How to Use Hootsuite’s Social Media Analytics to Engineer Engagement

There’s a reason why people don’t flock to your Facebook page even after you’ve posted about everything under the sun: you probably haven’t dug into the social media analytics that Hootsuite has to offer.

It should go without saying that you need to analyze which posts are successes and which ones are flopping. I’ll show you how to access Hootsuite’s analytics dashboard and how to make use of what you see inside it.

Let’s get started!

Finding the Social Media Analytics Dashboard in Hootsuite

Hover the mouse over the left-hand menu in Hootsuite to pull up the list of main pages on the platform. You’ll probably notice a graph icon fourth down from the top of that list, not including the Hootsuite logo.

That’s what you want.

That takes you to a new page with some preloaded metrics. It’s great to have some pre-populated data here, but make sure that it’s all set to the right profiles before you dive in. This is important if you want to separate different channels or different brands from each other.

It can take quite a few minutes to load, so don’t fret.

You’ll need to select the right account separately for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I’d recommend taking it one platform at a time to understand each one better.

Omni-channel dashboards look snazzy for investors and the like, but they hide the nitty-gritty details that really provide insights and inform your next steps.

What Hootsuite’s Analytics Can Tell You

Hootsuite puts you in the Overview dashboard when you start poking around the analytics screen. These metrics give you that omni-channel dashboard I mentioned earlier, including:

  • How many posts you’ve published
  • How many followers you’ve gained and lost
  • How much engagement your posts and shares generated
  • The traffic generated through ow.ly short links

These all help with reporting to clients, supervisors, or investors. If you check these numbers at a certain pace, you can even spot activity spikes to capitalize on successful posts before they’ve fizzled out—and get even more mileage out of them with ad spend.

That monthly focus lets you analyze your channel’s performance without the need to switch back and forth between different monthly reports (a particular pet peeve of any analyst).

Make good use of this to hit upon insights.

The most valuable part of the Overview tab is the Posts Table, squirreled away at the very bottom of Hootsuite’s analytics screen.

It breaks down your social calendar in chronological order to compare likes, comments, shares, and clicks. This is where you can really dig into social media analytics at the granular level to engineer higher engagement.

You can see exactly which posts people loved the most. Even better, you can figure out why certain posts outperformed others.

Pro Tip: I’ll draw specific insights from this dashboard in the next section, but you can get even deeper metrics (like video views and reach) from the Post Performance Dashboard. It’s just not available on the free version, sadly.

How to Parse Social Media Analytics

Start with the Posts Table at the bottom of the Overview tab to see which posts are rocking people’s socks off at a glance. Use that data to pick out the common threads between the best ones.

In general, look for these when analyzing your posts:

  • Which themes resonate the best (and worst)?
  • What was the day and time of day?
  • Does the post take a positive or negative angle?
  • How do the voice and tone read?
  • Is a lead magnet offered?
  • What’s the content type? Image, video, quote, GIF?
  • Are partners and influencers tagged?
  • Do engagement incentives exist (like a contest)?

Let’s try it out with our own content. Here’s a clearer image of the data for some posts.

Some of these posts clearly do better than others. Here’s what we can take away from these analytics:

  • The post at the top with 3 retweets is an image post with some partner shout-outs, indicating that tagging other accounts builds engagement to get the ball rolling. It also celebrates that partner’s success with a public kudos.
  • The second post with 2 retweets also calls out a partner, but it’s more of a humble brag about this partner being a customer. It earned a little less engagement. This was for a B2B partner (as was the first post).
  • The third post with 9 total engagements actually goes out of its way to endorse a partner (a coffee shop working with a commercial real estate location) to generate business. Since the coffee shop was a B2C business, it’s retweets earned engagement from a wider swathe of users. Several people also clicked through to the website in this post by leveraging the partner’s audience, bringing those people further into the marketing and sales funnel.

This Twitter account straddles B2C and B2B audiences, so it wouldn’t be possible to drop the B2B posts in favour of coffee shop endorsements every time… but it definitely stands to reason that this brand could stand to gain more social engagement by acknowledging its B2C partners and customers more often, even if they aren’t all coffee shops.

Your Turn

That’s how to use Hootsuite’s analytics to engineer engagement. It’s not too complicated. Just remember that you need to dig deeper to get the context so that you can replicate it and build on it next time around.

Doing this on a monthly basis will let you phase out the lukewarm posts in favour of hard-hitting ones that build genuinely interested followers.

Change the way your organization approaches social media.

Andrew Webb

Andrew Webb

SEO and Content Marketing Consultant

Andrew is the digital marketing consultant at Webb Content and currently the in-house Search Engine Marketing Specialist at aha insurance. He's worked in a few different agencies full-time and with another seven or eight as a consultant.

He's usually writing new content, finding new ways to optimize his websites, and fixing bad digital marketing wherever he sees it.

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