Social Insights

How to Measure Social Media Success

Emily Marquis

July 14, 2021

measuring angle with ruler

Feeling confused and overwhelmed by your social media dashboard? Don’t worry – we understand your frustrations. With social channels adding new analytic measurements seemingly every week, it can feel nearly impossible to keep up with it all. 

We’re here to help you sort through the noise and get focused on the metrics that move the needle for your business. If you’ve found yourself asking questions like the ones below, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to get serious about your social media success.

  • Are post “likes” more important than engagement?
  • What social metrics should I care about?
  • Does follower count matter in 2021?

What social media metrics matter most?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to social media marketing. While we’d love to be able to say something like “Reach is the most important metric”, measuring social media success isn’t that simple. 

Instead, you should measure a social media channel’s success by the goals you’ve set for a specific social media campaign. Therefore, it’s critical to establish goals for each of your social media platforms. 

But if we had to choose one…

However, for most businesses trying to leverage their online presence, there is one overarching goal that all digital channels should work toward: higher conversions

Ultimately, your social engagements should be directly converting to sales or indirectly assisting organic or paid conversions by pushing potential customers further along the sales funnel. 

Sales conversions from social media are most easily tracked through the connection between your social media management platform and Google Analytics.

Common Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

While you will have to determine which metrics are most relevant depending on your goals, here are some common KPIs that are a great starting point for measuring social media success.

High Engagement

Many standard metrics are grouped under the umbrella term of engagement. Typically, an engagement with your account is counted any time a user takes some sort of action with your content. This could include:

  • Likes
  • Commons
  • Shares and Retweets
  • Saves (on Instagram)
  • Account mentions
  • Click through to account profile

Engagement rate is the number of engagements (actions) taken divided by total impressions or reach. A high engagement rate is a good indication that your content is being well received by your audience.

Brand Awareness Metrics

Brand awareness is typically measured by either Reach or Impressions. While these terms are often confused, they actually have slight distinctions that digital marketers need to be aware of when measuring campaign performance.

Reach

Reach is the total number of unique users that saw your piece of content. Different social channels categorize “Reach” by slightly different indicators, so your reach will not be consistent across all platforms.

Impressions

Impressions refer to the number of times someone’s screen served them your piece of content. If a user sees one of your Instagram posts three times, that will count as three different impressions. However, your “Reach” from that user would only count as one.

Reach vs impressions: What is more important?

Again, it depends on your goals for the content and campaign you are reviewing. If your reach is growing, but your impressions are not, this could be an indication that your new followers do not see your content. If your impressions are increasing but your engagement metrics are not, this could indicate that the audience viewing your content is not interested in what you’re showing them. 

Conversions

Increasing your conversion rate from social traffic is a critical measurement of social media success. Your social channels should have a call to action that leads to a clear ROI for the business. For eCommerce platforms, this most often takes the form of direct online sales. Social traffic can also assist conversions through lead generation, email marketing capture, and overall growth of brand engagement and influence in your niche.

Still not confident in your social strategy?

While these KPIs provide a starting point for measuring your social media success, digging deep into your campaigns might require a higher level of expertise that we would love to provide. 

If your current in-house strategy is feeling lost, or your existing agency partnership isn’t working out, consider a partnership with ICUC.Social. We are a leading social media management agency providing community management, social listening services, review management, and more. 

We currently have 200+ global and national brands within our portfolio, and we’ve been providing full service 24/7 solutions for our clients for over 16 years. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.