How to Gain Analytics Insight into Buffer Posts

By James T. Cains

Buffer provides some robust analytics for the social media posts that you schedule and deliver through the tool. These analytics tell you if the social media campaigns you run for your business are successful and what you need to improve. Here are the types of data you can get about your posts (see the example in Figure 1):

  • How many clicks, retweets, and replies your Twitter posts get

  • How many likes, comments, reshares, and comments your Facebook posts get

  • How many reshares, comments, likes, and clicks your LinkedIn posts get

  • How many repins, likes, and comments your Pinterest posts receive

    Figure 1: Metrics for a Twitter post.

    Figure 1: Metrics for a Twitter post.

Source: buffer.com

To access your analytics, log in to Buffer, view your dashboard, and click the Analytics tab at the top. You can then switch between your accounts on the left side to see the analytics for a particular social media channel. Click on the Post subtab at the top to view analytics on your posts for a particular channel.

You can filter down to which posts you want to view:

  • Recent: This lists your posts in descending chronological posting order. There’s no date refinement for this.

  • Most or Least Popular: If you hover over the Most or Least Popular button, you can reorder the posts by the number of retweets, likes, comments, reshares, and so on, depending on the channel.

  • Type of Post: You can filter down from All Posts to posts with images or links or just text. You can also filter down to posts that have been retweeted.

  • Date Range: Except for Recent, you can specify a date range for the posts your viewing analytics for.

In the list of posts, you see various metrics for your posts, which include the following (refer to Figure 1):

  • Retweets, Shares, Reshares, and Repins: Retweets are Twitter; Shares are Facebook; Reshares are LinkedIn, and Repins are Pinterest. (Why can’t they all just use the same terminology?) Anyway, this is when someone takes one of your posts and essentially forwards it from his or her own account, spreading around your content. This can indicate whether people like your post or not — if they care enough about it to share it with others.

  • Favorites and Likes: Favorites are Twitter specific, while Likes happen on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. It’s all the same, though: It’s a way for users to indicate that they like what you post, without necessarily resharing the content.

  • Mentions: This is Twitter specific, and it’s when someone mentions your @username in a post without retweeting a post.

  • Clicks: For Twitter and LinkedIn, this tracks how many people click any links in your posts. For this tracking to work in Buffer, you have to specify a link shortener, such as buff.ly, bit.ly, or j.mp.

  • Comments: In Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, users can comment on posts, and the number of comments that a post receives is recorded.

  • Potential: This is a special calculation that Buffer does to indicate your possible reach; in other words, how many people can potentially read your post through retweeting, sharing, or resharing. For example, say you have 1,000 Twitter followers, but no one retweets your post. Your potential reach is 1,000 (if 100% of your followers read the post). But if someone with 2,000 followers retweets your post, then your reach becomes 3,000 because the retweeter’s 2,000 followers can potentially read the post, too. Buffer calculates potential the same way on Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections, but not with Pinterest.

If you click on the Analysis subtab under Analytics, you see the same information presented in the Posts subtab — just in a friendlier table format for easier comparison.

You can use social media post analytics to refine your messaging, if necessary. For example, if you send out a tweet with a link to a new product, but no one clicks the link, perhaps your message needs to be revised. You can try different messaging until you hit on something that works. You can also try posting with or without images to see if that makes a difference in social media interest. You may find that a terrific image of your product can dramatically increase your retweets, rather than just posting a text description. These are just a couple of ideas; social media marketing is all about experimenting with different approaches to find the right one for you and your business.