How should business owners and online marketers monitor their social media campaign’s progress? What metrics should you be monitoring?
Most people are familiar with likes, comments, and shares. But there are more social media metrics out there that are more useful for businesses, influencers, and marketers. It will all depend on their goals.
So which social media metrics should you prioritize?
In today’s post, you’ll learn which engagement metrics marketers use to monitor their progress and adjust their social media marketing strategies. Each social metric also comes with a brief explanation of what it is and when you should use it.
With all that said, here’s a list of the most important social media metrics and what each one of them means.
What are social media metrics?
If you’re fairly new to social media marketing, then you should first read up on what social media metrics are to begin with.
In simple terms, these metrics refer to data that marketers use to gauge just how effective their social media strategy is. If you want to know what your audience thinks of the content you’re posting on all your social media platforms, you’ll need to pay attention to what your metrics are telling you.
Social media metrics can help you figure out what’s working for you and what’s not.
If you suspect that your recent posts aren’t performing well, your metrics can confirm whether your suspicions are real or not. Metrics can even explain why your social media efforts are falling short of your goals.
You can also use metrics to fine-tune your strategy. Look at your metrics and see which types of posts your audience resonates most with your audience. You can get rid of social media posts that aren’t getting any traction.
For businesses, social media metrics tell them which social media platforms give them the best return on investment (ROI). With that information, they can decide which channels to focus on to get the most out of their marketing dollars.
But you’re not the only one that can benefit from using these metrics. If your posts are created based on data you’ve collected, your social media followers will get the information that they want and need from you.
This gives them more reason to continue following you on social media.
The reality of social media marketing is that it involves a lot of guesswork. You’ll never know what’s going to work unless you test it out. And to know what works, you need to be tracking the right social media metrics.
The top social media metrics for analytics
There are plenty of platforms out there. Each with their own metrics and data points.
But for the purposes of this post, we’ll be focusing on metrics that are somewhat universal across all platforms. I guess we could say, they’re platform agnostic.
And while there is a way to calculate each metric mentioned below, you probably won’t have to if you’re using the right social media analytics tools. More on that later.
So what metrics will you need for effective social media measurement? Here are some of the most-used social media metrics that skilled marketers and business owners use to measure their success.
Amplification rate measures how often your followers share your content with their own. If the goal of your marketing campaign is to have as many people share your message with the world, then this metric will be very important for you.
This metric takes into account your total number of followers. So if you have 100 followers and all of them share your post, you’ll have an amplification rate of 100%.
To get your amplification rate, take your total post shares and divide it by your total number of followers then multiply the result by 100.
Audience growth rate
When someone mentions social media performance, what metric comes to mind? For some marketers, the answer is audience growth rate. This metric measures how many new followers a social media account will gain over a given period.
Audience growth rate is a little more complicated than just counting how many people started following you. It measures how many new followers you gained relative to your existing follower count. If you currently have ten followers and another ten started following you, your audience growth rate would be 100%.
In short: audience growth rate is a better way of seeing if your social media profiles are growing or if they are going stale.
To get your audience growth rate, take the total number of new followers you gained over a reporting period and divide it by your total number of followers. Multiply the result by 100 to get your percentage.
As is the case on websites, you can also track bounce rate on social media. Bounce rate refers to the percentage of users that visit your social media page and leave without taking any action.
If someone lands on your Instagram page and leaves without clicking on a link, photo, or video then that could get counted as a bounce. And the more people do that, the higher your bounce rate becomes.
How do you combat bounce rate? Well, you have to make sure that you deliver the type of content people look for. When they land on a Facebook page, for example, you need to make sure that all your business information is present and accurate. You can also add call-to-actions so every user knows what they could do next.
To get your bounce rate, take your single-page sessions (users than only viewed one page) and divide that by the total number of sessions. Multiply the result by 100 to get the percentage.
Click-through rate (CTR)
You should measure your click-through rate if your main objective is to measure how often people click on links you post on social media. For example, those that primarily use social media to promote their blogs will want to know how many visits they get from their social media channels.
If not many users are clicking through, then you should think about diversifying your social updates.
To determine your click-through rate, you’ll have to figure out your total clicks and divide that by your total impressions. Multiply the result by 100 to get the percentage.
Business owners keep their eyes on their conversion rate. Why? That’s because it’s one of the best ways to see the value that social media posts bring to the table.
This metric tells you how many users “convert” after seeing your social post. A conversion could mean anything depending on what you’ve set out to do. It can refer to followers buying a product, subscribing to a service, liking a post, sharing an article, or clicking on a link.
Get your conversion rate by taking your total conversions and dividing it by your total clicks. Multiple it by 100 to get the percentage.
If you need help calculating this, check out this conversion rate calculator.
Cost per thousand impressions (CPM)
Are you running ads on social media? How will you know if your ad campaign is working or not?
Cost per thousand impressions or CPM will tell you how much you’re paying for every 1,000 clicks your social media ads get.
Your goal should be to keep your ad spend low. If you’re going way over your target budget, you’ll want to make some adjustments to your strategy to improve your social media performance.
Divide your total ad spend by your total ad impressions and then multiply the result by 1,000. This should give you your CPM.
Cost-per-click or CPC is similar to CPM — only this time, you’re measuring how much you’re spending per individual click on a social media ad.
Why do you need this number? Simply put, CPC tells you if you’re spending more money on advertising than you are earning per customer. Obviously, you’ll want to spend less and earn more per transaction.
Get your CPC by dividing your total ad spending by your total measured clicks. Multiply that by 1,000 to get the percentage.
Customer satisfaction (CSAT) score
Are you prioritizing customer service above all else? Then you’ll need to measure your customer satisfaction (CSAT) score. With this metric, you should be able to tell whether your followers are happy with your services or not.
And you know what? Getting your CSAT score can be as easy as posting a poll on your social media platform. Ask your followers if they are happy with their experience with you or not. You can use a scaling system to give your audience a couple of options.
Take your total score and divide it by the number of responses. Multiply the result by 10 to get the CSAT score.
Online marketers will live and die by their engagement rate. And if this metric sounds foreign to you, don’t worry. You just know it by different names. Engagement metrics refer to comments, likes, and shares — basically all the ways people interact with social posts.
Because there are so many ways that users can interact with social media content, calculating the engagement rate can be tricky. One way is to take an engagement metric (take Facebook likes as an example) and divide it by your total number of followers. Multiply the result by 100 to get the percentage.
Note: You can find this data for your own account by using one of these Facebook analytics tools. Facebook also have their own built-in tools.
Impressions is one of the more important social media metrics. And it’s one of those metrics you won’t have to calculate for as most social platforms will provide that figure to you.
It is the total number of times people have seen your social media post. But keep in mind that impressions will count every view. Meaning it will count every view made even if each one is coming from the same person.
Impressions are one of the simplest ways to measure how strong your message is and how well it’s resonating with your target audience. Having a high impression could mean people love the content that you’ve shared with the community.
Are people talking about your brand? One way of finding out is by looking at all the brand mentions you get from social media users. And you don’t need to get tagged for a mention to count either. Even untagged mentions matter.
You can tally how many times your brands are mentioned on social media platforms manually. But it would be easier to find a social media analytics tool that can do it for you automatically.
Reach tells you how many people saw your social media post. It’s different from impressions in that it doesn’t care how many times a person sees the content. If someone sees a post three times, it will still only count as one view.
Tracking social media metrics like reach helps you realize if you’re using the right social channel to reach your target audience. If your reach is low despite having solid content, you might want to reflect on what could be causing your reach to be so low.
Some social media platforms will let you know what your reach is.
Referrals are exactly what they sound like. This metric tracks how many referrals a site gets from social media platforms. So if you’re getting more traffic from LinkedIn than Twitter, then you’ll know that your Twitter engagement rate needs to be improved.
To know how many referrals you get from social platforms, you’ll have to use Google Analytics. Why? Because Google Analytics can track traffic sources. Meaning it can tell you straight away where all your traffic is coming from including those from social media.
Video completion rate
This one is for marketers that post videos on social media. When you track social media metrics for video, you don’t start and stop with views. Video completion rate is just as important.
Video streaming sites like YouTube pay close attention to metrics like this one. And so do most social media sites. If a user watches content all the way through, it lets social media sites know that this is a video worth showing to other users.
Knowing which of your videos have the highest completion rates will let you know what kind of videos your audience likes seeing the most.
Video views is probably the simplest metric to track for social media videos. However, what constitutes a view will depend on the social media site. It differs from platform to platform. There are social media sites that count a few seconds of play as one view.
If you go through your social media analytics, you might be able to see how many views your videos get. You can adjust your strategy based on which videos get the most views.
You can try playing with short-form videos. Not only do they typically get more video views, but they also tend to have a high video completion rate because they don’t last very long.
How to measure social media analytics
Let’s talk about all the different ways you can measure your social media metrics.
If you’re only doing it once or twice, you can stick to manual computations. But that’s not a good long-term solution. Not only would it take time to get your answers, but you’re also making yourself prone to mistakes.
Besides, there are far more efficient ways to calculate common social media metrics.
Most social media networks would have their own analytics tools. And these social media analytics tools have come a long way. They are both accurate and reliable.
Facebook, for example, has Facebook Insights that marketers can use to see how many times their pages were viewed, what their current reach is, and what are their latest impression numbers. Twitter also has its own analytics tool called Twitter Analytics.
There are plenty of things to like about built-in social media analytics tools. First of all, they’re free to use. They’re also user-friendly — meaning anyone can pick them up right away regardless if they’re new to social media marketing or not.
But there are downsides to them as well.
The biggest drawback would be that they don’t provide all the key metrics you’ll need. So if you want to go any deeper with other metrics, you simply can’t.
The good news is that there are third-party social media analytics tools like Metricool that give marketers more actionable data they can use. And it could do the same for you.
So if you’re running a social media campaign and you want the best data for that campaign, you should use a third-party analytics tool. Not only will you get accurate results, but you can access them whenever you need to.
On a related note, you should consider using a social media scheduler to post content much faster. The good news is that Metricool can take care of that for you as well.
Are social media metrics important? Yes. But which ones should you track?
The best course of action then is to come up with a list of objectives first to determine which social metrics would be most useful for you.