Social Media Analytics: Where Has It Been & Where Is It Going?

Businesses engage in social media analytics when they collect data from social media platforms, such as conversations about brands or user behaviors. This information is analyzed and interpreted to learn more about consumer preferences so businesses can make informed decisions.


Social media analytics has become an important part of many businesses’ digital marketing campaigns because it provides valuable insight into what consumers are interested in.


By tapping into this big data, marketers can structure and implement a more effective marketing plan. Learning more about the importance of social media analytics and the future of these analytics may help you to harness the power of this data for your business.


The Impacts of Social Media Analytics


In 2019, over 2.95 billion people were engaged in at least one form of social media. This number is expected to rise to 3.43 billion by 2023, making social media analytics an asset to the future of marketing. With so many people utilizing social media platforms and providing their personal information and preferences, it’s no wonder social media analytics are an effective way for marketers to gather information about consumers.


The data collected not only allows these businesses to cater to marketing campaigns to their target customer, but it also allows them to gather crucial information. When businesses in all industries learn more about what consumers want and where they’re spending their time, they can develop and improve processes and procedures to increase exposure and engagement.


On Digital Marketing


Social media has become an integral part of digital marketing. With so many people utilizing social media platforms every day, marketers focus on social media as a way to gain brand exposure and engage with potential customers.


Since social media allows for open conversation between consumers and businesses, marketers have the unique opportunity to interact directly with target customers on a large-scale.


Social media analytics help these marketers learn how to shape their message so it’s effective and engaging. By using successful social media strategies specific to their brand, businesses can make waves on these platforms and increase interest in their product or service.


On Politics


Political campaigns also use social media analytics to influence users. In the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Cambridge Analytica, a data-mining company, analyzed social media analytics for over 87 million Facebook users. The company used these data interpretations to identify users that could potentially be swayed to vote for Donald Trump.


The campaign and other involved political firms and organizations began to target these individuals with posts that weren’t always honest. Many believe the outcome of the 2016 election was heavily influenced by unfounded claims on social media.


Social media may have also influenced the Brexit vote in 2016. About 35% of UK residents claimed they used social media platforms as their source of news to help decide their vote on Brexit. Both political sides posted on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms to influence voters. Social media analytics helped these political parties gather information about voters so they could create targeted posts to swing their vote.


On Business Intelligence


Business intelligence uses software and services to analyze data and turn it into useful information to help make decisions about marketing, goals, and procedures within the company. With social media analytics, marketers can collect data directly from consumers, including their conversations about products, services, industries, and brands, and use it to make decisions that relate to the future of the company.


To ensure they’re collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data successfully, many businesses turn to managed services providers (MSPs) to handle certain business IT operations and ensure data is stored securely and in an accessible way. They may also create full-time roles within their organizations dedicated to social media and analytics.


The Future of Social Media Analytics


The way users interact with social media continues to improve and evolve, leading to changes in analytics. The future trends of social media and analytics continue to have extensive effects on how the world communicates and how businesses gather and interpret data.


Artificial Intelligence


Artificial intelligence is currently used in social media analytics with predictive analytics. Using social media data, brands can predict the best times to post and the types of content that may spark engagement.


Automated messages are also a way for brands to instantly respond to social media users. Companies can set up automated messages that send to users when they interact on social media. Chatbots and similar cognitive systems are also becoming a common way for customers to get their questions answered quickly.


In the future, these artificial intelligence concepts may evolve and improve. With the improvement of these concepts and implementation of additional functions, businesses will find it easier to interact with social media users effectively, instantly, and without utilizing too much time and resources.


Augmented & Virtual Reality


Virtual reality uses equipment, including screens and headsets, to create a seemingly real experience for an individual. It places the user into a virtual space and provides a complete view and encapsulation of an experience.


Augmented reality is achieved when a device, such as goggles or glasses, are worn and a data overlay is projected “on” the real world. When an augmented reality device is worn, the user still sees reality but with an additional virtual element.


Companies at the forefront of technological innovations are beginning to integrate these new realities into their digital marketing and social media strategies. Virtual and augmented realities are a novelty that many consumers find all-encompassing and interesting. Businesses at the forefront of utilizing these technologies may have access to additional social media analytics when they’re integrated into social media platforms.




Consumers already expect personalization when it comes to advertisements and their interactions with brands. Companies use social media analytics to identify users that may be interested in their brand or who have already looked into their product or service. They provide personalized targeted advertising and posts to engage these users and turn them into customers.


Using social media data in this way is efficient and effective, but businesses should be cautious about how they collect and interpret data. There are many federal and local consumer privacy laws that outline the legal ways companies can obtain and use data, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). To ensure they don’t face legal ramifications, many organizations use outsourced assistance from MSPs or other support to help with data collection, storage, and analysis.


Product Emphasis


Not only has social media become a resource for news, but it’s also become a primary source for product and brand information. Companies that use social media analytics can easily identify the products, services, and information consumers are seeking. These businesses create robust product descriptions to adequately provide this information through social media.


When users easily find the information they’re looking for on a product or brand, they’re more likely to make purchases. Social media analytics allow companies to identify what consumers are searching for so they can cater to the information they post to consumers’ needs and curiosities.


Social media analytics is already a useful part of many companies’ social media and digital marketing strategies. As social media platforms improve and evolve, the analytics surrounding them will also become more extensive. Companies can use these analytics to tap into their customer base and drive brand engagement.