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What Is Social Analytics and Why Is It Important?

Social metrics and social analytics. Are they one in the same?

While some marketers may use these terms interchangeably, the two concepts – while related – are very different.

In an article from MarketingProfs the difference between “metrics” and “analytics” is defined and Laura Patterson pointed out why using the term synonymously is wrong.

Though metrics and analytics go hand in hand, and both are used by best-in-class (BIC) marketers to prove and improve the value of marketing, they are not the same.

– Laura Patterson, President and Founder of VisionEdge Marketing

Patterson went on to explain that “metrics” are standards of measurement, while “analytics” is the process of collecting those metrics and applying statistics and mathematics in an effort to see the patterns in the data. Identifying patterns is at the core of analytics – and social media professionals can use these patterns to make better decisions in their social media strategies.

In the social marketing space, analytics are just as critical as they are in other digital marketing channels, but many social marketers lack the understanding necessary to conduct the process effectively.

At Simply Measured, we use our Social Metrics Map to highlight specific metrics that, if analyzed properly, can improve your performance on social through every stage of the sales funnel.

Social Metrics Map

The social metrics outlined here provide a starting point for marketers to align content and social strategies with every step of the buyer’s journey. The social KPI’s provided are the metrics marketers should track and measure, but the insights – how you plan to use the data gathered from these KPI’s – is what social analytics is all about.

For example, a social metric you decide to track is the number of impressions a tweet receives on Twitter. The social analytics side would then inform future strategy and whether or not that type of tweet was effective enough to be tweeted again or scrapped altogether.

For more information about social analytics and the importance of tracking social content, check out our blog post, “Why It’s Essential to Track Your Content.”

Get everything you need to analyze the metrics that matter

Introduction to Full-Funnel Social Analytics


Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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