The Crucial Social Media Metrics to Focus On Now
The beauty of social media lies in its ability to provide comprehensive insights through metrics. However, this same aspect can also pose challenges.
Mastering the skill of social media measurement involves discerning the most relevant metrics for your business, tailored to your objectives. The number of metrics you focus on will be influenced by your budget, team size, and overall business goals.
Here are some crucial social media success metrics for 2023, accompanied by benchmarks to assist you in establishing attainable performance targets.
What are Social Media Metrics?
Social media metrics encompass the data points that reveal the effectiveness of your social media strategy.
They provide insights ranging from the number of content views to the revenue generated through social media. These metrics serve as the foundation for continuous improvement and advancement in your social media endeavors.
Top 10 Types of Social Media Metrics Marketers Prioritize in 2023
The metrics that matter to you depend on your social media goals. However, the metrics emphasized by social media professionals can serve as a valuable guide for directing your efforts.
In a Q2 2023 survey by Sprout, where 255 social marketers participated, there is a significance they attributed to certain metrics compared to 2022. Here are the metrics they indicated they are prioritizing more this year.
1) Awareness Metrics: Impressions, Reach, and Video Views
2) Follower Growth: Follower Growth, Follower Growth Rate, and Audience Size
3) Social media engagement metrics: Post Engagement Rate, Individual Engagement Metrics, Shares, Video Completion Rate, Amplification Rate, and Virality Rate
4) Customer Satisfaction: CSAT Score, Reply Time, Total Response Volume, and Comments
5) Customer Retention: NPS, Social Commerce, and Reviews
6) Click-through rates (CTR)
7) Paid metrics: CPC, Conversion, ROAS
8) Conversion Rate
9) Social Media Referral Traffic
10) Brand Health Metrics
Key Social Media Metrics to Track in 2023
These metrics show the visibility of your content and the level of attention your brand receives on social media.
1) ImpressionsAt the post level, impressions represent the number of times a post is displayed to users. They serve as a reliable gauge of a content piece's popularity and indicate that people might be viewing the post multiple times.
It's worth noting that not all channels provide both reach and impressions. For instance, TikTok's "total video views" are equivalent to impressions, while Twitter and YouTube offer only impressions, not reach.
While impressions provide valuable insights into the potential visibility of your content on social media, it is essential to consider other metrics for a comprehensive understanding of performance. If you have multiple objectives, such as increasing awareness and educating your audience, it is advisable to assess a combination of impressions, engagement, and conversion rates.
2) ReachReach denotes the total number of people who view your content. It's essential to track both your average reach and the reach of each specific post, story, or video.
An insightful aspect of this metric is analyzing the proportion of your reach that comprises followers versus non-followers. If a significant number of non-followers are viewing your content, it indicates successful sharing or favorable performance in algorithms, or possibly both.
3) Video ViewsWhile video views may appear as a superficial metric, they hold significance on specific platforms, such as TikTok, where they are considered impressions and hold importance in monitoring performance.
Video views are valuable in gauging the level of awareness your video content generates. However, their true power emerges when combined with other metrics like view duration, engagement, or shares, which offer a broader context and deeper insights into the video's overall impact.
Follower count is often dismissed as a superficial metric. However, follower growth offers a comprehensive view of your channel's health, the awareness you're building, and whether you're surpassing competitors or falling behind.
If your follower growth has stalled or, worse, declined, it's crucial to adapt your strategy accordingly. Each social media channel requires a different approach to foster growth.
For Instagram, leveraging short-form video Reels proves to be a potent tactic, designed to reach new audiences. On TikTok, incorporating trending sounds, music, and visual trends is key. Regardless of the platform, consistently posting content that resonates with your audience is essential.
Here are some audience growth metrics to monitor:
4) Follower GrowthThis metric measures the net new followers gained over a specific period. Simply subtract the number of followers you had at the beginning from the current count.
While follower count alone may not provide substantial insights, tracking the number of followers gained is a powerful way to demonstrate the ROI of different content types, campaigns, and social media experiments.
5) Follower growth rate
The follower growth rate is a percentage that shows you how quickly your audience is growing—or slowing—within a certain period.
Here’s how this is calculated: (Followers you gained in a specific time / the initial number of followers you had before that gain) x 100
For example, let’s say you had 10,000 followers at the beginning of June. By the end, you have 10,200 followers. You would calculate your growth rate like this: (200 / 10,000) x 100 = 2% growth rate.
6) Audience size
As it’s mentioned, this is often disregarded as a vanity metric. But this is likely because it’s looked at on its own, rather than in the larger context of performance and channel health.
Keeping track of changes to your follower count monthly, quarterly, and yearly is an important data point that fuels the higher-level metrics we just mentioned.
Social Media Engagement Metrics
Engagement is a significant and pivotal category to monitor, making it one of the most crucial aspects.
Engagement essentially reflects the extent to which your audience interacts with your account or content, as well as the frequency of these interactions. High engagement rates indicate an active and interested audience, shedding light on the content types that resonate most with them.
However, to gain a comprehensive understanding, it's essential to analyze a combination of metrics. For instance, a post with 100,000 impressions may seem impressive, but if it only garnered 50 engagements, it failed to establish a strong brand connection.
Similarly, a post may receive 100,000 engagements, but if they primarily consist of "angry" reactions, further investigation is necessary to comprehend the underlying sentiments.
Here are some essential social media engagement metrics to consider:
7) Post Engagement RateThe engagement rate is a valuable metric that measures the level of active involvement your audience has with your content and the effectiveness of your brand campaigns. Engaged consumers interact through actions like likes, comments, and social sharing.
8) Likes, Comments, Retweets, Reactions, etc.These individual engagement metrics represent granular actions taken directly on a post, such as likes, reactions, or comments. While they may be considered vanity metrics on their own, when analyzed collectively, they provide insights into the success of your posts and your audience's preferences.
9) SharesShares are another granular metric, but they offer valuable information about which content resonates enough with your audience that they are willing to share it with their friends. This amplifies your brand awareness.
10) Video Completion RateWhile video views indicate a video's initial popularity, the video completion rate provides more significant insights into how captivating and engaging the content truly is. For example, a video with 10,000 views is promising, but if viewers drop off after a few seconds, it suggests that the video failed to retain their attention.
11) Amplification RateAmplification Rate represents the ratio of shares per post to the total number of followers.
Coined by Avinash Kaushik, a Google digital marketing evangelist and author, amplification refers to "the rate at which your followers take your content and share it through their networks."
In essence, a higher amplification rate signifies that your followers are actively expanding your content's reach on your behalf.
To calculate the amplification rate, divide the total number of shares a post receives by the overall number of followers. Then, multiply the result by 100 to express the amplification rate as a percentage.
12) Virality RateThe virality rate is akin to the amplification rate as it assesses the extent of content sharing. However, the virality rate calculates shares as a percentage of impressions, not as a percentage of followers.
It's important to recognize that each time someone shares your content, it generates a new set of impressions through their audience. Thus, the virality rate gauges how exponentially your content is spreading.
To calculate the virality rate, divide the number of shares a post receives by its total impressions. Then, multiply the result by 100 to express the virality rate as a percentage.
Social media serves as a treasure trove of unfiltered opinions and discussions about your brand, competitors, and products.
These conversations on social media offer invaluable insights into the effectiveness of your content, customer care, brand perception, product performance, and much more.
It's imperative to place the customer at the heart of all your endeavors. As per The 2023 State of Social Media report, "gaining a better understanding of customers" ranks as the second most significant business priority in the prevailing economic landscape.
Here are some proactive metrics to track for customer satisfaction:
13) Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) ScoreCustomer service metrics extend beyond response times and rates. The CSAT (customer satisfaction score) is a vital metric that gauges the level of happiness among people with your product or service.
Typically, the CSAT score is derived from a simple and direct question: "How would you rate your overall level of satisfaction?" In the context of social media, it is employed to measure the satisfaction level with your social customer service.
This explains why many brands ask customers to rate their experience with a customer service agent once it concludes. You can similarly measure your CSAT score.
Create a concise survey comprising one question that asks customers to rate their satisfaction with your customer service. Send this survey through the same social channel used for the service interaction. Utilizing bots for this purpose can be highly effective.
To calculate the CSAT score, sum up all the scores received and divide the total by the number of responses. Then, multiply the result by 100 to obtain your CSAT score as a percentage. This score will provide valuable insights into the satisfaction levels of your customers with your social media customer service.
14) Reply Time
Being responsive on social media is crucial for fostering a sense of community and catering to your customers. According to The Sprout Social Index™, over three-quarters of consumers anticipate a response within 24 hours.
Therefore, your reply time stands as one of the most vital customer service metrics to gauge. It indicates how long it takes for your team to respond to customer messages on social media.
15) Total Response VolumeTotal Response Volume refers to the count of responses your team sends to customers.
Unanswered messages on social media can lead to a frustrating customer experience. Keeping track of customer service metrics, such as Total Response Volume, aids in enhancing your customer care experience by identifying the number of messages that go unanswered. This allows you to address any missed interactions and improve overall customer satisfaction.
16) CommentsApart from being an engagement metric, the comments section holds valuable insights about both your audience and your brand. What people are expressing in the comments can provide significant information.
Monitoring comments on your social media posts is an excellent way to identify opportunities for enhancing the customer experience. Customers often share their thoughts, feedback, and suggestions, which can lead to valuable improvements and a deeper understanding of their needs and preferences.
Measuring customer retention and loyalty on social media is a bit more complex compared to straightforward metrics like awareness or conversions. Nonetheless, it remains a crucial metric for assessing brand health, and there are methods to gather this information through your channels.
Here are a few metrics that can aid in measuring customer retention and loyalty.
17) Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Your net promoter score gauges the likelihood of customers recommending your brand to others, serving as a valuable indicator of customer loyalty and retention.
This metric is typically collected through surveys, where customers are asked to rate, on a scale of 0 to 10, how likely they are to refer your brand to others. Those who mark 9 or 10 are considered "promoters" and are enthusiastic about your brand. On the other hand, anyone who marks 0 to 6 is labeled as a "detractor" and expresses dissatisfaction.
To calculate your NPS, subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. The resulting score will provide valuable insights into your brand's overall customer loyalty and retention levels.
18) Social Commerce Metrics
Utilizing social commerce storefronts such as Facebook Shops and Instagram Shopping offers a range of retention and loyalty metrics.
In Meta's Commerce Manager Insights, metrics like returning visitors, returning buyers, and sales from followers, while estimated, provide valuable insights into social commerce customer retention.
Monitoring reviews collected from platforms like Google, TripAdvisor, and Facebook serves as a reliable method to assess customer satisfaction and their likelihood to remain loyal to your brand.
Furthermore, responding to both positive and negative reviews allows you to reward and retain content customers while also addressing concerns and potentially winning back dissatisfied customers through issue resolution and attentive listening.
20) Click-through rates (CTR)
Click-through rate, commonly referred to as CTR, measures the frequency with which people click on a link in your post to access additional content, which could range from a blog post to your online store.
The CTR provides valuable insights into how many people viewed your social content and were enticed to explore it further. It serves as a reliable indicator of how effectively your social content promotes your offerings.
To calculate the CTR, divide the total number of clicks for a post by the total number of impressions. Then, multiply the result by 100 to obtain your CTR as a percentage. This metric helps you gauge the success of your content in engaging your audience and encouraging them to take further action.
When it comes to paid social, optimizing your investment is of utmost importance.
We've already discussed several paid social metrics to monitor, such as conversion rate and click-through rate. However, here are a few more to ensure you make smarter spending decisions and optimize your ad campaigns effectively:
21) Cost per Click (CPC)Cost per click refers to the expense incurred for every click received on a paid piece of content. Additionally, cost per impression measures the cost per thousand impressions.
To calculate CPC, divide the advertising cost by the number of clicks. To find your average CPC, divide the total cost of clicks by the total number of clicks. Understanding your average CPC helps you identify which ads to optimize for better engagement.
22) Web ConversionsWeb conversions occur when a visitor takes a desired action on your website, such as making a purchase, reading an article, or signing up for a webinar. Connect web conversions to visitors directed from social media using Google Analytics.
Bonus Tip: For in-app shopping enabled on social media platforms, track direct-from-social purchases to link social media storefronts to business revenue.
23) Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)ROAS indicates the revenue generated by an ad compared to the expenditure on a specific ad campaign. It serves as a more granular way to demonstrate the financial return on investment (ROI) of an ad campaign, helping justify further ad spend or identify low-performing ads.
Calculate ROAS by dividing the revenue gained from social ads by the ad cost for the same ads or campaign. Express the result as a ratio; for instance, if you earn $5 from every $1 spent on an ad, your ROAS is 5:1. ROAS provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of your ad campaigns and guides your future investment decisions.
24) Conversion Rate
The conversion rate measures the effectiveness of your social ad or campaign in persuading people to take a desired action. This could include actions like making a purchase, subscribing to your email newsletter, signing up for an event or webinar, downloading a guide, or visiting a webpage.
To calculate the conversion rate, use the formula: (total number of social media conversions / desired metric, such as clicks, website visits, or impressions) x 100. However, most analytics tools will automatically calculate this for you.
If your conversion rate is low, consider conducting A/B testing on your ad or campaign messaging, creative, and call-to-action (CTA) to identify ways to improve performance.
Social Media Referral Traffic
Referrals are the pathways through which users land on your website. In web analytics, these referrals are categorized based on their sources. Social media referral traffic refers to visitors who arrive at your website directly from your social media pages and posts.
The best way to measure this is through UTM tracking. UTM tracking involves adding a specific code to URLs you share on social media, such as blog posts or product links. By doing so, you can precisely determine the amount of traffic coming to your website from specific social media channels, posts, and advertisements using tools like Google Analytics.
By monitoring these metrics, you can gain valuable insights into the impact of your social media efforts on driving traffic to your website, ultimately providing evidence of your team's influence and demonstrating the effectiveness of your social media strategies in contributing to broader business goals.
25) Brand Health Metrics
The insights gained from social media have significant implications and possibilities for your entire business. Among the most powerful sources of social business intelligence are social metrics that contribute to brand health.
This valuable intelligence uncovers essential areas where your teams need to make changes, offers insights on your performance compared to competitors, highlights market shifts, and even detects potential brand crises that may be emerging.
Several metrics shed light on the health of your organization, including:
26) Audience SentimentWhile knowing what people say in the comments section is valuable, understanding how people genuinely feel about your brand and products provides a deeper and more meaningful understanding of brand health.
Audience sentiment reveals the true sentiments people have towards your brand and products. It allows you to compare the sentiment towards your brand with that of your competitors, providing critical insights into how your brand is perceived in the market and helping you identify areas for improvement or strategic opportunities.
27) Brand Mentions
Brand mentions are a metric that involves monitoring the frequency of your brand being referenced in posts or comments on social media, regardless of whether you are tagged or not.
Organic social mentions, such as @mentions that aren't part of a reply, or when users tag your brand in an Instagram story without a prompt, are strong indicators of good brand awareness.
Your team likely already tracks mentions for social monitoring. However, to fully comprehend the impact of your brand mentions, it's essential to capture posts and comments that reference your brand name, even if there are misspellings or when your brand is not directly tagged. This allows you to grasp the complete scope of discussions surrounding your brand and presents opportunities for engagement, as demonstrated by Brooklinen in the example provided.
28) Share of Voice
Share of Voice (SOV) provides insights into your brand's position in the market relative to your competitors. It allows you to gauge the extent to which your brand dominates the industry conversation.
SOV data is typically obtained by analyzing real conversations taking place in the social space. This analysis helps you understand when customers recommend your brand and when they prefer other brands over yours.
To calculate the Share of Voice, divide your brand metrics or measures by the total market metrics. The specific metric you choose to use will depend on your objectives, but for social teams, mentions on social media are the most relevant and valuable indicator. By tracking Share of Voice, you gain a clearer picture of your brand's performance in the market and can make informed decisions to enhance your competitive position and overall brand strategy.
Why is Tracking Social Media Metrics Crucial?
Social media metrics play a pivotal role in evaluating the effectiveness of your strategy and providing insights into areas for improvement. They reveal the return on investment (ROI) for the efforts and resources invested in social media marketing.
Without these metrics, you lack the means to comprehend the dynamics of your business in the social sphere, hindering your ability to develop an informed and data-driven strategy. Furthermore, you'll struggle to align your social media efforts with tangible business goals or demonstrate the success of your social media initiatives. Identifying downward trends that may necessitate a change in strategy also becomes challenging without the guidance of metrics.
How to track social media metrics
Each social network offers its own set of analytics tools, providing access to the raw data needed to calculate and monitor social media success. However, using multiple platforms' native analytics tools can be time-consuming and confusing, particularly if you're active on several platforms. While these tools are free to use and serve as a good starting point, relying solely on them might not be the most efficient way to track your social metrics.
To simplify the process and save time, consider utilizing third-party tools that offer comprehensive social media analytics and reporting capabilities. These tools consolidate data from multiple platforms, allowing you to gain a holistic view of your social media performance, measure progress toward your goals, and make data-backed decisions for your social media strategy.
- Twitter Analytics
- Meta Business Suite
- TikTok Analytics
Focus on The Social Media Metrics that Truly Matter
With numerous metrics available, it's easy to feel overwhelmed.
However, selecting the right social media metrics to track can make a significant difference, not only for your immediate team but for your entire business.
If you use social media marketing (as most brands do), the person in charge needs to understand the data behind the content. Talentport has Social Media Marketer who has the in-depth knowledge and skills needed to navigate the social landscape. They are experts in social research, social strategy, social customer service, and social commerce along with exploring the intricacies of all the top platforms.
Hire our top Social Media Marketer and elevate your brand’s social media game now!