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Social media KPIs: What should you be tracking?

November 23, 2021
by Ely Randall

As with any form of digital marketing, it is important to monitor, measure, and report on social media performance. Tracking the performance of your social content enables you to reflect on what is and is not working so you can make adjustments. Having a better understanding of how your social media efforts impact sales, drive awareness, and increase website traffic gives you the insights necessary to fine-tune your social strategy and content to achieve social media success.

While each social media platform has unique KPIs, here are the nine most universal metrics to assess your brand’s social media success and performance.

Post Reach
Post reach is the number of unique users who have seen your post since it went live. The time of day the post went live greatly impacts post reach. To increase post reach, you should know the most popular times of day when your audience is active on social media so you can post during these times.

This is the total number of times a post is seen. While one user is only counted once when tracking reach, one user can account for multiple impressions. This KPI is usually higher than follower count, reach, and engagement because one user can have multiple impressions for a single post. 

Post Engagement Rate
Likes, comments, link clicks, shares, and saves are all forms of engagement. However, when measuring post engagement, it is important to see how many users engaged with your post in relation to your follower count. This is called post engagement rate. The formula to calculate post engagement rate is as follows: Post Engagement / Number of Followers x 100. For example, if you have 5,000 followers on Facebook and your post receives 150 likes, 50 comments, and 25 shares, your post engagement rate would be 4.5%: 225 (total of likes, comments, and shares) / 5,000 x 100.

Wondering what a good engagement rate is?

<1% low engagement rate

1% – 3.5% average/good engagement

3.5% – 6% high engagement rate

>6% very high engagement rate

Conversion Rate
Measuring social media conversion rate allows you to directly see how your social media efforts pay off. Conversion rate measures the number of times social media users take the desired action on a website after clicking on your call-to-action button on social media.

To track conversion rate, you will need to set up Google Analytics on your site. Then, you can measure conversion rate by traffic source by going to the ‘Conversions tab,’ looking under ‘Goals,’ and selecting ‘Goals.’

Click-Through Rate (CTR)
While conversion rate measures the number of form completions, downloads, newsletter subscribers, etc. (i.e. the user takes the desired action), click-through-rate measures the rate at which users click on your social media call-to-action buttons. Tracking CTR allows you to see how interested people are in your content, navigating (clicking) from social media to a different landing page to take a desired action.

Bounce Rate
So what happens if users click on a social media call-to-action button but quickly navigate away from your website? This is where reporting on bounce rate comes in. Bounce rate is the rate at which users land on your web page and leave without taking any action. Bounce rate can be greatly impacted if your social media call-to-action button and web page content are not aligned. It is important to measure bounce rate from social media so that you can see how your social media efforts impact your website traffic.

To track bounce rate, you will need to set up Google Analytics on your site. Once you do this, you can locate bounce rate by traffic source by going to the ‘Acquisition tab’ on the left, looking under ‘All Traffic,’ clicking ‘Channels,’ and selecting ‘Bounce Rate.’

Likes are the number of users who clicked the “like” button on your post. Reactions are tracked the same as likes (the number of users who click the like, dislike, applaud, celebrate, etc. buttons on your post) but called different KPIs on Facebook and LinkedIn. How many likes/reactions did your post receive? Generally, measuring post engagement is a better representation of post performance; however, it is still important to know how many likes/reactions your post received to understand how your content is performing on a daily basis. This can give you a better sense of the type of content your users read or react to.

Post Shares
Post shares are an easy way for other users to share your content on your behalf without you doing any additional work. Shared content will be presented to your followers’ followers who might not follow your account or even know your brand. 

Follower Count
It is important to set follower count goals so you can see how your social media platforms are growing over time. If your brand is struggling to see growth in this area, it might be wise to reevaluate your social media efforts and focus on increasing brand awareness through boosting posts, influencer marketing, user-generated content, brand collaborations, or tapping into new trends that will help your page gain traction. A common misconception is that having a larger follower count means that your social media is successful. This is not necessarily true. It is nice to have a large follower base, but if these followers do not engage with your brand or share your content, then they are not quality followers–rather they are just a number. Instead of focusing on gaining as many followers as quickly as possible, focus on gaining quality, engaged followers over a period of time.

Pulling your social media KPIs and data is important. But it is what you do with this information that is vital to your brand’s social media success. Make meaning of the data, draw connections and analyze the nature of the comments and direct messages. Diving deeper into what the data means and factors contributing to your social media performance will help you reach your social media goals and potential as well as achieve social media success.

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