Social Media Analytics 101: Impressions And Engagement

You’ve probably heard about social media analytics. Maybe you’ve even found the page on Facebook or Twitter where they are broken down, but you don’t know impressions from reach, social actions from likes. Well, you’ve come to the right place. This is the first in a series of posts that will break down all the different social media metrics and explain why you should know them.

Accessing the Analytics Dashboards

So, to start measuring social analytics, you need to know where to find them. Luckily, all the social platforms give you an easily accessible place where you can find them for any given page.

For Facebook, click the name of one of the pages you manage to bring up the admin view. Then, in the menu on the top of the page, click Insights. This will bring you to a dashboard with several different metrics as well as a sidebar that will take you to a deeper dive of each of these metrics.

On Twitter, you can access the analytics platform by opening the user menu (click on your profile image next to the Tweet button) and clicking on Analytics, which will open the analytics dashboard in a new window. There, you will find different tabs in the top menu for Home, Tweets, Audiences, events, and More.

On LinkedIn, you will need to go to the page for which you’re an administrator, and then click Manage Page. That will bring you into the admin view, and from there you can enter the analytics dashboard via the Analytics tab on the top menu. The dashboard will contain three analytic options: Visitors, Updates, and Followers.

For Instagram, you can access analytics by clicking the bar chart in the top menu when viewing your profile. This will take you to the Insights page where you can view stats on metrics such as impressions, reach, and profile views.


Impressions are the number of times users see your post on a platform. So, for example, on Facebook, impressions are the number of times people saw your post in their news feed, regardless of whether they engage with the post by liking or commenting.

In this way, you can liken impressions to the number of people that view ads, in which they absorb information but do not necessarily engage with that information or offer any direct feedback. Impressions are useful to see how far your posts are reaching, but not useful for determining if your audience values the content.

Engagements vs. Engagement Rate

Engagements and engagement rates are a much more useful tool for measuring the success of social media posts and an audience’s involvement with a page. Engagements are the number of times users interact with a post. These interactions can be social actions, such as liking, commenting, or sharing, or things like clicking a link or clicking on the profile of the poster. This is useful because it tells you the number of people that respond to the post and are interested in it.

Engagement rate is the number of engagements divided by the number of impressions. This metric tells you the percentage of people that engage with your post out of those who see it. This metric is one of the best indicators as to how involved your audience is with your posts. It’s important to compare engagement rates to industry averages, so that you can measure your success against other pages in the same field to make the number a meaningful metric.

Impressions and engagements are just some of the ways you can analyze a pages’ social media performance and begin to learn what interests your audience. The goal is to better suit your posts to your audience to keep them engaged as well as grow the audience. Social analytics are also a useful tool for showing the value of social media, especially when executives might be apprehensive to adopt it.

Stay tuned for more posts in our Social Media Analytics 101 series, and soon you’ll be a social media guru.

photo credit: Erik Lucatero

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