Social media is an extremely valuable tool for building relationships with your audience, improving brand awareness and ultimately increasing revenue. If your business isn’t already utilising social media as a marketing tool, then it’s time you jumped on the bandwagon. And if you are using it already, then how do you know whether it’s working for your business?
With an almost endless list of data and analytics available through various social media channels, deciding upon the right ones to track can be a difficult task. The metrics you decide to measure depend completely upon what you are looking to gain from your social media campaign, a decision that can be difficult to make. Unsure where to start? Here are some of the important, core metrics that you should be monitoring.
Reach – how far is your message travelling?
If brand awareness is a top priority for your marketing department, then Reach needs should be one of your top social media KPIs. Reach displays you how far your message is travelling, how many people are seeing it, and who those people are.
- Followers – Following is the most basic indication of how wide your reach is, it displays the number of people that could see your content – could being the key word here. A large following will ultimately increase your reach, however, there is a possibility that many of these people will never actually see your content. And if they do see it, what’s to say they are genuinely interested in it?
- Impressions – The number of impressions your post receives shows how many times it has popped up in someone’s newsfeed, this could be because they follow your page or one of their friends has liked or shared your content. Impressions don’t give an indication of how many people actually paid attention to your post, it only displays how many times people had the chance to see it.
- Web Traffic – This is potentially the most important reach metric to measure. Ultimately the end goal of a social media campaign is to drive traffic to your site, whether that’s to a product page or to read a blog post. If you’re investing time, effort, and potentially money into your social media campaign, you’ll want to make sure this effort is reflected in your web traffic, otherwise what is the point in using social media? Google Analytics is an easy way to track which social networks are performing best.
Engagement – a sign of quality social content
Once you’ve assessed how far your reach is it’s time to focus on how engaged the people seeing your content are. Engagement is arguably the most important thing you should be monitoring across all of your social accounts. In simple terms, engagement includes the number of likes, comments, shares and clicks your posts receive. Engagement is an extremely important metric to measure as platforms like Facebook and Twitter view engagement as a sign of quality and popularity, something that will ultimately help improve your organic reach.
- Likes – More likes mean more attention, people will naturally gravitate towards the more ‘popular’ content with a higher number of likes. Additionally, it’s not only your followers that prefer posts with more likes – more likes signals to most platform algorithms that this particular content deserves a higher spot in search results.
- Comments – It’s in the name social media is meant to be ‘social’. Interesting and engaging content will naturally spark a conversation between your followers, whether it’s positive or critical. Comments help you identify interesting topics that your audience are interested in, something that will help tweak your marketing strategy for the future.
- Shares – We’ve reached a point where the process of liking a post has become a bit of a mindless activity that doesn’t always reflect everyone’s feelings towards your content. Sharing a post is a more meaningful act as that individual is displaying their interest in your content and saying to their friends or followers I think you might like this.
- Clicks – You could be sharing a link to the most interesting and relevant piece of content with your followers but if no one is clicking on it then it becomes less meaningful. Link clicks reflect how engaging the headline and image within your post are.
Higher levels of engagement show that you are creating content that your audience is interested in. Alternatively, if you notice that you have a wide reach but no one is engaging with your content, then this suggests that your followers aren’t interested in what you are sharing or maybe you are reaching the wrong people.
Ultimately, the KPIs you measure will depend upon the end goal of social media campaign. If the sole purpose of using social media is to increase revenue and sales you will want to dig deeper and measure the number of leads and conversions from your social accounts. This will display how many of your followers are actually paying customers, and who is clicking through to your site and making a purchase as a result of your social media activity. However, if the initial aim of your social media campaign is to boost your reputation and raise brand awareness then measuring engagement and reach should be a top priority.
These are just a few of the basic KPIs that you should be keeping an eye on when using social media. If you are looking for to gain a deeper insight into the success of your social media campaign there are many additional metrics that can be analysed across various networks.