5 Social Media Metrics and What They Mean
So you’ve established your business on multiple social media channels, posting consistently and steadily gaining followers. That’s great. However, how do you know that the content you are posting across your channels is working and reaching your desired audience? Basically, how do you know that your social media marketing efforts are successful?
Every marketing effort your business engages in must have a goal and objectives. And there has to be a way to measure the success or failure of these goals and objectives. Social media marketing is no different. There are a number of metrics that have developed and continue to develop over the years to measure the success or failure of social media efforts. However, there are a few key ones that are always at the forefront of any measurement report.
Here are five key social media metrics you must know before starting your social media marketing efforts and what they all mean.
- Reach – Reach refers to the total number of people receiving and potentially reacting to your content. Essentially, reach measures how far your message is travelling and is measured by calculating your total number of followers/fans and impressions (i.e. how many times your content showed up in feeds).
- Engagement – Like reach, engagement measures exactly what its namesake says – i.e. how engaged your audience is with your content. And while reach is an important metric, engagement is far more important. Because it means little if people are seeing your content (reach) but not actively responding to it. Engagement metrics include the number of likes, shares, comments, clicks your content receives. The greater your engagement, the greater your reach. For example, every time a follower shares your Facebook post on their page, their followers who may not follow your page, gets to see your content. Some other metrics that can measure engagement include how many times your brand is mentioned and how many active followers your business page has. Active meaning followers who regularly like, share or comment on your content.
- Leads – Leads are essentially people who show interest in your product and/or service and hopefully, will eventually become conversions, i.e. customers. One of the simplest and easiest ways to measure leads that result from your social media efforts is to include a Call to Action (CTA) and lead forms to your content. Every time someone responds to your CTA and completes the lead form, you’ve acquired a new lead and proof that your social media content worked.
- Conversions – The bottom line of any business is to make a profit and that only happens by getting your target audience to become a customer. Conversion therefore essentially measures the number of people who took whatever actionable step you wanted them to. Of course, it is important to remember that while the main goal of your business is to increase customers and make a profit, there are many other smaller goals and objectives within that larger one that various campaigns can be tailored towards. For example, you can run a social media campaign specifically to increase mobile app downloads. In that case, your conversion includes how many people actually downloaded the app. You may run a campaign simply to increase brand awareness and that may be measured based on how many new followers you received, etc.
- Share of Voice – Share of voice is an interesting metric because it focuses a lot on your competitor. Basically, you want to know how well your brand is doing on social media versus your competitor, i.e. is your share of voice greater than your competitors. Active social media listening, which includes using monitoring tools to track social media conversation about your brand, your competitors, keywords used often by your brand, your competitors, etc. will tell you what people are saying and how much they are saying about your brand on social media, versus your competitor.
Social media marketing is a strategy that can be incredibly lucrative to the success of your business, as long as it is done right. And one very important step for successfully executing a social media marketing strategy is understanding how to accurately measure its success or failure.