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. That said, social media is one of the most powerful mediums on which to do so.
In fact, LinkedIn boasts over 530 million user profiles to date. Moreover, 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 human, meaningful, and enduring dialogues with your target audience. But how do you squeeze the most value from your various efforts? With social media KPIs.
What Are Social Media KPIs?
Social media KPIs are values that measure the performance of social media marketing (SMM) campaigns. They are used by marketing teams to assess their efforts in the matter. Like most digital marketing mediums, there are a number of metrics associated with these platforms – and if tracked and utilized correctly, your business starts to expand your commercial reach, increase engagement, boost revenue, and significantly improve 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. Ultimately, social media metrics 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 four 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 metrics, 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.
1) 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 media 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.
2) 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, 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.
3) New vs lost follower
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 social media 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.
4) 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 media 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.
5) Goal conversion rates
Mostly, a conversion is a 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.
6) Return on investment (ROI)
Deemed to be the holy grail of all digital and social media 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.
7) 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 an 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 3 KPIs are more related to the content itself that is linked in your social media post. They help you measure and ensure that you offer high quality content to your readers.
8) 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.
9) 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.
10) 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.
How To Set KPIs For Social Media?
Measuring the impact and success of your campaigns is critical. You might be struggling with how to set KPIs for social media campaigns, and you’re not alone. Here’s a short list that summarizes the main steps for you to do so:
- Assess the situation: how are your different social media channels doing? Do you have any process already in place to evaluate their performance? Find the answers to these questions by knowing what you measure, when, and how (reports, anyone?)
- Define your goals: there’s a LOT of data out there, and too few time to analyze each and every bits you have. Define what you want to achieve, in line with your strategy and focus on the information that will let you see if you are reaching these goals.
- Pick the social media metrics you need to measure your goals: engagement metrics, audience quality, growth/reach, leads, conversion, there are a lot of types that you can choose from to measure different aspects.
- Stay away from vanity metrics: number of likes, of followers… It doesn’t actually says if what you’re doing is working. 100K likes might not convert a thousand users, while a well-targeted 10K could convert two thousand users.
- You’re ready: once your goals are define, your metrics are set, you might very well need to visualize them altogether. Creating a digital media dashboard thanks to a BI software is fast and easy, leaving you with more time to analyze the relationships between metrics and evaluate your efforts.
“You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.”- Daniel Keys Moran
Social media is one 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.