In a hyper-connected digital world driven by data, there has never been a better time for businesses to gather meaningful insights on their target prospects, in addition to measuring ongoing levels of commercial growth and performance.
The modern consumer, or digital native, craves a significant level of value from the brands in which they’re looking to invest – and as such, to gain consumer loyalty, businesses must reach out and talk to their customers on a personal level. Social platforms provide some of the most powerful, as well as sustainable, mediums on which to do so.
In fact, LinkedIn boasts over 530 million user profiles to date. According to research conducted by the Pew Research Center, 75% of male internet users actively use Facebook, as well as 83% of female internet users. And that’s just the tip of the social media iceberg.
The take-home here is that social platforms are widely used and are one of the most powerful mediums for sparking up personal, meaningful, and enduring human dialogues with your target audience. But how do you squeeze the most value from your various efforts? With social media KPIs, of course.
Here, we’ll examine 18 essential KPIs for social media, explore the dynamics and demonstrate the importance of social metrics in the modern business age with the help of a KPI dashboard software, and, finally, wrapping up with tips on how to set KPIs and make the most of your social platforms.
Let’s get going.
What Are Social Media KPIs?
Social media KPIs are values that measure the performance of social media marketing (SMM) campaigns. These metrics are utilized by marketing teams to assess their efforts in all critical areas of social media-based performance, including engagement and advertising.
Like most digital marketing mediums, there are a number of KPI examples you can associate with these platforms – and if tracked, measured, and analyzed to their maximum capacity, social KPIs will help your business expand its commercial reach while increasing engagement, boosting revenue, and significantly improving your ROI.
It’s possible to measure a wealth of KPIs for social media, from post engagements (likes, shares, etc.) to brand mentions and platform traffic, all through the use of a marketing dashboard (or social media KPI dashboard, as it’s also known). Ultimately, social media metrics – or social KPIs – should help you make informed marketing decisions based on insight and fact, in turn ensuring that you reach the right people at the right time and in the right way.
KPIs for social media are generally focused on these 4 primary areas of marketing:
- Leads: How many meaningful leads are your efforts generating?
- Reach: How far are your posts traveling?
- Engagement: How many people are interacting with your content. In which ways?
- Conversions: How many people are converting as a result of your communication?
By tracking and analyzing the right social media metrics, alongside marketing KPIs for your overall promotional strategy, you will be able to answer these questions with confidence, thereby enjoying long term success in a competitive digital environment.
Social Media KPIs You Should Track
It’s clear that social media metrics are particularly valuable to the modern brand and business. To paint a better picture, we are going to delve deeper into the metrics you need to track to ensure long-term growth and sustained commercial success.
a) Social Media KPIs By Platform
With an ever-growing wealth of popular platforms, it's essential to ensure your efforts are consistent and cohesive across the likes of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
In doing so, you'll boost engagement significantly while expanding your commercial reach. In turn, you’ll enjoy a notable growth in your audience, boosting conversions and increasing your bottom line in the process.
Our first social media metrics are focused on platforms that will help you improve your SMM efforts through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Later we will focus on engagement and content KPIs that will enable you to develop an extensive SM strategy.
Let’s start with Facebook.
1) Reach by post type
On Facebook, your reach is the number of views a particular post receives – the higher your reach, the better. The ‘reach by post type’ is one of Facebook KPIs that helps you track this most valuable of social media metrics by showing you how many unique visitors have viewed your content.
Moreover, this KPI paints a vivid picture of how your content has performed over a particular time period, in addition to providing information on the frequency of views based on a particular piece of content – information that will empower you to improve your efforts for continued success. To put this into perspective, a comprehensive Facebook dashboard will provide a birds-eye view of the most valuable social metrics you need to track.
2) Number of fans
While not all of your Facebook fans or followers will be actively engaged in your content, the size of your fanbase does offer a useful benchmark of how your content is performing on the whole.
Here, it’s possible to see how many fans you’ve gained and lost over a set time frame while viewing new or lost followers from specific regions or countries. By gaining access to this information, you’ll be able to see where your content is performing best or worst based on the number of fans you’ve lost or acquired in particular regions, allowing you to shape your campaigns or content to improve engagement and ultimately boost your audience. Understanding how and why your Facebook audience grows is pivotal to growth – and this KPI for social media will help you do so.
3) Top 5 Tweets by engagement
Twitter is a fast, furious, and (if you use it to your advantage) incredibly engaging platform. Globally, around 500 million Tweets are sent out every single day. One of the most effective Twitter KPIs, the ‘top 5 Tweets’ metric offers a clear, concise, and digestible visual snapshot of your most engaging Tweets over a specific period of time.
By gaining a definitive understanding of what’s working best, you’ll be able to understand which visuals, content, copy, and post times resonate most with your audience, empowering you to improve your strategy, Tweet by Tweet.
4) CPM of Twitter Ads
With around 300 million active Twitter users across the globe and a host of potentially fruitful promotional options, paid advertising campaigns are certainly worth your investment. However, to enjoy the best possible ROI, it’s vital to measure your success accurately.
This savviest of social KPIs, which you can incorporate in a digestible Twitter dashboard, provides a clear-cut insight into how many impressions your ads receive while giving you the ability to calculate your CPM (cost-per-mille). Your CPM is the most you would pay per 1,000 impressions based on your campaign and benchmark data. Understanding this will help you save money while ensuring your Twitter ad campaigns reach or exceed your goals or targets.
5) Total watch time
Human beings are visual creatures, and video is one of the most powerful promotional mediums available to today’s brands or business, industry or sector aside. YouTube is a platform that every modern business can use to their advantage, and this YouTube KPI is a priceless asset for growing your audience.
Watch time is integral to your overall YouTube success as it reflects consumer satisfaction as well as the captivating quality of your content. If you can boost your watch time, you’ll be able to increase audience engagement, build your subscriber base, and optimize your YouTube video strategy to ensure consistent growth and evolution. By implementing an easy-to-follow YouTube dashboard visual and insightful quantitative information, this KPI for social media is integral to any solid marketing strategy.
6) Viewer retention
One of our most powerful KPI examples for social media, this YouTube viewer retention metric offers a practical means of analyzing your video content on an individual basis and drilling down into where you’re losing or retaining your viewers.
In doing so, you’ll be able to make accurate comparisons, set video content engagement benchmarks, and make the kind of content enhancements that will boost brand awareness and keep your audience captivated at all times – a priceless KPI for social media.
7) Company update stats
The next on our list of KPI examples for social media focuses on a critical component of a powerful business network – LinkedIn – building relationships and generating engagement through your branded post content. Akin to the ‘Top 5 Tweets’ social KPI, this well-presented LinkedIn KPI serves up information based on the performance of your company updates.
By drilling down into this data, you’ll be able to identify strengths and weaknesses, discover optimal posting times, and get to know your audience on a deeper level – which is vital in today’s business world.
8) Viewer information
Another important driver of growth on LinkedIn is knowing whom to approach or target, and when. Delving deeper than a name and title alone, the viewer information social KPI offers detailed information including location, current job role, employment history, and more.
Armed with this information, you’ll be able to reach out to potential prospects using a more personal approach, which will help you spark up more valuable long-term professional relationships that will grow your business. With the help of a modern LinkedIn dashboard, these KPIs can be implemented and fully utilized for professional business management of this important platform.
b) Social Media Engagement And Audience Metrics
These particular KPIs focus on the engagement metrics surrounding your social activities and campaigns.
9) Average clicks per post
Understanding the type of content that your users are engaging with the most is an effective means of knowing which of your efforts are the most rewarding.
This particular social KPI, if analyzed in conjunction with the click efficiency, the bounce rate, and the time on page of a post, will give you a deeper insight of your overall performance, allowing you to tailor your content for improved, more consistent results while connecting with your audience on a deeper level. It can also help you to create your own analytical report that can reduce your time in analyzing the vast amount of data.
10) Average shares per post
This KPI for social media can tell you a great deal about your audience’s reception of your content.
Often, the more shares a post earns, the more it is being read and the more value your audience is gaining from your content. Engagement of this kind can significantly boost your brand awareness, serving to grow your audience and increase your revenue over time. By tracking this metric consistently, and implementing it in your KPI management practice, you’ll be able to monitor the performance of particular posts and continue creating content that will strike a positive chord with your audience – which is essential to SMM success.
11) New vs lost followers
At its core, this metric measures your followers’ growth based on the number of followers you have earned compared to the followers you’ve lost over a specified period.
The significant rise in your number of followers doesn’t always translate into success. For instance, if you’re a media publication, you will want to gain as many followers as possible, but if you’re a rare clothing boutique, you will thrive on a more streamlined, niche fanbase. By monitoring this KPI continually, you will be able to spot any peaks or troughs in followers over your various active social platforms and tackle any potential issues as they occur.
12) Subscriber by age and gender
When you’re running a business in the digital age, understanding who is visiting your various sites and social platforms is critical.
This social metric provides invaluable data on visitor and reader demographics including gender, age, and location. By gaining access to this kind of information, you will be able to obtain a deeper understanding of who your readers are, helping you to tailor your content to connect with them on a personal level, building trust and loyalty as a result.
c) Bonus Metrics For A Complete SM Strategy
To set up a full SM strategy, you need to include metrics that resonate with your monetary expenses, and here we will mention the most important ones.
13) Goal conversion rates
Fundamentally, a conversion is the desired action made by a visitor – and it’s a metric that varies from business to business. Setting different conversion goals for various platforms and areas of your site will help you to hit important business objectives and give your digital marketing efforts some structure.
By defining specific targets for different platforms, you will be able to compare your efforts, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and make the kind of changes that have a positive impact on the business.
14) Return on investment (ROI)
Deemed to be the holy grail of all digital and social KPIs, ROI will give you a top-level indication of the value of your campaigns, activities, and efforts.
To calculate your ROI, you should divide the profit/benefit of your investment by its total costs, and display this ratio as a percentage. The higher your ROI percentage, the better. By monitoring and calculating the ROI of your various SMM efforts, you will be able to understand which areas are worth investing in the most, thereby streamlining your activities for enhanced business efficiency. In contrast, you will also be able to understand the areas of your social media strategy that are costing you unnecessary funds. Building your own KPI report will ensure your ROI is on track, alongside with other relevant metrics that you need to take a closer look on.
15) Cost per click (CPC)
Paid SMM is an important part of a brand’s social strategy and to ensure you get the most for your money, tracking the CPC is essential.
Ultimately, your aim should be to decrease the CPC steadily over time, which in most cases should result in lower costs for acquisition. This is another social media metric that is essential to track on a consistent basis.
Social Media Content KPIs: Focused On What You Write And How
The following three KPIs are more related to the content itself that is linked in your social platform post. These particular KPIs will help you ensure that you offer high-quality content to your readers.
16) Average comments per article
Much like shares and likes, post comments translate to engagement and, generally speaking, the more comments you receive per article, the more inspiring your content tends to be.
As writing a comment and becoming involved in a conversation is far less passive than a like or share, this KPI for social media can tell you a lot about the value and quality of the content you’re posting. Moreover, participating in the comments section will make you more “human” and help you forge meaningful bonds with your audience, which, in turn, can boost engagement exponentially.
17) Story turnaround time
An age-old print media notion, story turnaround time is a widely overlooked but an incredibly useful metric. The publishing timeline for a post or article varies greatly depending on a number of factors such as the author, the style of content, the project or campaign, and other similar factors.
By setting a timeline from conception to publication, you will be able to set specific content creation targets and ensure that you maintain the quality of your various offerings while delivering them to your audience on a consistent basis. Doing so will give you the best possible chance of growing your audience and enhancing your brand reputation.
18) Flesch reading ease
A priceless resource for SEO content writers, the Flesch reading test will help you evaluate the quality, complexity, and duplicity of your copy. The easier your content is to read or digest, the more accessible it is likely to be and, therefore, the more successful – and the Flesch metric will give you a clear indication of your copy’s readability.
To gain the most possible value from this content metric, you should perform A/B tests with posts focused on a similar topic and analyze whether a lower or higher Flesch score affects the audience engagement with your content.
“We have the technology, finally, that for the first time in human history allows people to really maintain rich connections with much larger numbers of people.” – Pierre Omidyar
How To Set KPIs For Social Media?
Now that you know the dynamics of social media metrics and social media engagement metrics and have explored the 18 essential KPI templates for social domination, it’s time to understand how to put these invaluable insights into action.
Measuring the impact and success of your campaigns is critical. At first, you might struggle with setting the right KPI for your social media campaign – and you’re not alone. To help you on your journey, here’s a short rundown of how to set social media KPIs:
- Assess the situation: How are your different social channels performing? Do you have any existing processes in place to evaluate their performance? Find the answers to these questions by taking the time to understand what you measure, when, and how (reports, anyone?).
- Define your goals: There’s an unfathomable amount of data out there, and frankly speaking, not enough time to analyze each and every insight that’s available to you. Define what you want to achieve in line with your strategy and focus solely on the information and insights you need to reach these goals consistently.
- Choose the metrics you need to measure your goals: Engagement metrics, audience quality, growth or reach, leads, conversion rates – there are many different metrics that you can choose from to measure various aspects of your social marketing activities. Sit down with your team in a collaborative environment – and choose wisely.
- Stay away from vanity metrics: Metrics such as your number of likes or followers don’t really tell you whether your social marketing efforts are working. 100K likes may not convert a thousand users, while a well-targeted 10K could convert two thousand users. Don’t use vanity metrics to measure your campaigns alone – they will not provide the level of insight for growth, evolution, and sustainable success.
- You’re ready to go: Once your goals are defined and your metrics are set, the best way to use them is by accessing your social KPIs via a centralized, interactive platform. Creating and customizing a BI-powered digital media dashboard is swift and simple, leaving you more time to analyze the relationships between your metrics, evaluate your efforts, and get ahead of the competition. Now that you know how to set social media KPIs, it’s time to get started – best of luck!
“You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.”- Daniel Keys Moran
Social platforms are some of the most potent forces in today’s world and by using the right data to your advantage, arranged on a social media KPI dashboard, you will gain an all-important competitive edge, thereby resulting in improved and more rewarding relationships with your target audience.
We hope these KPI templates for social media have inspired you and to start measuring your metrics for complete social domination. Try our cutting-edge social media KPI dashboard tool and test its business-boosting potential with our 14-day free trial.