What Does a Social Media Analyst Do? + Job Description Template
Social media is continuously growing and evolving. A strong marketing team needs to be constantly monitoring its social channels to keep pace with changes and keep the brand’s presence agile. Social media analysts meet this need by providing data-driven business recommendations.
As seen on the Statista.com graph above, social media is experiencing steady growth. Your marketing team can harness this growth to meet your business objectives using a skilled data analyst.
What Is a Social Media Analyst?
As social media becomes more important to marketing strategy, the need has grown for multi-member social marketing teams. Here is a brief definition of social media analysts and their jobs
Social Media Analyst Definition:
Social media analysts track and interpret a brand’s social media presence and performance using a variety of analytic tools. They gather, interpret, and communicate social media data to the marketing team and make recommendations based on past performance.
Social media analysts are distinct from social media managers or social media content creators because their jobs are focused primarily on gathering and interpreting data, rather than managing the social strategy or creating and scheduling posts.
On small marketing teams, these roles are often combined, but there are many benefits to having a dedicated social media analyst.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Social Media Analyst?
Social media analysts ensure that marketing decisions are backed up by verifiable data. These experts bring their facility with numbers and excellence in tracking KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and broader internet and consumer trends to support the entire team.
Here are the most important benefits of having a social media analyst in your corner.
Helps your Team Make Data-Driven Decisions
Much of social media strategy involves planning and executing campaigns over several months. Without tracking the effect of these campaigns, there’s no way to measure success or plan adjustments. Social media analysts arm their teams with solid data so they can make more rational decisions.
Analyze Why - Not Just What
The first duty of a social media analyst is to track campaign performance. Simply reporting that your Instagram campaigns are receiving lower engagement is only the first step, however. Good social media analysts go further by investigating why campaign engagement is dropping - have there been changes to the Instagram algorithm? Should the brand be using different hashtags?
Social media analysts use historical data to predict future performance.
In plain English, that means that studying how campaigns performed in the past can tell you how a similar campaign will perform in the future. If you have received consistently high engagement from campaigns featuring giveaways, then those will likely do well for you in the future as well.
Tools Social Media Analysts Use to Do Their Jobs
Tracking KPIs and industry-wide trends require a variety of web-based tools. While there is a truly dizzying array of analytics tools out there, a tech-savvy social media analyst will be able to identify which tools are most helpful to develop the brand’s strategy.
Here are a few of the top tools used by social media analysts.
Social Media Analytics Tools
A good social media analyst needs to keep her finger on the pulse of all the brand’s social channels. This means monitoring everything from likes on Facebook to comments on Instagram and repins on Pinterest.
There are many social media analytics tools that track and aggregate this data, so the analyst can then create customized reports and interpret the data for the rest of her team.
Key social media dashboards to keep a handle on are:
Content Curation Tools
Social content curation tools like Upflow, Scoop, and Hootsuite provide suggestions of content that might appeal to the target audience. This removes some of the burden of time-consuming research and writing from the social media team, along with boosting the brand’s reputation as a thought leader that provides valuable sources from all over the internet, not just its own content.
These tools also serve as social scheduling tools to help optimize social media posts by sharing content when the target audience is most active.
Web Analytics Tools
Google Analytics is a non-negotiable tool for social media analysts. It’s free, and it helps you determine whether your social campaigns are actually directing customers to your brand’s website.
Other popular web analytics tools include:
- Buffer Analyze
Social Media Monitoring Tools
Social media analysts engage in “social listening,” which means they monitor social channels for mentions of the brand, its products, competitors, related keywords, and more.
Social media monitoring tools include:
- Brand Watch
- Social Bakers/Emplifi
Characteristics and Skills of Good Social Media Analysts
There is a lot of crossover between social media marketing professionals, but exceptional social media analysts tend to have several characteristics in common.
A Knack for Numbers
This is a data-driven job, so faculty with numbers is crucial. Although the social media analyst uses a variety of tools to get the job done, he still needs to be comfortable around percentages, rates, and statistics.
Because a social media analyst will likely be using several tools to track and interpret KPIs, he also needs to be able to combine the data from multiple sources while maintaining its integrity and explaining its meaning. This requires a fundamental understanding of how the data was gathered, rather than just clicking “export results” on a single social media monitoring tool.
The goal of social media analysis is to make recommendations that make the business more successful. A good social media analyst is always asking why - why did this campaign work well? How can we replicate it? What are consumers looking for next? What new features are coming that we can use?
Understanding of Human Behavior
While an analyst needs to be a numbers person, he also needs to understand how people work. Social media strategy is more an art than a science - simply mixing the right ingredients together will not always produce a winning campaign. An effective social media analyst understands consumer psychology and combines this knowledge with data know-how.
Social media analysts need to be at home with every relevant tech tool your business uses, from WordPress to Google Analytics to social schedulers. Ideally, you want someone who is always following the latest tech trends.
Ability to Identify Patterns
Social media ecosystems move quickly, with new trending topics every day. Social media analysts are good at quickly recognizing patterns in conversations and content on the web and interpreting it for the team, which in turn helps them harness patterns to create more successful content and posting strategies.
Social Media Analyst Salary
According to both Glassdoor and LinkedIn, the average social media analyst salary comes in around $50,000 per year.
ZipRecruiter adds a bit more detail. The job site reports most social media analyst salaries range between $41,500 to $68,000 per year, with 2% of high earners making $80-$90,000 per year.
Beginning analysts can expect to fall towards the lower end of the average, but there is rapid room for advancement with experience and a demonstrated ability to get results for the company.
As with most salaries, social media analyst jobs are paid varying rates depending upon the geographic region. Regions with higher cost-of-living tend to pay a bit more than lower-cost areas to make up for higher living expenses.
Social Media Analyst Job Description
If you’re considering adding an analyst to your marketing team, we’ve created a sample social media analyst job description. It is designed to be customized according to your business’s needs and culture.
ABC Company is searching for an experienced social media analyst to join our marketing team in Anywhere, USA! This individual will own our social media data monitoring process across multiple channels and create data-backed recommendations to the team. This position report to our Social Media Coordinator
We are looking for an organized, methodical professional who will ensure our brand’s success across multiple social media platforms, including Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.
[tailor this section to showcase your unique values and history - show why the candidate should want to join your team!]
ABC Company is a rapidly-growing cosmetics company based in Anywhere, USA. We pride ourselves on responding quickly to consumer needs and trends. Our goal is to stay one step ahead of the next big thing in cosmetics, and the social media analyst position will continuously monitor our social media outreach to ensure business objectives are being met.
Education Requirements & Skills
Ideally, the social media analyst will possess a 4-year degree in one of the following fields:
- Computer Science
- Public Relations
This person should also possess superior communications skills along with 1 -2 years of experience in social media marketing. This person should also be familiar with content management and social media scheduling tools.
- Continuously monitor and analyze marketing efforts on all social media platforms (including Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok) and translate both qualitative and quantitative data into actionable recommendations.
- Conduct data analysis to determine trends.
- Research emerging features, trends, and networks and how they can benefit the company.
- Track and maintain a database of engagement, growth, and revenue through all social channels.
- Analyze current trends to determine new opportunities.
- Report consistently to the marketing team and advise them of campaign performance.