Social media is a great tool for just about any brand when done appropriately. But how do you know what’s working and what’s not? How can you tell if anyone is really seeing your content or really cares? There are some key metrics to track to help you make the most of your social media efforts.
Reports indicate that nearly 60% of the population or around 4.74 billion people are social media users. Another report shows people spend an average of 147 minutes per day on social media. It is highly probable that your audience is using social media. And that’s why your business should consider it as well.
Social media is a great tool to build brand awareness and engage with your audience. Having a strong social media strategy can also help your business generate leads and conversions. To ensure your social media strategy is on-track, look to your social media metrics.
Some of the key performance indicators to keep in mind are impressions, reach, engagement and follower count. How these analytics are labeled differs by platform. For example, instead of “followers,” Facebook uses “page likes.” But regular analysis of these key metrics can be extremely valuable in measuring success on social media and driving decisions on your social media content and approach.
Let’s take a look at these metrics in greater detail.
Impressions & Reach
Impressions and reach are important metrics to track, especially if your social media goals are focused on brand awareness. But these two metrics are often confused.
Reach indicates the number of unique users that viewed your post or are exposed to your content. Impressions measure the total views a post receives or the number of times it shows up in someone’s social feed. One user might see the same post three times, which would count as three impressions but only one reach.
So, think of reach as the number of unique individuals who have seen your content and impressions as the total number of times those individuals saw your content. As such, impressions should always be higher than reach.
It’s important to note that a user does not have to engage with the content in any way to be counted as an impression, which is a nice segue into engagement…
Engagement will differ slightly depending on what platform you’re using and what type of content you’re sharing. But generally, engagement includes likes (or reactions), comments, and shares. If your content includes video, “views” would also count as engagement. If your post includes a link, “clicks” can also be included as engagement.
The metric for measuring engagement is the engagement rate. This is calculated as the total number of post engagements divided by the total number of post impressions expressed as a percentage. The engagement rate is a great indicator of the popularity of one post over another. It’s a great way to gauge the types of content that resonate with your audience.
The algorithms that drive most social platforms find engagement very favorable, so the higher the engagement rate for a post, the higher the likelihood the algorithm will continue to serve the post to more people.
Keep in mind that not all engagement will be positive. Users can leave negative or spam comments, which can be inappropriate or simply annoying. How you choose to manage those is a topic for another discussion, but you do have the option to delete or hide unwanted comments.
Followers or Likes
Another important measurement is follower count…the number of users who have chosen to follow you on any particular social platform. Some platforms refer to this metric as Likes. However it is referenced, don’t make the mistake of solely looking at this metric to measure social media performance.
While follower count is important, it also can be falsely inflated by bots and spam. And even more importantly, the algorithms and user behavior will prevent most content from being seen by a high percentage of followers. So, regardless of your number of followers, it’s crucial to look at other metrics to see how your posts are really performing on social media.
Reaching a healthy number of users and driving an effective impression load with content that users engage with is the best possible scenario for a brand’s social presence. It’s certainly a lot easier said than done, but having a strategy and regularly monitoring these key metrics will help lead to positive outcomes in social media that will build over time as you analyze and learn from the data. And if you need assistance in this area, your media stewards at The Ward Group are ready to help!