Why your data in Buffer might differ from your native analytics
This guide aims to outline the reasons why the data within your Buffer analytics dashboard may differ from the data you see in the native analytics for Facebook, Instagram, X/Twitter and LinkedIn.
This article contains the following sections:
Applicable to all
- When you first connect a social channel, we will backfill a certain amount of data, as described in the table below. More comprehensive details on this are available in the channel specific sections below.
- Data is not collected in real time, rather it is collected in batches from each social network's API each day. In some cases, it can take up to 24 hours for new post data to be populated.
- If your social channel is disconnected, your latest data won’t be populating, so you’ll want to get that connection reestablished by following the steps in the article: Refreshing a channel in Buffer.
|Six months of data is backfilled.|
|Six months of data is backfilled, not including stories data.|
|X/Twitter||28 days of data is backfilled.|
|Page data for the last 6 months and post data (excluding video posts) for up to 500 previous posts is backfilled.|
📝 For Free Plan users who would like to do a trial of a paid plan, the posts you've published while on Buffer's Free Plan will backfill in your analytics dashboard during your trial period.
- Due to API limitations, we are only able to pull data into Buffer for Facebook accounts that have 100 or more followers. Whilst it's technically possible to connect Facebook accounts that have fewer than 100 followers, no data will be available.
- Six months of Facebook data is backfilled when you connect your account to Buffer. This could result in data for previous periods appearing lower than in Facebook Insights. Let’s say your Facebook account was connected on October 1, 2019. We’d go back and fetch data starting from April 1 2019. In January 2020, if you looked at your data in Buffer for the whole year of 2019, it wouldn’t match what you see in Facebook Insights for 2019 because we are only capturing nine months of data (the six months prior to connecting the account, which is the data we’ve backfilled, and the three months after connecting the account).
- Audience information for Facebook will take up to 24 hours to populate.
- Data on individual Facebook posts will not be updated indefinitely. After a full calendar month has passed, we will no longer update the metrics for that post.
- Due to API limitations, we are only able to pull Instagram data into Buffer for business accounts that have 100 or more followers. Whilst it's technically possible to connect business accounts that have fewer than 100 followers, no data will be available.
- Six months of Instagram data is backfilled when you connect your account to Buffer.
- Whilst we're able to backfill six months of Instagram post metrics when you connect your account, unfortunately, we’re not able to backfill Instagram stories. We are only able to start collecting that data from when your Instagram account is connected. Additionally, if your Instagram account becomes disconnected from Buffer, any stories you post during the time that it is disconnected will unfortunately not be pulled into Buffer.
- We are not able to backfill follower counts for Instagram. Instead, we provide an approximation of the previous growth on the account based on the current growth. To do this, we will look at the follower count from the past day, as well as the current follower count, and generate a graph of what growth could have looked like in the past (found in the Performance Overview in your Overview tab). If you experienced larger fluctuations in follower counts (e.g. losing or gaining 100 followers) in a single day, the graph would not represent that and would instead reflect a smoother estimate based on the data we’re able to see when the account was connected.
- Audience information for Instagram will take up to 24 hours to populate. We are not able to backfill audience data, and are only able to start collecting this information from when the channel was connected to Buffer.
- We are only able to pull in impressions, the number of likes, and the number of comments for Instagram Reels due to limitations with Instagram's API. We are not able to pull in other Reels metrics at this time.
- We are not able to pull in data on IGTV posts.
- Data on individual Instagram posts will not be updated indefinitely. After a full calendar month has passed, we will no longer update the metrics for that post.
- The Instagram stories displayed will only be those that are original content. Buffer will not display any information on reshared stories.
- We are not able to pull in data for collaboration posts.
- 28 days of X/Twitter data is backfilled when you connect your account to Buffer. This means that your data won’t match what you see in X/Twitter Analytics when you’re looking at a time period 28 days prior to the account being connected. Let’s say your X/Twitter account was connected on October 1, 2019. In January 2020, if you looked at your data in Buffer for the whole year of 2019, it wouldn’t match what you see in X/Twitter Analytics for 2019 because we are only capturing four months of data (the 28 days prior to connecting the account, which is the data we’ve backfilled, and the three months after connecting the account).
- We are not able to backfill follower counts for X/Twitter. Follower counts will start populating when you connect your account to Buffer.
- Data on individual tweets will not be updated indefinitely. After 30 days have passed, we will no longer update the metrics for that post.
- The number of tweets you’ve shared, which is shown in the Posts tab and in your Overview tab, will not include replies or retweets. X/Twitter Analytics do include replies and retweets, so these numbers may differ. Learn more about the Posts tab in the article Analyzing posts within your analytics dashboard, and learn more about the Overview tab in the article Performance Overview.
- When you share an X/Twitter thread, we are only able to pull in data for the first tweet but not the subsequent ones so your X/Twitter Analytics will not include data on subsequent tweets in the thread.
- The engagement and engagement rate stats you see within your analytics dashboard will likely be a bit lower than what you see in X/Twitter Analytics. This is because the X/Twitter API version that we are using does not offer an aggregated engagements number for each tweet. Therefore, we are calculating the engagements ourselves, using a sum of likes, replies, retweets, quotes, link clicks, and profile clicks. Other engagement types, such as app opens, app install attempts, and hashtag clicks, are not included. The engagement stats in X/Twitter Analytics on the other hand, will include all types of engagement.
- We fetch the metrics of the last 500 posts. If posts beyond this number keep on generating metrics, after they are pushed back from the 500th position, we won’t be showing those posts in the metrics.
- Our analytics support LinkedIn posts with multiple image files but not LinkedIn carousel posts that feature slideshows created with PDF files.