If you’re in the business of using social media for business then, like many, you’ll have faced a specific problem: how do you measure ROI?

It’s proven to be a particularly difficult nut to crack, largely because the tried-and-tested methods of measuring return on investment that marketers and brands have used in the past (for example, sales and footfall) don’t necessarily apply well to social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook, which present a range of metrics that are somewhat unique to them, such as digital engagement, social proof and cross-channel impact (i.e., mobile). And as the demand to better understand and measure social media ROI has grown, so too has the need for bespoke social media analytics software, apps and tools.

This visual from Quintly looks at how the rise in the interest in social media analytics, which has quickly grown from a want to a need, can be measured over the past half-decade, on a platform-by-platform basis – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest – and across countries, too.

(Source: Quintly. ROI image via Shutterstock.)