• Marketing

Ultimate social media metrics guide

by Khoros staff | Feb 01, 2022

Social media metrics guide

Social media success isn’t the same for every brand, as each organization or individual has unique goals. Still, there are a few KPIs that almost every brand with a social media presence keeps track of. When businesses measure success on social media channels, they often look for some common metrics:

  • Increased awareness and engagement

  • Higher conversions and sales

  • Improved customer satisfaction

Although these seem straightforward, each involves a series of social media metrics and many people struggle with deciding which ones to track. If you don’t track the right metrics, you may struggle to understand and demonstrate the impact of social media on your business. This is more common than you’d think; Forrester notes that 44% of marketers say they haven’t been able to show the impact of their social media efforts.

To help you create and measure a social media marketing strategy, we’ve created this guide with everything you need to know about social media metrics. Learn what they are, why they’re important, which metrics to track, and how to measure social media success.

What are social media metrics?

Social media metrics are measurements used to gauge the impact of social media efforts. Social media metrics allow you to determine the effectiveness of your social media activity including posts, comments, direct messages, paid ads, and other initiatives.

Why should you track social media metrics?

Brands should track social media metrics to see if they’re accomplishing their goals, which enables them to modify their efforts based on what’s working and what isn’t.

Data gathered from tracking social media metrics can provide insights about your audience and how you should approach social media moving forward. For example, if your goal is to increase engagement, tracking comments and replies will enable you to see what type of content generates discussions. You may find that your audience responds particularly well to videos, infographics, or even a specific topic. Alternatively, if your goal is to drive sales, tracking metrics like click-through rate (CTR) will help you see which content is most effective at converting.

Forrester Wave 2021

Which social media metrics should you measure?

In general, there are four types of social media metrics that correspond with different phases of the customer journey:

Customer journey

We’ve included social media metrics for each of these stages to help you set up tracking for goals in all phases of the customer journey.

Awareness metrics

Awareness metrics reveal insights about both your current and your potential audience. These metrics are important if your goal is to increase your brand presence across social media.

The most important awareness metrics to track are:

  • Impressions: The number of times your content is seen, even if it’s not clicked on.

  • Reach: The number of unique people who saw your content. If you have 1,000 followers who all saw your last post once, that post would have a reach of 1,000. If all of your followers saw the post twice, it would have 2,000 impressions but still have a reach of just 1,000.

  • Followers/fans: The number of unique people who are following your account.

  • Brand mentions: The number of times your brand is mentioned on a social media platform.

  • Share of voice: A measure of how often your brand is mentioned compared to competitors. 

It should be noted that TikTok Analytics offers different awareness metrics. It does not track impressions but it does provide total video views during a specific date range as well as how many views individual videos received. You can track which of your videos are trending as well as follower insights.

Here’s a visual reference for some of the awareness metrics above and a few others:

Awareness KPI

Engagement metrics

Engagement metrics show how audiences interact with your brand on social media. High engagement indicates people are frequently interacting with the content you publish, while a low engagement indicates your content is not creating a lot of interactions with your audience.

The most important engagement metrics to track are:

  • Reactions: A measurable indication of how users felt about your post, typically through the use of likes, loves, dislikes, sad faces, mad faces, and other emojis.

  • Comments/replies: The number of user responses on a post.

  • Shares/retweets: The number of times a post was shared by a user to their own timeline.

  • Engagement rate: How many times a post was interacted with through a reaction, comment, or share — divided by how many times it was viewed. Put simply, engagement rate is total engagement divided by impressions or reach (depending on if you want to know the engagement rate among everyone or just your followers).

  • Amplification rate: The rate at which your followers share your content. This is calculated by taking the total number of post shares and dividing that figure by your total number of followers.

  • Virality rate: The number of people who shared a post relative to the number of unique impressions over a specific time period, which reveals insight on how viral a post went. To calculate this, choose a date range and divide the number of post shares by the total number of impressions.

TikTok’s engagement metrics (which you can find in your Overview tab of Analytics), do provide likes, comments, and shares — however, the data is displayed as the total number of likes, etc. for a given date range. Most notably, you can view the total number of profile views over a selected period, which indicates how many people viewed your profile after watching one of your TikToks.

TikTok’s engagement rate is also calculated slightly differently. The formula is as follows:

[(Number of likes + number of comments + number of shares) / number of views] X 100

Here’s a visual reference for some of the engagement metrics above and a few others:

Engagement metrics

Conversion metrics

Conversion metrics indicate how successful your social media efforts are in achieving a specific goal. Common examples of conversion goals include driving purchases, website visits, newsletter sign-ups, downloads, and event registrations among others. To measure social media conversion metrics, you’ll need to use social media management software with tracking capabilities.

The most important conversion metrics to track are:

  • Conversion rate: The ratio of people who clicked on a link within your post and completed the desired action, compared to the number of people who saw it. This is calculated by taking the total number of social media based conversions and dividing it by the number of total post impressions.

  • Click-through-rate (CTR): The ratio of people who clicked on the link within your post, relative to the total number of people who saw it. This is similar to conversion rate, but sometimes people will click the link and decide not to convert. Comparing your CTR to your conversion rate will provide insight on how many people drop off at the last stage of the customer journey.

  • Bounce rate: This is the percentage of people who clicked a link on your post, but left without taking an action. Conversion rate shows the ratio of people who converted, CTR shows the ratio of people who clicked, while bounce rate shows the ratio of people who clicked but almost immediately left. A high bounce rate can indicate a problem with your page, such as a technical issue or lack of relevance to the message in the post.

  • Average order value: The average value of each purchase made by customers on social media. Knowing this can help you determine what products to promote on social media. If your average order value is $100, you may have trouble promoting a product priced at $200.

Additionally, many brands are using paid ads on social media to drive conversions. For paid ads, you’ll want to track these social media metrics:

  • Cost per thousand impressions (CPM): The cost of 1,000 people seeing your promoted post.

  • Cost per click (CPC): The cost for each person who clicks on your link.

  • Cost per engagement (CPE): The cost to obtain an engagement with a post, such as generating reactions, replies, shares, clicks, etc.

Here’s a visual reference for some of the paid metrics above and a few others:

Paid KPI

Customer service metrics

One of the most important parts of the customer journey is the care you provide to retain customers and turn them into loyal advocates for your brand. Customer care metrics measure the efficiency and effectiveness of your digital contact center, and customer satisfaction with the support process.

The most important customer care metrics to track are:

  • First response time: How long it takes for a customer to receive a response from your brand, including direct messages and brand mentions in posts.

  • Resolution rate: The rate at which customer service inquiries are resolved. Related to this, you should also measure first contact resolution rate, which indicates the rate at which inquiries are resolved by the customer’s first point of contact.

  • Support ticket volume: This is a measure of the total number of support inquiries received in a specified period of time. It’s important to monitor this to ensure your contact center doesn’t get overwhelmed.

  • Average resolution time: This indicates the average length of time it takes to resolve a customer inquiry. This should be measured for your contact center, and for each agent to gauge their efficiency.

  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT): This is a measure of how satisfied customers are with your product, service, or experience. This metric doesn’t exclusively apply to customer service, but is often collected through surveys after an interaction. Measuring it is quite complex, but you can learn how in our guide.

How to measure social media success

These social media metrics will tell you what to track, but how you measure overall success will depend on your brand’s unique goals.

If you’d like to start tracking these social media metrics to create and measure goals for your brand, Khoros offers award-winning social media management software to help. Learn about our social media management software including features, benefits, and case studies — or request a demo today.

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