The field of data analytics has applications in many industries. This article will explore the role data analytics plays in social media.

What is Data Analytics?

Data is all around us. It comes in different sizes and from different sources. There’s data in each second of recorded security camera footage, every open-ended survey question response, and even in the quarterly grades of all the high-school students in a school district. However, until this data is sorted and analyzed, none of it is actionable.

Each day, an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created. The past two years alone accounted for 90% of this data creation. But what to do with it all? This is where data analytics comes in.

Data analytics is the set of techniques used to analyze raw data (unprocessed data) in order to extract relevant information, trends, and insights. This process includes collecting data, organizing it, and storing it, then performing statistical analysis on the data.

Once the information is collected, conclusions can be drawn from it, which can be used for problem-solving, business processing, decision-making, and predictions that can inform what a company’s next steps should be. This process relies on disciplines like mathematics, statistics, and computer programming.

How is Data Analytics used in Social Media?

Social media analytics is the name of a subset of data analytics that deals exclusively with social media. In 2021, there are approximately 4.5 billion people using social media, over half of the world’s population. By studying the actions, clicks, and responses of those on social media, it’s possible for businesses and other organizations with an online presence to use this data to gauge interest, spot trends, and offer better products to their consumers.

Many social media channels are currently being optimized by organizations, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, TikTok, and Facebook, among others. The social media analytics process involves monitoring, gathering, and analyzing data from social networks. By studying the strategies your organization or business is currently using on these social media outlets, it’s possible to tell which efforts are paying off and which are not. This provides businesses with a way to better optimize their time, resources, and money, and can lead to more informed business decisions.

The following are some of the ways Social Media Analysts better understand and target their audience members based on their social media presence:

  • Social listening entails keeping track of various social media channels to spot opportunities as well as problems. Different social media analytics tools are used to this end, which combine listening and reporting into an overall analysis of performance.
  • Designed software platforms are used for social media analytics. These function similarly to web search tools, and rely on data collected from web crawlers and search queries. The fragmented texts that are located are loaded into a database, placed into categories, and reviewed to extract helpful information.
  • Cluster analysis is vital for unearthing hidden conversations along with surprising insights. To do so, it offers association between words or phrases that often show up together. Then, this information can inform new topics and opportunities.
  • Visualizations and dashboards provide a means to summarize, visualize, and share findings. Because information that is presented visually tends to be easier to understand and more memorable for stakeholders, data visualizations ensure that even those who don't come from a technical background can easily and quickly grasp complicated information.
  • Behavioral analysis is a powerful tool that allows users to gain knowledge about the concerns social media users have based on their assigned behavior types, such as prospective user, user, or detractor. This allows messages to be created that are tailored to these users in order to meet or change their impressions.
  • Segmentation breaks down social media users into categories like gender, age, and geography in order to spot influencers in each category. Once there is an understanding of who the influencers are who are weighing in on key topics, actions can be taken to offer more pointed initiatives and responses.

Examples of Social Media Analytics Measurements

The following is a brief list of some of the most-used measures by Social Media Analysts to collect data from social media platforms:

    • Monitoring the followers a page has can provide information about who is seeing posts.
  • Reviewing post clicks is a way of ascertaining how often someone clicked on an entire post.
  • Page likes offer a means of studying how many people like a given page and see posts.
  • Impressions can be collected, pertaining to the number of people who viewed a post.
    • When page views are reviewed, it’s possible to see how many times a profile page was seen.
    • One of the most important forms of social media analytics involves studying post reach, which is the number of people who had any posts from a given page on their own screens.
  • Engagement measures the number of times an individual has engaged with a post. It is one of the most helpful social media metrics.
  • Actions on page provide an overview of the number of times users clicked specifically on the contact information on a website, or its call-to-action button.
  • Page previews shed insights into how often people have hovered over a link or ad, allowing customers to learn more about those businesses who advertise in their news feed.

Benefits of Social Media Analytics

The benefits for individuals and organizations who use social media analytics are numerous. Here are just a few of the most-cited perks of incorporating data analytics into the realm of social media:

  • Customer experience: More and more companies are incorporating behavioral analysis tools and techniques, which can be executed across social media channels. This allows a company to identify and expand on micro-movements, which can subsequently lead to brand loyalty.
  • Product development: By reviewing such social media elements as Amazon product reviews, tweets, and Facebook posts, it’s possible to gain an understanding of trends. This not only helps how existing products are managed but also informs how future products will be developed.
  • Branding options are improved using social media analytics. By viewing social media as one large focus group, those with training can apply sentiment analysis and natural language processing to keep track of brand expectations, promote brand health, and incorporate new attributes of a given brand.
  • Operational efficiency can be achieved by applying deep analytic techniques to social media. This allows a company to find more effective ways to measure the demand for a product or service. Stakeholders such as retailers can apply this information to help manage inventory, cut costs, and use resources in a more productive manner.
  • Competitive analysis is an important facet of social media analytics. It provides a snapshot of the competition, as well as how consumers feel about their efforts.

Get Started Learning Data Analytics with Hands-On Classes

Are you interested in learning more about data analytics? If so, Noble Desktop’s data analytics classes are a great starting point. Courses are currently available in topics such as Excel, Python, and data analytics, among others skills necessary for analyzing data. For students who are particularly interested in the intersection between data analytics and social media, Noble’s Social Media Marketing Certificate provides 30 hours of hands-on instruction about cutting-edge marketing strategies.

Those who are committed to learning in an intensive educational environment may also consider enrolling in a data analytics or data science bootcamp. These rigorous courses are taught by industry experts and provide timely instruction on how to handle large sets of data. Over 90 bootcamp options are available for beginners, intermediate, and advanced students looking to master skills and topics like data analytics, data visualization, data science, and Python, among others.

For those searching for a data analytics class nearby, Noble’s data analytics Classes Near Me tool provides an easy way to locate and browse the 400 or so data analytics classes currently offered in the in-person and live online formats. Course lengths vary from three hours to 36 weeks and cost $119-$27,500.