What does a social media analyst do?

What is the purpose of having a social media analyst? And most importantly, what does it take to be a social media analyst? Read on to find out.
Veena Ramakrishnan
September 14, 2020 - 7 min. read

Now that social media is mainstream with every company, the demand for marketers with social media skills is higher than ever. The importance of having a dedicated person to monitor a company’s social media presence and derive insights for successful marketing practices is the need of the hour.

Enter social media analysts.

So, what does a social media analyst do? What is the purpose of having a social media analyst? And most importantly, what does it take to be a social media analyst? Read on to find out.

Social media analyst vs. Social media manager

Often people confuse the roles of social media analysts and social media managers to be one and the same. Well, they aren’t.

A social media analyst develops a company’s online presence and helps create brand awareness using social media networks. This role requires a vast amount of social media data mining to get insights on ROI to improve and boost a company’s online presence. An analyst looks at the data to derive insights that are passed on to the social media manager and creative teams to help them build brand awareness.

A social media manager, on the other hand, is the sole voice of a company’s social media account(s). A social media manager maintains the company’s account(s) and is tasked with the responsibility of curating, editing, processing, managing. and posting content on social networks.

What is the purpose of having a social media analyst?

The purpose of having a social media analyst is to study the trends in the social media landscape, research on the most effective social media platforms, and monitor the new tools available in the market that could be used to level-up the company’s performance.

That said, the onus lies on the social media analyst to measure social ROI and to set the best courses of action for the entire organization. What tools should a social media analyst know how to use? As mentioned earlier, a social media analyst has to keep an eye on the emerging tools in the market that can be incorporated into the company’s strategies. But first, a social media analyst needs to know how to use some of these tools to qualify as a fruitful employee a company can bank on to boost their online presence.

The following are some of the tools that add as a valuable skill set for a social media analyst.

  • Social media analytics tools provide key data insights into your brand’s social media performance to help fine-tune your marketing strategy. By leveraging social media analytics tools one can monitor mentions of your brand, perform campaign analysis, stay ahead of topics trending in your industry, get competitor intelligence, and much more. Tools like Falcon.io, HubSpot, and CoSchedule offer a host of features to help you analyze your social performance.
  • Content ideation tools help you create content that best resonates with your audience. They also help you get content ideas that are most relevant and trending in your industry. Content ideation tools like Unmetric, now a part of Falcon.io, gives you access to Discover—the world’s largest branded content catalog, Buzzsumo, Similarweb, and so on are some of the best content ideation tools for content inspiration.
  • Social media listening tools help you stay in the loop of what is being said about your brand, competitors, industry, and even a particular keyword or hashtag that’s trending. By doing so you can look for hidden patterns in the sentiment, comments, and so on. Falcon.io, TweetDeck, and HubSpot are some of the best social media listening tools.
  • Web analytics tools help you measure which social media networks are sending traffic, how campaigns are performing and converting among other things. As a social media analyst, you need to live and breathe Google Analytics as it is one of the best free web analytics tools out there.

What does it take to be a social media analyst?

Here’s where it gets real. By now, you must have figured out that there’s more to do as a social media analyst than simply monitor the likes and shares your brand gets on social media. If you are an aspiring social media analyst, take a look at some of the qualities that are expected out of social media analysts.

  • A strong affinity for numbers: Social media analysts must be proficient with numbers. As this is a job that entails data mining and analyzing huge data sets, it is a must for social media analysts to be “numbers people”. This means that you should know all the nuances of Excel and have a strong affinity for statistics.
  • To understand the human aspect of social media: I know I just said that social media analysts should live and breathe data and made them sound like emotionless bots. But that’s not the case. You might think that it is up to a social media manager or a community manager to tackle all the negative sentiment your brand might receive on social media (which is partly true). But in reality, the onus lies on the social media analyst to inform the organization of the reasons behind the negative sentiment towards the brand. This could be found by analyzing the brand’s spike or dip in follower growth, interactions, and so on.
  • To stay up to date on what’s trending in the social media realm: Social media analysts must have an ear to the ground at all times. They need to stay abreast of the trending topics in their industry, the new tools in the market, the current SEO techniques, and web optimization practices. These findings will help you make future content and decisions on your upcoming brand initiatives.
  • To do more than just recording likes and followers: People say that social media analysts record just likes and followers, this is not true. They have additional responsibilities such as tracking campaigns, using social media analytics tools to get key data insights, following SEO practices, and understanding human behavior and relationships among other things.

Pros and cons of being a social media analyst


  • Social media is fun: At the end of the day, you can’t deny the fact that social media is fun and exciting. Most of your time is spent analyzing what the new trend is and interacting with your community. This makes it all the more fun and interesting as the possibilities are endless with social media.
  • New opportunities: Social media opens up a ton of opportunities for you to experiment upon. By looking at what other brands are doing, you will get a stream of ideas and concepts that you can leverage for your brand or business.
  • Endless learnings: One of the biggest perks of being a social media analyst is the possibility of learning something new every day. Time spent trying to build your company’s online presence with the use of social media networks and SEO techniques will leave you with a wealth of knowledge that can be put to best use.
  • A sense of satisfaction: Nothing can beat the sense of satisfaction in seeing your insights succeeding. But at the same time, you have to be patient with results as it takes time to draw meaningful insights from the data.


  • Social media never sleeps: Social media and millennials have one thing in common. They both never sleep. The concept of 9-5 doesn’t apply to social media. You will always find something new and trending around the corner that has to be immediately incorporated into your marketing strategy to keep up with the trend.
  • Brace yourself for the negative comments: People do not shy away from saying negative things about your brand on social media. And there aren’t any rule books or guidelines that prepare you to face these negative comments. You have to think on your feet to tackle these situations and brace yourself for the worst to come.
  • It’s not always unicorns and rainbows: Adding on to the previous point, things could get really ugly if you don’t make the right moves. The decisions that you make in the face of adversity will ultimately affect your company’s online presence. Tread carefully as there is a lot at stake when it comes to filling in the shoes of a social media analyst.

Education requirements

Social media analysts typically have a strong background in marketing and management studies. Proficiency in public relations, business communication, and social media management are also accepted.

Since this role entails handling heavy data sets, social media analysts are expected to have a strong affinity to statistics and analytical skills. Employers prefer candidates with 1-2 years of experience in social media. Previous work experiences can include social media coordinator, social media marketer, or similar roles.

How much do social media analysts get paid?

According to Glassdoor, the average base salary of a social media analyst is $55,579 a year in the United States.

Next steps

There is no stopping social media from growing bigger and better. New avenues will open up in this field as more and more companies embrace social media. Every job comes with its own pros and cons so don’t get overwhelmed by the ones that come with this job. Social media analysis is an exciting and promising career if you have the right skills and qualifications.

To get the ball rolling on your social media analyst career, request a demo of Falcon. It’s the social media analytics tool of choice for social analysts who use it to get data and insights on how their brand is performing. Take a demo and we’ll get you set up with a free trial so you can access your social media data right away.