One of the most incredible aspects of social media is the capability to precisely measure your audience’s interactions. Brands that can harness this power can quickly and effectively access countless audience members, frequently with laser-precision targeting.
Yet, while many organizations know the importance of measuring their social media performance and adjusting their tactics considering it, they may not know exactly what they should focus on in order to improve their success.
To achieve these goals, businesses should look to these three most critical and most important social media metrics:
“Reach” is the measurement of how many people see an individual piece of social media content, whether organically — because they “like” or “follow” the account — or because a paid/promoted post showed it to them. Other, nearly identical names for this metric include “exposures” or “impressions.”
For instance, a Facebook page with 2,500 “likes” or followers posts an image with a caption, and its reach is 1,232. This number means that not everyone who likes the page saw the post for one reason or another. On the other hand, fewer than 1,232 people who follow the page may have been exposed to it since other people’s shares count towards reach. So, maybe 1,200 “like” users saw the post, and a few shared it to bring total views up to 1,232.
Reach is a critical metric for several reasons. First, posts with abysmally low reach equal wasted time. Facebook’s algorithm has begun curbing the amount of content people see from brand pages, so a significant portion of people who decided they “liked” the page may not see its posts. You can improve reach by trying to make your posts more engaging, as we will cover next, since engagement with a page dictates how often its posts are seen. You can also pay to promote posts, exposing more people to them while using segment targeting tools like Graph Search.
Secondly, total reach can help you devise important ratio metrics using the remaining two most important social media metrics.
Engagement refers to any action a user takes after seeing your post. Forms of post engagement include:
- Clicking on an image thumbnail to see it in full size
- Clicking “like” or reacting to a post
- Sharing or retweeting a post
- Replying on platforms like Twitter
Ideally, every single post you put out has a high level of engagement. Even more ideally, every single one of the people you reach will engage with the post.
This perfect ratio is practically impossible, but paying attention to your engagement:reach ratio can tell you just how tempting your posts are to interact with.
3. Website Visit Conversions
Sometimes called “acquisitions,” the number of people who follow a link from your social media accounts to your website is a critical metric for learning how much interest in your business your posts are drumming up.
While not every post will link back to your site, you will want to know generally how often people are visiting your pages from social media and with what frequency they are returning from these sources. To monitor this activity, you can use tools like Google Analytics to track referring sources by domain.
You can also see the value of each platform in terms of eventual site performance by viewing metrics like average time on site, page views per visit, and return visit percentage. These numbers can tell you where your highest-value audiences come from and which social media platforms have room for improvement.