Social media metrics can provide you as a marketer a demonstration of the success of your hard work and validation of your strategic decisions.
Proving the ROI on any marketing activity can be tricky and social media is no different.
Sure you can provide evidence of more followers, likes and so forth and these do have value in their own right of showing progress or improvement.
However management will always want to know what impact social media is having on the bottom line, which is why you also need to focus on the metrics that really matter.
Here we will walk through all the social media metrics that matter, why they are important and how you can track them.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FUNNEL
First lets take a quick look at the social media marketing funnel so you understand where each metric sits and be able to track performance across the entire customer journey.
This represents the top of the funnel (TOFU) where you are introducing your brand for the first time.
Here you are looking to get your message in front of as many people as you can and always striving to expand your reach.
Part of the middle of the funnel (MOFU) whereby your audience are now engaging with you in some form.
This may differ from each social media platform but often making comments and/or sharing your content and thus showing some form of familiarity and affinity to your brand.
At the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) is where people are now taking actions based on the content you are providing and in most cases you are providing a link to another platform that you own such as a website or a landing page.
These will vary based on each business model and will range from taking small steps such as signing up to your email list to actually making a financial purchase.
It is important you evaluate how customers are feeling about your brand and their overall satisfaction with you, social media is the place many will go to first to express this.
You can use this to understand how likely they are to recommend you to others and what areas you can work on to improve.
- Brand awareness
- Audience growth rate
- Post reach
- Potential reach
- Share of voice
There are a number of different metrics that can show the overall brand awareness but what you want to be doing is to pick a specific time span and record the metrics across that time period.
Mentions, shares, likes, impressions, favorites are the most commonly found and will differ on each social media platform.
Whilst not providing evidence of actual revenue what this does show if tracked properly is whether you are trending in the right direction and consistently increasing the awareness of your brand.
- Specify what metrics you would like to track based on the social media platforms you are on.
- Choose a reporting period (i.e 1 month, 3 months etc) and stick to it so that you are always comparing like for like when reviewing the data.
AUDIENCE GROWTH RATE
Here you want to be tracking how quickly you are growing your audience and then get greater context by comparing this to your competitors.
This will give a good indication of the net new followers you are gaining, not just in isolation, but also in relation to your existing volume of audience.
- Specify a reporting period.
- Divide the number of new followers gained by your total existing audience then multiply by 100.
- Do the same with your competitors and compare the results to yours.
An important metric to always be measuring is to see how many of your audience see the posts that you make.
This will help you analyze the best times of day and the best type of content that is getting the greatest reach.
- Divide the total reach of your posts by your total audience and then multiple by 100.
- Compare all your posts individually and analyze the time of day and content to find patterns amongst the most successful posts.
This metric is not always an exact science but calculated on a consistent basis will provide you with valuable data.
We want to try and ascertain the total number of people that could have seen a post or mention of your brand, or if you prefer think of this as 'unique impressions'.
If someone shared your post in their network, it is estimated that only a certain percentage of their followers would have been exposed to it.
What that percentage will be is going to differ from platform to platform.
As long as you calculate this consistently then you will be able to see over a period of time if you are increasing your awareness above and beyond just your existing audience.
- Track all your posts that have been shared by at least one of your followers.
- Add together all brand mentions in the same period.
- Calculate how many followers belong to the accounts that shared your posts or mentioned you, this number is the total theoretical reach.
- As a general rule your potential reach will be around 3% of your theoretical reach.
- Whatever calculations or tool you use ensure you are consistent to be able to evaluate progress and trends over time.
SHARE OF VOICE
Track how many people are mentioning your brand on social media and then compare this to your competition to ascertain your social share of voice.
Make sure you track not just your account name but also your company/brand name as well as some people will refer to your social account directly whereas others will simply talk about your company.
- Specify a reporting period.
- Record your total brand mentions as well as your competitors and calculate your percentage of the total to get your social share of voice.
- Use boolean search functionality to get accurate mentions of both your own brand and your competitors.
- Applause rate
- Engagement rate
- Amplification rate
- Virality rate
- Conversation rate
This is the number of positive actions your post receives based against your total audience.
Again each specific metric will differ on each social media platform so this may be in the form of likes or favorites.
An important metric to track over time to understand the most valuable type of posts being well received by your audience.
- Specify a reporting period.
- Total the number of actions and divide by your total audience, then multiply by 100 to get your applause rate.
This is the total number of all engagement actions possible on a given platform in relation to your total number of followers.
Ideally you want to be looking to get high levels of shares and comments to show evidence of high approval from your audience.
You will need to track different metrics across each different social media platforms to get an accurate rate for each.
- Evaluate each post individually and add up all the possible engagement actions possible.
- Divide this number by your total audience and then multiply by 100 to get the engagement rate.
- Compare the results of the top performing posts to spot trends and consistencies with post times and content.
You can measure how many people are actively sharing your content by monitoring the amplification rate of your posts in relation to your total audience.
This is a good indication of how valuable people view your content to be as they are actively sharing it with their own audience.
In addition they are also displaying a willingness to be associated with your brand so this is a really valuable indication of how highly your audience views you.
- Add up the total shares for each post.
- Divide this number by your audience and then multiply by 100 to get the amplification rate.
- Note the actions will be different based on each social media platform - i.e retweets, repinned etc.
This metric shows how many people shared your post in relation to the amount of people that actually saw it.
What this provides a clear indication of is how well received the post was and so by having a higher virality rate you therefore have a higher quality post.
You are going beyond just the raw numbers here which means this can still provide value even as your audience and overall reach is growing.
- Take the total impressions of a post and divide by the total number of shares.
- Multiply this number by 100 to get the virality rate percentage.
- Analyze your highest performing posts to ascertain the trends and content resonating the most amongst your audience.
Arguably one of the highest sought after actions on social media is to spark a conversation amongst your audience.
Therefore what better way to track your success in this area than to track and record your conversation rates.
Again by recording the number of comments in relation to your audience you can see what type of posts are initiating a conversation.
- Take the number of comments per post and divide by your total audience.
- Multiply this by 100 to get your conversation rate.
- Analyze the best performing posts and the comments to help with your future strategy.
- Click through rate
- Conversion rate
- Bounce rate
- Social Media conversion rate
CLICK THROUGH RATE
Click through rate, CTR, is the ratio of people that click on a link that you have included in your post.
Most times this link will be taking people away from the social media platform onto a landing page or website that you own to provide additional content.
Very valuable metric to track so you can evaluate what content is resonating most with your audience, whether this is in the form of an offer, useful content or something more light hearted.
- Divide the total number of impressions on a post by the total number of clicks.
- Multiply this by 100 to get the CTR for that post.
It takes 7-13 touch points before making a sale therefore a single conversion on most occasions will represent just an isolated touch point along the customer journey and so would not signify a sale.
However, each time you post a link that directs a recipient to some kind of call-to-action, CTA, it is important you are tracking what posts and content are succeeding in getting the highest number of conversions.
Obviously the higher the conversion rate the better the post succeeded in providing the user what was promised.
- On your post include a link to another page with a CTA.
- Place a cookie onto the users device that will confirm when they have both clicked the link and then completed the CTA.
- Divide the number of conversions by the number of total clicks to get your conversion rate.
- Make sure you use a URL shortener to make the links trackable.
This shows the percentage of people who land on a given web page without taking an action and quickly leaving.
A sign that they did not either find information they expected or that the content was simply not valuable or interesting to them.
Important to ascertain if the traffic you are driving from social media is performing better or worse than from other sources, enabling you to alter your strategy accordingly.
- Make sure you set up website analytics for the website or landing pages you are sending traffic to - most commonly used is Google Analytics.
- In Google Analytics under the acquisition section you will be able to see the bounce rate from any given page broken down by the individual traffic sources.
- Compare the bounce rates for social media and evaluate the effectiveness of each page alongside each social media platform you are using.
SOCIAL MEDIA CONVERSION RATE
Understanding how many of your sales come from social media is the ultimate way to show ROI from your social media strategy.
Although as mentioned it often takes several touch points and conversions before the prospect makes a purchase it is important to try and track how many of new sales originated or at least were engaged with on social media.
The ultimate way to do this would be to set up marketing automation alongside a CRM so that you are able track and communicate with a prospect from first touch point to last.
Whatever the case and no matter the complexity and maturity of your setup, it is imperative that you are able in some way to track actual sales as a result of engagement on social media.
- Create a post with a link to a sales conversion page.
- Use a link shortener and then place cookie on the users machine when they land onto target page.
- Track the total number of conversions from social media.
- Divide this number by the total number of conversions received in total from other sources to get the social media conversion percentage.
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Sentiment Score
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SCORE - CSAT
CSAT is a metric you can use to understand and measure how happy customers are with your products or services.
There is no need for any complex survey questions, a standard type of question is used such as: "How would you rate your experience with <brand>".
The customer is then provided options usually on a linear scale to rate from 1-10, with each score provided additional markings from poor to average to excellent.
- Compose a simple one question survey and place on your social media platforms.
- Take the total of all scores and divide by number of recipients.
- Multiply this number by 10 to get your CSAT score.
- Review all respondents across all platforms and look for any trends or patterns.
NET PROMOTER SCORE - NPS
NPS is a customer satisfaction metric that helps you understand how satisfied customers are with you and how likely they are to recommend you to others.
It can also assist with predicting your customer churn rate based on the lowest scores submitted.
Again it is just one simple question that you provide such as: "How likely are you to recommend <brand> to others?".
Provide the customer with choices from 0-10, with 10 being for "very likely" and 0 for "very unlikely".
The scale for the answers is broken down as follows based on the score they submit:
0-6 - Detractors: Unhappy customers with a likelihood of churn.
7-8 - Passives: Customers who are satisfied but not likely to recommend.
9-10 - Promoters: Customers who love the company and happy to promote it.
NPS has become a standard and useful method by which to gauge your current customer satisfaction and a metric by which to show an element of growth indication.
- Compose a simple one question survey and place on your social media platforms.
- Take the total of all detractors and minus the number of promoters.
- Multiply this number by 100 to get your NPS score.
By using sentiment analysis you can ascertain and quantify the feeling or tone of written text posted on social media.
This is a most useful technique to understand the overall attitude towards your brand and products.
For each time your brand or product is mentioned using sentiment analysis techniques each comment is ranked as either positive, neutral or negative.
By collating all the comments about your brand together and analyzing the scores of each one you can calculate a sentiment score to give clarity on the current reputation of your brand and the satisfaction of your customers.
- Set up a sentiment analysis tool to analyze all your brand mentions.
- Take the total of positive mentions and divide by total mentions.
- Multiply this number by 100 to get your positive sentiment score.
- Do the same for your negative mentions and be sure to review them to understand the reasons for the dissatisfaction.
- Be sure to realize that no senitment analysis can be 100% but use regular time based reviews to check for unusual spikes in sentiment.
So many metrics, so little time!
If it seems like a lot to be tracking and for some this might be the case it can all be made simple by using the right tool.
By looking deeper into what is happening on social media you can provide more valuable insights apart from the simple 'vanity' metrics such as likes and followers.
If you setup your social media platforms with the metrics we have outlined here you will be able to show real value to your organization from the efforts being made by yourself and your marketing team.
The initial setup may take longer, but the pay off will be more than worth it and you will be able to analyze and improve your social media performance to the benefit of yourself and your organization.
Click here to learn more about Qurate Social, a powerful social media management tool giving you all the insights and analytics you need to be successful on social media.
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