Social Media Analytics 101

July 1, 2020 Alex 0 Comments

The world of social media is constantly evolving and growing so it can be confusing to get into and monitor. Most business owners do not know where to start with analytics as new metrics seem to be appearing constantly and it can be overwhelming to decide which to focus on for your brand’s specific goals. That’s why our social media experts thought it would be helpful to break down some jargon and explain the importance of tracking your brand’s social media analytics. Although it can be confusing, it is very important for your business to track your social media metrics so you can set goals, keep an eye on your progress, and understand where you should focus your energy to improve. In today’s blog, we thought it would be helpful to outline the most basic metrics that every company needs to be paying attention to. These metrics are generalized across all social media channels and, although the names of each metric may vary slightly between platforms, their core measurements remain the same.

What Are Social Media Metrics?

Let’s start from the beginning. What are your goals with social media? What do you want to achieve for your business through your social media platforms? Some of the most common answers include increasing brand awareness, growing your brand’s audience, increasing community engagement, driving traffic to your brand’s website, and increasing sales and/or lead generation. Remember that there is no right answer when it comes to creating your company’s social media goals – the top priorities of each unique brand will vary drastically. Contact our team if you need some guidance when it comes to creating specific and measurable social media goals. Sprout Social has also created simplified guidelines to keep in mind when creating SMART social media goals for your business.

Your goals and strategies are what help determine your metrics. For every social media goal your business sets out to achieve, you need a metric to help measure your success. These metrics will help outline your brand’s social media strategies and communication plans that you will use to help meet your goals. Go through your new goals one at a time to clearly identify which social media metric you should use to measure your success towards each goal.

Why Are They Important?

This leads us to why social media metrics are so important for your business. Tracking your metrics and creating analytical reports will help you measure how successful a campaign is, how well your social media strategy is performing, if your audience is remaining engaged with any new content, and if social media is having an overall significant impact on your business. Tracking important metrics and creating analytical reports can actually help guide your marketing efforts and help you learn a lot about your business and audience.

What Should I Be Tracking?

Every business will have different goals and subsequent metrics to track. A good place to start is the native analytics built into each social media platform as they are your baseline metrics and most straight forward to track. This is great for a low budget option to step into the metrics world but should not be where you stop. Remember that you should start by laying out your goals and then matching them up to the appropriate metrics. To make this easier, we’ve created a list of the most common metrics that you can align with almost every social media goal out there. We recommend you read through the following explanations to set better social media goals, create stronger marketing campaigns, and understand how best to improve your online channels.

Common Social Media Metrics

Awareness Metrics:

These metrics can be used to determine your current and potential audience. You should track awareness metrics if any of your goals focus on brand awareness or public perception. The most common awareness metrics are impressions and reach.

Impressions are how many times a post shows up on a user’s feed. This metric will tell you how much potential visibility your content has on social media. Impressions are also commonly combined with engagement metrics to determine a more concrete idea about how your content is performing. Essentially, if your post has a high amount of impressions but a low amount of engagement metrics that means that although it reached a lot of users, it was not interesting or engaging enough for those users to interact with it.

Reach is how many unique users viewed your post. This is one of the most actionable metrics because it is usually affected by the timing (check the social media platform’s native analytics to determine when your audience is online) and the content of your post. You can calculate your post reach percentage (i.e. how many of your followers viewed your post) by dividing the reach by your total number of followers and multiplying by 100.

Engagement Metrics:

These numbers will indicate how people are actually interacting and engaging with your content. This is the largest and most common category that brands should definitely be tracking. This category includes likes, comments, shares, post clicks, and any other metric that demonstrates your audience engaging with your content. Every social media platform will have some sort of native engagement tracking that will be the total sum of smaller engagement metrics.

You can also calculate your own average engagement rate based on the metrics most important to your brand by dividing the total sum of your engagement metrics by your total number of followers and multiplying by 100. Remember that higher engagement rates mean good audience health and responsivity, brand awareness, and that you are creating content that your audience enjoys.

Conversion Metrics:

These metrics will show you how effective your social engagement is towards your business’ success and growth. The most commonly tracked conversion metrics include conversion rate, click-through rate (CTR), and cost-per-click (CPC). A conversion is when a visitor takes action on your website (like purchasing a product, subscribing to your newsletter, or registering for a webinar) after clicking a link on a social media post. Your conversion rate would simply be the number of visitors who visited via a social media channel and took action, divided by the page’s total visitors. This means that a high conversion rate indicates that your content is compelling enough for your target audience to take action with your business in some way.

Your brand’s click-through rate (CTR) and cost-per-click rate (CPC) are often connected in that they are used to determine how effective your social media advertisements are. CTR is how often people click on the call-to-action button or link in your post that brings your audience to additional content. Think about those “learn more” or “book now” buttons you see on Facebook and Instagram advertisements. Tracking your CTR will let you know how engaging your offer is to your target audience – meaning the more clicks the more compelling. CPC is the amount of money you pay per unique click on your sponsored social media posts. Instead of focusing on your total spend per advertisement, we always recommend to clients that they look at their CPC to see if your advertisements are effective. For this metric you want your CPC to be as low as possible so that you get the highest number of clicks for the lowest amount of spend.

We’re Here to Help!

Want more help or advice on how best to track your brand’s social media analytics? Check out our Copywriting, Social Media, and Branding services for more information about how to set and accomplish social media goals. Leave the metric tracking to our team of experts who can provide full package social media management services that include content creation, branding analysis, and monthly analytic reports. As a digital marketing agency, we’re here to answer any questions you may have and to help your business grow online to reach new consumers. Contact us if you’re ready to improve your online channels and build your brand’s digital marketing potential.