytics (Is also Reactive in Nature)

Diagnostic SMA analytics looks into the questions of “why something happened?” For example, while descriptive analytics can provide an overview of your social media marketing campaign’s performances (posts, mentions, followers, fans, page views, reviews, pins, etc); diagnostic analytics can distill this data into a single view to see what worked in your past campaigns and what didn’t. Enablers of diagnostics analytics include inferential statistics, behavioural analytics, correlations & retrospective analysis and outcome being cause and effect analysis of a business issues.

Prescriptive analysis

Finally, prescriptive analysis is the analysis of data with the intention of providing the best way to proceed at any given moment. This can be applied to situations ranging from handling social media crises and incidents (“how well does this type of apology track with our target audience?”) to purchase preferences (“we’ve identified this group of customers – how do we optimise our sales process to their habits?”). Although it’s an incredibly useful form of analysis, it requires a lot of data in order to truly show its potential.

Social Media Affects Your Business.

Social media is a way for people to communicate and connect with one another. It can be used in a variety of ways, including to promote businesses, sell products, and conduct customer service. Social media has had a significant impact on business since its inception, and it’s now an essential part of many companies’ operations.

Social media affects your business in several ways:

  • It can help you reach a wider audience and build relationships with potential customers
  • It can help you stay connected with current customers and subscribers
  • It can help you learn about your customers’ interests and needs
  • It can promote your company or product online or in public
  • It can provide you with valuable insights into your competition and customers’ behavior

How to Use Social Media to Your Advantage.

There are a number of social media platforms available to businesses. This includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. On these platforms, businesses can use social media to share information and connect with customers.

Use Social Media to Increase Your visibility

One way to increase your visibility on social media is by using the right platform at the right time. For example, if you’re a small business, consider using LinkedIn to connect with potential and current customers. Additionally, make sure you post regularly on popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter so your followers can keep up with your latest updates.

Use Social Media to Increase Your traffic

Another way to increase your traffic is by using social media as a marketing tool. For example, you can post blog posts or articles on popular social media sites in order to generate attention from interested customers or partners. You can also reach out directly to customers through emails or tweets when there’s an opportunity for growth or engagement on your behalf (e.g., during holiday Season).

Use Social Media to Increase Your sales

Finally, another way to increase sales is by using social media as an opportunity for banner advertising or other direct marketing campaigns that focus on specific demographics or interests. This can be helpful because it allows you to reach more people at a lower cost than traditional advertising methods such as door-to-door visits or print ads.

Tips for Safe Harboring Your Social Media Content.

When you share content on social media, it’s important to use safe hashes. This is a technique used to protect your personal data and identity. Safe hashes are simple algorithms that work to verify the authenticity of a post or image. By using safe hashes, you can be sure that your content is real and not counterfeit.

Use Social Media to Promote Your Business

By promoting your business on social media, you can increase your visibility and reach. Additionally, using social media to promote your business can help you attract new customers and drive more revenue. To promote your business on social media, follow these tips:

1) Make sure your website and social media profiles are updated with current information about your business.

2) Use keywords and phrases related to your product or service in all of your posts and updates.

3) Share interesting stories about how your company has helped others – this will help people learn more about you and what you offer.


Social Media is an important tool for your business. It can be used to increase visibility, traffic, sales, and other growth opportunities. However, it’s important to take care of your social media content and protect the privacy of your customers. By using safe hashes and promoting your business through social media, you can make sure that your customers are happy and satisfied with your product.

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