November 11, 2019
As a marketing professional there are so many social media metrics out there it can be hard to know which ones you should care about. Determining which metrics to focus on will vary by industry, business and campaign but in this blog post we’ll outline the best metrics to build your approach to measuring the effectiveness of your social media performance.
Selecting the right social media metrics to measure is important as it will help you determine not only the performance of your specific campaigns, but also your overall social profile and brand health.
Take the example of an e-commerce website. If your objective is to increase website purchases and you use social media as a channel to help you achieve this, you will likely measure your success by looking at the social traffic and conversion rate metrics in your website analytics.
On the other hand, if your campaign objective is brand awareness, you’ll want to measure its success through metrics such as reach which you’ll find in the social’s platform e.g Facebook Ads Manager.
All metrics individually have meaning but effective social media measurement is about interpreting those metrics, combining them to create meaning and translating them back to your business objectives. So, what metrics can you track?
Zavy measures engagement as the responses that people proactively make on social media content. To contextualise, for Facebook this includes likes/reactions, shares and comments – also taking into account the sentiment of these comments. While the volume of likes, comments and shares are important, purely counting things like the number of each can skew reporting. Social media is about opening a conversation between your brand and your audience, so engagement is equally, if not more, important to measure.
We believe that engagement metrics are important to measure and are a key indicator of ROI for social media activity. Actions such as shares indicate a deeper level of engagement and are the equivalent of someone promoting your brand to their friends. Furthermore, Twitter retweets and Facebook shares are helpful to know what audience is spreading your content, while comments, replies and likes are helpful to see who is replying to your content. Once again, it is important to think carefully about your goals with social media, are you focused more on generating interaction (replies, comments) or spreading a message (retweets and shares)?
Awareness metrics include impressions and reach - impressions can be a fluffier metric compared to reach, as reach measures the unique number of eyeballs you get your message in front of. It gives a more accurate representation of your potential audience size than impressions which measures total number of eyeballs, even if 1 person has seen the message 10 times.
For a deeper dive when evaluating awareness/reach, it is good practice to pick important engagement metrics like clicks, shares, or replies and divide them by reach to calculate an engagement percentage. This basically tells you that out of your potential audience how many of those people engaged with your ads. This process helps you get a deeper understanding of your campaign and reach can help contextualise other engagement metrics.
Share of voice indicates how much of the social media sphere your brand is taking up. Improving your share of voice is likely an ongoing goal and one that you measure by benchmarking over time instead of on a campaign basis. Share of voice is measured by taking the total number of mentions (shares, comments, likes etc.) and comparing it to all your competitors mentions in order to establish a percentage.
Looking at this metric you need to determine how your brand and the overall conversations about your industry compares to your main competitors. You can also learn from your competitors’ successes and failures and measure their impact just as easily as you can measure your own.
Zavy is an extremely helpful tool to measure and benchmark your share of voice and can assist you in discovering what is being said about your brand and your competitors. The platform allows you to have multiple views of your brand and your top competitor’s performance, right down to specific post diagnostics. For example, the Scoreboard lets you benchmark brands in your industry, the Pulse tab tracks performance on your Zavy index over time against your competitors and the Conversations tab allows you to see specific and current news articles and comments that are generated about your brand.
Finally, there are conversion metrics that determine the value of your social media campaign and are metrics that you can focus on if the objective of your campaign revolves around website conversions like in the example at the beginning of this article. Conversion metrics include CPC (cost per click), CTR (click through rate) and CPL (cost per lead).
These conversion metrics alone can be hard to determine the true results of your investment in social media and its impact in driving your overall brand performance. Another core capability of the Zavy product is to help you get a clearer understanding of the impact of your investment in social media. We recently conducted a 3-year study with over 2,500 businesses to understand the role of social media has in driving sales. If you’re keen to check out our findings, click the link below!
In our opinion the most significant metrics for a brand to monitor are reach and engagement. They both naturally have a connection to one another, and play an important part in winning in social media. Reach plays a role in creating presence for a brand, whereas leveraging that presence and maximising the impact of it is achieved by creating strong engagement. Generating and measuring success based on engaging content should be the key focus.
However, if you combine all of the above metrics it will give you a well-rounded view of your social media performance, social profile and brand health. Overtime you will have new campaigns and objectives which will lead you to more specific metrics to make them more relevant to your business.