For marketers, success on social media lies in metrics known as social media KPIs, a shorthand for key performance indicators.
In addition to posting engaging content and growing your followers, that data needs to be quantified and translated into measurable results for your business.
To help you make sense of these metrics, Ignite Visibility’s resident social media expert, Kylie Turner, will discuss everything from how to set social media KPIs to choosing the best ones to track in this ultimate guide.
What We’ll Cover:
- What Are Social Media KPIs?
- Why Track Social Media KPIs?
- How to Choose Your Most Important Social Media KPIs
- KPIs for Social Media Engagement
What Are Social Media KPIs?
Whether you’re running a B2B or B2C business, social media has the potential to shape what your audience thinks about your brand. But, in order to express the true value of your social media marketing, you’ll need to actively monitor the performance of your campaigns.
That’s where social media KPIs come in. These are the analytics that convey how successful a company is at meeting its goals on its social media channels. They can help you accomplish tasks like :
- Demonstrating ROI
- Producing high-impact campaigns
- Getting more acquainted with your followers
- Assessing your brand reputation
- Connecting with social media influencers
- Seeing where you stand next to your competition
Why Track Social Media KPIs?
No matter which social media platforms you’re most active on, tracking critical social media KPIs will give you an idea of where to better focus your attention and allocate your resources.
Here are a few statistics that should convince you of the sheer impact social media can have on your business if you set the right expectations and strategies from the get-go :
- Globally, more than 3.6 billion people use social media, with this number projected to increase to 4.41 billion in 2025.
- Facebook still holds the spot as the most used social network in the world with more than 2.7 billion monthly active users.
- Internet users spend an average of 144 minutes per day on social media.
- Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users, with 90% following at least 1 business account.
- 50% of Instagram users become more interested in a brand when they see ads for it on the platform.
- 71% of consumers who received a positive social media experience from a brand are more likely to recommend it to others.
While these statistics prove that it’s more important than ever to invest some serious marketing dollars in social media, it’s imperative that you prioritize the right strategies to achieve success.
But, how can you make this possible? How do you avoid going in the wrong direction and directing funds to non-performing campaigns?
The only sensible way to ensure that your brand is making the right moves on social media is by tracking the right social media KPIs.
This will help you recognize what’s working and what’s failing, equipping you with the information to tailor your campaigns to match both your customers’ needs and business objectives.
How to Choose Your Most Important Social Media KPIs
Contrary to popular belief, successful social media KPI tracking involves much more than monitoring followers and likes.
But with so many other metrics to choose from, the good news is that you mainly need to worry about those that answer the following questions :
- Are you reaching your target audience?
- Are you engaging with your target audience?
- How many of your social media followers are inquiring about your product or service?
- How many of them have actually become customers?
You’ll also want to keep in mind that social media KPIs are most valuable when paired with goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound). This will help you reach the right people at the right time in the right way.
KPIs for Social Media Engagement
To help you understand the full spectrum of metrics available, we’ve divided the core social media KPIs into three main categories—reach, engagement, and conversion.
Read on to learn about the essential KPIs to keep an eye on!
These are the metrics that focus on the size and growth rate of both your audience and potential audience—as well as how often and how well your messages are resonating with that audience.
The way reach is tracked varies by platform. On a post level, Facebook displays the reach metric on the bottom of each post on the page’s home page. If you click on this number, you’ll be directed to a “Post Insights” page, which will provide you with additional metrics for the post.
To see reach for an individual post on Instagram, you just need to navigate to the Content tab, scroll to the post you want to measure, and tap “View Insights.” You can also access these metrics when you press the graph icon on the top right corner next to your account name.
To see if your social media is getting noticed, check out these KPIs:
- Audience growth rate: The rate at which a brand’s following increases on social media. This can be calculated by dividing the number of new audience members by the total number audience members.
- Impressions: The number of times a piece of content came up in someone’s feed within a certain time frame.
- CPM: One of the most important paid social media KPIs on this list, CPM stands for cost per thousand ad impressions. To find this number, divide the total ad spend by impressions and multiply by 1,000.
- Follower count: The total number of people who are following your brand on social media.
- Post reach: The estimated number of people who see a specific piece of your content at least once during a time period.
- Web traffic: The amount of traffic your website receives from your social media campaigns.
- Share of voice: Helps you measure the number of mentions your brand gets compared to the number of mentions your competitors
- Video views: Number of views your video content receives on channels like YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo.
Encompassing everything from likes, comments, shares, and various paid social media KPIs, engagement metrics focus on how your audience interacts with your content on social media. While these figures don’t mean much by themselves, they are the catalyst for improvement in other social media KPIs. These are the main ones to consider:
- Clicks: Total number of clicks that are coming from your social media posts.
- Profile visits: The number of times your profile is viewed, whether the user is following your brand on the platform or not.
- Brand mentions: Anytime a user mentions your brand on the web, including @mentions, links, tags, and text.
- Amplification rate: The average number of shares for each post. Depending on which networks you’re active on, this can include Facebook shares and Instagram regrams.
- Applause rate: The number of positive reactions (likes, favorites, etc.) your posts receive relative to your following size.
- Average engagement rate: The percentage of your total audience that has engaged (reactions, comments, shares, etc.) with your content within a specified time frame. To get this number, add up the total number of engagements, divide by the total number of followers, and multiply by 100.
- Virality rate: The number of people who shared your post divided by the number of people who saw it on their feed (impressions) multiplied by 100. This figure refers to how viral your content is.
For most companies, conversion metrics are the ultimate way to evaluate the success of social media campaigns. Once your accounts begin to generate more attention, you need to look beyond shares and likes and think about how your strategies are impacting your bottom line.
Sure, engagement may be high, but are your followers actually clicking through to your website and purchasing your products? These metrics will help put your social media efforts to the test:
- Average purchase value/average order value: The average value of each purchase completed by your customers.
- Conversions: The number of conversions per time frame. Conversions can be defined as the specific action you’d like users to take on your site. These include email sign-ups, whitepaper downloads, registrations, etc.
- Conversion rate: The percentage of users who take a desired action, which can be calculated by dividing the total number of conversions by the total traffic per period.
- Cost per conversion: The dollar amount of how much a business pays in order to get a conversion.
- New visitor conversions: Number of conversions that occurred within a time period by visitors that are brand new to a brand’s social media page.
- Return visitor conversions: Number of conversions that occurred within a time period by visitors returning to a brand’s social media page.
- RPC: An acronym for revenue per click, RPC represents the average amount of revenue produced per click in paid advertising
- ROI: The return on investment is generated by social media efforts divided by any social media expenses.
As you can see, if you aren’t tracking your marketing efforts, you won’t know if they’re working or not.
But, keeping all this information updated takes a ton of time and creativity, especially if you’re monitoring metrics across multiple channels.
So, be sure to put these tips to work and start leveraging social media KPIs to monitor your brand’s marketing performance, identify key trends, and ultimately, make smarter decisions for your business.