12 Social Media KPIs You Should Never Ignore
Social media KPIs shouldn’t be just another number for you.
Regardless of the type of business you run, nowadays it is important for you to have active social media accounts. This not only helps you build a brand that your audience trusts, but also helps you get the word out about your business much further.
Let’s start with the basics.
What Are Social Media KPIs?
KPIs are “key performance indicators.” That means social media KPIs are metrics used to track the performance of the social media campaigns, and your social media strategy, in general.
Here are some statistics that should convince you about the power of social media and how it can positively affect your business.
71% of consumers who were on the receiving end of a good social media service experience from a brand are more likely to refer or recommend it to others.
There are 2.56 billion mobile social media users globally, which equals to a whopping 34% penetration; with 1 million new and active mobile social users joining in everyday.
More than 50 million small businesses and marketers today are leveraging Facebook Pages to connect and build a real relationship with the right audience.
Hootsuite found that big brands on Instagram are experiencing a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21%, which is as much as 58 times higher than that of Facebook and 120 times more than what a business would see on Twitter.
These stats prove why more and more brands are investing in social media marketing strategy and advertising to reach out to their target audience and generate new customers.
However, it is necessary that you focus on the right priorities if you want to achieve success with social media marketing. Or else, it is highly possible that your social media efforts go fruitless, and your brand ends up wasting time on popular social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest.
Every brand using social media should realize that at the end of the day, it is a tool that you need to use efficiently in order to get results.
The question is, how do you make that possible? How do you avoid heading in the wrong direction? And how do you ensure that you will yield a positive growth rate?
The only sensible way to ensure that your brand is on the right track with social media, is to keep a track of the right social media KPIs using analytics tools.
When you focus on understanding and recognizing the crucial social media KPIs, you will be able to keep track of where you’re going wrong and what is working for you. Not only that, you will also be able to recognize campaigns that are failing due to certain factors.
By understanding your valuable social media KPIs, you can tailor your campaign to match your customers’ needs and your business goals.
The problem is that many companies don’t even try to go beyond the basics. In other words, they think measuring social media metrics is only about tracking “follower count” and “likes.” But as it turns out, successful social media KPI tracking is much more than that.
What Are the Most Important Social Media KPIs for Companies?
There are 3 key focus areas of your social media KPIs:
Reach: How many people come across your brand in their news feed?
Engagement: How often you engage with your target audience (current and new followers alike)?
Conversions: How many people convert into paying customers?
Let’s look into each of these areas and analyze some of the crucial social media KPIs. And see how you can measure them the right way:
Social Media KPIs to Focus on: Reach
In order to survive on social media and make your presence felt, your content needs to get noticed by your audience. After all, what is the use of creating amazing content if there is nobody relevant to consume it?
Your social media reach is crucial for the overall growth of your marketing campaign. So if you don’t focus on improving your reach then you are leaving a lot of money on the table.
Even though reach is nothing new, and it has been an age old KPI when it comes to measuring the success of your marketing campaign, it is still relevant today. Your reach shows how effective your message is and how wide it is spread. The bottom line is, your reach matters to a great extent but it is not the only thing.
1. Number of Followers or Fans
Determining your reach and how far your messages are travelling is not complicated. It usually starts with the most obvious metric which is to see how many people you are able to reach out to on a social media platform. These people are your friends or your followers who have shown explicit interest in receiving content from you. It happens to be the total number of people that can view your content, comment on it, retweet it, and share it with others in their social circle.
However, it is necessary to keep in mind that having thousands of followers or fans becomes irrelevant if they don’t engage with your brand. Interacting with your content is the first step to connecting with you. Having said that, knowing that your reach is high enough is a big plus. And it should give you the needed confidence to take your campaign to the next level.
2. Number of Impressions Generated
What makes impressions difficult to measure is the very nature of this particular metric. Your fans or followers may see the same content a number of times, each of which counts as an impression. However, it is safe to say that a higher number of impressions does mean- to a certain extent- that you’re connecting to greater numbers of people, which is obviously a good thing.
3. Number of Social Media Influencers
Not every brand on social media works with an influencer, but it ought to. A social media influencer is a person already has a strong personal brand and audience. They are in the position to spread awareness about a particular topic, service, or product through the network they have built.
When it comes to measuring the right metrics, the number of social media influencers that are ready to promote your brand shows how successful it is.
It is important to note that social media influencers don’t associate themselves with just about anybody. They always make sure that they are only representing a brand, a product, or a service that is high quality and trustworthy. So if a certain number of influencers are comfortable promoting your brand and spreading the word about it, is it safe to say that you are taking the right steps.
Here is another marketing trend to watch out for- the micro influencer marketing. Instead of going with those influencers with high number of followers, some of the brands now find that those influencers with close knit followers have more chances to convert. Yes, you may not have the same exposure as you would have when you choose a big influencer. However, these micro influencers are more engaged with their followers thus resulting to higher conversion rates. Although if you will go for this strategy, it’s better to have dozens of micro influencers to promote your brand to gain optimal results.
4. Your Share of Voice
Social media is a brilliant tool to help you generate a buzz around your product or service. Creating a meaningful conversation around your brand is something that will take you a long way. In order for this to happen your company needs to grow its brand awareness and make sure more and more relevant people recognize it.
Share of voice is a simple metric that shows you how much of a conversation is going around your brand when compared to other competing brands. It gives you a clear idea of where you stand in terms of having people talk about your product or service, and in what way.
This metric lets you know how your efforts are leading to real conversations about your company. Share of voice is important to consider because generating the right kind of conversation is the key to creating more awareness. If you don’t find a buzz surrounding your product or company, then you should analyze your competition to see where they are going and what kind of changes you could make to your own campaign to make things work.
Social Media KPIs to Focus on: Engagement
The effectiveness of your social media marketing campaign not only depends on the extent of your reach, but also how much engagement it is able to generate.
The reach of your brand on social media tells you how far it is being seen by the right demographics. But it doesn’t give you the full picture. Reach doesn’t mean much, unless it is accompanied by engagement.
Having a huge number of followers for fans is absolutely useless if they don’t connect to your brand, interact with your content, generate more social shares, drive website traffic, and more importantly, buy your products or services. At the end of the day, you are running a business and it is important that you build a meaningful following on social media that is not only relevant but is also engaging.
Social media engagement should be seen as one of the most integral social media KPIs that you can measure both long term and short term. Because it doesn’t stop at the basics. It goes ahead of the number of followers you have and tells you how many of them are actually sharing your content, liking it and finding it useful. The more they are liking and commenting on it, the better it is.
Social media engagement gives you a clear insight into you how your content is performing on a broader scale. This gives you a better idea on how to improve campaigns and direct your efforts in a meaningful way.
5. Number of Clicks
While there are many engagement metrics that you can measure to make sense of how your audience is interacting with your content, nothing comes close to the simplicity of clicks.
It doesn’t take rocket science to understand that a person who clicks on one of your links has a higher chance of converting into a lead or a sale. This means attracting the right kind of audience, the one that is willing to click, will increase the chances of getting more business.
But don’t get too lost or stay too focused on the number of clicks. It’s easy to do so, especially when you have too many clicks coming in. You should also focus on the number of likes and shares your content is receiving.
Plus, keep an eye on the bounce rate because if too many people are leaving right after visiting your page, all those clicks won’t matter. A high bounce rate means that your content or your landing page is not relevant or effective. Similarly, if you find that people aren’t liking your content and/or sharing it with others, you may have to reconsider the type of content you’re broadcasting via your social media channel.
6. Number of Likes
It’s human nature to express when they find something likeable, and social media makes expressing this emotion easier than ever. Likes are a strong sign and natural way to showcase your product or brand in a positive light.
When content pieces generate a high number of likes, it automatically gains credibility in the eyes of the people who come across it. And since we tend to be a part of something or associate ourselves to things supported or liked by others, the “like” metric becomes very authentic.
This is why you often find that a social media post with likes will generally attract more likes, and thus become an engaging piece of content. Last but not the least, the number of likes your content has also shows that it is worthy and authoritative in nature.
7. Number of Shares
The number of likes your content garners definitely makes it more engaging, but likes are still weak when compared to the number of shares. Having high likes may indicate the content is good enough, but when a large number of people share your content, that’s when your engagement goes to the next level. Many times likes happen without the user even consuming the content, but when it comes to sharing, most of the time people share things that they have experienced themselves.
The number of shares you generate shows how loyal your prospects or customers are, and how confident they are in referring or recommending your brand to others. This makes a big difference to your engagement, especially when there are so many social media updates that go without a single share.
8. Number of Comments
When your customers find you on social media, and when you find them hanging out at a particular social network, it’s only natural to interact and converse. Because if that’s not happening, then there’s something that you need to change.
Engaging into conversations with your prospects and new customers opens many doors, which is why it is a critical metric to track. The number of comments you are receiving is directly proportional to the relevancy of your content, and of course how entertaining and informative it is. If you’re not generating the kind of comments you expected, then you need to give your followers and fans something that will make them talk. These conversations are necessary for you to build a bonding with them and create a loyalty amongst your following.
Yes, there will be times when some of these comments are negative or critical in nature. But this is the very feedback that will help you learn about your audience and serve them better. Comments are always better than no comments. They show that you’re moving on the right track and what you’re doing is impactful. This is why you find many social media managers considering comments to be serious social media KPIs to track.
9. Number of Social Mentions
Effective social listening should reveal how many people are discussing about your brand on a particular social network. Each time they “mention” you, is an opportunity for you to fix things or make them better. These people may or may not be following your brand on social media, but their comments matter- because they are insightful and allow you to learn what your customers think about your company or product.
Most of the time, these mentions lead to something positive, only if the company in question takes action and is serious enough to make a change. So when you’re measuring your social media KPIs, keep track of mentions. It’ll help you maintain your online reputation and give your customers the answer that they are looking for. Above all, knowing your “mentions” helps you stay on your toes, giving you an edge over the competition.
Social Media KPIs to Focus on: Conversions
Making your social media campaign a success boils down to the number of leads or sales you generate. Because without new business coming in, there is little you can do to grow your brand or company. For many brands, understanding their conversion metrics lets them see where they stand in comparison to their competition in terms of social media performance.
Knowing key metrics such as likes and comments is only one half of the equation. The other half is to see how your social media efforts are contributing to the overall business that you have. Because ideally, you want social media to boost your conversions. It’s the ultimate test.
Having a fan following on Facebook or Instagram needs to pay off, or else how will you measure your growth? Your fans and followers should regularly check out your offers and purchase your products or services. Without conversions, all these vanity metrics will prove to be useless.
10. Number of Direct Sales
Your social media goals ultimately lead to how they can help you generate more sales revenue. There is nothing wrong in that because every business wants a high return on investment. The time and money that you pour into working with social media has to be worth it, and that can only happen when you’re generating real profits as a result of these efforts.
It’s safe to say that you need to focus on determining the number of “direct” sales oriented conversions happening from your social media efforts. As it will give you a fair idea on how much each customer is worth and how much more effort and planning you should put into making your investment worthwhile.
11. Number of Indirect Sales
Social media can help you get more business, like thousands of other brands. Some of the sales you get are a result of direct traffic you receive from a social network. But what about those indirect sales that occur when one of your qualified leads converts into a paying customer?
A qualified lead that ends up in your lead-tracking system is a prospect who has already expressed interest in buying from you. Your social media efforts can help you generate such leads that ultimately become your customers. The number of indirect sales directly indicates the lead conversion rate, which is a metric you don’t want to ignore.
12. Number of Leads
The conversions that have not yet resulted in a sale are also important to track. Whether it is someone filling out an inquiry form on your website or signing up for your free eBook or course guide, the number of social media followers converting into some kind of lead or subscriber matters. It all depends on the goal of your social media campaign and what you seek to achieve from it. Depending on the results, it’s up to you to decide where it would be wise to focus your attention.
Creating a social media presence is not just about creating a profile and waiting for the magic to happen. No, it’s about take advantage of the many benefits social media marketing has to offer. It is about knowing how to connect to your target audience and deliver them the value they are looking for. It is about understanding their needs, wants and requirements, and making sure your brand meets them with useful content.
By tracking social media KPIs this not only becomes easy, it also becomes way more efficient.
By analyzing the data that your social media marketing efforts have helped find, you can work on tweaking your campaigns, creating more meaningful relationships, and boosting the lifetime value of your target audience.
Social media KPIs may seem simple but they always work in your favor when you track and understand them. If you need help from a social media agency to make the whole process simple, be sure to contact us.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Zinora Media.