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What Do Social Media Analysts Do

Social media is a critical component of any company’s marketing strategy. These platforms can provide a business with an easy way to not only expand their audience but also gain a comprehensive understanding of the demographic that is interested in their services. Having a specialist who can organize and understand this information can play a significant role in determining the future of a company’s marketing strategies. In this article, we will discuss what a social media analyst does, as well as the job outlook, salary, skills, and working environment.

What Do Social Media Analysts Do

A social media analyst is someone who regularly evaluates your brand’s owned data, campaign and content performance, and social listening data and converts it all into actionable business recommendations.

They bring data to back up their decisions.

Every social strategy has many moving parts, and you want to be confident that your strategy will work. A social media analyst can ensure that the numbers back up your decisions.

Analysts monitor the success of your content, engagement, and publishing strategies. They do not, however, simply wait for results and then report back; instead, they actively track data as it occurs. As a result, they always have a pulse on the ground and insights to contribute to content, digital, social, and other marketing strategies. Finally, they can assist others in performing their duties more effectively.

Assume a content creator wanted to know which types of artwork and images they should start, stop, or keep creating. The social data analyst would present owned data that confirms or refutes assumptions about what works. They don’t simply state, “People like GIFs.” They run tests on variables, look for patterns in your performance data, highlight specific examples, and bring their historical knowledge of content reception to the table. Then they follow up on their recommendations and monitor the data to ensure that if things don’t go as planned, they can adjust, refine, and make new recommendations.

They assemble the team.

Analysts also actively gather people to share their insights rather than waiting for others to come to them. They bring in strategists, creatives, community managers, paid media experts, and other stakeholders. And it is the role of a social media analyst in these meetings to share data in a way that everyone can understand. They don’t just share numbers; they tell stories, show visualizations, and accommodate all learning styles.

For example, if an analyst stated, “In February, our top engagement types on Twitter were likes, which increased by 9.5% month over month, and link clicks, which increased by 15% month over month.” Replies, on the other hand, were down to 137 for the month.” That may not mean much to a visual learner or someone who is unfamiliar with your subject matter.

They don’t just report on what’s going on; they also investigate why.

It is not sufficient to present raw numbers or qualitative data and state, “it is what it is.” The best social analysts also look into why.

Assume your content has reached a plateau and your social engagement has decreased month over month. Analysts don their detective hats and head out to work. Using analytics tools such as Sprout Social, they examine historical performance, note any anomalies, and investigate specific variables that may be influencing engagement metrics.

They may take specific actions, such as examining brand sentiment and how it has changed over time. If it has dwindled or dropped significantly, analysts can delve deeper to review negative messages and uncover more detailed data that may explain why your content is underperforming.

They can forecast outcomes.

So much of social media marketing is about making plans and looking ahead. But, with things constantly changing, how can you plan confidently for the next three to six months? The solution is social data.

Analysts can use social data to turn hunches into real and actionable ideas. They observe recurring patterns, analyze relevant listening data, assess the types of content that consistently engage your audience, and track how content performance varies across channels over time.

You can use this data to create more targeted content for your audience, apply collective insights to larger marketing campaigns, and even uncover priceless product feedback.

They are not solely concerned with their own brand.

To understand your own brand health, compare your social performance and presence to that of your top competitors in your industry.

Analysts must be able to perform competitive analysis. It allows them to provide you with a more in-depth understanding of what strategies work in your industry, how products and services are differentiated, where gaps in your content exist, and how you need to adjust to stand out from the competition.

Analysts can use Sprout’s competitor reports and listening tools to automate the process of manually reviewing competitors on social media.

To supplement your social data, analysts will scour industry trend reports, data reports from social channels, and internal customer data. Then, on top of that, they use social listening data to add an additional layer of cultural context—a benefit that social media provides uniquely.

Once analysts have the data, they should disseminate their findings widely so that teams across their organization can use the competitive analysis to develop new or improved products, campaigns, or creative assets.

They aid in crisis management.

Social media analysis can not only be used for retrospective reporting, but it can also be used to drive proactive decision-making, which is critical during a crisis.

Analysts at Indiana University (IU), for example, used Sprout’s Premium Analytics to manage an unfolding crisis. When a Twitter account with 500,000 followers discovered some insensitive Tweets from a tenured IU professor, the social team created a Listening Topic to track data such as the volume and reach of conversations taking place about the issue.

Their social team was then able to provide insight into the crisis’s progression, the social narrative, inflection points, and what caused them. With this information, the team made recommendations to leadership about what actions to take. And their leaders paid attention.

Within almost 24 hours of the issue really escalating, IU’s provost issued a statement, staked out IU’s position condemning the professor’s Tweets, and mitigated the crisis, thanks to the social team’s analysis and intelligence.

Where does a social media analyst work?

Social media analysts take advantage of various online tools to track the related metrics of a company’s multiple social media platforms. With this form of technology, social media analysts can work from home as long as they have access to the internet. Some companies may desire meetings to discuss statistics and overall metrics, but depending on company preferences, you can accomplish these meetings in person or over online video conferencing platforms. They can also work in an office environment, where they’re close to the company’s social media team.

You may find a job in a variety of industries because many companies now use social media for marketing and require analysts to gather insights from each platform. Social media analysts may also work for big data companies, government agencies and news outlets. Celebrity influencers may hire an analyst to help improve their social media strategy and engage with their audience more. This is typically a full-time position.

Social Media Analyst Skills

Research skills

A social media analyst may want to learn new things and grow professionally. This is especially true for social media platforms, where there are always new trends and updates. There is also the possibility that new social media platforms will become popular, so an analyst must understand their appeal. This is so they can combine this knowledge with user analytics to better understand the effects of these trends and advise businesses on future strategies.

Computer competency

Because social media platforms are online tools, it can be advantageous for social media analysts to be computer literate. They can also create and track analytics from these platforms using other online tools. To comprehend all forms of online communication, this can include other communication platforms such as text and video conferencing programs. They also use various word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet tools to create and present reports on these metrics to their employer.

Analytic skills

Social media analysts can use their expertise to turn raw data into useful information. This includes their ability to gather, organize, visualize, and assimilate data in order to better understand user engagement trends. They can forecast the future of a metric and support business decisions by combining their general social media knowledge and the data they collect. This can help them work toward company objectives by providing enough data to generate a meaningful result.


Understanding marketing allows social media analysts to work with social media coordinators. They can use their knowledge of social media platforms and marketing to develop strategies for increasing the visibility of a company’s products and services. It is also beneficial to understand search engine optimization, which is a branch of marketing whose goal is to improve search engine results by manipulating the layout and content. This includes a company’s accounts on whatever social media platforms they choose to use.

Communication skills

Communication necessitates a set of abilities such as listening, speaking, observing, and empathizing. Social media analysts can successfully present user metrics in a way that even those unfamiliar with the subject can understand. They can also collaborate with other team members to develop the most effective social media marketing strategies. An analyst with advanced communication skills can successfully target a company’s main demographic, regardless of the intended social media platform.

Organizational skills

Data from multiple social media platform accounts may be required by social media analysts. Depending on the company, this may include the main social media accounts as well as smaller accounts for smaller brands operating under the same business label. A social media analyst may be required to organize these data sets in a company’s preferred data aggregation platform. The main goal is to build a large database of analytics that a company can use to make future marketing decisions.

Project management

A social media analyst may be in charge of a company’s social media marketing initiatives. Collaboration with multiple members of a social media department, such as content curators, coordinators, and even marketing associates who help plan a brand’s marketing efforts, can be part of this. Social media analysts may also be required to assist in the scheduling of these marketing efforts, as they may involve multiple social media platforms posting similar materials at the same time. Project management abilities can be beneficial in coordinating a large team to work toward a company’s marketing objectives.

What education do you need as a social media analyst?

A bachelor’s degree or higher in media, communications, or marketing may be required for a position as a social media analyst. This can include in-depth course work in areas such as social media, data analytics, and search engine optimization. One of your education’s main goals could be to better understand the metrics behind social media engagement and how to use those numbers to better predict future user habits.

Social Media Analyst Salary

The majority of Social Media Analyst salaries in the United States currently range from $43,000 (25th percentile) to $70,000 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) earning $89,000 per year. The average pay range for a Social Media Analyst varies significantly (by up to $27,000), implying that there may be numerous opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location, and years of experience.

According to recent job posting activity on ZipRecruiter, the Social Media Analyst job market in Lagos, Nigeria, and throughout the state is not very active, as few companies are currently hiring. A Social Media Analyst in your area earns an annual salary of $61,622, which is $165 (0%) higher than the national average of $61,457. ranks first out of 50 states for Social Media Analyst salaries.

Cities with the Highest Paying Social Media Analyst Jobs

We’ve identified ten cities where the average Social Media Analyst salary is higher than the national average. Atkinson, NE tops the list, with San Francisco, CA and Bolinas, CA close behind in second and third place. Bolinas, CA outperforms the national average by $12,294 (20.0%), and Atkinson, NE outperforms the national average by $15,466 (25.2%).

With average salaries higher than the national average in these ten cities, the opportunities for economic advancement by changing locations as a Social Media Analyst appear to be extremely fruitful.

Finally, the average salary for these top ten cities varies very little at 12% between Atkinson, NE and Inverness, CA, reinforcing the limited potential for wage advancement. When weighing location and salary for a Social Media Analyst role, the possibility of a lower cost of living may be the most important factor to consider.

Top 5 High-Paying Social Media Analyst Jobs in the U.S.

At least five jobs in the Social Media Analyst job category pay more per year than the average Social Media Analyst salary. Social Media Sr Strategy Manager, Director Social Media Strategy, and Social Media Platform are just a few examples.

Importantly, all of these jobs pay between $18,107 (29.5%) and $30,370 (49.4%) more than the national average of $61,457. If you’re qualified, being hired for one of these related Social Media Analyst jobs could help you earn more than the average Social Media Analyst position.

Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Social Media Sr Strategy Manager$91,827$7,652$1,765$44.15
Director Social Media Strategy$81,728$6,810$1,571$39.29
Social Media Platform$81,456$6,788$1,566$39.16
Senior Social Media Analyst$80,133$6,677$1,541$38.53
Social Media Strategy$79,564$6,630$1,530$38.25

Social Analyst Job Description Sample

We are looking for an astute and data-driven social media analyst to assess the success of social media campaigns using post metrics. The social media analyst is in charge of providing feedback to clients and social media directors about how a campaign was received and how it should be tweaked.

To be a successful social media analyst, you must first understand how to read and interpret data. A top-tier social media analyst is well-versed in social media tools and trends and can provide constructive feedback to team members.

Social Media Analyst Responsibilities:

  • Analyzing social media post metrics.
  • Making a note of posts that perform poorly and finding evidence for why this may be.
  • Reporting to the Social Media Director to inform them of the success of social media campaigns.
  • Providing constructive criticism to content creators to help them make improvements.
  • Observing follower engagement and building a report on their behaviors.
  • Researching new social media trends and tools.
  • Keeping abreast of current events and pop culture to better understand user behavior.

Social Media Analyst Requirements:

  • A degree in marketing, communications, or media, or training with social media.
  • Knowledge of SEO best practices.
  • Experience as a social media assistant, content creator, or a similar role.
  • The ability to analyze data (specifically related to user behavior and engagement).
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • The ability to provide constructive criticism.


Social media analysis can be a great way to connect with a larger audience and boost sales. However, it’s important to have a solid social media strategy in place before getting started. By learning how to use social media analysis to grow your business and improve your marketing efforts, you can make sure that your business is successful in the long run.

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