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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 key performance indicators, of course.
Here, we’ll examine 30 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, wrap 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 indicators of the performance of a business’s social media marketing efforts. With this knowledge in hand, marketing teams can assess the success of their social strategies in areas such as engagement, reach, advertising, conversions, and more.
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. 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 performance 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. It is important to note that while these metrics work great on their own, their power and value are boosted when visualized together in a professional social media report.
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 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.
Arguably the mother of all social platforms, Facebook has mutated over the years, becoming the top platform for social media marketing, especially paid advertising. Below you'll find 5 examples of the detailed insights you can gain by tracking your performance using professional KPIs.
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 the Facebook KPIs that help you track the most valuable of social media metrics by showing you how many unique visitors have viewed your content.
Moreover, this indicator 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 public grows is pivotal to growth – and this KPI for social media will help you do so.
3) Ad impressions and frequency
As one of the most valuable types of social media metrics, tracking your ad impressions, reach, and frequency over a specific timeframe will help you understand whether your creative efforts and targeting strategies are delivering the desired results.
Here you can drill down into impressions and frequency trends with ease and tweak your demographic targeting parameters as well as your messaging ( including elements such as headline and CTA) for the best possible return on Facebook your marketing investment. This is an essential metric for driving commercial growth as well as sales during peak seasonal periods.
4) CPM & CTR of Facebook ads
As one of the best social media KPIs for paid Facebook advertising, this powerful metric offers a balanced overview of how much your advertising campaigns should actually cost.
Here it’s possible to make direct comparisons between CPM and CTR over a set timeframe and strike the perfect financial balance in terms of how you approach your Facebook ad placement. Tracking this indicator frequently will give you the visual tools to make informed choices that preserve your social media marketing budgets while giving you a consistently healthy return for your campaign efforts.
5) Post-engagement rate
This MVP of social media engagement KPIs serves up trend-centric data as well as direct information on engagement rates per post type.
Tracking your general content engagement rates over time (weekly, monthly, or annual periods) will give you a solid overview of exactly how your Facebook posts are performing in correlation to specific seasons or annual festivities (Easter, Christmas, etc.). By gaining access to engagement percentages at a glance, you’ll get a solid grip on the types of posts that resonate with your audience the most. In turn, you will enjoy consistent growth from your Facebook marketing strategy.
Audiences on Twitter are very particular, they demand businesses to use a specific tone and type of content. That is why getting a 360-view of what your followers like is a key practice for success. Our Twitter metrics below will help you get a sense of that.
6) 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.
7) 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.
8) Cost per result of Twitter ads
A valuable addition to any social media KPIs template, this highly digestible visual will give you an objective overview of how much your business is spending per tracked Twitter result.
As a CPC-centric metric, here you can see exactly how much it costs when a Twitter user takes a specific action when interacting with your paid ads. Tracking this metric frequently will help you keep a firm handle on your ad spending versus returns, empowering you to compare the impact of your content over predetermined timeframes. If you notice peaks or troughs in your spending, you can home in on them with ease. From there, make strategic tweaks that will ensure you drive valuable conversions that justify your CPC spending.
9) Hashtag performance
Hashtags are essential to gaining visibility and earning engagement on Twitter. In fact, this platform invented the concept of the social media hashtag.
As one of the best social media engagement metrics for measuring Twitter post reach, this hashtag performance metric is designed to extract information with a swift glance. Here you can see exactly how many users are engaging with your post’s hashtags over time. Use these insights to refine the subject matter of your content. You can lean on your best-performing hashtags to publish Tweets that are likely to offer you consistently solid levels of user engagement.
Tracking your performance on YouTube will help you understand what kinds of videos your audiences enjoy the most, making it possible to monetize your content with targeted campaigns.
10) Total watch time
Human beings are visual creatures, and video is one of the most powerful promotional mediums available to today’s brands or businesses, industries or sectors aside. YouTube is a platform that every modern business can use to its 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 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.
11) 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 viewers captivated at all times.
12) Revenue per mille (RPM)
This next social media KPI template tracks YouTube's RPM. When it comes to YouTube, monetizing your content is the main aim of the game—and this dynamic metric will help you do just that.
By tracking this metric throughout the year, you’ll be able to see if your RPM goals are on track. If you notice any striking fluctuations, you can drill down a little deeper into the issue and take targeted action (changing your targeting strategy, improving the quality of your content, optimizing your titles, etc.) to increase your YouTube revenue consistently over time.
13) Positive & negative comments
This is, without doubt, one of the most important KPIs for social media, as it will help you perform the level of sentiment analysis that will get under the skin of your viewers.
Gaining curated access to your most positive and negative comments on the platform will show you exactly how certain segments of your audience perceive your content, messaging, and brand values. Armed with access to this invaluable information, you will be able to refine your content marketing strategy in a way that will improve your brand reputation while consistently meeting (or even exceeding) your YouTube marketing goals.
14) Playback-based CPM
This handy YouTube advertising metric will track how much your video playbacks cost you at any given time during the year.
You’ll gain a panoramic overview of how much of your budget your videos are taking up per 1,000 playbacks. Using this metric as a core part of your YouTube marketing strategy will empower you to refine the length as well as placement of your ads for balanced ad returns throughout the year.
As you've learned by now, while all social platforms work with similar indicators, they all have their unique best practices and metrics. Rather you are a LinkedIn influencer, a B2B business, or just a B2C company trying to attract the best talents, the templates presented below will help you extract the maximum potential from your LinkedIn efforts.
15) 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.
16) 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 the professional business management of this important platform.
17) Contact & network growth
As one of the most growth-prompting KPIs for social media, this LinkedIn metric will give you the tools to make continually informed networking decisions on the platform.
Armed with the visual tools to drill down into your first as well as second-level connections, you can double up on your most effective customer or client acquisition methods on the platform and take measures to improve your LinkedIn networking efforts. Using this metric, you can make the best possible network growth decisions, saving you time while accelerating the growth of your follower base on the platform.
18) Profile views by job title
If you’re looking to become more influential or authoritative on LinkedIn, this most effective of our social media KPIs examples will help you achieve your goals.
Not only can you track your overall profile views over a specific timeframe—but it’s also possible to filter your viewers by job title to decide whether your content and credentials are reaching the right audience. If you discover your viewers aren’t arriving at your profile with the right interests, aims, or industry background, you can optimize your messaging as well as your content to attract the right people while showcasing your brand authority.
b) Social Media Conversion Metrics
Your social media efforts will be directly linked to your organizational financial goals. To ensure you are doing your part, it is important to track indicators that will help you understand if your strategies and campaigns are profitable; the examples below will help you do just that.
19) 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.
20) 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 other relevant metrics that you need to take a closer look at.
21) 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.
22) Average time to conversion
Ensuring your social media content prompts direct action, and results in consistently streamlined conversions are essential to expanding your reach and accelerating your commercial growth. As one of our most dynamic social media metrics examples, our average time to conversion will help you quantify how fast, on average, you’re earning conversions from your social media marketing efforts.
Here you can examine your average conversion times according to the product you’re promoting or by social media channel. Taking this measured approach will allow you to examine your social media conversion cycle with pinpoint precision and make strategic tweaks that will result in a raft of swifter, more positive conversions that ultimately boost your bottom line.
c) Social Media Engagement And Audience Metrics
These particular KPIs focus on the engagement metrics surrounding your social activities and campaigns.
23) Engagement rate
Next, in our definitive rundown of social media marketing KPIs, we’re looking at our engagement rate KPI. By breaking down your engagement levels according to each social media platform, you will gain a panoramic view of your overall social media marketing strategy, gaining the tools required to improve your multichannel campaigns.
By serving up digestible information based on dynamic real-time data, this is one of the social media analytics KPIs that will help you continually refine your content creation efforts across channels according to organizational or industry channels. This is one metric that will keep you moving forward and growing your brand with confidence while gaining a consistent edge over the competition.
24) 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 into 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.
25) 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.
26) 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.
A 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.
27) 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.
d) 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. Putting these particular KPIs together in a professional content report will help you ensure that you offer high-quality content to your readers.
28) 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.
29) Story turnaround time
An age-old print media notion, story turnaround time is a widely overlooked but 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.
30) 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 highest 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 have explored the 30 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 them:
- 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, and 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. Think of the KPIs that will best tell the story when visualized together in a modern social media dashboard.
- 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.
- Arrange your metrics wisely: Once you’ve chosen the right KPIs for your social media metrics template, you should set a page hierarchy that aligns with your specific marketing goals. As a general rule of thumb, it’s always best to position multichannel or high-level KPIs in social media near the top of your dashboard before segmenting the rest into groups according to the channel. Whatever hierarchy you set, you should always make your flow of metrics as logical as possible while aiming at efficient data storytelling.
- 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!
Creating the Right Mix of Social Media Metrics and KPIs
During our journey, we’ve explored an extensive mix of KPIs for social media engagement, conversions, and ad performance. While each is strikingly different, each of these essential metrics has one essential thing in common: they provide the clarity as well as the insight you need to grow your business through social media.
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.
Here is a summary of the top 30 social media KPIs and metrics you should track for success:
- Reach by post type
- Number of fans
- Ad impressions & frequency
- CPM & CTR of Facebook Ads
- Post engagement rate
- Top 5 tweets by engagement
- CPM of Twitter ads
- Cost per result of Twitter ads
- Hashtag performance
- Total watch time
- Viewer retention
- Revenue per mille (RPM)
- Positive & negative comments
- Playback-based CPM
- Company update stats
- Viewer information
- Contact & Network growth
- Profile views by job title
- Goal conversion rates
- Return on investment
- Cost per click (CPC)
- Average time to conversion
- Engagement rate
- Average clicks per post
- Average shares per post
- New vs. lost followers
- Subscriber by age and gender
- Average comments per article
- Story turnaround time
- Flesch reading ease
We hope these KPI templates for social media have inspired you 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. Now’s the time to strike.