By Nikki Carlson, co-founder/co-president of ChicExecs Retail and Strategy Firm. She has over 21 years’ experience in PR/marketing.
When you kick off a social media campaign, you’re going to see all kinds of metrics in your dashboard. It’s not unusual for social teams to take these metrics back to their team, proudly bragging about impressions and views. But do these metrics actually matter? How does an impression lead to a sale, anyway?
I’m not saying impressions are a bad metric, but with social media campaigns, you have to look at several data points to get the full picture. Let’s look at why social media metrics are so important and the five best metrics you should focus on to understand your true campaign performance.
Why Do Social Media Metrics Matter?
You probably have goals for your social media campaign, like gaining more followers or increasing sales. Social media metrics make your campaign goals much easier to understand, measure, reach and analyze. Without these data points, there’s no way for you to prove if the campaign did anything.
Social media metrics can help you:
• Pivot your campaign direction so you can get the right results
• Plan better social campaigns in the future
• Compare different campaigns to see which were the most effective
• Get C-suite buy-in on your marketing budget
If you need to quantify your PR initiatives, social media metrics are one of the best ways to take a data-driven approach to marketing.
The Five Best Organic Social Media Metrics To Track
Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to track every single snippet of data for your social campaigns. Some metrics are more important than others, after all. If you aren’t sure which data to look at in your latest report, focus on these five for starters.
Any time a user takes action on your post, it counts as an engagement. This means there’s something about your post that encourages users to interact, which is a good thing! You should use your engagement rate to understand how often people saw your post and chose to engage with it.
Depending on the social platform, engagements can include metrics like:
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t weigh all engagements equally. For example, a “Like” is less valuable than a well-thought-out comment. If you’re getting zero engagements or a lot of surface-level engagements, that might be a sign you need to rework the campaign.
2. Audience Sentiment
Did you know you can quantify what people think about your brand? You’ll need to use an audience sentiment tool, but this metric can tell you if your campaign generated positive or negative feelings in your target audience. If the public has a negative reaction to the campaign, your audience sentiment metrics will help you see that much more quickly so you can turn things around.
Conversions are one of the best social media metrics. Any time a customer takes a desired action, like subscribing to your email list or buying a product, they’re completing a conversion. Since the goal of social media marketing is to get your followers to take action, this is one of the best metrics to help you understand your campaign’s impact.
ROI, or return on investment, is the holy grail of social media marketing. Although marketing attribution is tough to nail down, this metric helps you calculate the impact of a social media campaign on your bottom line. I’m willing to bet your executive leaders need to see numbers like this, so ROI is always a good metric to track.
5. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Your click-through rate is the ratio of how many times someone saw your post and then clicked on it. This is a useful social media metric because you can see how many people visited your website or landing page after seeing your post. The higher your CTR, the more likely it is that people are excited about your content. However, be sure to check your bounce rate. A high CTR with a high bounce rate means that something is breaking down once users land on your website.
The Bottom Line
There are so many metrics available in your social media dashboard that it will make your head spin. Without a discerning eye, you can easily bombard your team with a tidal wave of data. Not every piece of information is important — these five social media metrics will give you a high-level view of campaign performance and guide your choices for future campaigns.