8 Social Media Metrics You Should Be Tracking in 2017
Social media marketing includes so many topics and tactics that measuring performance often can prove elusive. Still, just as is the case with any other marketing initiative, you need data to help you focus your time and money on the activities that deliver the greatest benefit.
In order to measure and then improve your results, use the following eight social media metrics.
1. Anticipate growth by counting your followers
When you post and share high-quality, actionable content in desirable formats, you can expect to build your audience. On the contrary, if your social media profiles fail to attract followers, you can regard that as a sign to rethink your content strategy.
As your number of followers grows, you naturally increase the reach of your brand because more people will see and act upon your messages. Therefore, expect sales to grow together with your group of followers.
Going further: While monitoring your number of followers, also use apps that measure attribution. Doing this will help you measure whether your social media campaigns generate the type of growth in positive leads and sales conversions that you need to support your business.
2. Count “likes” to guide your content creation
The ability to “like” content gives social media the power to promote articles, graphics and videos that they enjoy. Regardless of whether your content entertains, educates, or informs, the number of “likes” it attracts can give you a direct measurement of its appeal. Furthermore, you can optimize your social media effort by using well “liked” content as a model for your future activities.
Going further: Use a metric called “applause rate” to benefit even more from audience reactions to your content. The applause rate is measured by calculating the ratio of the number of likes for a post to the number of followers that you have. As a result, you will know the percentage of your audience interested in the things you post.
3. Track user comments
When your content resonates with social media users to the extent that they want to respond with a comment, you have made a remarkable accomplishment. In other words, comments represent a higher level of engagement than values such as “likes” and “follows.”
In addition to tracking the number of comments for each social media post, pay attention to their nature. That way you can eliminate content that generates undesired reactions along with that which is unpopular.
Going further: Make this metric work even better by dividing your value for comments per post by your followers. As a result, you will know the percentage of your audience that finds your content compelling.
4. Use content shares to measure engagement
Social media users who benefit from your content can easily share it with their relatives, friends and associates. Knowing this, you want to publish interesting, useful and fun content that will inspire sharing and get your brand noticed by people whom you might never otherwise reach.
Paying attention to how many times each of your posts gets shared gives important insight into the values and preferences of your audience. Based on that knowledge, you can adjust the social media campaigns accordingly to maximize reach.
Going further: Divide the number of times a post has been shared by your total followers to calculate your social media “amplification rate.” As this value increases, you can expect to get more bang from the time and money you invest in social media.
5. Measure total exposure with “Reach”
On social media, your reach enumerates the total number of people who have received your message. It includes people such as your followers who are part of your audience, and others who view your content as a result of sharing.
Essentially, you want to expand your reach in order to achieve a high level of efficiency and conversion from your social media strategy. Do that by publishing the types of content that engender the responses that you desire.
Going further: Ask yourself if the quality of your content pertains to your brand and audience. Although no direct measurement of quality exists, you can assess quality based on other metrics. Metrics such as visit duration, unique visitors to a page and total views can tell you whether your content is keeping your audience engaged.
6. Gauge effectiveness with click-through rates
For the most part, you want your social media content to cause people to respond in a certain way. Although you want people to follow, like, share, and comment on your content, you also want them to become leads that you can convert into customers.
The click through rate (CTR) of your content compares how many times someone clicks on your links compared to the number of times your content is displayed. Use CTR data to determine the content and link formats that attract the most attention. By focusing on material that attracts clicks, you can increase your conversion rates and thereby improve the productivity of your business.
Going further: Put your content CTRs in perspective by also monitoring bounce rates. A “bounce” occurs when visitors click a link, arrive at your website and quickly leave, presumably because what they saw did not interest them.
Additionally, when you compare the bounce rate of your social media visitors to that of other sources such as search engines, you can measure your success as a social media marketer.
7. Track referral traffic from social media
You can accomplish a lot for your brand on social media, but you can do even more when you use social media to refer traffic to your business website. Simply by adding a link to your social media content, you give people an easy way to learn more about your brand and become customers.
Check your website logs to find out the source of your website traffic and zero-in on the number of visitors arriving from social networks. You can also use third-party tools such as Google Analytics to get this information.
In addition to the visitor count, pay attention to other important metrics such as page views, pages viewed per session, and the amount of time spent on your site by each user.
Going further: Pay attention to the traffic going to your website from all your marketing channels, including search engines and PPC advertising. Doing so can help you calculate the overall value of your brand.
8. Tabulate mentions of your brand
When people talk about your business and brand on social media, they “mention” you. When this happens a lot, you have a sign that you are creating “buzz” and thereby exposing your products and services to a large number of people who otherwise would never know about you.
Third party applications such as SocialMention monitor social media conversations and measure the sentiment and number of mentions of your brand. In addition to measuring your social media success, this tactic can also help you identify and respond to negative mentions that can damage your reputation.
Going further: Use an advanced metric, the social share of voice, to compare the performance of your brand on social media with your competitors. Compute this figure by comparing the number of mentions for your brand with the total number of mentions for all brands in your industry.
In conclusion, you should use the above 8 social media metrics and each bonus tip to learn more about the performance of your social media campaigns. Of course, you should choose the metrics that have the most relevance to each of your social media marketing campaigns and then track your measurements over time. Ultimately, by using the right metrics, you can optimize your presence on social media, and use it to contribute to the growth and profitability of your brand.