Which Social Media Metrics Matter Most and How to Measure Them

Image courtesy of www.connectionmodel.com
Image courtesy of www.connectionmodel.com

We all know that social media marketing is spreading like wildfire among businesses, both large and small. According to the Social Media Marketer, 83% of marketers feel as though social media is important to their business. But implementation of social media marketing is just the beginning. The next step is to monitor your social media presence to determine your campaign’s success. With the multitude of social media metrics available to businesses, how do we know what metrics matter the most?

Before we get to the nitty-gritty metrics, there are some important statistics to consider when venturing into the world of social media marketing.

  • Facebook users are more trusting than other social media platform users. A reported 43% of Facebook users who were surveyed feel as though most people can be trusted (Pew Internet via Social Media Club).
  • An online community with 20 people is considered to have a significant level of activity and connectivity (Ning via TheNextWeb).
  • LinkedIn users are 63% men and 37% women (Pew Internet via prsarahevans.com)
  • Users are more likely to buy if their questions are answered on Twitter (nytimes.com)
  • Users who stream audio view twice as many pages compared to users who only read text, averaging 4.2 pageviews per visit versus 2.4 for the readers (Nieman Journalism Lab).

When considering social media metrics, we must divide the content into two categories: public metrics and private metrics.

Public metrics are a comparable source of data, which allows you to directly compare how you are performing compared to your competitors and industry. This data gives you a point of reference for your performance level. In contrast, private metrics are not comparable to anyone else because you are not able to obtain other companies’ private metric data. That being said, private data is still very important for your own information. It allows you to glean a deeper insight into your target demographic, who your audience is, and how your personal performance is improving or declining.

Engagement Rate
Despite differing opinions on what metrics matter the most, the general consensus finds engagement rate to be the most influential factor in monitoring a brand’s social media success. Engagement is directly linked to the relative size of a social media page, and shows how engaging users find the content. Here is how the three reigning social media champions calculate engagement:

Facebook: Likes + Comments + Shares + Post Clicks = # of Unique People Engaged
Twitter: Replies + Retweets + Mentions = Engagement
Instagram: Likes + Comments = Engagement

It is important to note that only Facebook allows you to account for unique people engaged, meaning how many new people engaged with the content, rather than the same person clicking on the same link twice.

Interaction levels show you how many people are sharing your content, commenting about it, or “liking” it. In comparison to engagement rate, which is a relative number compared to the size of your page, interactions are shown in a definitive number.

How often your content is shared can tell you your brand’s reach, and if your brand has the potential to go viral. If content is shared, it spreads its reach considerably, exponentially growing on all levels. This is also the best way to reach non fans and a new market base.

With the introduction of Facebook Insight data, private metrics allow companies to see more than they ever could have dreamed about their social media performance. And, the data is free! Inundated with data galore, we are going to slim it down to the two most important metrics available

Reach can come in the form of organic or paid, and tells you how many unique people have accessed your content. Organic reach shows how many people saw the content via Newsfeed or on a page, whereas paid reach is how many people saw it as a result of paid advertising.

Frequency accounts for the number of times a unique person was reached. This type of data is only available on Facebook.

Monitoring your social media content is integral to successful branding. Marketing managers that monitor content for engagement rates are able to see what content is successful and unsuccessful. Adaptability is the name of the game, so use the data wisely.

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