With consumers spending a good portion of their time on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, having an effective social media marketing strategy is crucial for digital marketing.
One of the most exciting aspects of social media marketing also happens to be one of the most challenging – and that is constant change.
Social media platforms continuously release algorithm updates, add new tools and features, and make policy changes that influence marketing strategies and campaign tactics. Measuring your results and optimizing your brand’s social media performance often comes down to data.
Figuring out what metrics to look at in successful social media promotion is the challenging part – because your company’s social media performance runs deeper than just “likes.”
7 Crucial Social Media Metrics You Should Track For Success
You can turn to social media marketing to create brand awareness and let others know that your business exists. You can also use it to attract new audiences and spark interest in your products and services.
Or you could use it to strengthen the brand’s social media presence, engage target audiences – and hopefully turn them into loyal customers.
It doesn’t matter where or how you’re spending your marketing dollars or your goals in terms of social media campaigns. The chances are you’ll want to know if you’re getting a good return on the investment, either way.
That brings us to social media metrics – indicators of how your strategy is performing, whether you’re hitting your campaign goals, and if you need to make any changes to it.
Together, these key performance indicators (KPIs) give you a 360-degree view of your performance on social media and provide quantifiable proof that your campaign performs as expected.
#1 Monitoring Volume & Share Of Voice Metrics
Suppose you’re hoping to grow brand awareness. In that case, you generally want to keep an eye out for the impact you’re making on social media and your total online visibility compared to your competitors.
Social share of voice (SOV), which is essentially a form of competitive analysis, tells you how visible – and in turn, relevant – your brand is in the online sphere. It lets you keep track of the total number of people talking about your brand, through direct or indirect mentions, on social media and compare it to your competitors.
Tracking social share of voice provides the social media marketer with helpful insight regarding:
- The total number of people that have heard about a given brand
- How much people talk about the brand on social media
- The level of popularity and authority the brand has among the broader audience
- The brand’s current position in a highly competitive marketplace
- The consumer behaviors and industry trends
- Fluctuations in the brand’s reputation over a given period
As such, SOV is one of the most valuable social media metrics for performing comprehensive market research and benchmarking your progress against your competitors.
The formula for calculating your share of voice on social media is simple:
Divide your total number of brand mentions by the entire industry mentions, and multiply that number by 100 to get your SSOV percentage.
Volume essentially measures how many people are talking about you – more specifically, your brand or the content you’re putting out – on social media. It provides insights regarding how big the conversation around your brand is and if your particular industry or products and services are a part of that social media conversation.
When looking at volume, you can keep track of the number of times you’re mentioned in a social media post – with or without tagging – or when your brand’s name is used in a hashtag.
Another valuable metric in terms of monitoring social share of voice would be the sentiment.
Sentiment-focused social media metrics tell you a bit more about feelings, opinions, and attitudes that your followers express about your brand on social media. So, while volume will focus on “how many,” sentiment will help you put these mentions and audience engagement into context.
Here’s one piece of advice regarding SOV-related metrics and numbers:
Campaigns will come and go, and your strategy might change – but your brand is forever. You won’t always maintain the leading position SOV-wise, but make it an ongoing goal and one of the integral steps in your social media promotion strategy.
#2 Measure How Far Your Message Spreads With Impressions & Reach Metrics
Measuring impressions and reach is an excellent way to understand how aware your audience is of your brand – especially if growing brand awareness and perception are your primary goal on social media.
Awareness is essentially the amount of attention your posts receive on social media like Twitter and Facebook during any given reporting period. This “attention” can include brand mentions, shares, potential post reach, impressions, and click-through rate – any type of measurable engagement on your posts.
But if you’re going to use these social media metrics as benchmarks of awareness, you must understand the subtle but vital difference between reach and impressions:
- Reach – Post reach is defined as the total number of people who have seen your social media post, typically your follower count plus the followers of those who shared your posts, and is an excellent indicator of your overall audience size
- Impressions – Impressions indicate the number of times your posts show up on someone’s social media feed during a given reporting period, regardless of the audience size or engagement
We wouldn’t label one as more important than the other – both reach and impressions can drive your audience to take action. Whether you choose to focus on content reach or impressions depends on what goals you’ve set for your campaigns.
If you’re hoping to get the word about your brand to the highest number of people possible, then reach is the metric to focus on here. But if your goal is to show your ad a set number of times and tap into the potential your post has for visibility, go with impressions.
Reach and awareness comes before engagement, so it would be best to use these social media metrics in combination with others. You’ll get a much better understanding of how your posts are received and perceived by your fans and your potential audience.
#3 Tracking Interactions Through Engagement Metrics
Likes, shares, comments, follows; engagement rate is a big umbrella-type of social media metrics to track – from a simple “retweet” on Twitter to the audience growth rate.
It boils down to the level of interaction and the involvement your audience has with your brand, tracking how much and how often consumers engage with your content on social media.
Every social media network will provide some type of engagement metric, usually as a sum of more minor engagement actions. Facebook has a built-in social media analytics tool found in the Insights tab, and LinkedIn has an Insights page, as well.
At a granular level, these might include:
- Likes, comments, and shares, which are easy-to-measure, individual engagement actions that give you an immediate sense of how your post is performing
- Post engagement rate, which would be the number of individual engagements divided by the post’s total reach or impressions
- Audience growth rate, which is essentially the number of followers you’ve gained in a specific reporting period
- Organic account mentions, which are good indicators of brand awareness
- Link clicks, which is a valuable metric to track when you’re sharing third-party content or blog posts published on your site, as it shows how much website traffic your social media posts are bringing in based on UTM parameters
It’s easy to see these as one-time events. However, each of these interactions offers insight into the long-term relationships your brand is building with its audience. There is a pretty big difference between passive acknowledgment and active participation in your content and social media followers.
Looking at a single engagement metric likely won’t provide detailed enough insight to guide your social media strategy. However, the right combination of these engagement metrics tells you a lot about how your audience responds to your posts.
#4 Tallying Up The Number Of Shares Per Post With Amplification Rate
Number four on our list of social media metrics to look at would be the amplification rate – a term coined by Avinash Kaushik, the author of best-selling books, public speaker, and Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google.
Avinash Kaushik defined amplification rate as “the rate at which your followers take your content and share it through their network.” In simple terms, it’s the ratio of shares per social media post to your total number of followers, measured during a specific reporting period.
For example, on Facebook, your amplification rate would be the number of shares per post, and on Twitter, it would be the number of retweets per tweet.
Again, engagement as a metric is a good indicator that your target audiences found the content you post interesting enough to interact with it through likes and comments. And while it’s nice to see all these likes and comments on your posts, you have to remember that every social media channel has inherent limitations posed by your network’s size.
Let’s say your business’ account has 35k followers on Twitter. The size of your network limits your reach to 35k “fans,” provided that each of your followers on Twitter sees every one of your tweets. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case.
But that’s the beauty of social media:
It allows you to escape the limitations of your follower count and tap into a much broader audience – the so-called second-level network. The people who follow your followers on social media may be the key to expanding your post reach beyond your primary “fan base.”
But to tap into that potential, you first need to “convince” your audience to share your posts. And that brings us back to the amplification rate as a good indicator of how your audience genuinely feels about your brand.
If they’re happy to associate themselves with your brand in front of their peers and expand your reach for you – leading to higher amplification rates per post – you must be doing something right.
#5 Know If Your Investments Are Worth It With ROI Data
If you’re struggling to define your business’s social media marketing ROI, you’re not alone.
As mentioned earlier, most platforms have integrated social media analytics tools that let you measure your post’s engagement rate and performance within the given social media network. However, they rarely show how these actions contribute to conversions that typically take place on your site.
Measuring the return on social media metrics often tends to feel like a bit of a guessing game – not all your social media efforts translate directly into dollars and cents. It’s not like every like on a Facebook post or a retweet on Twitter comes with a dangling dollar sign attached to it.
So, to measure your social media ROI, you have to look beyond so-called “vanity metrics” and focus on the conversions and value generated through your social media investments.
- Social Media Conversion Rate – Conversions are essentially the response to your call-to-action. It can be a simple conversion, such as clicking on a link or signing up for a newsletter – or it can be a completed purchase. The conversion rate is the number of conversions or completed goals, divided by the total number of site visits.
- Referrals – Remember what we said about links and UTM parameters? Well, your referrals essentially indicate the “source” that prompted the site visit. In this case, you can see the number of people that visited your site directly from a social media platform.
- Click-Through Rates – Click-through rate of your ads and posts goes hand in hand with referrals and conversion rate. It measures the number of times people clicked on a post and directly compares it to the post’s number of impressions.
- Bounce Rate – Your bounce rate is one of the few metrics you want to keep as low as possible. You see, bounce rate measures the number of those who click on a link in your post, visit your site, and leave without taking any further actions. If you want to track your bounce rate, you’ll have to set up a Google Analytics account first.
May your number of conversions be high and your bounce rate low!
#6 Tracking Your Online Ads’ Value With Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
You need to invest in advertising and social media promotion; there’s no way around it. Social media marketers get that paid ad campaigns are a must in today’s competitive landscape.
But that’s the thing with spending money in hopes of attracting new “fans” to your business, boosting your click-through rate to landing pages, or driving conversions:
You want an accurate way to measure your return on investment (ROI) and track results across various social media channels.
The social media metrics discussed so far are excellent indicators of how your brand is “performing” on a given social media platform, such as Facebook or Twitter. However, very few of them have an actual dollar sign attached to them.
That brings us to Cost per Acquisition, or CPA for short, a financial metric that creates a direct link between your business revenue and the impact your marketing campaigns have on it.
Cost per Acquisition (CPA), also known as Cost per Action, measures the total cost of acquiring a single paying customer. It’s calculated by dividing your advertising costs by the total number of completed conversions.
As such, Cost per Acquisition is a helpful marketing metric for tracking results in the following paid marketing mediums:
- Pay Per Click (PPC), an online advertising model where your business pays for each time someone clicks through from your ads to the PPC landing pages
- Display advertising, a process of advertising through visual content that encourages people to click through to a website landing page and take an action
- Social media marketing, which utilizes social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to connect with your audience, build your brand, market your products and services, and drive website traffic
- Affiliate and influencer marketing, where others are promoting your product or service on their website or through their social media channels
#7 Take Note Of Your Team’s Performance & Customer Satisfaction
It can be relatively easy to get caught up in the numbers, such as Facebook likes and shares, brand mentions on Twitter, and click-through rates.
But don’t forget about the critical factor in your success – the customers.
Your customers – and their experience at each stage of the customer journey – are the central pillar of your business and shouldn’t be overlooked in a successful social media campaign.
Sure, everyone wants their customers to be happy, but not everyone knows how to measure it – the concept of “measuring” customer experiences in a standardized way seems weird. However, some metrics can measure your “success” from a customer’s perspective.
Customer-oriented metrics – like customer satisfaction (CSat) and Net Promoter Score (NPS) – indicate how your current customers feel about your brand.
Customer satisfaction, or CSat for short, is a metric that tells you how happy people are with your products or services. It generally boils down to one straightforward question:
“How would you describe your overall satisfaction with this product?”
It’s concise, clear, and easy to implement through a social media survey, giving you a chance to gauge customers’ satisfaction.
And as strange as it sounds, you can also measure customer loyalty through a metric called Net Promoter Score (NPS). It relies on a single specifically-phrased question, but unlike CSat, it focuses on intention, allowing you to predict both customer satisfaction and future sales:
“How likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to a friend?”
Suppose you’re interested in tracking these customers’ experience metrics and building a customer-centric business. In that case, you should also be prepared to take a long, hard look at yourself and your team’s performance. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a moment:
If you were a customer engaging with your business on social media, would you be happy with your team’s response time and response rates?
Sometimes your answer is all you need to get a good understanding of where you stand in your customers’ eyes.
#8 Automate Facebook Content Promotion With Boosterberg
Whether you’re a marketer, an influencer, or an e-commerce website, there’s a chance you’ll need some assistance with social media content promotion.
We’re not implying that you don’t know what you’re doing, though – far from it. But we know how much time and effort it takes to manage Facebook campaigns and do content promotion manually – and we feel like you might appreciate some help.
So, allow us to introduce you to Boosterberg:
Our top-of-the-line cloud-based software automates Facebook and Instagram content promotion and creates, manages, and optimizes content ads based on several triggers and presets. To put it simply, Boosterberg helps your Facebook and IG content ad campaigns reach their maximum effectiveness.
You can set your budget, placement, and target audience the same way as on Facebook and supplement them by additional “automation conditions,” like post type, clicks, and post reach triggers.
Either way, Boosterberg has you covered.
Consider the benefits of using our automation tool for Facebook content boosting:
- Boosting your results – including engagement rate, link clicks, website traffic, and conversion rate – by up to 70%
- Lowering your Cost per Click (CPC) costs by 40% to 80%
- Saving time by letting our algorithm manage your Facebook boosting campaign on your behalf
Key Metrics & Social Media Success: The Bottom Line
The only way to be sure that you’re getting results from your marketing campaign is to track the right social media metrics. And again, measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) isn’t just a way for you to validate your marketing strategy. It’s also a way to adapt and improve it, optimize your brand’s social media performance, boost engagement, and get more conversions.
As for what metrics to consider in successful social media promotion, you have dozens at your disposal – but your choice ultimately depends on your social media and business goals.