16 Essential Social Media Metrics to Track

Social media has become an integral part of every marketing strategy. And why not? More than 4.62 billion people are using social media (as of January 2022), which equates to 58.4% of the global population. Besides, people spend 2.5 hours per day using social media. These numbers are too big to ignore.

This is probably why 71% of small to mid-sized businesses use social media for marketing themselves. And since you’re reading this, chances are you also use social media to promote your business.

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Now the question is, how do you measure your social media campaigns’ performance? Are you tracking the right social media metrics?

It is crucial to pick the right social media metrics to track as they help prove your efforts positively impact the business’s bottom line. To make things easier for you, we have identified the social media metrics every marketer should be paying attention to.

So, without any further ado, let’s jump right in!

What are Social Media Metrics?

Social media metrics or KPIs (key performance indicators) are data that determine the effectiveness of your social media campaigns. Depending on your goals, the social media metrics you track will vary.

Essential Social Media Metrics to Track

Source: resiliencyinitiative.org

For example, if your goal is to boost brand awareness, your campaign’s reach is the right metric to track. However, if your goal is to get more followers, likes, or comments, you should be tracking engagement metrics.

Why Should You Track Social Media Metrics?

Social media metrics enable you to determine whether you’re making progress towards your goals or not. And unless you know whether you’re going in the right direction or making progress towards clear goals, you’re playing a guessing game.

With all the data social media analytics provide, you can quickly identify what you’re doing right and should be doing to generate even better results.

Here are some key benefits of tracking social media metrics.

1. Gauge Individual Campaign’s Performance

You can identify which campaigns are driving results and which ones are just wasting resources with the right metrics. It also helps determine which social media platforms are most effective at accomplishing your goals.

2. Interact With Loyal Followers

Social media is all about interacting with people. However, identifying brand advocates could be challenging, especially if you have thousands of followers. But with the right metrics, you can recognize customers and influencers who consistently engage with your brand.

3. Identify Trends

More often than not, most trends start from social media. With social media listening and tracking, you can determine how consumer behavior is changing and create new campaigns accordingly.

Types of Social Media Metrics

As mentioned above, data helps you better understand how your digital funnel is performing.

For instance, you might see that your posts are getting huge impressions (i.e., working great at the top of the funnel). However, the same posts aren’t getting enough engagement, indicating that your content needs improvement.

Types of Social Media Metrics

It is worth mentioning that every social network has its own analytics tab, making it easier for you to track different types of metrics. 

But before we move into social media metrics to track, let’s break them down into four key customer journey stages.

1. Awareness

These metrics indicate whether you’re reaching your target audience.

2. Engagement

Social media engagement metrics indicate how audiences are engaging with your content.

3. Conversion

These metrics help determine whether your social campaigns are driving conversions.

4. Consumer

These metrics demonstrate how your customers feel about your brand.

Let’s look at different types of metrics for each customer journey stage.

Awareness Metrics

Awareness Metrics

1. Impressions and Reach

As the name suggests, brand awareness refers to the attention your brand gets on social media. So if your goal is to boost brand awareness, you should be tracking both impressions and reach.

  • Impressions: the number of times your post shows up on someone’s feed.
  • Reach: the number of unique viewers your post has.

Social media reach vs. impressions

Source: keyhole.co

For example, if you have 1,000 followers and each of them sees your content twice, you would have 2,000 impressions, but the reach is still 1,000.

No matter the social media platform you use, you can check the impressions and reach in the analytics tab. For instance, if you use Twitter, go to Analytics (can be found on the left-hand side menu) and check the impressions.

Twitter Analytics: 28-day summary

Source: sproutsocial.com

Additionally, click on Tweets in the top menu to get detailed insights into your impressions. It will show the average impressions per day and when you received the maximum impressions. You can also check your top tweets, promoted tweets, and replies.

Twitter Analytics: Tweet activity

Source: sproutsocial.com

2. Audience Growth Rate

It helps measure how fast you are adding new followers on social media. If you’re active on social media, your following should increase gradually.

This metric is useful as it helps determine whether or not the content you are creating is of your audience’s interest.

If you have lots of impressions and an extensive reach, but your audience is not growing as fast, it’s time to optimize your content marketing strategy.

You can calculate your audience growth rate by dividing the number of new followers by total followers and then multiplying it by 100.

How to calculate audience growth rate?

For example, if you have 10,000 followers and you added 1,000 followers last month, your audience growth rate is:

Audience growth rate = (1000/10000) * 100 = 10%

3. Social Share of Voice (SSoV)

Social Share of Voice refers to the number of people mentioning your brand on social media compared to your competitors.

Mentions can be either tagged (e.g., @Zensuggest) or untagged (e.g., Zensuggest).

In order to measure SSoV, you will need a social media monitoring tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social.

You can track it by following these steps.

  1. Measure the number of tagged and untagged mentions of your brand.
  2. Next, measure your competitors’ mentions during the same period.
  3. Add your and your competitors’ mentions to get the total industry mentions.
  4. Divide your brand mentions by the total number of mentions and multiply it by 100.

How to calculate the social share of voice?

For example, if you get 1,000 mentions in a month (tagged + untagged) and your competitor gets 800 mentions in the same month. Then your SSoV will be:

SSoV = (1000/1000+800) * 100 = (1000/1800) * 100 = 55.5%

Engagement Metrics 

Engagement Metrics 

Source: marketingexperiments.com

1. Likes and Comments

Likes and comments are probably the most straightforward and easy to measure social media engagement metrics.

A high engagement rate is an indication that your audience prefers a similar type of content (and vice versa).

Unlike other metrics, measuring likes and comments is the easiest, as you can see them below every post. You can also identify your top posts on social platforms easily.

For instance, if you’re using Instagram, follow these steps to find the most liked pictures.

  • Go to Insights
  • Click on the arrow mark under the category Content You Shared

Instagram business insights

Source: hobo.video

  • Click on the option Any at the top-left corner and choose the photos category.
  • Click on the Reach option and choose Likes from the dropdown list.
  • You’ll now see the most liked photos with the number of likes on the picture.

How to find the most liked photo on Instagram?

Source: hobo.video

Similarly, you can check for comments, saves, and shares.

2. Average Engagement Rate

Some posts perform better than others. Therefore, to get a complete picture of your efforts, you need to calculate the average social media engagement rate over a period of time.

You can calculate the average engagement rate by dividing the total number of likes, comments, and shares by the total number of followers and multiplying it by 100.

How to calculate the average engagement rate?

For example, if you have 3,000 followers and you’ve posted 10 photos in a month that have received 750 likes, 200 comments, and 30 shares in total, your engagement rate will be.

Average engagement rate = ((750 + 200 + 30)/3000) * 100 = (980/3000) * 100 = 32.66%

According to Social Insider, the average engagement rate across industries on Instagram is 1.16% (as of 2020). On Facebook, it is 0.27%. When it comes to Twitter, the average engagement rate is 0.07%.

Average social media engagement rate across industries

Source: socialinsider.io

3. Amplification Rate

Amplification rate refers to the ratio of shares per post to the number of followers. A higher amplification rate indicates that your followers are more likely to associate themselves with your brand (and content).

To calculate your amplification rate, divide the number of shares a post has received by the total number of followers multiplied by 100.

How to calculate the amplification rate?

For example, if you have 10,000 followers and one of your posts is shared 15 times in a month, your amplification rate will be:

Amplification rate = (15/1000) * 100 = 1.5%

You can also calculate the average amplification rate by dividing the total number of shares you’ve received in a period by the total number of followers.

If you’re an active social media user, you must have seen people sharing content from Zomato and Amul on their profiles. That is a high amplification rate in action.

4. Virality Rate

Virality rate refers to the ratio of the number of people who shared your post to the number of people who have viewed it.

Although virality rate is a social media engagement metric, it is directly associated with brand awareness. The higher the virality rate, the higher the brand awareness. 

You can calculate the virality rate by dividing the number of shares with total reach and multiplying it by 100.

How to calculate the virality rate?

For example, if your post is viewed by 5,000 people and is shared 200 times, your virality rate will be

Virality rate = (200/5000) * 100 = 4%

Conversion Metrics

Conversion Metrics

1. Conversion Rate

The bottom line for any business, conversion rate, measures how many people took your desired action (e.g., purchase your product, subscribe to your newsletter, register for a webinar, etc.).

However, it is not for everyone. Social media marketers that leverage social commerce or create posts with a call to action link should measure the conversion rate.

You can calculate the conversion rate by dividing the total number of conversions by the total number of clicks and multiplying it by 100.

How to calculate the conversion rate?

For instance, if your link has 200 clicks, but you were able to convert 5 people, your conversion rate will be

Conversion rate = (5/200) * 100 = 2.5%

Tip: Use a URL shortener to make your links trackable. Also, use cookies to track conversions even when the customer completes the purchase in subsequent visits.

2. Click-through Rate (CTR)

Click-through rate refers to the percentage of times people click on a link on your post.

Not to be confused with conversion rate, your CTR determines how many people click on your link. A high CTR but a low conversion rate indicates that customers were expecting something else on your landing page.

You can calculate your CTR by dividing the number of clicks by the total number of impressions multiplied by 100.

Click Through Rate Calculation

For example, if your post has 1,000 impressions and the total number of clicks is 50, your conversion rate will be

Conversion rate = (50/1000) * 100 = 5%

3. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of page visitors who click on the link on your social media post, only to leave quickly without taking action.

Measuring bounce rate is crucial because it helps you measure social media traffic and your return on investment (e.g., traffic from Facebook vs. traffic from Instagram vs. traffic from search engines).

This will help you find the right social networks for your business and prove that your social media campaigns drive high-value traffic.

You can check your bounce rate on Google Analytics. Here’s how.

  • Go to Google Analytics
  • Click on the Acquisition tab and choose Channels under the All Traffic segment.
  • Click on Bounce Rate, and it’ll show you the bounce rate for every traffic source. 

Bounce rate

Source: larryludwig.com

4. Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

If you’re running ads on social media, measuring cost-per-click is crucial. Irrespective of which social platform you’re running ads on, focus on your CPC than your total ad spend. This will help you determine whether your investment is efficient.

Every social network provides insights into your cost-per-click, so you won’t have to spend hours calculating it.

For example, if you advertise on Facebook, go to Ads Manager and check your cost per result for every campaign.

CPC in Facebook Ads Manager

Source: buffer.com

You can then determine which ad campaigns are worth running and which ones need optimization.

5. Social Media Conversion Rate

Social media conversion rate refers to the percentage of conversions that come from social media.

As opposed to the conversion rate we calculated above (which focuses on the percentage of people who take action after clicking on a link), the social media conversion rate helps determine if social media is an effective marketing channel for your business. 

You can calculate your social media conversion rate by dividing the number of conversions from social platforms by the total number of conversions and multiplying it by 100.

For example, if you convert 3000 customers in a month, out of which 200 comes from social media, your social media conversion rate will be

Social media conversion rate = (200/3000) * 100 = 6.66%

Consumer Metrics 

Metrics of Consumer  

1. Reviews and Testimonials

Reviews and testimonials have become more important than ever. Customers are willing to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.

That’s because reviews and testimonials are great proof that your products and services are worth investing in.

In order to get more testimonials:

  • Ask you’re happy customers to leave a review.
  • Incentivize your customers for leaving reviews on social media.

2. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score

CSAT score indicates how satisfied and happy customers are with your products and services. Measuring the CSAT score is pretty simple.

Customers are asked a simple question: how satisfied are you with our product. They can rate you from 1-10 (with 1 meaning highly unsatisfied and 10 very satisfied).

To calculate the CSAT score, create a survey on social media. Then, add all the scores, divide it by the number of respondents, and multiply it by 10.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score

For example, if 10 people have filled the CSAT survey and the sum of their scores comes to 70, your CSAT score will be:

CSAT = (70/10) * 10 = 70%

3. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric that measures customer loyalty. In fact, to measure NPS, customers are asked to rate how likely they are to recommend you to their friends and family.

Customers are divided into three categories based on their responses.

  • Detractors: 0-6
  • Passives: 7-8
  • Promoters: 9-10

Detractors are unsatisfied with your services, and you will need a lot of effort to make them happy. On the other hand, passives are happy with your services but think it could be better.

To calculate your NPS, subtract the number of detractors from the number of promoters and divide it by the number of respondents. Then, multiply it by 100.

How to calculate the NPS score?

For example, if you have 100 detractors and 150 promoters, your NPS will be:

NPS = ((150 – 100)/250) * 100 = 20

Note: NPS is not measured as a percentage but as an absolute number (lying between -100 and + 100).

4. Response Rate and Time

Social media, especially Twitter, is heavily used for customer service. This makes it crucial to measure the response rate and response time. In addition, they help track how fast your team is responding to customer queries. 

However, you will need a social media analytics tool like Sprout Social to track the response rate and time.

Summing Up

Among the hundreds of social media metrics available, you need to track the right ones to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. We have compiled a list of the essential metrics you should focus on to get a 360-degree view of your social media performance.

What social media metrics do you consider the most important? How do you track them? Let us know in the comments!

With more than two years of experience in writing, Rohit Rajpal has been helping brands improve their online presence with easy to understand content. When he is not writing, he's busy reading about digital marketing and copywriting. On the other side, he runs his own blog called Learn SEO Pro.

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