Important Social Media KPIs
Smart Marketers Should Keep a Close Eye On
Over two-thirds of people who use the internet are active on social media sites. With the potential for millions of views on anything they post, businesses are jumping on the social media marketing bandwagon like never before.
If your business is one of them, you’re likely trying to figure out how to determine whether your strategy is working. The best way to know for sure is to track the right social media KPIs.
It’s easy to get lost in so-called “vanity metrics” such as likes, comments, and views. Even though these numbers make you feel good about your posts, they don’t necessarily indicate loyalty or provide a measurable ROI.
Tracking vanity metrics is a great indicator of engagement, but you can’t rely on them as your only key performance indicators. Read on to find out exactly which KPIs for social media you should be tracking instead.
Number of Followers
Follower count is one of the easiest social media key performance indicators to track. While it’s arguably a vanity metric like mentioned above, it’s a bit more useful because it’s an indicator of both engagement and brand loyalty. When someone follows your brand on social media, it means they like what you already have on your page and want to see more of it.
You can use your follower count over time to track your brand’s audience growth rate.
Start by subtracting your old follower count (let’s say from a month prior) from your current count to find your number of new followers. Then, divide the new follower value by your followers from a month ago. Multiply that number by 100 to find your audience growth rate as a percentage.
When using this metric, make sure to look at it from two angles. You’ll need to compare both the number of new followers you get each week or month as well as the speed with which your following grows.
Number of Shares
A growing follower count is great, but it doesn’t amount to much in the end if your followers don’t interact with your posts. Tracking the number of shares (or retweets, or another platform equivalent) helps you identify whether your followers think your content is worth passing along to others.
This social media KPI can help you figure out what type of posts increase your reach. Use that data when you’re building promotional content for sales and new product launches to attract even more followers and customers.
Your click-through rate (CTR) is the ratio of people who view your social media post to the ones that click on it and are redirected to your site. This is a crucial step in the sales and marketing funnel, so make sure not to ignore it!
Tracking your CTR also gives you an indicator of how effective your messaging is. It’s a great metric to track while running A/B tests.
For example, let’s say your company sells a variety of helpful office and cubicle accessories (find out more about those here) and you want to know if your current posts are selling the products as well as they could. You theorize that including a video of people using the products at work will outperform a still image.
Start by posting a still image with a caption and measure the CTR as a baseline. Then, create another video-based post that advertises the same product and measure the new CTR. Comparing these two values to each other can help you figure out whether videos are a worthwhile social media marketing tactic for your business.
Once people click on your posts and end up on a landing page, the next step is to convert them into a warm lead.
What defines a “warm lead”? A warm lead is someone who has expressed interest in your product or service and, with some help, might be ready to buy.
Depending on your offers, this could look like quite a few things. It could be someone who submits an inquiry, signs up for your newsletter, or leaves an item in their online shopping cart. If you want your business to grow, the goal is to always be generating more warm leads than before.
Your conversion rate is the ratio of people that interact with your brand to people who buy your product or service. You can break this ratio down further by investigating specifically how many social media followers or warm leads become customers.
Of all the prior social media measurements, conversion rates are arguably the most important to your business’s bottom line. Because tracking metrics like conversions means you have to follow a buyer’s entire journey with your brand, they’re also one of the most difficult values to track.
One of the best ways to gather accurate conversion data is to use a customer relationship management platform (CRM). This type of software can track a customer’s interaction with your brand from the moment they follow you or provide their email address.
If you’re a small business without a high-powered CRM engine to rely on, your best bet may be to ask your buyers directly. Provide a “how did you hear about us” survey on each purchase screen, with options including:
- Through social media
- From a friend or family member
- I’ve bought from this company before
- Online advertisement
- Print advertisement
- Other (please explain)
Even if you provide an incentive, you can’t expect everyone to fill out the survey unless you make it mandatory. Even so, the data you gather from it will help you interpret your social media conversion rate more clearly.
Track These Social Media KPIs to Optimize Your Marketing Strategy
No matter how great of a marketer you are, developing the optimal social media marketing strategy always takes some trial and error. If you track these social media KPIs, though, you won’t have to blindly guess about what steps to take. Start with Plan A, measure the results, and adjust your strategy based on the data.