Like most marketing channel, social media is something that needs to be measured. It seems like everything boils down to metrics and measurements these day.
There are a lot of metrics when it comes to social media and it can seem overwhelming at first. But know what metrics are out there and which ones your company needs to be tracking can help you narrow your focus.
There are slightly different metrics depending on which channel you’re using, but if you want to know which basic metrics you need to track for your business, then read on.
Why do you need to track metrics for social media?
In marketing, you shouldn’t be doing any campaign activity you can’t measure. Your activity should work towards your overall business goals. It’s essential to track your data over a period of time to see what’s working and what’s not.
Engaement is a pretty broad term when it comes to social media. It is used to find out how involved your followers are and which campaigns they’re responding to. Likes, social sharing and comments are all forms of user engagement metrics.
By using these metrics you’re going to find out who interacts with your brand, where they are and how often.
Good engagement rates are an excellent indication of the effectiveness and your social media. Just going via follower numbers is a vanity metric.
- Likes/Shares – look at tracking the number of metrics on your post, including share and retweets.
- Engagement – this looks at the amount of particular interactions (shares, retweets etc) divided the total number of impressions.
- Mentions – being tagged or mentioned in other people’s social meda is a great form of brand promotion.
If you find that your stats are a little lacklustre, then you should look at ways to increase conversions rather than simply follower numbers. If you’re looking to increase website visits, and therefore conversions, you need to know what your current engagement rate is so that you can work on improving it.
When you start out on social media, you’ll want to build your following. While not hte be all and end all of metrics, it will give some indication of the popularity of your accounts and your brand.
Alongside volume, you need to measure the numbers in talking about your brand on social media. Learn who is following your brand and when they are talking about it.
Going beyone follower numbers, reach show you how much your content has spread. Everytime your content is interacted with and shared, it is opened up to new networks.
This metric tracks how often your post appears in someone’s social media feed, whether or not they interact or engage with it.
The metrics of engagement are some of the most important ones you can track. They will show you who is interacting and sharing your content. Depending on the platform this is done by sharing, commenting and liking.
Start analysing which types of content are generating the most engagement and start to adapt your social media strategy immediately.
Share Of Voice
Voice metrics are a little more specialised but can be invaluable. You can track how many people are talking to you vs that of sompetitiors. Use you competitor’s social media for inspiration on how you can improve you own.
Not only do you want to know who’s talking about you but you want to know how popular they are too. There are a number of tools that can measure the influence of certain people for you, so you don’t end up wasting money.
Looking At The Bigger Picture
One metric alone isn’t going to be sufficient to give you the overview you need to assess and adapt your social media strategy. You need to take stock of the metrics as a whole in order to see the bigger picture.
Fo example, if you have a social media post that has gained a lot of likes, but not many people have commented on it, or are talking about it, then you need to see whether this is because the post didn’t have a strong enough call to action or it was just designed to get people to like it, like a nice image for example.
So, the bigger picture involves you keeping an eye on your individual metrics but taking them as a whole when it comes assessing and adapting your strategy.
What Do You Need To Track Your Social Media Metrics
Every social media platform has basic metrics tracking installed on it. Some people find that this is sufficient for their needs. You’ll be able to track engagement for each post, look at your follower numbers over time and a number of other things too.
However, many people choose to use a different platform in order to get a more granular view of their social media metrics and to be able to view them in one report.
Popular platforms for this include Sprout Social, Hootsuite and CoSchedule. Though there is a cost involved, these platforms let you curate and schedule content, interact with followers and see metrics all in one place.
Depending on the software and the subscription level you choose, you will get access to other features too.
You’ve Analysed Your Metrics, So Now What?
Finding out your social media metrics is one thing, but unless you use that information, there’s really little point.
Your social media should serve your wider marketing campaign goals. This could be do drive people to your website, or purchase something directly from your online store or affiliate site.
It should also direct your content strategy. For example, are people responding better to photos or videos? Or are your text based posts encouraging the most interaction?
Whatever you discover, your social media is part of a wider strategy that involves web, content and PR.
Like many areas of marketing, social media has a lot of granular data to analyse and interpret. It can be overwhelming if you’re inundated with too much information. Decide on which basic metrics you want to track for social and use these to benchmark your performance and inform your wider strategy.