What are social media metrics? Here’s a great social media metrics definition: They are a means of recording and analyzing data relating to your social media marketing efforts.
Social media provides essential insights into how your target audience interacts with your content and how well you are progressing toward your marketing goals. Without these metrics, it’s virtually impossible to quantify whether your social media campaigns are successful.
How to Track Social Media Metrics
There will be different social media metrics to track depending on the platform in use and the goals of your campaign. First, here are some built-in analytics tools for the most popular social media platforms.
If you market your business via Facebook, you can use the built-in Facebook Insights tool to track your progress. You can access insights from the left menu on your brand’s page. There, you can find page insights on:
- Video views
- Video engagement and audience
- Audience Insights
- Interaction with your contact information
- Event Engagement
In addition to offering valuable data, Facebook Insights also provides helpful recommendations based on performance metrics. You can download this data from Insights for use in other analytical tools or export it to a spreadsheet.
Suppose you have a business or creator account on Instagram. In that case, you have access to the Instagram Insights tool, which provides you with a range of audience acuities, including location, age range, and other demographics. Instagram Analytics are available for your reels, stories, posts, and other content. Instagram users can also track any new accounts that engage with their posts or follow their page.
Twitter has an analytics dashboard available to users. Many of the features of this tool are centered on Twitter Cards, which allow business users to enhance their Tweets with videos, and other media to increase website traffic and app downloads. Twitter Analytics provides information on Tweet engagement, audience metrics, and Twitter Card interactions.
YouTube content creators can access channel analytics to track various metrics that include:
- Watch time
- Click-thru rate
- Total subscribers
- Returning viewers
- Unique viewers
YouTube’s analytics also provide information on what a channel’s subscribers search. Users can also enter search keywords to see how different variations of that phrase are performing.
TikTok analytics are available through the creator portal, and these are found under “Creator Tools” in your user profile. The analytical data here is divided into overview, content, and followers, and here’s a breakdown of each.
Here is the information that encompasses your account and activity as a whole, including:
- Video views
- Profile views
You can filter the information here for seven, 28, or 60 days. Users can also set a custom range that can be, at most, 60 days.
This category focuses specifically on metrics relating to the videos you post, which are:
- Average watch time
- Traffic source
- Percentage of viewers who watch the entire video
- Total likes
Content insights are only available for the past seven days.
This is where you can find insight into the people who follow you and watch your videos. The data supplied here includes:
- Audience location
- Times and days most active
- Follower growth
- Profile views
If you have access to Live, you can access insights about your Live views, diamonds earned, and other metrics.
Snapchat analytics are available through Snapchat Insights. Much like Instagram and Facebook’s iterations of the tool, Snapchat provides information on audience metrics, engagement information, and impressions.
LinkedIn has a native analytics tool that business users can use to gather various details about their presence on the platform. These include:
- Follower analytics
- Visitor analytics
- Employee advocacy analytics
- Brand talent analytics
These metrics are slightly different from those found on other platforms—for instance, talent brand analytics track how your competitors’ followers also engage with your LinkedIn presence.
Non-Native Analytics Tools
If you aren’t interested in using native analytics tools, dozens of other proprietary options exist. Here is a list of the most popular services, along with the insight they provide.
Sprout Social is a popular analytics platform offering detailed insights and reporting for all popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Users can also gain cross-platform insights using reporting that gathers data from multiple connected platforms.
Buffer offers a single dashboard for tracking social media analytics. The platforms it integrates with include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, Google, and Pinterest. Platform users can also compare and contrast the metrics between their different accounts.
SemRush integrates social media analytics with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram. Users can pull a wide variety of metrics and reports to track campaigns that involve multiple platforms.
Common Social Media Marketing Metrics
No matter which social media analytics tools you use, you will notice that some metrics are prevalent. These have been identified as metrics that provide the most useful information, regardless of platform.
A primary metric for social media companies is social reach. This refers to the total number of people who see a particular post, but it is not a measurement of engagement.
Social reach can be divided into three categories: paid, organic, and viral reach.
Paid reach refers to social reach based on paid advertising and promotions. Organic reach is the number of people who see your post without promotion. Viral reach refers to the number of people who see a post because it is highly shared.
Why is social reach, regardless of category, useful? Social reach is an excellent indicator of brand awareness. The more people that see your posts, the more likely they will remember your brand.
Social reach is different from impressions. The impressions metric is the total number of times a post is seen. Remember that one person might see the same post multiple times, increasing its impressions. Social reach is the total number of unique views.
The engagement rate indicates how much people are interacting with your content. It measures activities such as likes, shares, comments, and reposts.
Why is this metric important? It helps you understand whether and how your posts are receiving responses. This is an essential measurement of the quality of your content, targeting, and timing.
One way to calculate your engagement rate is to take the total number of interactions and divide that by your total followers. You can also find engagement rates for individual posts using the analytics tools mentioned earlier, such as Facebook or Instagram insights.
The response rate is a unique metric that gives insight into your brand’s performance on social media instead of your customers’. Response rates refer to how quickly your social media account responds to new messages and other engagements. For example, Facebook measures this by determining how often you respond to messages on the same day they are received.
Why is response rate a vital metric? Social media marketing must be analyzed and improved from every vantage point. While it’s essential to know how customers interact with your posts or if they are seeing them, you should also understand how they are experiencing your social media pages.
Measuring your response rate depends on the specific platform. On Facebook, you receive a badge that indicates you respond very quickly, typically within a day.
Social Media Referrals
Social media referrals are the traffic you receive from other social media channels. For example, if someone clicks a link in your promoted posts and lands on a product page, that is a social media referral.
Why is it important to track social media referrals? They can help you understand the return on investment (ROI) you receive from social media platforms, particularly where you pay for advertising. If you have created a paid advertising campaign on social media but aren’t receiving much traffic from those ads, that’s a problem.
Your click-thru rate (CTR) refers to the number or percentage of people who read an ad or post on social media and click through to read additional information or take other action beyond the initial blurb. For example, a user may click through one of your posts to see a video you have posted.
CTR is an important metric because it shows how you can get people who see your posts to take action. This metric is crucial if you are advertising on social platforms and paying per impression. It indicates how many people are answering your call to action vs. how many are seeing your posts and not responding. A high click-thru rate suggests that more people find your ads relevant.
Click-thru rates are calculated as link clicks divided by impressions. Many social media analytics tools will show this information directly so that you don’t have to calculate it manually.
Understanding Social Media Metrics
Social media metrics provide businesses with clear data about both paid and organic social media marketing. It’s essential to identify the metrics you need to track to properly evaluate your campaigns, then source the right tools to provide you with the insights you need.
It’s common for the information marketing teams receive from social media metrics to lead to significant changes in marketing strategy. Here are a couple of examples of this.
First, metrics provide a very clear picture of whether you are achieving your marketing goals. For example, if you want to improve your engagement rate on Instagram, then you would set a quantifiable goal, such as “increase engagement on posts by 10% within 90 days.”
The engagement rate numbers you pull from insight tools will clearly indicate whether you have achieved that goal. If you still need to, you will change your content, posting strategy, or both.
Additionally, social media metrics may reveal information about your campaigns or social media presence that you hadn’t previously considered. Without response rate data, a brand might assume that they respond promptly to customer messages and posts. But if they see that their actual response rates are significantly lower than their competitors, they may create a more responsive strategy.
Social media metrics are essential to understand how effective your social media presence is. The challenge is identifying which metrics should matter to you on which platforms, then keeping track of them in a way that aligns with your marketing goals. That can be an overwhelming task, especially when you realize that the metrics listed here are just a few items you can track using social media analytics.
One way to overcome this challenge is to connect with a digital agency familiar with creating campaigns that touch on different social media platforms and using social media metrics to measure success. Oyova offers bespoke social media marketing services, including working with your brand to create, execute, and track social media campaigns based on your unique business objective.
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