Measuring the impact of marketing activities with social media analytics has become critical for marketers. Simply having a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter is not enough. Your approach to social media must be strategic and deliver results.
How to evaluate your social media marketing activities and the revenue it brings to your business?
There are dozens of social media metrics to study -we understand it can look confusing at first. To determine which ones you should be tracking, you first need to establish meaningful goals for your social media campaigns. Only then you can know if your campaigns hit the mark.
So what do you expect from social media? Here are some of the most common objectives for social marketers:
- Growing a brand’s audience
- Increasing community engagement
- Increasing brand awareness
- Increasing web traffic
- Generating sales and leads
For each one of these major goals, we break down the essential social media metrics you should use to measure the success of your marketing efforts. Let’s get started!
What social media metrics to track your marketing campaigns?
Every social media platform offers native metrics to monitor your business account activity. The “Insights” section will show the most common and important data for basic social performance tracking. This is a great resource if you are just starting out with social media analytics.
The audience is the foundation of any successful social media marketing strategy. A solid audience helps increase your organic reach and spread your content on social media platforms. Therefore, constantly growing the audience is one of the biggest priorities for marketers.
KPIs to measure your brand audience growth
Followers/fans: Total number of members of your direct network across platforms.
Follower growth rate: Rate at which your followers increase (or decrease) in a given period. To obtain this number, divide new followers by total audience members.
Accounts you follow: Accounts your brand is subscribed to. Carefully consider the type of accounts you’re publicly linking your brand to before hitting the follow button.
Audience metrics also help you determine whether you are sharing the right content to attract potential customers. You want to build an audience that matches your buying persona and is likely to purchase your products. The following metrics are used to find out if your audience is made of potential customers.
KPIs to measure your audience quality
Audience demographics: The male/female breakdown, age groups, location… and so on.
Audience interests: The interests of your audience in topics and brands related to your product. This is especially relevant for ad targeting campaigns.
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Engagement measures how much and how often your audience interacts with your brand. It gives a good idea of the involvement and interest your community has in your products.
Social media is social, it gives a voice to brands and helps them create a connection with their potential buyers. Engagement has a major impact on the success of your social media campaigns. Social media platforms prioritize posts based on engagement: the more engagement, the more displays your post will get.
KPIs to measure social media engagement
Amplification rate: The average number of shares on each post.
Applause rate: The number of approval actions, including likes, thumbs-ups, saves and favorites.
Conversation rate: The number of comments, replies, direct messages per post.
Click-throughs: The number of clicks on posts with a link.
Reach measures the number of people exposed to your content. A large audience is good but a high reach is better. It means that more eyes are seeing your piece of content. Reach is highly impacted by engagement, as interactions encourage the spreading of a post.
Note: Reach can be affected by the timing of your post. Reach metrics can help you determine the best time to post content based on when your audience is online.
KPIs to measure reach
Impressions: The number of times a post is displayed to a user.
Potential reach: The potential number of users that could be exposed to your content. This is especially relevant when targeting a specific audience in a paid campaign.
Video views: The number of views your video content gets.
Awareness metrics measure the attention your brand gets. It is a good indicator of how easily people recognize and remember your brand. It can sound like an abstract concept, but on social media, you can find strong signs of how well established your brand identity and presence are.
You should also consider engagement and reach metrics when measuring brand awareness.
KPIs to measure brand awareness
Brand mentions: The number of times people mention your brand name—tagged or simply mentioned.
Branded hashtags: The spread of hashtags created by your brand to reinforce identity and encourage engagement.
Audience sentiment: Positive, negative, or neutral tone of posts about your brand. Read more about detecting customer emotion with sentiment analysis.
What social media metrics to measure increased traffic and sales?
Website traffic and sales are usually the ultimate goals of social media marketing. The next step of building a relationship with your audience is taking them to your website and turning them into customers.
The following metrics will help you attribute these visits and sales to social media. They can be found in your website traffic analytics program -such as Google Analytics-, or natively in the platform you use for e-commerce -Shopify for instance.
Website acquisition metrics
Once your target audience is engaged on social media, the next logical step is for them to see what you have to offer on your website.
Acquisition metrics focus on the visitors coming to your website from social media. It measures traffic, but also the value of these visits on your website, otherwise known as onsite engagement.
KPIs to measure website acquisition
Percentage of social visits: The percentage of your website visitors from social media platforms.
Click-trough rate: The number of clicks on a post link compared to the number of impressions.
Bounce rate: The percentage of visitors who left your website after seeing only one page.
Blog/email subscribers: The number of people subscribed to your updates.
Cost per acquisition: The cost of taking someone from your social media page to your website.
Conversions measure the achievement of business goals for your business. Conversions are quite specific to each company’s business model. On an e-commerce website, a direct website purchase will be a conversion. In other cases, downloading a piece of content or booking a meeting is considered a conversion. In any case, you want to be able to attribute the share of conversions to social media.
KPIs to measure conversions
Social media conversion rate: The percentage of conversions attributed to social media.
Cost per conversion: The cost to obtain a lead.
Cost per customer acquisition: The cost to gain a new customer. To get this number, sum up your total marketing costs and divide that sum by the number of new customers in a time period.
Monitoring your competitors’ marketing and social media strategies
It can be beneficial for your company to monitor what your competitors are doing on social media. Follow your competitors’ accounts to generate new ideas based on the type of content they share, and how they engage their audience. Find out their strengths and weaknesses and compare them to your own to gain a competitive advantage.
Advanced social media analytics platforms give you access to comparative metrics to evaluate how well you are doing against your competitors and other companies in your field.
KPIs to measure your performance compared to the competition
Share of audience: Percentage of people your brand reaches compared to your competitors.
Share of engagement: How your brand’s engagement metrics compare to your competitors.
Share of voice: Percentage of mentions of your brand in your industry.
Good data drives good decisions
As you see, social media analytics is much more than just counting likes on your posts. It requires thoroughly looking at different sets of metrics based on your initial marketing goals. Social media analytics is a powerful tool to tell you if your strategy is successful and where to adjust your efforts.
According to Sprout Social, 74% of shoppers confirm their buying decisions based on social media. Make sure you leverage these platforms to attract and convert more customers.
Still unsure if you’re doing it well? Reach out to our team for a social media audit and guidance on how to grow your business socially.