Process and organization
Social media plays a huge role in helping brands develop personal relationships with their target audience, boost reach, and increase revenue.
Social media plays a huge role in helping brands develop personal relationships with their target audience, boost reach, and increase revenue.
But how can brands know whether their social media marketing efforts are helping them reach their business goals?
The answer is simple - by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs).
These KPIs make it easy for brands to accurately measure the performance of social media campaigns.
In this article, we will see what social media KPIs are and the most essential KPIs to track in 2021.
Let's get started.
KPIs (key performance indicators) are the metrics a business uses to measure whether its marketing strategies are effective.
Social media KPIs track the performance of social media strategies over time. It highlights what's working, whether the business goals are being met, and the areas where improvements need to be made.
Without measuring data and performance, social media teams will be running in the dark. It will be difficult to determine which campaigns are positively or negatively impacting the business’ bottom line.
There are several performance indicators you can measure, but the most important ones for any business are divided into four main categories:
In the rest of this article, we will see the social media KPIs you should track in each category, how to calculate them, and what they mean for your business.
This is an umbrella term for metrics that inform you on how far your content and brand name have spread on social media.
Before you start thinking of generating leads and converting them into customers, your message first needs to reach the right audience. So with the KPIs in this section, you can determine if your content is reaching the right people.
Here are the KPIs you can use in measuring social media reach:
Well, think of this as Reach with a small “r”.
reach is the total number of unique people that have seen your content. In an ideal world, all of your followers will see your content. So if you have 5 million followers, you should have engagements close to that number.
Unfortunately, that's not how social media works. There are two main reasons why your engagements are usually not the same or more than follower count. First, not all of your followers will be online when you post. The second reason is that the algorithm decides who gets to see each post. So even if you post at the right time, the algorithm might show your content to just a percentage of your followers.
For instance, Chick-fil-a has 1.8 million followers on Instagram, but their posts do not get close to that number of engagement because only a small fraction of their followers see their content.
How to calculate reach:
Post reach percentage = Post Views/Total followers × 100
Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed to people. One user can have multiple impressions. They can see the post in their timeline and again when one of their followers shares it. Impressions will count even if the user does not engage with the content.
Impressions and reach are very similar. The main thing that differentiates them is engagement.
For example, let's say you have 1000 followers and you share an Instagram post. If all of your followers see your post, you will have a reach of 1000 people along with 1000 impressions.
If you decide to share 2 posts, you will still have a reach of 1000 people because your number of followers did not change. However, you will now have 2000 impressions because each of your followers saw both posts twice.
In this example, my reach was 50 Instagram accounts but my impression was 57. This means that one or two of these accounts came across this post more than once.
It's important that you track the amount of traffic to your website from your social media activities. A high influx of traffic from social media to your website indicates two things:
If your social media posts get a lot of reach and engagement but little or no web traffic, it means that you are uploading the wrong content for your audience or you are using a poor call to action.
To track how much web traffic you gain from social media, use Google Analytics.
Here is how to use Google Analytics:
Log in to Google Analytics and select the website you want to view social media traffic for.
In the left taskbar, click on Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels.
On the Channels report, click on the Social column. Here you will see all the web traffic from social media.
Social share of voice (SOV) is a metric that measures a brand's exposure based on social media conversation. It tracks the number of times your brand is mentioned on social media vs. the number of times your competitors are mentioned.
In traditional advertising, share of voice tracks what brands say. On social media, share of voice tracks what people say about brands.
How to calculate social share of voice:
Total industry mentions / your brand mentions × 100 = social share of voice
Audience growth rate measures the rate at which a brand's following changes on social networks. Tracking this metric will help you determine the average rate of decrease or increase of your follower count over time.
How you calculate audience growth rate:
Benchmark the number of followers you have on the day you start to track this metric. Measure the increase or decrease in the numbers every day, weekly, or monthly.
New followers / Total followers × 100 = Growth rate percentage
Potential reach is the number of people who could see your post during a reporting period. When you upload a post, your potential reach is the number of people that follow you. So if you have 1,000 followers on social media, your initial potential reach is 1,000 followers.
Why initial potential reach?
If one of your followers has 500 followers and then shares your post, your potential reach increases to 1500.
Social media engagement KPIs allow you to evaluate your social media performance. It measures the number of comments, likes, shares, etc.
However, engagement KPIs are blanket metrics. While they help you identify whether your content is resonating with your audience, engagement KPIs won't describe why your social media efforts translate into conversions and sales.
Note that social media engagement can be positive or negative. If you go viral because of a badly thought-out post, your brand can receive negative engagement in the form of hateful comments and mentions. This bad publicity can prove harmful to your social media efforts.
Here are the KPIs you can use in measuring social media engagement:
Likes are found on almost all major social media platforms. They allow users to interact with posts and updates. By liking a post, a user indicates that they approve of what has been shared.
Likes are the lowest forms of engagement and don't show significant intent on the part of the audience. A user might like a post promoting a bag because they like the picture of the bag and not because they want to buy it.
However, as a metric, likes will help you understand the kind of content you should be creating.
If your content is informative and relevant to your target audience, it will spark a conversation among them.
Unlike likes, comments are more tangible metrics to look at. It allows you to learn more about your audience. Note that a high number of comments isn't always a good thing. Comments can either have positive or negative sentiments. If you have more positive comments, it's a sign that your current content strategy is making the right impact.
Compared to likes, shares are a good indicator of true engagement from your audience. Social media users can easily like a post even without reading it. On the other hand, a user sharing or retweeting a post means that they interacted with it and liked it enough to recommend it to their followers.
As a social media manager, if there is any engagement KPI you should actively track, it should be shares and retweets.
Social media mentions measure how many times your brand has been talked about on social media.
This metric is a good indicator of how your social media activities will affect your overall brand awareness.
The more mentions your brand has on social media, the more people will get to learn about your brand. So when your followers talk about your brand, their followers will see it and also learn about you.
How to track social media mentions:
The best way to track social media mentions is by using a social listening tool like Iconosquare.
Iconosquare allows you to monitor all that is being said about your brand with ease. You can also monitor the mentions of your competitors to learn what kind of content is working in your industry and what isn't. Try out Iconosquare.
Clicks are simply the number of times social media users click on your post. A high number of clicks is a good indicator that your post is performing well. Not only did your audience engage with your post, but they also took further action by clicking.
This metric only tracks the positive interactions your brands receive on social media. Examples of positive interactions include likes, shares, retweets, favoriting a post, saves, upvotes, etc.
How to calculate applause rate:
Applause includes percentage = Total approval actions / Total followers × 100
Average engagement rate is the total of engagement a post gets - including likes, comments, and shares - divided by the total number of followers. This metric allows you to measure on average how engaging your posts are.
Here is how to calculate average engagement rate:
Average engagement rate = Likes + comments + shares / Followers × 100
This metric measures the rate at which your audience shares your content with their followers. Amplification rate measures anything from shares on Facebook, retweets on Twitter to repins on Pinterest. A high amplification rate shows that your followers like your content and want to be associated with your brand.
Here is how to calculate amplification rate:
Amplification rate percentage = Total post shares / Total followers × 100
Conversion metrics are the most efficient ways to measure the success of your social media marketing strategies.
A social media conversion occurs when a user redirected from social media completes an action with your brand.
Depending on your business goal, a social media conversion can be any of the following:
Here are the KPIs you can use in tracking social media conversions:
This metric measures the number of users who perform the action you set in your social media CTA compared to the total number of clicks on the post.
A post can have a high number of clicks but a low conversion rate.
A high click-through rate but low conversions can occur because of the way your site is built. In fact, it plays a huge role in determining whether a user will complete a conversion.
You need to design your web pages in a way that makes it easy for visitors to navigate through them.
The flow of your website should make it immediately clear what action you want the user to take. For example, if users are directed to a sales page on your website, you want to make sure that your check-out button is very visible. If visitors can not easily locate the check-out button, you will be losing out on conversions.
Here’s how to calculate it:
Conversion rate = Conversions / Total clicks × 100
For most businesses, one of the main goals for promoting their brand or product on social media will be to increase sales revenues.
It will be difficult to determine whether your social media efforts are generating a positive return on investments if you do not track sales conversion.
Here is how you can use sales revenue to calculate social media ROI.
Let's say you spent $500 on Facebook ads and generated $2000 in sales. The $2000 will be your revenue.
First calculate your profit using formula (revenue - investment = profit). So your profit is $2000 - $500 = $1500
Your social media ROI is calculated as (Profit / Investment × 100). So your ROI is $1500 / $500 × 100 = 300%
Social media ROI = 300%
This metric measures the percentage of leads that entered the sales funnel via social media and are now "Close Won" customers. This is a very important social media KPI to track as it is a strong indicator that your target audience likes your product and that your pricing and sales execution is effective.
Alternative names for this metric are sales conversion rate and close rate.
Here is how to calculate Lead to Win rate:
Lead to Win rate = Won customers / Leads × 100
CTR is the total percentage of people that viewed your social media post and clicked on the call to action. This metric gives you insight into how well your content captures the attention of your audience and prompts them to act.
If your post gets a lot of impressions but little to no clicks, it means that you are creating content that does not resonate with your target audience.
Here’s how to calculate CTR:
CTR percentage = Total clicks / Total impressions × 100
Not all visitors that land on your sales page from social media will complete a purchase. Bounce rate is the percentage of users who clicked on a web link in your social post but then left the web page without taking the desired action.
No matter how great the web page is, there will surely be visitors that will bounce. But you don't want the bounce rate to be high. A high bounce rate indicates that your content is not engaging or that the user experience on your website is poor.
An example of a poor user experience is a slow website. According to Google, increasing a web page load time from one to five seconds can increase bounces by up to 90%.
You can use Google Analytics to track your bounce rate.
CPC is the amount you pay a social media platform per individual click on your sponsored social media content. Tracking this metric allows you to identify whether your ad investment is worth it.
Here is how to calculate CPC:
CPC percentage = Total Ad Spend / Total Measured Clicks × 100
This metric measures the amount you pay each time 1,000 people scroll past your sponsored social media content.
If you have a lot of impressions on your sponsored content but little clicks, it signals that your ad copy and CTA aren't effective.
Tip: Pay for impressions only when you want to use sponsored content to increase brand awareness. If you want to generate tangible conversions like sales or downloads, pay per individual click on your sponsored content.
Here’s how to calculate it:
Cost per thousand impressions = Total Ad Spend / Total Ad Impressions × 100
There are a ton of other businesses on social media. To make your brand stand out, you need to ensure that you satisfy your audience's needs. When used correctly, social media can help boost customer satisfaction. For example, social media can be used as an effective customer service channel.
The metrics in this section will help you understand whether your customers are satisfied with your social efforts. With this knowledge, you will be able to improve the performance of your campaigns and also boost customer loyalty.
Here are the KPIs for tracking customer satisfaction on social media:
Customers regularly write reviews and testimonials about their experiences with a brand or product on social media. Platforms like Facebook even offer a dedicated section where users can drop their reviews.
You need to regularly track testimonials related to your business on social media.
Positive testimonials serve as social proof and will show potential customers that your brand is worth doing business with. Also, negative reviews will show you the places where you need to improve.
This metric indicates how happy your audience is with your brand's product or service. You can use a poll or survey to collect CSAT data on social media.
For example, you can run a poll where you ask your audience to describe their overall satisfaction rate with your product or service. In the poll, ask respondents to rate their satisfaction using descriptors like excellent, average, or poor or through a numerical scale of 1 to 10.
Here is an example of a poll you can run on social media:
To calculate your average CSAT score, take the number of “Satisfied” respondents (those who answer in the “Somewhat Satisfied to Very Satisfied” range), divide it by the number of responses to the survey, and multiply the result by 100.
NPS measures your followers' brand loyalty. To find your net promoter score, run a poll on social media asking your audience this question - How likely would you be to recommend this product to a friend?
Similar to when calculating CSAT, allow respondents to answer through descriptors like very likely, likely, or unlikely. You can also use a numerical scale.
Now that you know the key social media KPIs to track, the next step is how you will track them. The two main ways include:
All major social media platforms come with a built-in analytics feature that will allow you to track social media KPIs natively.
The analytic solutions on platforms like Instagram and Twitter are great if you want a quick assessment of the performance of your social media campaigns.
However, using the native solution on social media platforms is not ideal if you are managing several profiles across multiple networks. With a social media management platform like Iconosquare, you will be able to monitor several profiles in one dashboard.
Iconosquare offers access to in-depth analytics and allows you to monitor mentions of your brand on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Not only that, but you can also share metrics and performance data with your team or client using the easy-to-use reporting feature. Sign up for a free trial.
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