How to Measure Social Media Success: 10 Metrics to Track

Research shows that 91% of retail brands use two or more social media channels to market their business.

That’s a lot of social media accounts.

You might post impressive pictures with witty captions, but are your social media efforts doing anything for your bottom line?

To justify your marketing budget and develop attainable goals, you need to know how to measure social media success.

Keep reading to discover why metrics matter, and how to measure social media success across all your business’s platforms.

Why It Matters

Tracking audience interactions with your photos, posts, and tweets is the best way to determine what’s working and what isn’t. By compiling this data, you will be able to improve your followers’ experience as they interact with your brand on social media.

Justify Your Marketing Budget

Social media analytics will also help you justify your marketing budget. If you have to prove to your boss that the money spent on paid ads is worth it, it is helpful to have the numbers to show success.

It’s hard to handle multiple social media accounts on your own. Measuring your success with metrics will also help you justify the cost of a quality social media manager.

Set Your Goals

Your goals will vary based on your business objectives, but they should be clear and measurable. You should create concrete goals that you can prove with data within a set deadline.

Think SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

Tracking your social media analytics will help you create SMART goals and improve your return on investment (ROI).

How to Measure Social Media Success

You don’t create a social media campaign for fun. A successful social media marketing strategy requires a solid understanding of each platform and your specific business’s goals.

Track Your Following

Some would argue that your audience volume isn’t the most important metric. But it will help you understand your brand’s influence on social media.

The number of followers you have will show you how many people are familiar with and talking about your brand.

You should be doing regular reporting, as this number can vary wildly from day to day.

Identify Prime Time for Engagement

Knowing when your audience is online is key to higher engagement rates. Track the number of interactions with your post to figure out what time of the day your followers are most active.

Facebook tracks this for you with a feature in your Insights portal called “When Your Fans Are Online.”

Your potential audience can’t see your posts if they’re not online! And followers can only interact with posts if they are in their newsfeed. If you don’t determine the optimal time to post, your content will get buried in their timeline by competitors’ posts.

Track Interactions and Engagement

Speaking of interactions, you should be tracking all engagement metrics for each of your platforms.

Engagement includes any action that a user performs in relation to your content. This could be likes, shares, comments, and even clicks. Keep in mind this includes interacting with your content in a negative way.

There are a few different rates to keep track of.

First, you should keep track of your applause rate. This is the number of positive interaction your posts receive compared to your number of followers. To get the percentage, divide the number of approval actions of your post over a determined reporting period. Then, divide that number by your number of followers and multiply by 100.

Next is your average engagement rate, which is the total number of engagement actions (positive or negative) by your followers. Track these engagement rates on every post. High engagement rates will prove the success of your posts.

The amplification rate is your ratio of shares per post to the number of followers you have. This is how you determine how willing your followers are associate themselves with your brand. Essentially, they are marketing for you.

Finally, there’s virality rate. This is about more than just likes. Finally, there’s virality rate. This is about more than likes. Virality is the number of people who share your post compared to the number of impressions it has during a specified period.

Know Your Audience

Your audience demographics can shape your social media strategy. This can increase post interactions and the success of paid ads. After all, you’re trying to get them to purchase your product or services.

There are a few different ways to identify your audience. First, you will target an audience by determining the primary demographic characteristics of possible customers. You will develop a brand persona to resonate with those customers.

Research how similar brands interact with their audiences. This will give you an idea of their tone and posting behavior.

You can survey your followers in a non-traditional way by running attractive offers and content and track engagement rates. Segment your audience accordingly and then you can research more deeply with actual surveys.

Give your audience the chance to offer their opinion and you will be surprised how that builds brand loyalty. People want to be heard because it makes them feel like your brand values their opinions.

Determine Your Reach

Reach measures the net of conversation over social media platforms that stems from your brand. Basically, it’s the number of people that have seen your post.

Reach helps you determine how far your influence stretches across your intended audience. It gauges your potential audience size. If your reach isn’t growing, you have a problem!

Measuring reach is most effective when combined with other metrics such as likes, clicks, retweets, or replies.

Each platform stores this data somewhere different. Facebook, for example, includes reach at the bottom of each post on your timeline. You can also view the reach for each post in your admin panel just above your cover photo.

Social Share of Voice

Social Share of Voice (SSoV) refers to how many people are talking (or “mentioning”) about your brand on social media. Sometimes those who are talking about you in posts aren’t always following, so this is different than your number of followers.

Mentions can be direct, when a user tags your profile, or indirect, when they mention your brand name without tagging. You may find more indirect mentions, as 96% of social media users do not follow brands they’re talking about.

Track this metric by measuring every mention you receive across your platforms. Then, take a look at your competitors’ mentions during that same period. Adding them together will give you the industry mentions.

Divide your number of mentions by the total number of industry mentions and multiply by 100 to discover your SSoV percentage.

Referral Traffic Data

Likes, comments, and mentions are great. Referral traffic will truly show you how much your business is benefitting from your social media efforts.

When you post links to your website as calls-to-action in your social media posts, you can track the number of people who clicked and actually visited your site.

By tracking referral traffic, you know exactly what is exciting to your audience.

Track Click Rates

Click rates tell you how many people interact with your post by clicking on your the call-to-action link.

These links lead customers directly to your website, so it’s important to track whether they are working.

In order to determine the success of your call-to-action links, watch the percentage of users who click-through compared to those who saw your offer and didn’t.

Start Tracking Today

Don’t create social media accounts for your company just because you feel like you have to. To stay on top, you must have a strategy and track metrics to be sure it is working.

This might seem like a lot of work, so you may want to look into using a social media analytics tool. Some are free, while others require a one-time or monthly fee. Despite the cost, they can save you a lot of time when considering how to measure social media success.

Once you start tracking your post success, the work is not over. Analyzing your social media marketing efforts is an ongoing process.

Better yet, hire a professional to develop a paid social strategy for you. Contact us to let us help you grow your business today!