When it comes down to analysing social media metrics so you can improve your return on investment (ROI), there are literally hundreds to choose from - and I mean hundreds.
As a marketer, you need to know how well your content is performing, what’s working well and what is not. When you measure and analyse your social media metrics, the chances are you're going to have to shift your resources and tactics to be more effective.
Value is not always measured in pounds and pennies. If your goal is to drive brand awareness, you should measure success against metrics like engagement and audience reach. Social media ROI may be measured in multiple, not-strictly-financial outcomes. That said, if you don’t know your social media ROI, you’re not alone…
By the end of this blog, you will understand how to measure and analyse the most important social media metrics that matter most to improving the return on investment for your social media efforts and your business.
Our seven social media marketing metrics that matter are...
As a social media marketer, engagement should be the number one focus-area and an important metric to consider when building a social media presence for your business and improving your ROI. However, far too often, while most marketers focus on increasing the size of their audience, they fall short on their social engagement.
Your social media audience presents opportunities to build and strengthen your customer relationships. When customers engage with your posts or they send a direct message through to your social media account, you can answer their questions and go above and beyond to offer them excellent customer service.
When it comes to measuring your engagement rates, you want to analyse metrics such as:
- Clicks: Clicks pretty much represent the quality of your content. You will want to track clicks made on a link in your blog post or where your audience followed a link on your tweet. Your audience will only click on links that interest them.
- Shares: It’s always a great feeling when someone shares your work. It shows your content was valued by them.
- Mentions & Replies: These metrics show people are talking about your brand. This is a key social metric as it shows your brand awareness.
A pro tip: Studies suggest that users are more likely to share content that is less promotional and more personal/emotional.
By tracking these social media marketing metrics over time, you will be able to spot useful trends, reshape your social efforts, and enhance your audience engagement rates that will increase your social ROI.
A common misconception surrounding social media marketing metrics is that marketers analyse their social ‘Follower Count’ (often referred to as a ‘vanity metric’). Our much preferred social metric to track is ‘Follower Growth’, and we do this with good reasoning.
The size of your following doesn't matter even if you're reaching upwards of thousands maybe tens-of-thousands of followers on your social platforms. If your followers aren’t engaged or interacting with your content, you may as well render them inefficient and dead-weight.
Focus on your follower quality and the growth of followers that can add value to you, your content, and your social presence. After all, one influential follower can be more valuable than 10,000 unengaged followers.
To analyse and measure this social media marketing metric, you want to track your most quality followers. Which followers are engaging with your content, how often are they engaging, are they sharing your social posts, and have they mentioned you on their own platforms?
Measuring your ‘Follower Growth’ will be a great indicator of your social media strategies health and the quality of the content you’re putting out.
There is another question that social media marketers are constantly asking themselves. How far does your content actually reach? This metric is an indication for a variety of things, but mainly it measures the spread of your social media conversations across social channels.
Be it a blog post, tweet, or Instagram picture, your content reaches someone when it lands in their News Feed. Social reach can be broken down into three categories - ‘organic reach’, ‘viral reach’, and ‘paid reach’.
‘Organic reach’ is the number of unique people who saw your post on their feed whereas ‘viral reach’ is the number of people who saw your post from a story published by someone else. Finally, ‘paid reach’ is the number of unique people who saw your post through an advertisement.
So when you are measuring your social reach across different channels, this marketing metric will allow you to gain context on the types of people your content is reaching and seeing the total possible audience for your social content.
While it makes sense for businesses to extend their reach to as many viewers as possible, if the recipients are disengaged then the content loses it effect and no value is gained (refer back to point 1).
Impressions can often be confused with the social Reach metric, however, they are very different. Impressions are the number of times your post appears in a social feed or how many times the content was displayed to other people.
To give marketers a peace of mind, let’s break down how an Impression works. On your Facebook news feed, you may see the same piece of content displayed multiple times. If you were to measure the Reach metric, it would be one because it was just you who saw it.
Now, because the content was displayed twice from two different sources, the number of impressions would be two. If a further third source displayed the same content that displayed on your feed, the number of impressions goes up by one again. You’re starting to get the picture.
So if impressions are just how many times your content is displayed, how can they improve your return on investment?
You can improve your ROI by measuring this social media marketing metric to learn how the timing of your posts can affect the visibility of your content. You can analyse different social channels to see which work best for specific types of content.
Marketing tip: Various social media channels such as Facebook and Pinterest have built-in analytics that allows users to measure their impressions.
Traffic, a marketing word you will have most likely heard over and over again, is the number of people who visit your business website. In terms of social media, Traffic refers to the number of people who visit your website by clicking a link in your social post or from a social profile.
A more refined metric of traffic is ‘Clicks to Website’ which breaks down the traffic by which social media channel it came from.
By measuring your Traffic or Clicks to Website, you can learn whether your social media strategies are generating web traffic and examine which social channels and content are most effective.
To measure the Traffic metric, we suggest using Google Analytics. The data analysing platform easily helps you identify which social media platforms are driving the maximum traffic to your website. It will also allow you to analyse your social media efforts and determine your social media ROI.
Another metric closely related to Traffic is Traffic-to-Conversion Rate. This is the percentage of visitors from your social channels who completed a conversion goal, for example, download an offer on your website or signed up to an email. We suggest optimising your conversion rates (otherwise known as CRO) to get the best possible conversion results from your Traffic.
To improve your return on investment, Traffic-to-Conversion Rate will help you identify your highest-converting social tactics as well as identify possible weak links in your conversion funnel.
Your social media efforts are most likely serving their purpose to promote your content or drive visitors to your website where they can be converted into leads and customers. To do this, you need to add valuable links to your content to convert these visitors.
Click Through Rate (CTR) is the percentage of people viewing your post (Impressions, refer back to point 4) and then clicking a link within your post in order to view your content. A hot marketing debate has long asked ‘what’s a good Click-Through Rate?’
The most honest answer is that the Click-Through Rate is naturally going to vary from campaign to campaign. While you want to have the highest possible Click-Through Rate, there really is no optimum number.
According to Wordstream, the average good Click-Through Rate sits at 2%.
None the less, analysing this social marketing metric will vastly help you improve your ROI. You can do this by assessing and comparing the success of your social campaigns. Look at which individual pieces of content deliver the highest Click-Through Rates. Replicate and apply your findings to other social media efforts and maximise your Traffic-to-Conversion Rates.
Finally, we come to our last metric, Bounce Rate. This social media marketing metric is the percentage of people who abandon your content, or website, after viewing one page. The winning formula is to attain your visitor's attention and have them continue to another page of your website.
Comparing the Bounce Rate of your visitors who come from social posts with the bound rate of those who visit from other sources will allow you to analyse the effectiveness of your social media content.
A great marketing tip to help improve your ROI: By tracking your Click-Through Rate with Bounce Rate, you can reveal if you have a compelling Facebook post that is leading to a weak landing page.
Remember, you want your Bounce Rate to consistently decrease (We've written an extensive blog on how to do this with Google Analytics). A low percentage Bounce Rate can indicate that your followers on social channels are of high quality and engage with your content.
So, there you have it, the winning social media marketing metrics that matter most. If you want to improve your social media ROI, start with these seven metrics.
To quickly recap, Engagement should be your first point of call. Check your content, analyse what is working and what is not. This will lead as a great indication to the healthiness of your Follower Growth and the quality of your social followers.
Always refer back to your social metrics when you're delivering social campaigns. Measure the reach of your content within your social channels and how many impressions each post, tweet, or picture is receiving.
Once you have the relevant data, you’re ready to redesign your social media efforts and improve your return on investment with better quality content. Additionally, Following these methods will lead to more traffic and conversion for your business.