19 Important Social Media Metrics and How to Track Them

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how to track social media metrics

We know all too well that the social media marketing space can be rather noisy. In this article, we have identified the most important social media metrics that matter the most to your business and how you should go about tracking them. By knowing this, you’ll be in a better position to make smarter decisions on your next approach.

Time and time again, we have seen people and businesses take more of a lackadaisical approach when it comes to measuring what impact their social media makes. However, it can be easy to get caught up in all the different tools and courses of how to measure your KPI’s. So, let’s break it down… What are social media metrics? And why are they important to track?

If you ever find you are in a position where you are trying to analyse the data coming from your social media efforts, then take the opportunity to be a pro and dig a little deeper and not just scratch the surface by looking at “vanity” metrics which are essentially likes, shares and retweets. Instead, spend a little more time looking at the data that really matters… these are the numbers that prove your effort has had a positive effect on your business/ organisation.

Being able to analyse the right data will assure you and the rest of your team that your investment in social media is paying off. It will also give you the ability to make smarter, more data-driven decisions in the months ahead. Are you ready to move up in the world and make an impression?

The social funnel: where does each one live...

Before we dive into the social media metrics, let’s see where each one lives.

To make this article easier to digest, we have segmented the social funnel into four key customer journey elements: 

  • Awareness: these metrics help expose your current and potential audience. 
  • Engagement: this shows how your followers are interacting with your posts and content. 
  • Conversion: this demonstrates how effective your social media campaigns have been. Have they converted into sales or downloads? 
  • Consumer: these outline how active your customers are and what they think toward your brand

Each one of these elements is populated with its own metrics, KPIs that give you an indication as to how effective your social media marketing is

Awareness Metrics

These metrics help expose your current and potential audience. 

1.) Brand Awareness

Brand Awareness is the attention your brand gets across all of your chosen social platforms. This is measured during a reporting period or a specific time frame that gives you statistically relevant data. 

Attention can be defined by a verity of social media metrics such as @mentions, shares, likes, links and impressions. Reporting periods can vary on time scale – whether it lasts a week, month or a quarter. 

How can this be tracked? 

  1. Find out what the attention metrics are for your business/ organisation and how you want them tied to brand awareness. 
  2. Define the reporting period your business/ organisation wants tied to brand awareness. 
  3. Consistency. The more consistent you are with regular posting and giving out relevant content then the more accurate your data will be.

Tip: A brand measuring tool such as Hootsuite enables you to collate all of your data in one place which makes it easier for you to track every time someone mentions you on social media with or without an @mention.

2.) The rate your audience is growing at

Audience Growth rate measures the speed at which your companies brand’s following is increasing on your chosen social media platforms. Simply put, it’s how quickly over time you gain followers. 

As more and more countries now have access to the internet around the world, it’s clear, that overtime, overall social media followers as a whole will grow.

So you need to ask yourself this question, “how fast did we gain last months net followers this month?” and not “how many new followers did we gain this month?” Another important question you need to ask is, “are you growing faster in comparison to your competition?”

How can this be tracked? 

  1. Measure your new net followers (this can be done across all of the social media platforms that you use such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc 
  2. Divide your new net followers by your total audience (on each platform) multiply it by “10” and this will give you your audience growth rate as a percentage. 

Tip: you can track your competitors progress the same way.

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3.) POST REACH

This means the number of people who have seen your post since it went live. 

This is one of the easier metrics to understand and most importantly you can take immediate action on what to do with the data because post reach is affected by timing (i.e., when is your audience online?) and the content (i.e. what valuable information can your audience gain?) from your post. 

How can this be tracked? 

1. Measure the reach of any of your posts

2. Divide the reach by your total number of followers and multiply this by 100 to get your post reach as a percentage

Tip: When you are on Facebook, the “When Your Fans Are Online” feature will tell you the best time to post your content. Take advantage of this data and use it to increase your audience reach. 

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4.) Potential Reach

Potential Reach measures the number of people who have the potential to see your post during a reporting period.

Let’s say that one of your followers called “Eve” shares your post on social media tips to her network, roughly 2% – 5% of her followers would factor into the post’s potential reach. 

It is important to understand this metric not just to marketers but to anybody who is trying to expand their services and content to a wider audience. Knowing your potential reach allows you to measure your progress. 

How can this be tracked? 

1. Utilise some of the brand monitoring tools out there so you can track your total number of brand mentions. 

2. Record how many followers saw each mention (have a look at the audience size of the account that mentioned you).

3. Multiply those two numbers together which will give you your Theoretical Reach. In other words, the number of people who could theoretically see your brand when you are mentioned. 

Tip: Your potential reach is 2% – 5% of your theoretical reach. 

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5.) Social Share of Voice (SSoV)

Social Share of Voice is measured by how many people mention your brand on social media to that of your competitors. 

Mentions can be: 

1. Direct (example “@nettonicltd”

2. Indirect (example, “nettonic”

SSoV is, what you call competitive analysis: In other words, how visible and how relevant is your brand in the market? 

How can this be tracked? 

1. Measure every time your company/ organisation is mentioned whether it be direct or indirect across all of your chosen social media platforms. 

2. Have a look at your competitor and see how many times they are being mentioned over the same period of time.

3. Add your mentions to your competitors to find the total number of industry mentions in your immediate area. 

4. Divide your company mentions by the overall total and multiply by 100 to get your SSoV score as a percentage. 

Tip: You can make this process easier by using a social media analytics tool. 

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Awareness Metrics

These metrics help expose your current and potential audience.

6.) Applause Rate

Applause Rate is the number of positive reactions people have to your posts (example, likes, favourites, retweets) 

When one of your followers likes or shares a post, he or she is acknowledging that the content is of value. Knowing what percentage of your audience finds value in the sorts of things you post should serve as an indicator as to what is working well. 

How can this be tracked? 

1. Add up the total approval actions a post received over the course of a reporting period.

2. Divide that number by your total followers and multiply by 100 to get your applause rate percentage.

Tip: You can simplify this process by using a social media impact tool. 

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7.) Average Engagement Rate

Average Engagement Rate is the number of actions taken on a post relative to the number of follows and likes you have on your page (example, likes, shares and comments)

This is an important metric to keep track of as it shows how well your content is being connected with by your audience. To do this, you need to track the engagement rate of every post. Most people tend to get this one confused if you have a high engagement rate, the number of shares, likes and comments is actually irrelevant. 

How can this be tracked? 

1. Tally up post’s total likes, comments and shares. 

2. Divide this by your total number of followers and then multiply by 100. This will then give you your average engagement rate percentage.

Tip: The guideline for this metric is different depending on which platform you are using. 

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8.) Amplification Rate

Amplification Rate is the ratio of shares per post compared to the numbers of followers you have. 

Defined by Avinash Kaushik who is the author and digital marketing evangelist at Google, Amplification is the rate at which your followers share your posts and content and share it to their networks. 

Simply put, your followers are more likely to associate themselves with your brand – the higher your amplification rate is. 

How can this be tracked? 

1. Add up the number of times a post of yours was shared (example, retweeted, shared on Facebook and regrammed) during a reporting period. 

2. Divide that number by your total number of followers and multiply by 100 to get your amplification rate percentage.

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9.) Virality Rate

Virality Rate is the amount times people have shared your post relative to the number of unique views (impressions) it had during a reporting period.

Like the other metrics on this list, virality rate flies under the radar. It’s about more than just likes. 

For instance, a post that gets 20,000 liked may only get a measly 0.1% virality, while another post that receives 10,000 likes gets 10% virality, the latter, being the far better post. 

How can this be tracked? 

1. Measure the impressions your post’s get. 

2. Measure the shares your post’s get.

3. Divide the number of shares by the number of impressions and multiply by 100 to get your virality rate percentage.

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Conversion metrics

These numbers show how effective your social media engagement has been. 

10.) Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate is the number of visitors, who after clicking on your link from a post or content, take action on your landing page or website. Examples of this could be ebook downloads, subscribing to your Youtube channel or registering for your latest webinar. 

A high conversion rate is a strong indication that what you are posting is of high value to your audience. From a social media point of view, it is a strong signal that your post was relevant to what you are offering. In other words, you made a promise and followed through. 

How can this be tracked? 

1. Create a post with a call to action or even run some Facebook ads with a call to action. 

2. Facebook makes it easy for you with their Facebook pixel (a cookie). This allows you to track your conversion rate, follow this link. Doing so attaches the lead to a campaign.

3.  Use the campaign reporting to track the total number of clicks and conversions generated by the post.

4.  Divide conversions by total clicks and multiply by 100 to get your conversion rate percentage.

Tip: Don’t get bogged down if your traffic isn’t high, the post’s conversion rate can still be high if the delivery is right. The two are mutually exclusive. 

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11.) Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Click-Through Rate is how often people click on your call to action from your post. 

This is not to be confused with engagement actions i.e. shares, likes and comments, your CTR is specifically tied to a link that takes people away from your post and on to additional content such as a landing page. 

Tracking your CTR often will be able to provide you with valuable insight as to how well your offer is coming across to your target audience. 

How can this be tracked?

1. Keep a record of how many clicks you’re getting on a post’s link. 

2. Measure the total number of impressions you get on a post. 

3. Divide the number of clicks by the number of impressions and multiply by 100 to get your CTR percentage.

Tip: During your reporting period, make sure you measure clicks and impression. 

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12.) Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of people who land on your website after following a link from a social media post, only to quickly leave the page that they land on without taking an action.

Bounce rate allows you to measure your traffic from social media, and also your ROI – against other traffic sources such as traffic from Facebook posts vs traffic from a search that has come organically from Google. 

If you find that your social media bounce rate is lowered compared to other sources, then this serves as proof that your social media campaigns are resonating with the right target market, this, in turn, drives high-value traffic. 

How can this be tracked? 

1. Set up Google Analytics 

2. Open the tab that says “Acquisition” and look under “All Traffic” for the “Channels” segment.

3. Click the “Bounce Rate” button, which will list all of the channels from the lowest bounce rate to the highest. 

Tip: Being able to analyse the effectiveness of your own social media efforts towards your business will be a sure-fire way to see how valuable your content is. 

13.) Cost Per Click (CPC)

Cost Per Click is the amount of money you spend per individual click through your sponsored social media ads. 

Whether you have chosen LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to advertise on, don’t focus all of your attention on your total spend. Instead, shift your focus to you CPC. This will act as a strong indicator of whether or not your investment has been efficient or wasteful. 

How can this be tracked? 

1. Check your platform’s Ad Manager.

2. Check it often.

Tip: Check your CPC campaigns often… In other words, don’t leave them unattended for an extended period of time. 

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14.) Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM)

Cost Per Thousand Impressions, or CPM for short, is the amount you spend every time a thousand people scroll past your sponsored ads on social media. 

Unlike in a CPC campaign, a CPM won’t always drive action. It will only create impressions, views. Therefore, CPM is a faster and inexpensive way to split test your content and posts. 

How can this be tracked? 

1. Check your platform’s Ad Manager.

2. Check it often.

Tip: Check your CPM campaigns often… In other words, don’t leave them unattended for an extended period of time. 

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15.) Social Media Conversion Rate

Social Media Conversion rate is the total number of conversions that have come directly from your social media efforts expressed as a percentage. 

Understanding this metric will give you a clear insight as to how effective each piece of content is during any given social media campaign. To put this in perspective, it answers this question: how well does this offer resonate with our target audience?

How can this be tracked? 

1.  Create a link in the post using a shortened URL that places a “cookie” on the landing page or website. 

2. Measure the total number of conversions.

3. Divide all the social media conversions by the total number of conversions and multiply by 100. This will then give you your social media conversion rate percentage. 

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16.) Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate is the ratio of comments you get on each post in comparison to the number of followers you have on a given platform. 

This another metric that has been devised by Avinash Kaushik and it’s far better than tracking comments without any context. Think about it this way, having 200 followers and getting 20 post comments is far better than having a thousand followers and only receiving 1-2 comments.

Measuring your conversion rate will help you understand how willing your followers are to interact with your posts whilst also adding their voice for all to see. 

How can this be tracked? 

1. Use an analytics tool to collate the number of comments you receive during a reporting period.

2. Divide that number by your total number of followers and multiply by 100 to get you conversation rate percentage.

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customer Metrics

These metrics help expose your current and potential audience. 

17.) Customer Testimonials

Custer Testimonials are any review, assessment, comment, endorsement or interview which relates to your brand/ business. 

What is the best way to show prospective customers how brilliant your product/ service is? Get your current customers to post great testimonials. If your brand makes people happy then they’ll be more inclined to share their good experience with others. 

It is clear what the benefits are: a consistent stream of positive testimonials on social media will make your brand that more credible. 

How do you get more customer testimonials?

• Ask your favourite customers to leave a positive review. However, don’t offer them a financial incentive – this will undermine your credibility.

• A great way to gather more is to encourage your customers to create written, video or online testimonials by running a strong social media campaign. 

• To make the testimonial process easier for your customers, create a link (this is one we use for Nettonic) which connects to your Google My Business so prospective can see what your past clients think toward your brand.

18.) Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score

Customer Satisfaction Score is a metric that measures how happy your customers feel towards your product or services. 

In often cases, the CSAT score is determined by one simple questions: How would you describe your overall satisfaction with this product?

Customers are then asked to rate their satisfaction using a scare such as from 1-10, sentimentally such as Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent or a star rating 1-5 stars. 

CSAT score is a really simple way to gauge how your customers feel toward your brand, the reason why is because it’s clear, concise and easy to use – especially on social media! 

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