Social media metrics are important to track the effectiveness of your social media marketing strategy. The main challenge of social media marketing is measuring Return on Investment (ROI) since the returns are not always directly quantifiable, i.e. It is not exactly easy to prove the value of brand awareness. The only thing to usually focus on in the short run are vanity metrics. However, as the word suggests, these vanity metrics are only superficial.
Vanity metrics include:
- Number of likes
- Number of shares
- Number of followers
- Number of page views
Even though vanity metrics might give you a hint of how well your brand is doing in terms of online presence, they have no direct link to increasing your overall revenue.
On the other hand, actionable metrics such as engagement, conversion, click through rate and impressions align more to your business goals. Unlike measuring vanity metrics, actionable metrics require going beyond what is presented to you. One common practice is A/B testing. This involves an experimental process of comparing two channels to see which one is performing better. For instance , A/B testing can be done to test the effectiveness of a social media campaign in helping to increase sales revenue.
While it is not entirely misguided to take vanity metrics into consideration, do not make the mistake of looking to them as indicators of your overall success.
That being said, here are 3 social media metrics that matter.
Growing a community is very different from growing followers. Unlike followers, a community refers to a group of people who have a genuine interest in your brand. They want to hear your story and are more likely to interact with your posts. In other words, a community consists of the followers who matter, people who will be in it for the long haul. You may be wondering how this can be done. I am not going to deny that achieving quality followers takes time and lots of trial and error. However, one thing to avoid is to buy ‘fake followers’ without actually painting a rosy picture.
Impressions and Reach
Impressions are the number of times your posts has been displayed to your followers on social media. Reach refers to the number of followers who have seen your post.
Still confused? Don’t worry, a lot of us are. Here is a simple illustration to help you out:
You may skip this part if the infographic is clear to you.
Two posts are shared on Facebook over two days. Within these two days, we take the number of followers you have on Facebook to be the same. In this scenario, we are asked to calculate the impressions and reach created by two Facebook posts over two days. As mentioned earlier, impressions are the number of times your posts are displayed within a specific time frame. In this case, post A is shown to 500 followers on Monday. Post B is shown to the same 500 followers on Tuesday. The impressions created for post A is 500, the impressions created for post B is also 500. Thus, the total number of impressions is 500 plus 500, which gives you 1000 impressions.
Now we look at the reach created by post A and B. Since reach refers to the number of people who saw both post A and B, what is important here is how many followers saw both your posts. Assuming that both post A and B were displayed to all 500 followers, the reach calculated for post A and B is 500.
In essence, reach is based on the number of followers while impressions are based on the number of times your post/posts are displayed.
Successful engagement means different things to different people. If your primary objective is to increase brand awareness, the right indicators to focus on are the number of likes, comments and shares that your posts are generating. On the other hand, someone whose primary objective is to convert engagement to sales may not be satisfied with just these indicators. To them, the number of likes, comments and shares might only serve as a quick hint of being on the right track, but still inadequate in giving them a complete picture.
In the next article, I will be talking about how to build your brand awareness through engagement.
We hope we gave you some ideas for tracking your social media efforts 🙂
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