In today’s digital marketing landscape, social media metrics are the native language of a social media marketing specialist.
After all, tracking social media metrics is at the top of the social media management pyramid. Monitoring the right key performance indicators for your brand can lead to more successful social media campaigns.
In this article, we’re going to cover everything about social media metrics, from KPIs to CTR (Clickthrough rate) and CPM (Cost Per 1000 impressions).
Are you confused? Don’t worry! We’ll explain everything. So let’s start!
Table of Contents
- What are Social Media Metrics?
- 4 Reasons Why Social Media Metrics Matter
- Metric #1: Brand Mentions
- Metric #2: Impressions and Views Rate
- Metric #3: Conversions Rate
- Metric #4: Number of Likes, Comments, and Shares
- Metric #5: Customer Response Rate
- Metric #6: Return-on-Investment (ROI)
- Metric #7: Audience Growth Rate
- Metric #8: Cost-per-Click (CPC)
- Metric #9: Website Views Coming from Social Media
- Metric #10: Influencer Partnerships Data
- Metric #11: Key Audience Demographics
- Metric #12: Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are Social Media Metrics?
Social media metrics are a set of data numbers that indicate the performance value of your social media content.
In detail, businesses need to measure their social media performance to fully understand their bottom-line impact on the company’s revenue.
There is a number of metrics you can monitor in order to create your social media report. However, each company has different needs, budgets, and goals.
For example, your next goal might be to improve your overall conversion marketing. Obviously, to see if that’s working you’ll need to monitor the average social media conversion rate.
Subsequently, you can use these data points to benchmark the number of conversions performed in each of your social channels.
In order to improve your social media efforts and marketing campaigns, you’ll have to decide on your metrics first.
Do you care more about a high engagement rate, a total number of followers increase, or more page views?
4 Types of Social Media Metrics
1. Awareness Metrics
This type of metric focuses on your overall social media post audience and impressions.
For example, how many social media accounts see the products of your content marketing efforts? Has your previous marketing strategy resulted in the number of impressions you hoped for?
As has been noted before, brand awareness is about the total number of times your brand gets mentioned online. Similarly, awareness metrics track the number of accounts who know about your brand or products on social networks.
2. Reach Metrics
As one of the most important social media metrics, the concept of reach is complicated.
Reach metrics focus on the number of people who have seen your content. Surprisingly, this number can include your social media followers and other users on various social media channels.
The question is: How can your potential audience become new followers of your brand’s social media accounts?
Similarly to most awareness metrics, most social media tracking tools measure your post reach on multiple social platforms.
3. Engagement Metrics
Without a doubt, this category is the most popular when it comes to the evaluation of your social media content.
In general, social media engagement is all about interactions. In detail, the total number of engagements measures the volume, frequency, and quality of your audience’s interaction with your content.
Overall, there are many well-known metrics to track, such as likes, reactions, comments, shares, and retweets. However, you might also have heard about the terms virality and amplification rate.
To clarify, these metrics show you the number of people that are actively interested in different types of content. Hence, they take the concept of reach a bit further, uncovering how much your audience cares about your online conversations.
For example, the amplification rate is the percentage of social shares per post to the number of overall followers. The virality rate measures the same ratio of social shares per post but compared to the overall post impressions.
Benchmark your data against the average engagement rate of your industry. If your social media efforts have a high engagement rate, then your audience probably identifies with your brand message.
By all means, you can measure some engagement metrics for free, since most social media platforms include performance analytics tabs.
4. Conversion Metrics
Last but not least, businesses tend to care the most about conversion metrics.
This kind of metric cares about the actual actions of the audience. For example, desirable actions may include website sign-ups, email subscriptions, or even actual sales.
A point often overlooked is that conversions differ from company to company. In fact, you get to decide which is the audience action that your brand needs right now.
In contrast to vanity metrics, such as likes and comments, this category includes less-known metrics. For example, CPC (cost per conversion), CPM (cost per thousand impressions), referrals, and more.
Google Analytics could be helpful with some of these, although advanced social media analytic tools are the safest choice.
If you’re interested, know that we’ll be taking you through these metrics a little further down in the article.
4 Reasons Why Social Media Metrics Matter
When you’re running a business, you can’t just be going in blind with your social media marketing efforts. For instance, how can you be sure about the quality and evolution of each customer journey?
Social media metrics matter because they help you understand if you’re on the right or wrong path with your social media game.
Moreover, there are particular metrics, like social media ROI (Return of Investment) that paint a clear picture of the financial results of your social media performance.
Think about how much time and money you can save by monitoring your desirable KPIs.
Here are 4 specific cases that prove that tracking social media metrics is important for your business.
Reason #1: Measure the success of your campaigns
Social media campaigns are a big part of a brand’s digital marketing strategy.
Obviously, there are multiple types of marketing campaigns across multiple distinct social media channels. Hence, there are times when you can’t really compare two campaigns.
For instance, a Twitter hashtag campaign that strives for more UGC in marketing differs from a branded Linkedin announcement ad campaign.
In reality, tracking the right social media metrics is the best way to evaluate any kind of campaign. Once you set your goals straight, you’ll know which metrics to monitor.
If your goal is more commercial, like brand awareness, you should be fine by checking your social reach. Moreover, you could benefit from comparing your basic numbers to the general social share of voice (to be explained later).
Conversely, if you’re testing the strength of your brand community, you might want to monitor your follower count.
Furthermore, there’s the applause rate metric. It’s measuring the number of positive actions per social post. For example, how many likes, favorites, and reactions do your Instagram content receive? The applause rate is a cool metric to test your audience’s approval and support of your brand message.
Reason #2: Make sure that your social media strategies work
At this point, you can’t be creating random content on social networks and expect your brand to pop up.
As has been said, social media strategies are a modern marketing necessity. But how do you know if your strategy is working?
It’s important to realize that you need to decide on your personal goals, before creating a relative marketing strategy. If you targeted more people invested in your brand, did your total followers go up after the strategy’s time passed?
Furthermore, looking at your right and wrong decisions will help you sketch out a better strategy for the following timeframe.
For example, when your timeframe is over, measure your bounce rate and compare it to your click-through rate. The bounce rate is the number of people who visited your suggested link but left immediately without taking further action. Hence, comparing this number to your overall click-through rate will show you if your action-generation strategy has actually worked.
Reason #3: Showcase your successes to executives
Social media managers and digital marketers usually have to report back to their boss or team of executives.
These metrics help you create cool social media reports for each stage of your marketing efforts.
Firstly, once you’ve created your social media strategy, you can use these metrics to present your strategy to your clients.
Secondly, you can share your social media content plan with your business’s social media managers. Furthermore, measure the same metrics and share the results of these actions with the team to evaluate the plan’s effectiveness.
Thirdly, give valuable data points to your sales or IT department based on specific metrics.
Finally, showcase the results and value of your social media marketing campaigns to your boss or manager.
Tracking these metrics will help you demonstrate your progress to major stakeholders, like the ones mentioned above. For instance, when your boss sees why your work is important you can ask for a bigger budget.
Reason #4: Monitor your brand reputation online
When we’re talking about social media marketing, we can’t skip the process of reputation management.
Brand reputation is all about finding out how you are perceived by your target audience. Considering everything your audience says about you online is a digital world advantage you should benefit from.
There are simple metrics, like brand mentions, that are crucial to reputation management. For example, tracking your brand mentions daily helps you identify fake reviews and reply to negative comments quickly.
Furthermore, metrics, like the engagement rate, the number of likes, and customer satisfaction rate dive deeper into your brand community. How much do they appreciate your products, brand philosophy, or overall aesthetic approach?
Now that you’ve understood why these social media metrics are important, let’s analyze some of the most prominent ones.
Metric #1: Brand Mentions
The first metric we’ve chosen to dig into is probably the most simple one yet.
Basically, brand mentions are online references to your business, brand, products, or services. In addition to review platforms, you can find brand mentions in blog posts, articles, and multiple social channels.
Because of how directly they are linked to your brand name and reputation, companies need to track their brand mentions.
This metric measures the overall number of your online brand mentions over a specific time frame. Nevertheless, it’s a great metric to have as a numerical base for more complex metrics and comparisons.
For example, use your total brand mentions to measure your average mentioner’s sentiment or your Social Share of Voice (SSoV). SSoV is all about your online conversation visibility and relevance compared to your competitors and the overall industry.
If you’re wondering how to calculate your SSoV, it’s easy. Firstly, divide the number of your brand mentions by the total number of industry mentions. Secondly, multiply this number by 100. Then, you’ll have your accurate Social Share of Voice percentage.
SSoV = Brand mentions ÷ Industry mentions x 100
Subsequently, you can follow the same process for your competitors to benchmark your data numbers to theirs.
Tracking your brand mentions manually might get difficult. However, there are easy-to-use monitoring tools, like Mentionlytics, that can successfully conduct brand monitoring for you at a small cost.
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Metric #2: Impressions/Views Rate
Our second pick is all about the frequency of your social media content’s feed views.
Impressions are calculated by the number of times your social posts are shown on someone’s timeline.
It doesn’t matter if the audience clicks on the post, likes, comments, or shares it. The views rate can be different from your reach number or engagement rate. In fact, comparing your impressions with your reach or engagement data numbers can help you evaluate your social media performance.
For example, what if your reach number (individuals who’ve seen your posts) is lower than your impressions? That probably means your content was interesting enough for some people to visit it multiple times. Contrarily, a views rate that’s extremely lower than your engagement rate shows that your content didn’t interest your audience enough.
Impressions are another great metric basis. In other words, more complex metrics can be based on the number of your social media impressions. These include CPM (Cost per thousand ad impressions), a metric that helps with ad spending insights, and CTR (Clickthrough rate).
Lastly, there’s the virality rate metric that calculates the frequency of your content’s shares as a percentage of impressions.
To measure this metric, divide your post’s number of shares by the number of impressions and multiply by 100.
Virality rate = Number of shares ÷ Impressions x 100
Tip: Don’t forget that each social platform measures impressions differently.
Metric #3: Conversion Rate
Our third pick is the most prominent conversion metric.
As can be seen above, conversions measure the number of website visitors that take the action you advised them to. In reality, these visitors are usually coming from social media or google.
The process of conversion includes the part of clicking on a specific call-to-action link on your social posts. Subsequently, they land on your website or preferred platform and hopefully complete your desired action.
For example, conversion actions include e-mail subscriptions, newsletter sign-ups, website registrations, content downloads, product purchasing, play button clicks, visiting specific pages on your website, etc.
Conversion rates are important for your social media marketing strategy because they give you valuable insights. Basically, they show you what types of content are relevant to your audience.
Your conversion rate is essentially the number of conversions started by your social content in a specific period of time. In order for this number to be displayed as an accurate percentage, divide the number of conversions by total traffic. Finally, multiply your number by 100.
Conversion rate = Number of conversions ÷ Total clicks x 100
If you’re just getting started, don’t get too frustrated with a seemingly low conversion rate percentage. Successful conversions are quite hard to accomplish and even a few of them can make a positive difference.
Metric #4: Number of Likes, Comments, and Shares
This part is about the most popular social media metrics out there.
Everyone knows what it means for your post to get likes, comments, and shares on social platforms. In fact, most brands start building their marketing strategies toward an engagement rate increase.
As shown above, social media engagement tracks the total number of likes, comments, shares, and audience interaction.
Engagement metrics are always important because they show the audience’s interest, responsiveness, and active involvement. In reality, how many of your followers are “real”?
Moreover, which of your social media campaigns and marketing efforts were successful? Engagement metrics can answer this question as well. In detail, you’ll need to look at your engagement not compared to your followers but your post’s reach.
Another key point when you’re creating social media strategy is your specific engagement goals. Do you care more about interaction (comments and replies), buzz and approval (likes and reactions), or message-spreading (retweets and shares)?
Keep in mind that each social network provides different metrics for engagement measuring. For example, Twitter has retweets instead of shares, Facebook focuses on reactions and Instagram calculates saves and DMs as well.
To measure your engagement rate you must decide on an important question. Are you benchmarking your numbers to your social post’s reach or your total number of followers? Subsequently, are you focusing on one specific platform or calculating your cross-platform engagement?
When calculating your followers’ engagement rate, divide the number of your desired engagement actions by the total number of followers. Then, multiply your number by 100. Alternatively, you can replace the total number of followers with the reach number for a specific post.
Engagement rate = Number of engagement actions ÷ Number of followers x 100
Engagement rate = Number of engagement actions ÷ Reach number x 100
Metric #5: Customer Response Rate
Our following metric sheds light on customer service departments.
At the present time, social media is the number one spot to get in touch with a brand.
As a matter of fact, most customers tend to communicate with brands via social media channels. Hence, customer service and social media management executives need to answer and help customers with their product queries and problems.
Whether they’re sending direct messages, leaving business reviews, or writing comments under your post, your team has to reply quickly.
The customer response rate metric measures the total number of messages that you’ve answered over a specific period of time.
To calculate it, divide the number of responses you’ve given by the number of questions and comments you’ve received. Then multiply your number by 100.
Customer response rate = Total number of replies ÷ Number of questions, messages, and comments x 100
Are you struggling with the number of messages and comments your brand accounts tend to receive? Keep in mind that there are many social media tracker tools to help you manage your response strategy.
Metric #6: Return-on-Investment (ROI)
The following metric is the one that your boss and investors care about the most.
As shown above, ROI stands for Return on Investment. In other words, ROI compares the total income generated by your social media efforts to your overall social media expenses.
Since this valuable metric is more generic, we have to state that for this article, we’re talking about social media ROI.
While ROI remains a numerical approach to an investment’s profitability, it shows what’s helping your business grow and what doesn’t.
In order to measure the overall ROI of your social media efforts, you’ll need to track other specific metrics first. Some of our metric recommendations include:
- Click-through rate (CTR)
- Cost-per-click (CPC)
- Social referrals (Website traffic generated by social media)
- Conversions and sales
- Impressions, views, likes, comments, and shares
- Cost per thousand impressions (CPM)
To calculate your ROI, you need to subtract the initial cost of your investment from the final return value. Take this number and divide it by your initial investment cost and multiply your outcome by 100.
ROI = (Return value – Investment cost) ÷ Investment cost x 100
Metric #7: Audience Growth Rate
The next metric choice is as simple as it sounds.
While follower growth could be lowkey considered a vanity metric, it’s still very important to monitor your audience’s journey. The Audience growth rate measures the frequency of your new social media follower gains in a specific timeframe.
Another key point is that the audience growth rate can be negative if you lose more followers than you gain.
To calculate your audience growth rate, count your net new followers over your estimated timeframe. Then divide that number by the total number of your audience. Finally, multiply by 100 to see your percentage.
Most companies choose to calculate their new and total followers in each social channel combined to get the full story.
Audience growth rate percentage = Net new followers ÷ Total audience x 100
A cool way to use the Audience growth rate formula is to benchmark your numbers to your competitors’ follower growth.
Metric #8: Cost-per-Click (CPC)
This next metric is another one managers and bosses love.
If you’re working professionally with social media and paid advertising you know the importance of CPC (Cost-per-click).
Cost-per-click (CPC) is about the amount of money you paid for each individual click your social ad ended up getting.
At the present time, PPC (Pay-per-click) marketing is flourishing, and sponsored social media posts are a great digital marketing method. While this may be true, it’s important to realize that not all social ads are successful enough.
For example, you might have paid good money and expected a big number of conversions. However, you could end up getting lower website traffic and very few sales made.
Cost-per-click helps you understand if your initial investment was really worth it.
In reality, you don’t have to calculate CPC on your own. The final number is included in the social analytics tab of the social channel you used to run your ad.
However, it’s not hard to calculate it. Just divide the total money you spend on your social ads by the total number of clicks it got.
CPC = Total ad spend ÷ Total measured clicks
Metric #9: Website Views Coming from Social Media
This one is self-explanatory.
Most businesses are on social media nowadays, hoping to expand their brand community and drive more traffic to their work.
Planning, creating, and sharing a social media post isn’t always easy. As a result, you want to know if it’s worth doing it constantly. Does your social media game really bring more people to your website?
Referrals count the number of people who clicked on your social media link and visited your website.
The percentage of social visits is the metric you want to track to see if your efforts have paid off.
It’s also important to find out what social media channels work best for your company. Where do most of your social referrals come from?
Metric #10: Influencer Partnerships Data
The next metric is about the effectiveness of influencer campaigns.
Evidently, influencer marketing is very popular right now. As companies search the web for influential accounts to promote their products, it’s important to know if this is working.
For example, there are influencer scores that show the real impact a social media account had on your audience.
However, when we’re talking about influencer partnership data we want to know the real success of an influencer campaign.
To know that, you’ll need to track some of the following simple metrics for one of your influencer-led marketing campaigns.
- Sales and Revenue
- Brand awareness
- Engagement rate
- Impressions and views
- Brand mentions/use of campaigns hashtags
- Click-through rate
These data numbers will help you define your partnership as effective or not and prepare your next one better.
Metric #11: Key Audience Demographics
This part is about the identity of your followers.
It’s very important for your brand to increase its followers on social networks and build a larger community.
Nevertheless, it’s equally important for this audience to be compatible with the brand philosophy of your company. For instance, if you’re running an animal shelter business, you wouldn’t want your audience to be anything else than animal-loving.
To find out more about your audience, you can use several social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook. There are always audience demographics for you to check out like your followers’:
- Social habits (for example, when are they more active in social media?)
In addition, there are other more complex or personal demographics to track if you want to. These include:
- Interests and hobbies
- Marital status
Obviously, these key audience demographics are meant to just show you if you’re talking to the right target audience.
Metric #12: Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Lastly, our final metric has to do with customer satisfaction.
In fact, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures customer loyalty and tries to predict future customer relationships.
To measure NPS, firstly you need to ask your customer to answer the following question:
How likely is it that you would recommend our brand and products to a friend?
To answer, customers will be using a scale of 0 to 10. Subsequently, you’ll categorize the customers according to their answers, like this:
- 0-6 points = Detractors
- 7-8 points = Passives
- 9-10 points = Promoters
To calculate your brand’s NPS, subtract the total number of promoters from the total number of detractors. Divide this number by the total number of responses received. Then, multiply the result by 100.
NPS = (Detractors – Promoters) ÷ Respondents x 100
Net Promoter Score is a valuable metric because it provides insights into future customer leads and potential customers.
All in all, these are some of the important social media metrics to track.
If you’re new to the social media industry, we hope this article helped you with your social media performance evaluation.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What is the difference between social media metrics and analytics?
The main difference between social media metrics and analytics is that social media metrics are just tracked data numbers.
Contrarily, social media analytics are more complex, as they dive into why these metrics are high or low.
Moreover, social media analytics usually employ more powerful software.
Q2. What is the difference between reach and impressions on social media?
The main difference between reach and impressions on social media is the uniqueness of views.
Reach is the number of individual accounts who viewed your content, while Impressions are the times your content was viewed.
An account could be behind multiple impressions on your analytics chart.
Q3. How are social media metrics measured?
There are a number of things you can do to measure social media metrics. Some of them are:
- Read social media analytics
- Operate Google Analytics
- Use a social media tracker tool