You’ve started your journey into building out a social media presence for your business, and you’re starting to see traction, but how are you going to track these milestones in the long term?
This is where the importance of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) comes into play.
In this article, we’re going to let you in on some of the best predictors of success on social media and teach you how to better utilize these KPIs to track results and optimize your efforts.
What Are KPIs and Metrics?
Many of us in marketing have heard the term “metrics” and “KPI,” but may not understand what they mean for the business and business goals.
KPI is a term used to describe how businesses determine the performance of a strategy and/or campaign. They use these metrics, and the data gathered from the metrics, to track if goals are being met. By analyzing the data, they can identify opportunities to shift strategies and where tuning in the campaigns may deliver results.
What Are Social Media KPIs?
Social media KPIs work similarly. They seek to understand if your company’s social media marketing strategy is working, and what benefits and ROI the business is seeing from social media efforts. They’re a way of measuring the value of your investment in social media.
By using native and/or other data collecting software, you can track key metrics related to your business’s presence on individual platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. With the right system, you can gather, track and analyze data across all social platforms at once.
The Most Important KPIs for Social Media Marketing
When you start social media marketing, you are likely to be swimming in a dizzying array of reports, charts, and data points. The success of your marketing efforts is likely to come down to identifying the right KPIs to track for your business goals.
The first step is to determine what the goal of your marketing efforts will be. Once you have a goal, you need to identify the KPI that will help you determine your success and progress in reaching the goal.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important goals in social media marketing.
Reach, Your Audience and Social Media Marketing
Reach is a way of measuring how many people see your account and posts. It gives you an idea of the potential number of people who can read or engage with your message because it showed up on their digital screen. That way you know that what you're trying to say is getting to the right audience, and how far that message is going.
Impressions and Audience Engagement
Social media impressions are similar to reach but different in one key way. While the reach will tell you about a potential customer, impressions tell you how many times a post or profile has been seen, even if it's been seen more than once by a single user. This accumulates into total views. For example, a single account could see the same post in their feed three times, which means three impressions.
Follower Count and Potential Customers
When someone clicks to follow you, you’ve secured a potential customer. That person (think of them as a potential prospect or customer) now has access to your posts. When they scroll through their feed, your content and posts will be there. Follower count itself tracks how many people care enough to follow your brand and the content you deliver.
Web Referral Traffic from Social
Ever wonder about the number of people who see a social media post of yours, and then go to your profile and click through to your website? That’s known as a web referral. This metric reveals the social media-to-website pipeline, and it’s a great indicator that your posts are doing well and people are engaged with your content. Prospects are readily leaving the world of social media to see what you can offer them.
Tip: A good place to be able to capture this is Google Analytics.
KPIs and Tracking Engagement
Engagement is a crucial metric for measuring if people are interacting with your posts on social media. With reach, you know people are looking at your posts. With engagement, you can see what they actually thought about that post. The three main forms of engagement are likes, comments, and shares. Not only can you track if people are interested in your content, but they also provide a boost for your business with any social media platform’s algorithm.
If you can get people engaging with your posts, then the platform will make sure your content can be seen by more people. You’ll build more authority with each post, which will help your strategy long-term. Let’s dive into all three.
What Are Likes?
Starting with the easiest form of appreciation, likes are the heart-infused double-tap that can send that initial rush of dopamine when you see your post being interacted with. It demonstrates, at first glance, that you made someone stop long enough to feel positive sentiment and take action to show it.
What Are Comments?
Along with likes, comments are the second tier of interaction on almost every social media platform. With comments, you really find out if someone has a strong opinion of your content. Comments take more time, so be sure to have a community management strategy in place to respond back to the comments, whether they’re good or bad. That way you are providing even more value and authenticity to your brand.
What Are Shares?
Shares are some of the best engagement you can get. It means your post was so informative, relatable, or so insatiable that the user sent it to someone else to consume and talk about it. You are growing your audience and potentially reaching new customers with minimal work.
A high share count is also a key indicator of how viral a post is, which is a great way of rapidly reaching a much larger audience with your content. The more shares, the more viral a post or content is.
KPIs for Business Conversions and Social Media
You now know social media KPIs and how they function within a business’s social media strategy, but that may not be your business goal. To show an ROI, you’ll need people to buy your product. This is known as a conversion.
How do you track conversions? What do you track to show an ROI for your social media efforts? Let's dive into KPIs that can help show an ROI.
To see the fruits of your hard work paying off, you need to show your posts are converting into tangible sales. A good way to track sales is through Google Analytics or your website analytics. Look for the clicks or engagement from social media to your website converted into purchases and what the revenue total from those purchases is.
Many social media platforms have direct e-commerce functionality so customers can shop directly on the platform through posts or streams. In those cases, the sales revenue numbers can be found in your shop analytics on the social media platform you’re utilizing.
Lead Conversion Rate
The lead conversion rate demonstrates how well your social media strategy is paying off at different points within the marketing funnel. It gives you a percentage of the contacts that turn into a customer. It can also tell you where potential customers are falling off in the pipeline so you can refine your sales process, as well as what content or engagement point is working the best.
Your goal should be to make it seamless for a customer to purchase your product/service, even through social media. Customers may not purchase from you at the very moment they see your product, but if your strategy is sound, they will turn into a customer. Be aware, though, it may take multiple contact points to turn a prospect into a customer.
Tip: Google Analytics offers an easy way to track your lead conversion rate via social media. For some businesses, more complex attribution models and tracking tools may be an even better fit for their marketing needs.
Cost per Lead
When it comes to paid media efforts, your cost per lead tells you how effective your advertising and/or lead generation strategy is. This metric calculates the amount of marketing spends used for every lead. If you have a high cost per lead, you may need to fine-tune your strategy to lower the cost. You can also allocate more funds where you see success to capitalize opportunities.
Boosting Your Business Success with Social Media Marketing
The metrics covered here are key to making sure the labor and dollars being invested in your social media strategy are working. They give you critical insight and visibility into the mechanics behind your strategy.
You can see what’s working and can replicate it elsewhere, and you can see what’s not working and could benefit from additional work or a different strategy.
Social media is a powerful tool, and knowing how to measure it is crucial to your success no matter the platform. If you have questions or want to talk to an expert about your strategy, then contact GO2 Partners and schedule a one-on-one with a member of our team.