How to Read Social Media Reports: Social Analytics 101

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After working day in and day out on producing pristine content, the last thing you want to do is to send it out into the world and bid adieu to your creation. It’s absolutely crucial to sit down and face the numbers, but let’s be honest, not all marketers are analytical data crunching machines. That’s where social media reporting comes in, but what happens when a report lands on your desk and you’re racking your brain trying to interpret a jumble of numbers, charts, abbreviations, and percentages?

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That’s where we come in.

Before You Dive In The Data Pool

Don’t even look at the data until you’ve determined what you’re looking for. Make sure you’ve established what metric is important for you to quantify. There are 4 main social media metric categories that will help you define which social metric is important for you to track:

  • Content Consumption: How many views, downloads, or clicks did your content generate? Are all eyes on your content?
  • Social Sharing: How often did your audience proclaim their love for your post with a share, retweet, like, or pin?
  • Lead Generation: How often does your social content make people want to contact you for more information?
  • Revenue: Did this social post help me bring home the bacon?

Once you’ve established which category/categories are important to your brand, you can dig into the data. Here’s the confusing part, each social media channel has different terminology for tracking the metrics you’re looking for. To help make things a little less daunting we’ve created this handy chart to help you cut to the chase to find the metrics that matter to you:

Type of Metric Metric Name Definition Social Platform(s)
Consumption Reach The number of people who have seen your post. Your post counts as reaching someone when it is shown in the News Feed. FB
Consumption Post Reach The number of people your post was served to. FB
Consumption Total Reach The number of people who were served any activity from your Page including your posts, posts to your Page by other people, Page like ads, mentions, and check-ins. FB
Consumption Page Likes The number of people who have decided they want to see the content a Facebook page is sharing or that they approve of the brand. (Defined as a consumption metric because it will determine how many people will have the chance to be exposed to a brand’s FB content.) FB
Consumption Followers See page likes definition above TW, LIN, PIN, and INSTA
Consumption CTR (Click Through Rate) The click-through rate is the number of clicks your ads get, divided by the number of impressions served. FB, LIN, TW
Consumption Profile Visits The number of people who have visited your Twitter profile. TW
Consumption Page Views The number of times each of your Facebook page tabs were viewed. FB
Consumption Video Views Number of times your Page’s videos were viewed for 3 seconds or more. FB
Consumption Embedded Media Clicks Clicks to view a photo or video in the Tweet  TW
Consumption Detail Expands  Clicks on a Tweet to view more details TW
Consumption Impressions The number of times a post from your page is displayed. People may see multiple impressions of the same post. Reach might be less than impressions since 1 user can see multiple impressions. FB, TW, LIN, and PIN
Consumption Clicks The number of clicks on your social post or ad. FB, TW, LIN, and PIN
Consumption Permalink Clicks Clicks on the Tweet permalink (desktop only) TW
Consumption Hashtag Clicks Clicks on hashtag(s) in the Tweet  TW
Consumption Link Clicks/Website Clicks The number of people who clicked on a link you shared that redirects them to a URL outside of the platform. FB, TW, LIN
Revenue Website Conversion The number of conversions that happened on your website as a result of your ad. FB, LIN, TW, PIN, and INSTA
Revenue Total Conversion Value The total revenue returned from conversions or Facebook credit spends that occurred on your website or app. This is based on the value assigned to the conversion type in your pixel code. FB
Revenue Other Website Conversions The number of other conversions on your website that happened as a result of your ad. FB
Revenue Other Website Conversion Value The total value returned from other conversions on your website as a result of your ad. FB
Lead Generation Registrations The number of times a registration was completed on your website as a result of your ad. FB
Lead Generation Registrations Conversion Value The total value returned from completed registration conversions on your website as a result of your ad. FB
Lead Generation  Leads submitted Number of times a user submitted his/her info via Lead Generation Card in the Tweet TW
Social Sharing Favorite An action a user takes to show that they approve of the content being shown. TW
Social Sharing Like An action a user takes to show that they approve of the content being shown. FB, LIN, INSTA, and PIN
Social Sharing Retweet When you share/repost someone else’s Tweet. TW
Social Sharing Share When you share/repost someone else’s Facebook post. FB
Social Sharing Repin When you pin someone else’s Pinterest content to one of your boards. Similar to a Facebook share. Pinterest
Social Sharing Tag The action a user takes to send a notification to another user or brand to notify them that they are shown or mentioned in a post. FB, LIN, and INSTA
Social Sharing Mention The action a user takes to communicate with another user on a social platform. INSTA and TW
Social Sharing Comment The action a user takes to give their feedback or a reply to your post. FB, LIN, INSTA, and PIN
Social Sharing People Taking Action The number of unique people who took an action such as liking your Page or installing your app as a result of your ad. For example, if the same person likes and comments on a post, they will be counted as 1 unique person. FB
Social Sharing Interactions The number of times people have liked, commented on, or shared each update. LIN
Social Sharing Engagements Total number of times a user interacted with a Tweet. Clicks anywhere on the Tweet, including retweets, replies, follows, favorites, links, cards, hashtags, embedded media, username, profile photo, or Tweet expansion. TW
Social Sharing Engagement The number of times a user has interacted  (liked, commented, shared, or clicked) on a post. FB
Social Sharing Engagement Rate The number of people who engaged with your post (liked, commented, shared, or clicked) divided by the number of people who viewed it. FB, TW, LIN, and PIN
Social Sharing People Engaged The # of people who have liked, commented, or shared your posts or engaged with your page. FB

Now that you’re acquainted with a plethora of social media metrics and you understand which are important to track based on your goals; you will be ready to present the data to your C-Suite executives and evaluate the performance of your social media content. If all of this terminology makes your eyes glaze over, there’s a team of social marketers here to help you analyze those reports with ease, all you need to do is drop us a line.

Sources: Facebook,  TwitterLinkedIn (1), LinkedIn (2)

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Rio Ziegler

Social Media Manager at Customer Magnetism
When Rio is not whipping up social media content, managing social ads, and analyzing social data, you can find her living in her local gym, pursuing a plethora of random hobbies, and feeding her addiction to salt water as CM’s resident mermaid.