The world of social media is exhaustive and can be confusing to wade into. There are innumerable social media metrics to track, and, to add to the problem, a new important metric seems to be created every week. A company cannot do great marketing without useful data. It becomes increasingly difficult to know your progress and decide whether you’re on the right track unless you measure and analyse your performance, especially in the case of social media.
Now the question arises—what should you be tracking? This guide will take you through the most basic, must-know social media metrics that every company should track based on their objectives. This is critical if you want to stay on top of your KPIs, goal setting, and campaign performance.
The Important Social Media Metrics
While there are countless social media metrics, not all of them are important for your business. The importance of a metric depends on your social media goals. Once you’ve figured out your goals, only then you can assess whether your social media marketing efforts are paying off.
Engagement metrics help you track how your customer interacts with your content and how effective your brand campaigns are. Engagement efforts do not necessarily translate into sales. However, these metrics will enable you to know how popular your brand is among your audience. The mechanism for users to express appreciation is different on every social media platform—Facebook (Likes, shares and comments), Instagram (Likes and followers) or Twitter (Re-tweets and followers)—and hence you need to consider different parameters to measure engagement on each platform.
- Look at the following engagement metrics for your account:
Likes, comments, shares etc. – These engagement metrics are summed up to analyse the engagement level of your brand.
- Social Post engagement rate – The total number of engagement actions (Likes, shares, comments) a post receives relative to the number of impressions or reach.
- Social media mentions – This metric tool allows you to monitor real-time alerts for specific company-related keywords. Organic mentions in Facebook posts, Instagram Stories, and Twitter Tweets depict your brand enjoys a good engagement.
If your brand goals, with respect to social media, are focused on brand awareness and perception, the following are the essential metrics for you to track:
- Impressions – The total number of times your campaign content appears, irrespective of whether it is clicked on or not.
Reach – The total number of people who view your content.
The above brand awareness metrics will not define if your content or posts are taken negatively or positively—for that, you need to pair it with the Brand Sentiment metric discussed in the later part of this article. If you want to increase brand awareness, develop good relationships with influencers in your industry. Treat every social media platform differently and try not to post the same content everywhere; however, if you want to share the same image, link or post, do so as per the respective platform.
3. Social Share of Voice
Share of Voice measures how many people are mentioning your brand on social media relative to your competitors. It will give an estimate of how many people are talking about your brand vis-à-vis your competitors. Raw impression or reach figures do not make much sense if you do not take into account your performance relative to the competition.
Track the volume of discussion for specific company- or industry-related keywords. You can then analyse which keywords are used most with respect to your brand and where you need to appeal to a larger audience.
Analysis of Brand Sentiment enables you to understand how your brand is perceived online. Every activity on social media, such as a comment, tweet or brand mention, does have a sentiment behind it. Every brand should track both positive and negative sentiments. Positive comments can help you get more opportunities, whereas negative comments let you know what isn’t working for you and where you may need to improve.
4. Referral & Conversions
Social referrals and conversions measure the effectiveness of your social media campaigns at generating referrals and conversions. These metrics provide a measurable return on investment (ROI). If your main social media goal is to increase website traffic, you must check which platforms work best and bring maximum visitors.
At the same time, take into account factors such as bounce rate (the number of visitors leaving your site soon after arriving), conversion rate (the number of visitors buying or signing up for a service) and the average time they spend on your website.
Along with referrals and conversions, measure the click-through-rate (CTR) in ads and posts. This will help you know how many times your ad has been clicked concerning your number of impressions. Achieving a high CTR is important for your Pay-Per-Click advertising campaign since it affects your ad’s quality score and the total amount you have to pay for your campaign.
5. Customer Care
Apart from tracking your posts & ads’ performance, you must ensure that your customers have a good experience with your brand and their issues are heard on time. Response time tells you the amount of time your team member or customer service representative takes in responding to queries from your social media audience. The percentage of questions from your social media audience you respond to within a certain amount of time is your response rate. Social media’s importance as a service channel is growing day by day as it is a public and not a private channel, and any negative comment/post can reach a massive audience in a short amount of time.
The metrics, as mentioned earlier, are often the most important ones to track and will give you a 360-degree view of your social media performance. As your business progresses, your goals change, and you will have to start tracking new metrics to measure and optimise your performance.