Measuring Success: Key Metrics To Track In Social Media Marketing

Mary Joseph
Mary Joseph June 11, 2023
Updated 2023/06/11 at 2:51 PM
Key metrics to track in social media marketing

Measuring Success: Key Metrics To Track In Social Media Marketing

What does social media success means to businesses and individuals? There is no universal answer. Success can vary depending on the circumstances. For a newly established brand, success may be defined as rapid growth within a short period of time.

On the other hand, for a well-established business, success may involve remaining relevant and retaining a strong fan base.

Regardless of where you are in your social media marketing strategy, it is crucial to monitor specific data in order to achieve your goals. These key performance indicators (KPIs) can provide valuable insights into your industry standing and help you create fresh and engaging content.

Whether you utilize an analytics tool or rely on the insights provided by the social media platform itself, you might question the meaning and significance of these KPIs. To assist you, we have outlined the most important KPIs to monitor for your brand’s social media success.

Key Metrics To Track In Social Media Marketing

Reach:

Reach refers to the overall number of individuals who choose to view and interact with your post. Each person who views your post is counted as one unit of reach. It’s important to note that if someone sees your post multiple times, it doesn’t increase your reach, although it may increase your impressions.

The extent of your reach can vary based on the number of followers you have and the platform you’re using. With the increasing number of channels available, your content not only competes with other posts on the same platform but also with posts from other channels.

Our 2023 Instagram Stories Benchmark Report indicates a decline in reach for both Instagram posts and Stories. Interestingly, brands with the largest following experienced the lowest reach rate on their Instagram posts.

Instagram’s emphasis on Reels and the rising competition from platforms like TikTok further intensify the struggle for your post to capture the attention of your audience.

When evaluating reach, you are assessing whether your content resonates with your followers. On platforms like Instagram, the algorithm prioritizes displaying content to your followers if it believes it aligns with their interests.

If you consistently produce high-quality content, your posts and Stories will continue to be shown to your followers, thereby increasing your reach.

To illustrate this point, let’s consider a Starbucks post announcing the introduction of the Pistachio Cream Cold Brew. Although reach is a private metric visible only to Starbucks’ social media team through their Instagram analytics page, we can still gauge its impact to some extent.

With over 110K likes and 1.63K comments, the post generated a total of over 112K engagements. Consequently, we can infer that the Starbucks post reached at least 110K individuals, assuming that some people both liked and commented on it.

How can you expand your audience? There are several factors to consider in determining the optimal timing for your posts, which can increase the likelihood of engagement from your followers. However, the most effective way to broaden your reach is by sharing content that is relevant to your audience.

Instagram will prioritize delivering content to your followers if it predicts that they will take action on your posts. Therefore, it is crucial to consistently publish posts and Stories that cater to the interests of your audience. By analyzing which of your posts tends to achieve the greatest reach, you can create more similar content to replicate that success.

It may be necessary to experiment with your content. In the realm of social media, testing and retesting is essential. To identify what is effective and what is not, it is important to measure the outcomes of your experiments. Utilizing a social media analytics tool can assist you in evaluating the performance of your social media marketing efforts. By examining the results of each post, you can allocate more resources to the types of posts and Stories that generate the desired reach.

Impression:

Impressions and reach are often mistaken for each other, and although they share similarities, there is a key distinction between them. Reach refers to the count of individuals who view your content, while impressions represent the frequency of content views.

For instance, if a person sees your content three times, the reach would still be one, but the impressions would increase to three.

The number of impressions will always be the same as or higher than the reach, with the latter being less frequent.

Similar to reach, increasing the relevance of your content will aid in gaining more impressions. It is crucial to monitor both your reach and impressions to ensure they do not decline. Once these metrics drop, it becomes challenging to restore them.

On Instagram, if your posts lack significant engagement, the platform will cease promoting them. However, to encourage Instagram to distribute your content to your followers, it is necessary for your followers to demonstrate interest, which is difficult if they are not exposed to your posts. By tracking both reach and impressions, you can avoid being trapped in this detrimental cycle.

If you start noticing a decline in your reach and impressions, you have a few choices to consider. Ensure that you are posting at the best times for maximum impact. It might be worth assessing whether you are posting too infrequently or excessively.

Our research shows that the top 25% of successful brands in terms of engagement rate typically post about 3.5 times per week.

While it is important to maintain a consistent posting schedule, there is a potential risk of sharing content at unfavourable times if you post too frequently. Posting excessively during non-optimal times can result in fewer views for your content.

Conversely, posting too little or infrequently can hinder Instagram’s ability to gauge your followers’ interest in your content. By monitoring your analytics, you can determine an optimal schedule and posting frequency that minimizes these risks.

Engagement:

Key metrics to track in social media marketing

There are multiple perspectives to consider when analyzing engagement rate, but we will concentrate on two primary approaches. The initial approach examines the engagement rate in relation to the number of followers, determined by dividing the total engagements by the follower count. However, before discussing the qualities of a good engagement rate, it is necessary to define what engagement entails.

Utilizing the engagement rate per follower allows you to gauge the overall effectiveness of your social media strategy. It also enables you to assess the performance of individual posts.

Another variant of the engagement rate is based on the number of impressions. However, using this type of engagement rate can be more challenging because it requires access to impression data, which is not as readily available as follower counts.

Consequently, determining the success of your overall strategy becomes more difficult with this approach.

If you wish to compare the performance of a specific post to your average engagement rate, it is advisable to select one type of engagement rate and consistently apply it.

Keep in mind that the engagement rate per follower and the engagement rate per impression may differ. Comparing the engagement rate per impression of a post to your overall engagement rate per follower could lead to confusion regarding the post’s actual performance.

Mentions:

This metric, as its name suggests, evaluates the frequency of a brand being referenced on social media. It is important to monitor mentions in two key ways: your own mentions and those of your competitors. By tracking these mentions, you can gain insights into the level of brand awareness surrounding your company.

Additionally, analyzing both your own and your competitors’ mentions enables you to gauge the respective market shares.

Monitoring your competitors’ mentions enables you to determine the share of voice, which refers to the proportion of online conversations focused on your company compared to theirs. To effectively track mentions and share of voice, utilizing a social listening tool can be extremely advantageous.

Alternatively, you have the option to explore social media platforms by utilizing specific hashtags, including those that are associated with your brand in order to enhance brand recognition. By conducting searches for these hashtags, you gain insights into the online activities and performance of your followers and influential individuals.

ROI:

ROI, short for return on investment, is a crucial key performance indicator (KPI) that should be monitored to assess the effectiveness of allocating funds in the appropriate areas during social media campaigns. Although ROI serves as a general KPI, it can be further dissected by examining the social media metrics that contribute to it.

When evaluating ROI, it is important to analyze the conversion rate. The conversion rate signifies the number of times an individual who views your post or an influencer’s post makes a purchase of your product. By understanding the conversion rate, you gain insights into other metrics such as the cost-per-click (CPC), which reveals the expenditure incurred in generating those sales. To determine whether you are generating enough sales to justify the expenses, it is essential to compare your CPC with your conversion rate.

Conclusion:

Monitoring your social media metrics can set you on the path to success. When you make decisions about what to post and where to allocate your budget, it’s crucial to be well-informed. This way, you can reinvest in strategies that prove effective for both you and your bottom line. By consistently creating relevant content that resonates with your followers, you can increase your reach, impressions, engagement rate, and return on investment (ROI). Additionally, as you enhance your visibility, you’ll notice a rise in mentions.

Nevertheless, keeping track of your own metrics is just one aspect of the social media marketing puzzle. Examining the metrics of your competitors in conjunction with your own can offer valuable insights into your market share, allow you to compare the performance of your posts against theirs, and ultimately enable you to stay ahead of the competition.

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