If I’ve said it once on this blog I’ve said it a thousand times, social media should be a crucial element of any brand’s marketing strategy. That being said, just doing social media for the sake of it can be a huge waste of time and resources, and you need to ensure you have a strong plan in place.
So, how can you be sure your social media strategy is a success? That’s where social media metrics and analytics come in. If you ignore the information each social media platform is providing you’ll find it impossible to know whether your campaign has been a success.
With that in mind, here are some of the key social media metrics you should be tracking in 2022.
Reach is one of the most straightforward, yet important, social media metrics you should be tracking to determine success. Ultimately, it does what it says on the tin, simply it’s the number of people your content reaches. By understanding how many people have seen your content you can get a good understanding of the size of your prospective audience.
Initially, you should have an understanding of your brand’s average reach on social media. From here you can then look at each post and its reach to determine whether it is over or underachieving. Furthermore, it can be useful to take a more detailed look at who you are reaching. Where possible try to understand the demographic you are reaching and whether this is your target audience. Additionally, try to understand whether you are only reaching your followers or whether your posts reach a wider audience who aren’t currently following your brand.
Reach is one of the most basic metrics to track, however it is one of the most important. If you don’t understand reach you’ll struggle to get a true understanding of the other metrics that are available.
Once you have a good understanding of your brand’s reach, it’s crucial to get an understanding of how those you are reaching engage with your content. If you find you are reaching a huge audience, however, they aren’t engaging with your content, it’s likely they aren’t the right audience for your brand.
Engagements include any way someone might interact with your content, this could be; a like, comments, link clicks, shares, or reactions. The different types of engagement vary from platform to platform but put simply, it’s any way someone could ‘engage’ with your brand and content.
By understanding the total number of engagements a post gets, and the reach of the post, you can then start to work out the engagement rate. This will help you understand not only how many people you are reaching, but then how many of those have engaged with your content.
Engagement rate is calculated by adding up all engagement on a post, divided by its total reach, multiplied by 100.
While the definition of a conversion will change between companies, understanding the rate at which your social media posts convert will always be important. A conversion could be a sale, a sign up to a newsletter, a download of a whitepaper, and much more. Once you have defined what is a conversion, you can then start to work out how effective your social media strategy is at generating these conversions.
In its simplest form, conversion rate is the total number of users who completed the desired action after following a link in your post. There are, however, some more detailed conversion metrics you should be aware of:
- Click-Through Rate (CTR) is the number of clicks on a post divided by the number of impressions. This helps to understand which posts reach loads of people but aren’t then converting that reach to conversions, and vice versa.
- Cost per Conversion (CPC) helps to explain how much it costs to get each conversion by looking at the total cost of a social campaign and dividing it by the number of conversions. By understanding this you can understand how cost effective your campaign is.
Once again, this ties back to the reach and engagement. You should now have an understanding of how many people your posts reach, how many of those engaged, and of those, how many converted and became a customer. By understanding this you can start to work out how successful your social media campaigns have been by comparing conversion metrics.
Return On Investment
Now that you have an understanding of how many people you are reaching, how many have engaged with your content, of those how many converted, and the cost of that conversion you can get an understanding of your return on investment (ROI). By understanding the ROI you can start to work out which campaigns have been more successful and use those findings to help guide future campaigns.
Two of the best ways you can determine your ROI are:
- Top referring social channels will help you to understand which social platform has been the most successful when it comes to getting people to your site. By understanding this you can determine whether more resources should be put into one channel or whether a certain type of content works best for your brand. For example, if Instagram is the top referring channel you can learn that images or video content work best for your audience.
- Revenue from social media is the metric that will likely get the attention of your managers or higher-ups in a business. Being able to prove the value of your social campaigns through the revenue they have generated is the best way to determine success. By understanding this you will be able to alter your future social campaigns as required to ensure they generate as much revenue as possible.
Both of these metrics aren’t readily available in each social media’s own analytics platform so you will have to take a look into Google Analytics or through your own sales data.
Time to start tracking
Social media analytics can be a minefield and understanding the best metrics to track can be difficult. It’s common to start tracking everything and then get lost trying to figure out what the numbers actually mean. The above metrics are an absolute must and give you a great indication of the success of your campaign. Furthermore, the fact they all link to one another helps you get the full picture.