Social media analytics: A cheat sheet of everything you can measure

In the past, marketers focused on gathering as much data as possible, rather than focusing on the right data. If you want to be successful in a data-cluttered world, your social media marketing team needs to strategically decide which metrics to collect to exhibit the value of your social media strategy.

Understanding social media analytics

If you want a more informed strategy, you’ll need to do some social media analysis. This cheat sheet covers important metrics that your team should consider, along with why they are important. Keep this sheet handy and gain a deeper knowledge of social media analytics.

How your team can use this social media analysis cheat sheet

This cheat serves as a guide to understanding social media analytics: which metrics are available, how to use them, and what they mean in terms of action items for your team.

Something fun about peeling back the layers of your digital marketing campaign is the many ways you can interpret the data. You need a solid understanding of everything you could measure with social media to make an educated decision.

Which metrics matter? How do you calculate them? Learning what to measure, how to measure it, and on what platform each metric lives can be overwhelming. But when you know how to measure your social media data well, you can position yourself as the social analytics pro at your organization — teaching your team and superiors alike how to go beyond vanity metrics.

How to use our social media analytics cheat sheet

Our social media analytics cheat sheet is sorted by KPIs, starting with awareness. You will find formulas included for some, and most of these metrics you can find through social media management dashboards.

Awareness KPIs

Awareness KPIs indicate the number of people aware of your brand, including how many see your posts, ads, or pages.




Number of times a pos was seen (not unique) 

Organic impressions
Number of times a post was seen without paid promotion
Paid impressions
Number of times a post was seen because of shares of the post
Viral impressions
Number of times a post was seen because of shares of the post
Unique number of people who saw a post
Followers / Fans
Unique number of people who are following

Number of times each user saw one of your ads

Impressions + Reach

Engagement KPIs

Engagement KPIs show how people interact with your brand. For example, if they viewed a post, left a comment, or clicked on a link.




Number of 'likes' on a post

Comments / Replies
Number of user comments on a post
Shares / retweets

Number of times a post was shared by a user to their own timeline

Similar to likes, but can express different emotions: like, heart, haha, wow, sad, mad
Total Clicks
A click anywhere on a post (enlarge image, hashtag, url, user handle, etc.)

Link Clicks

A click specifically on a URL (sometimes need to use link shortener clicks if URL or link clicks are not available, such as on LinkedIn)
Video Views

Number of people who viewed a video (amount of time varies by platform - for Instagram & Twitter it's 3 seconds, Youtube it's any amount of time)

Video Plays
Clicks to play a video
10s Video Views
Video views that were at least 10 seconds
3s Video Views
Video views that were at least 3 seconds (same as general video view metric)
Media Views
Video views, but also include click to enlarge a photo if it's not a video post
Engagement Rate
Hoe many times a post was interacted with out of how many times the content was viewed. Sometimes shares are not included if it's not available on the platform, such as Instagram. Also, YouTube is divided by video views, not impressions.)Spredfast definition: (Likes or reactions + Comments + Shares) / Impressions
View Rate
A measure of how many times a video was viewed for 3 seconds or more (unless using 10s video views) out of how many times the video post was viewed. (Use impression count for video content only)Video views + Video Impressions
Click-through Rate
A measure of how many times a link in a post was clicked out of how many times the URL was viewedURL clicks + Impressions

Referral KPIs

Referral KPIs reveal how people who come to your site from social media interact. You can discover the volume of referral traffic you get from social media networks, the number of visitors from each social media channel, and what they do once they come to your website.

Site VisitsNumber of times users entered your site (not unique)
Page ViewsNumber of times users viewed a specific page
Time on SiteLength of time a user spent on your site (the length of the session before a user exited or the site became inactive)
Time on PageLength of time a user spent on a specific page
Bounce RatePeople who left your site before viewing any contentNumber of times a user immediatedly left your site / Number of times a user landed on your site

We hope this comprehensive list of KPIs gives you the peace of mind to feel confident in knowing what you should measure. With the right social media management tool, measuring these metrics is even easier. Get a demo to learn more.