November 15, 2019 | By:

4 Essential Social Media Metrics You Should Measure for Marketing Success

Implementing a well-thought-out social media marketing strategy is one thing, but evaluating its effectiveness is another. How would you know that your strategy is working? In what ways can you determine that you are getting the results that you want?

Luckily, most of the major social media platforms have built-in tools to help businesses easily measure results with a wide array of marketing metrics. However, it’s often difficult to determine which metrics are essential to your brand and which are not.

Here are four of the most essential social media marketing metrics you should pay attention to:

1. Awareness

Awareness metrics help you understand your present and potential audience. At the most basic level, it involves two primary components:

  • Impressions – The number of times a post shows up in an audience’s social media feed, not considering whether someone has really seen it or not.
  • Reach – The number of unique people who have actually seen your post since it went live. Reach can either be organic (free) or paid.

To determine whether to measure impressions or reach depends on your goal. Put simply, tracking impressions gives you an idea of how many people are exposed to your content. This is especially helpful if you want to avoid ad fatigue.

Tracking reach, on the other hand, helps you see who is seeing your content, whether they are your current fans or outside your followership. Additionally, determining what type (organic or paid) gains the most reach helps you to see whether investing in paid ads is worthwhile.

Measuring both reach and impressions in context with the timing of your post also aids in determining the best times that your target audience is most available.

2. Engagement

Engagement metrics help you understand how your audience is interacting with your content. It involves the number of likes, comments, shares, re-tweets, etc., and it highly depends on the type of platform you are using. Two aspects are important when it comes to tracking  engagement:

  • Post engagement rate – The engagement an individual post receives divided by impressions or reach.
  • Brand mentions – Mentions or tags of your accounts that are not part of a reply to your post. 

It goes without saying that the higher the engagement rate, the more effective your post is, no matter the actual number of likes, comments, or shares the post received. It should always be taken in context with the number of reach and impressions.

Brand mentions are a good measure of brand awareness. It’s also a helpful metric to assess the quality of the conversations surrounding your brand: Are the sentiments of people positive, negative, or neutral? Social listening tools such as Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and Brandwatch can help you gain more insight into your brand mentions and sentiment analysis.

3. Customer Care

Social media has now become one of the primary channels for customer service. This is why it’s important to measure customer care metrics, even if your brand has not put up an official social media customer service representative—your audience will very much likely message you privately for customer care-related issues nonetheless.

Two metrics matter in customer care:

  • Response time – The average time it takes for you to respond to a direct or private message.
  • Response rate – The number of queries that you actually respond to divided by the total number of queries within a certain period.

As a rule of thumb, customers expect to have their messages responded to within an hour. Facebook, in particular, automatically measures and indicates a business page’s average response time on your profile. 

As for response rates, the higher the rate, the better—no matter what, and most especially, if the message being responded to is negative. Response rates are also automatically measured by Facebook and most of the other social media platforms.

4. Conversion

Perhaps the most important social media metric to measure when it comes to return on investment, both in terms of time and money, is conversion. Conversion metrics usually involve three elements:

  • Click-through rate (CTR) – The number of clicks on your post’s call-to-action (CTA) or link divided by the number of impressions.
  • Bounce rate – The number of clicks on your post’s CTA, only to leave the landing page without taking any action. This is then divided by the total number of click-throughs.
  • Conversion rateThe number of people who have taken the desired action through your post (for example, a sale, a subscription or signup, or a download) divided by the total number of people who visited your landing page.

Click-through rates are important in measuring the effectiveness of your ad. It is not to be confused, however, with other engagement metrics (for example, likes, comments, and shares). CTR is directly linked to the number of clicks that will take them to your landing page.

Bounce rates go hand in hand with CTR. It helps in gaining valuable insight into how compelling your content is to your target audience, or whether your landing page is usable or effective. As such, the lower the bounce rate, the better. 

To measure the bounce rate, however, you will need to set up Google Analytics: Under the “Acquisition” tab, go to “Traffic” ➔ “Channels” ➔ “Bounce Rate.” For full details on how to set up Google Analytics to track social media metrics, refer to Hootsuite’s guide here.

Conversion rate provides you with a clear metric on the overall effectiveness of your marketing strategy. It answers the question: Am I getting the desired results? Google Analytics can also help you in tracking traffic referrals from social media, as well as the total monetary value. 

Need Help with Your Social Media Marketing?

Evaluating one’s marketing efforts is both a lengthy and ongoing process. If you need help with any of your social media marketing efforts, our team of marketing professionals can lend you a hand.

Give us a call at 888-420-5115, or send us an email to [email protected] to learn more.


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