When it comes to managing your social accounts, there is always room for improvement. But, the task of measuring and analyzing your social media performance can seem daunting. Social measurements are often referred to as KPIs (key performance indicators), that prove your social ROI (return on investment). Simply put, by tracking specific numbers, you can ensure that your social strategy is aligned with your brand’s target audience and business goals.
Measuring your social media performance is important because it can help you determine what’s working and what’s not in your business. When you know the areas you need to improve, you’ll be able to tweak and update the necessary elements of your social strategy.
Improving your social media performance is the ultimate goal. So, how do you get started? In this blog, we’ll review the measurement steps you need, the data you should track, the tools you should use, and the metrics that really matter.
Certified Financial Planner, Stephanie Sammons sums it up well:
“Random social media tactics lead to random results. You need a strategy.”
The social media metrics that matter
Your social media goals are what will determine which metrics you need to focus on within your social strategy. Understanding your social metrics can really be a game-changer. It will allow you to measure how successful a campaign is, or how well your social strategy is performing. This can ultimately have a huge impact on your business.
Some of the most important social measurements/KPIs you should track include the following.
This metric refers to your overall engagement rates across a social channel and essentially shows how much your audience is interacting with your account. Engagement rates are typically broken down into the following categories:
- Clicks: The number of times someone clicks on your post
- Likes: The number of people that like your post/page
- Comments: The number of people that commented on your post
- Shares: The number of times that your post was shared. In the case of Twitter, this is referred to as a retweet.
- Mentions: The number of times your brand/social handle is referenced or mentioned
When monitoring engagement rates, be sure to look at what type of content is performing the best across each of your channels i.e. video, images, testimonials, etc. This will help you better gauge what type(s) of content to continue promoting, and what to sunset. This exercise will also assist in determining what your “core” social channel is, and where you should direct your efforts moving forward.
Brand Awareness is the attention your brand gets—across all social media—during a reporting period, or a specific span of time that yields statistically relevant data. Awareness, also known as perception, is broken into two categories: impressions and reach. These two measurements are often confused due to their similar nature.
- Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed, and how many times it shows up in someone’s timeline, whether it was clicked or not.
- Reach is the total number of unique people who see or are exposed to your content.
When monitoring brand awareness, it’s helpful to determine the reporting period that you want to analyze--a month or a quarter for example. Be sure to be consistent and review benchmarking trends across the reporting period, so you can produce accurate data.
Share of Voice
Oftentimes used in public relations, this metric may be a part of a competitor analysis or paid advertising campaign. Share of voice, sometimes referred to as volume or sentiment, refers to a percentage of the total mentions as related to a specific industry/competitor. Basically, this amounts to how many people are talking about your brand online compared to your competitors.
So, how do you gain an understanding of what your competitors are doing? Consider selecting 3-5 competitors to get started to help you get a solid overview and learn from their successes.
- Start by looking at your top competitor’s social channels. Read their posts and comments and document what you see.
- What type of content are they creating and sharing?
- Consider how their brand voice, tone, and messaging make you feel.
- How does their audience interact with the content they promote?
Conversion data is most applicable for companies with websites or e-commerce platforms where social traffic is tied to sales and marketing goals. Oftentimes tracking this data will incorporate what’s called UTM tracking--attaching snippets of code to the end of a URL used to measure the effectiveness of campaigns. Similarly, you can track conversions with Google Analytics.
By reviewing your analytics often, you can determine which channel is driving the most leads, and what content is converting at the highest rate. Also, be sure to review the weakest channels in order to see if there’s something blocking or preventing leads from moving down the funnel.
Top social media measurement tools
Once you’ve determined which key social media metrics you want to track, the best course of action is to invest in a social media measurement tool. The following are among some of the top-rated tools in the industry. Many of these offer free trials, so you may want to consider shopping around first. In many cases, the measurement tool you choose may come down to price and/or even simply aesthetics.
This tool will help you take a deeper dive into your data so that you can better understand your content and online community. Gain insight into your “top posts,” as well as learn the best times to post based upon community engagement. UNUM already has a suite of tools for design, image editing, and planning. But with a new site and feature set pending, those tools are expanding (and in some cases already include) more planning features, publishing, deeper analytics, and team collaboration.
Helps you analyze your performance across all of your social networks. Create customized dashboards and reports showing the impact on your brand. Additionally, Hootsuite Impact calculates your social ROI, so you can make informed business decisions.
This tool is designed to help you streamline your social analytics and totes an “easy-to-understand” toolset. Gain complete oversight of all of your social profiles from one location.
Schedule and create custom reports in just minutes, selecting from a wide range of stats across your social channels. One cool feature is their Agency-branded reports, which carry your agency’s logo and allow you to easily export and share reports while you work with your clients.
What makes this tool different is that it has four key components: Discovery, Research, Influencers, and Monitoring. These features allow you to explore, analyze, and monitor your content, as well as identify influential people to help you power up your brand.
This tool not only measures your social media performance but is also known for creating gorgeous reports. Buffer also provides recommendations to help you grow your reach, and increase engagement and sales.
Once you’ve chosen which social media measurement tool to use, you’ll be well on your way to creating reports that will help you better analyze your social media performance and KPIs. This will give you a good insight into what kind of social media strategy will work best for your brand and social media marketing campaigns.
Through measurement, you’ll be able to determine whether your social media initiatives have led to positive results. And if they haven’t, you’ll be able to better understand why and make adjustments to your strategy accordingly.
The fun part is exploring new ways to reach your audience and figuring out how to deliver the right content to the right people. Once you know how to measure your social media performance and apply the metrics to your social strategy, you will be golden.