You get out of social media marketing what you put into it. And to know how far your efforts are taking you, you need to be tracking your metrics.
We get it: posting on social consistently is already a massive effort, and tracking your analytics along the way can seem like an even larger one. But in marketing and branding, it’s not enough to just do things for the sake of doing them. Measuring your successes (and your not-so-successes) is crucial, and that’s as true for your social media channels as it is for your email marketing and your blog posts.
Among marketers, 73 percent report that social marketing has been either “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business. That’s a substantial majority and a good indicator that all that hard work is worth it. There’s no way to know, though, if your social strategy is panning out if you don’t track the right KPIs.
Here are six social media metrics that you need to be measuring, along with a few recommendations on tools that can help you do it more easily.
Let’s start with one of the most obvious — and most important — metrics: your social reach.
Your reach is the number of people who are seeing your posts. And the higher it is, the better. It doesn’t necessarily equate to engagement or conversions, but it speaks to your overall ability to connect with your existing audience and a new, broader audience. This is key since reaching more people means increasing your potential to bring in new leads and boost sales.
Your referral metric tells you how effective your posts are at bringing people to your site. The more referrals from social to site, the more productive your strategy.
Referrals don’t tend to happen passively. You need calls-to-action within your posts, plus persuasive, interesting text that generates intrigue around your value proposition. It’s helpful to break down referrals by channel to see what’s working and what’s not in terms of content and CTA — and to then apply any takeaways to future campaigns.
3. Bounce Rates
What’s the point in getting your social media followers to your website if you can’t keep them there once they arrive?
Your website needs to deliver on the promise of your social content, and it needs to deliver fast. To know if it’s doing so, you want to track your bounce rate, which tells you how many people arrived at your site only to leave after viewing just one page.
You probably already track your general bounce rate, but you should be making a point of evaluating it from the perspective of your social outreach. Segment your traffic by referral and then analyze the bounce rate for each social channel. If your social bounce rate is high across the board or for specific channels, that tells you it’s time to change course.
4. Follower Rates
Nobody wants a stagnant social media page. Growth is integral to social success and should be examined both day-to-day and over time for the clearest idea of just how well your page is resonating with your desired audience.
You can easily view your growth (or decline) in follower rates on your built-in analytics pages within each channel. In addition to scoping out rates by time periods, measure changes in your follower rate by campaign. It’s one of the best indicators of whether a campaign tracked — or fell flat.
This one is a biggie. Engagement tells you how many people are interacting with your content and how they’re doing so. And along the way, it tells you what content performs best and worst with your audience.
There are various metrics within engagement that you should be tracking, including average likes, shares, and comments, as well as things like your amplification rate (the number of post shares divided by the overall number of people who engaged). Use these metrics to shape your strategy moving forward, focusing most on the types of content that garner the highest rates of engagement.
Use your social media audience demographics to inform and evaluate your buyer personas. Are you reaching the audience you’re trying to reach? Are there any patterns that you can work into your larger marketing strategy? By breaking down your demographics, you get more insight into who’s viewing your content and whether they’re the same people who are likely to convert. If they’re not, your social posts probably need a tweak.
Tools That Can Help You Track Social Metrics
There are a lot of available tools to help you track the metrics above, including analytics pages that are built into each social platform. If you prefer an all-in-one dashboard though, Buffer, Hootsuite, and Google Analytics are all good places to start. Pick the one that works with your needs and budget, and integrate it with your website for the biggest picture view possible of how your social strategy is performing.
There you have it, some social media metrics to add to your radar. We recommend doing a deep dive into your metrics every month so you can see how you’re performing and if you’re taking a dip or increasing in engagement month over month. It also doesn’t hurt to have these numbers on-hand so you can easily pull them for more informed strategy changes. Good luck!