Social Media Metrics You Should Track
Growing your business online with the help of social media is one of the best decisions you can make simply because it is highly reliable and an excellent way to increase customer engagement. The question is, though, what do you post on social media?
Some people post just for the sake of posting, while others post with a goal in mind. What’s your social media strategy?
If you just said, “What strategy?”, we need to talk.
It’s normal that your strategy should shift over time as your company and your followers change. Initially, the focus should be on developing a following – people who are paying attention to your social media posts and sharing it with others. Once you have this process going well, your strategy should change to things like getting more people to your website.
How do you know what to do or what’s working? That’s where metrics come into play.
Why Bother with Metrics at All?
It’s a valid question. Metrics seem to take a long time to figure out, and they don’t always seem very easy to manage. Yet, they are super valuable. Why have a gas gauge on your car dashboard for example? If you don’t know how much fuel you have you could run out of fuel very quickly.
In short, metrics give you ideas about what’s working and what’s not. That way, you can make changes and adjustments faster, allowing you to see a better overall outcome for any dollar you spend. The good news is that you can track a lot of details of your social media campaigns with care.
Not All Metrics Matter Across All Social Media Channels
This is where it can become very challenging. Not all metrics apply to every social channel you’ll use. What’s most important is delivering content to your most likely customers in a way they will respond. While having 1 million followers on Twitter is fantastic, if you simply do not have good quality followers that actually care about your business, it’s not worth the work.
Here Are the Metrics You Need to Consider
There are a number of core social media metrics worth tracking that can provide you with an excellent level of information and guidance. Here are the metrics you should be looking at on a consistent basis.
#1: Your Reach
The term reach refers to the number of people who see your social media content. Monitoring your reach overall, as well as the reach of the videos and stories you post can shed light on who is seeing your posts.
One core component of these social media metrics to pay close attention to is the percentage of people that are followers vs non-followers. When non-followers are seeing your content, that means it’s been shared and reaching new people.
#2: Audience Growth Rate
The audience growth rate metric is a measurement of new followers within a certain period of time. It’s not just the number of new followers but the percentage of new followers compared to your total audience.
Initially, every new follower matters more significantly – when you have 100 followers and get 10 new ones, that’s great. However, as your existing audience gets larger, you’ll need to increase the number of people you’re getting to maintain growth.
#3. Social Media Impressions
If you are running paid ad campaigns as a component of your social media marketing, you’ll need to track your social media impressions. This data helps you to see far your ad spend is going. It can help you to make better decisions about how to spend your ad spend in the future, increasing your ROI as you do so.
You don’t have to use paid ads as a part of your social media marketing strategy. You still want to see how many impressions your content is getting over time. It can help you to see what types of content are working best on various platforms.
#4. Social Media Conversion Rate
The next important metric for many companies is the social media conversion rate, which is representative of the number of visitors to a website that takes a specific desired action. For some campaigns, it may mean they are requesting and downloading a guide. For others, it may be signing up for a newsletter. You may also want to track the number of people who get to your website to watch your promotional vehicles.
To determine your social media conversion rate, you need to make sure you have a trackable call-to-action link in place. Tools like Bitly make this easy to do. Then, you’ll need to look at your campaign to determine the number of clicks and conversions the page has gained. Once you have that information, divide the conversions you have by the total clicks. Then, multiply that by a conversion rate.
#5. Engagement Rate
It’s not beneficial to create posts for social media that no one really pays attention to. The engagement rate helps you to notice what’s going on with your content. Are people engaging with it? You’ll look at things like reactions, shares, and comments to determine this.
There are various ways to calculate this metric. The goal is to ensure you’ve defined what your audience is – do you want to calculate your engagement rate to the number of followers you have? Or how many people actually see your posts?
To calculate this, divide the total number of likes, comments, and shares you have by the number of followers you have. Multiple that by 100. Aim for a Facebook engagement rate of 0.06% and Instagram at 0.68% for good results.
#6. Amplification Rate
How many of your followers are taking your posts and sharing them? The more they do, the more powerful and beneficial each post is going to be. Your application rate is the ratio of the number of shares per post you get to the number of followers you have.
When your amplification rate is higher, that means you are expanding your reach. To calculate what your rate is now, divide the total post shares you have by the total followers you have. Then, multiply that by 100.
#7. Click Through Rate
The click-through rate, or CTR, is a valuable tool to help you see who is taking action. How often are people clicking on a link in your social media posts to get more information or additional content from you? That could be heading to your site to make a purchase or just reading a blog post.
You want to use this metric to gain a better understanding of how many people actually saw your content and then wanted to engage with it – they wanted more information. This can help you see how well your social media presence is working to promote what you are offering.
To calculate CTR, you need to divide the total clicks you receive by the total impressions. Then, multiply that by 100.
#8. Conversion Rate
Don’t mistake conversion rate and CTR, as they are a bit different, and both are very valuable. The conversion rate is a measurement of how your social content helps to start a person on the path to taking action, like downloading something or subscribing to your newsletter. It also looks at how many people buy from you that come directly from your social media campaigns.
This is one of the most important metrics for social media marketing campaigns. It helps you to see the value of your social content directly in terms of how it moves people into your sales funnel. Ultimately, the goal of using social media is to increase sales, and this metric gives you an eye on how well you are doing in that area.
To determine this rate, divide the number of conversions you have by the total clicks. Then, multiply that by 100.
#9. Cost Per Click
When it comes to paid social media advertising, this is one metric you will want to pay close attention to as it defines just how worthwhile your campaigns are. The cost per click is the amount of money you are paying for each click that your social ad gets.
Let’s say your lifetime value of a customer is very high – meaning they will likely continue to buy from you over the years – that’s going to mean that spending a bit more per ad just makes sense. You’ll get that investment back over time. If your lifetime customer value is much lower, then spending a lot per ad isn’t going to yield the same profit margin.
When you have a higher lifetime value for your customer and a high conversation rate, that often means you can spend more on each of your clicks to get visitors to your site. To determine what your rate is now, you just need to look at your social media analytics information. This should be available on the social media platform you’re using.
How to Manage the Entire Process
The key takeaway here is that you don’t need to do all of this work yourself. From social media marketing to build a successful Facebook campaign, our team at Make It Loud can help you throughout the process. Let our digital marketing experts help you achieve the success you’re looking for.
Cliff Tillery, MBA is the Chief Operating Officer at Make It Loud which is a digital marketing firm located outside of Atlanta Georgia. He is also the Director of SEO. More than 14 years ago, he started search engine optimization at this agency and has taught digital marketing skills to business owners at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center and other groups.