If newspapers were to meet The Daily Prophet from J.K Rowling’s ever-famous Harry Potter series, you’d get social media – interactive with a refreshing feed and even better than the two in several ways! No wonder 73%, which is over half the marketers, view social media KPIs as “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business.
However, using social media without tracking key social media KPIs is like rowing a boat without oars. You’d have no sense of direction of where your efforts are leading your business or if they are yielding anything at all.
The fact of the matter is that social media for businesses is not for brand awareness only. It is so much more than that. Think engagement, lead nurturing, website traffic, conversions, and customer service and loyalty over here. Wrap all these benefits with a bright ribbon of revenue generation.
Let’s take Foiled Cupcakes, an online cupcake business as an inspiring case in point here. The company started with Twitter and other social channels without a website and a store. Their approach was simply engaging with their audience and building connections.
Guess what Foiled Cupcakes achieved? 3000 Twitter followers within three weeks of interacting on the platform plus 40,000 cupcakes orders. Not to forget, they bested their revenue forecast by 600% in their first year of work.
So, how do you get there? By setting goals and measuring them via KPIs.
What are social media KPIs?
Social media key performance indicators (KPIs) are numbers. Simply put, they belong to the data family and help give your marketing efforts wings. Hard to believe? Let’s put it another way.
If someone was to ask you how your social media is doing, what would you say? “It’s great” or “it’s incredible, we even have some loyal fans out there.” In reality, though, no amount of adjectives here are enough to give a solid answer.
In fact, on the social media success measurement compass, KPIs sit poles apart from opinions about how well your social media marketing (SMM) is doing. If anything, numbers can help you develop a proper report on how well your SMM efforts are faring. And, this is what the point of measuring social media KPIs is.
These indicators provide a strong foundation for your hard work, helping you track how well you are leveraging social media for your business, and what you need to do further. Now that the meaning of social media KPIs is out of the way, let’s move forward to learning which of the KPIs you need to keep an eye on.
Social media KPIs to measure
The key performance indicators that you track are directly related to your social media goals. These goals are:
3. Lead generation & conversion
4. Customer support and loyalty
These goals help you answer fundamental questions of what you are reaping from your social media. For example,
- Are you reaching the right audience?
- Are you engaging with the right folks?
- How many people are inquiring about your product or service? And, how many of them are actually converting from social media fans to customers?
- How well are you helping prospects and customers via social media?
In simple words, your work on social boils down to learning how well you are generating brand awareness, how well you are attracting leads, at what rate are you converting them into customers, and how many loyal fans you are making for the brand. Luckily, you have KPIs to give you an answer to each of these questions.
Let’s start with social media KPIs to measure for Reach
Reach is synonymous with brand awareness. If you put up great content on your social media one day, nothing will happen by the next day or the day after that. Because the message isn’t going to anybody without any effort.
This is where reach comes into the picture and takes your content to various individuals. To monitor your reach, you need to keep tabs on the following KPIs for social media.
1. Follower count & audience growth rate
On its own, keeping an eye on the follower count is futile. In conjunction with other KPIs though, this number helps you understand how many people you are touching base with. Getting this number isn’t rocket science. You only need to look at your social media dashboard.
Monitoring the audience growth rate, however, takes some effort. This growth rate gives you an idea of the speed at which your social media followers are growing.
So, it is not about how many followers you have, but about how quickly they are growing and how much they are growing in contrast with the past months. The formula to get your audience growth rate is straightforward.
Simply, take your number of new followers for the month on a social network and divide it by your total audience. Multiply the number achieved by 100 to get a percentage of your audience growth.
You can always log these numbers into a social media KPI spreadsheet to get an overall view of how well you’re performing on the followers’ front.
Impressions are the number of times that your post is/was viewed by your followers and beyond. The metric can be slightly vague to measure considering a single person can view your post multiple times. However, impressions still give you an idea of how far your post has reached.
3. Post reach
Identifying your post reach helps you get your hands on the vital basics of social media posting, timing, and content.
To calculate your post reach, take out the number of times a particular post has reached its audience from your post analytics. Next, divide this number by your total number of followers and multiply by 100. The number you get in the end is your post’s reach.
Identify this metric for various posts to see how well each is being received. You can also log these into a social media KPIs spreadsheet for a clear idea of which types of posts have the greatest reach.
As you do this, you will note a pattern in the type of content that is well-received by your audience. You can also pinpoint the timings when your posts get a wider reach.
4. Social referral traffic
The traffic or number of people who head from social media to your website is the social referral traffic for your site. This is a crucial metric to follow because it signifies the interested leads you have nurtured.
It is also the first step in the process of converting your followers into customers. Use Google Analytics to get a roundup of the traffic coming to your site via social media. Two markers to watch over are:
Channels: Here’s where you can get a combined overview of the traffic from all your social media profiles in a given period.
Medium or Source: You will get a specific picture of segmented data here. This will display the particular social source of your traffic so that you can see how much traffic you are getting from each of the social channels you use.
Next up, social media KPIs for Engagement
Engagement is very precious. A mere presence on a social channel delivers nothing. If anything, it is only going to put off interested buyers as they see your business inactive. You’d be surprised to know that customers spend between 20-40% more with brands that engage and respond to them on social media.
Therefore, it wouldn’t be an overstatement if we say that engagement is the golden key to success on social media. Let’s now walk you through KPIs that can highlight how well you’re doing on this ground:
As your follower count, noting your likes isn’t a tough nut to crack. You can simply view your feed to get an idea. Besides, all social networks display the likes on your profile on their analytics dashboard.
Likes are a testament to how much your audience appreciates your content. Another interesting point here is that the more likes you get, the higher your engagement will go. This is because social media algorithms tend to favor posts that get more likes. Consequently, social engines show those posts more, which gets them more engaged.
Related Read: Social Media Marketing for Restaurants
Lots of folks are likely to like everything which shows up on their newsfeed. The share metric, however, is a telltale sign of your follower’s interest, which is why he shared the post with his audience.
Furthermore, shares help you reach a wider audience. Therefore, ministering to these is also important.
Another important social media KPI that speaks volumes of your engagement is comments. While likes and shares are only a matter of a click, comments take time, which is why they’re so valuable.
When your followers take out the time to comment on your post, it shows that they genuinely appreciate your social media content. Such customers are also more likely to convert.
Plus, comments also get you more engagement. When a user comments on your post, his action is typically viewed in his friends’ feeds, which can broaden your reach. In certain instances, comments are directly proportional to a wider reach. A case in point is LinkedIn, where likes don’t widen your reach and increase engagement but comments do.
John Espirian, LinkedIn influencer, and copywriter emphasize this. He explains, “Why does LinkedIn like comments so much? Perhaps because good conversations are the best foundations for building relationships – and that’s what doing business is all about.”
Your click-through rate is always an all-important metric to monitor. A high click rate testifies that your call-to-action (CTA) is effective enough to encourage folks to take action. Moreover, followers willing to click a link to your site or blog are likely to convert better too.
An important thing to bear in mind here is that while link clicks are critical, you also need to pay attention to the bounce rate on your site. A high bounce rate signifies that you are failing to capture your audience’s interest.
On the flip side, a high click rate paired with a lower bounce rate shows that your landing page is working its magic, helping you increase your sales. If your likes, shares, clicks, and comments are a gloomy picture, consider using a tool such as Content Studio to share social content consistently.
9. Share of voice + brand mentions
Your audience calling you either directly (@contentstudio) or indirectly (Contentstudio) is referred to as brand mentions. About 96% of the people who talk about companies on social media don’t even follow the business’s profile. Therefore, tracking mentions is fundamental for observing the social ripples your brand is making.
At the same time, you need to compare the impact that you are making in contrast with your competitors’ influence. This brings us to your social share of voice (SSOV). To this end, count each mention that your business receives in a specified time and do the same for your competitors’ mentions.
Then, add the two figures to get total mentions and select your mentions, dividing it by the total mentions. Multiply this number by 100 and get your SSOV rate. By taking out your competitors’ rates, you can sketch the winner.
10. Virality rate
Who doesn’t want to go viral for all the good reasons, right? This is what welcomes virality rate into the social media KPIs list to measure. To begin with, you need to set up a reporting period and go on to pick a post.
Identify the impressions and number of shares it got for the specified duration. Now, divide the share by their impressions, times 100. You’ll get your post’s virality rate in no time.
You can log this rate into your social media KPIs spreadsheet and see how well you are doing to achieve your virality goals over time.
11. Active followers
The active followers metric is a crucial KPI for growing your social media account and nurturing a targeted audience. An active follower is the one who has interacted with you in the last 30 days. It is important you keep an account of active and inactive followers so that you can reach and engage with interested leads.
What’s more, the odds of inactive followers are increasing as fake accounts and bots grow. Use a tool such as ManageFlitter to filter active followers from inactive ones.
12. Profile visits
The last metric for measuring your engagement is “profile visits”. This value gives you an idea of how well you are making splashes in the social media waters. In several social networks, you get your profile visits from your analytics dashboard.
Getting on to KPIs for Leads and Conversion
As robotic as this may sound, leads are people who are interested in your product or service. In other words, these are prospects. Used effectively, social media can serve as a rich resource of warm leads, ready to convert provided you have significant reach and engagement.
A page from Frank Body, an Australian-based beauty brand, shows that the business converted social leads so well that it ended up selling over 2 million body scrubs in 149 countries with an initial budget of $5000 only.
In this context, you need to track the following performance indicators:
13. Lead conversion rate
The number of your leads converting into your customers denotes the lead conversion rate. These leads can be both direct and indirect. For instance, direct leads are those that buy your product or service via social nurturing, culminating in an increase in your revenue.
On the other hand, indirect lead conversions are not revenue-based but are those actions, which are a step towards a sale. Examples here include prospects downloading your free guide, subscribing to your newsletter, filling an inquiry form on your website, and so on.
— Social Media Examiner #SMMSociety (@SMExaminer) April 18, 2019
At the end of the day, it all comes down to your goals. You can best track your conversion rate from your Google Analytics profile. Two specific metrics to watch over here are:
Last interaction conversion
This reveals the last interaction before the visitor converted into a buyer
Assisted conversion shows all the interactions that occurred throughout the conversion path minus the last interaction.
In this way, you can measure the entire customer’s journey, helping you understand buying behavior. All this will assist you in understanding the true worth of each social media channel, assisting in amping up your conversion rate.
To get the exact conversion rate, take the number of conversions and divide it by referrals, times 100.
14. Click-through rate
This is another vital social media KPI to pursue. You already have an idea of how many clicks you are getting. However, the click-through rate indicator will give you the rate at which your posts convert. So start by collecting the clicks for a post containing your CTA.
For the same post, identify the impressions and then divide the clicks by impressions, multiplying by 100 in the end. This will give you a click-through rate. In case it is low, you’ll need to tweak your CTA.
Finally, social media KPIs for Customer Support and Loyalty
About 67% of consumers use social media to get answers to their queries. You would also be surprised to know that 1 in 3 social media users prefer social media customer care over email or telephone.
Of course, you can’t afford to lag in this department because no response to customers’ queries can decline customer advocacy by up to 50%. On the flip side, being responsive and exerting effort to improving your customer support can up your customer advocacy by approximately 25%.
Here are the social media KPIs that you need to measure for ensuring that your customer support and relationship management game is on track:
15. CSat score
The customer satisfaction score tells you how well people are satisfied with your product or service. Simply ask your audience to rate their satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10. Create a survey like how the Creative Boom magazine did to get feedback from their readers and start summing the responses.
Once done, take the total score and divide it by the number of respondents, finally multiply it by 10. The figure achieved is your CSat score. Repeat taking such surveys often to prepare a sketch of how satisfied your customers are with you over time.
16. Net promoter score
You can repeat the same process as above to get an idea of how likely your customers are to recommend your products or services to others. This KPI goes by the name of net promoter score.
To begin with, ask your audience to rate their recommendations on a scale of 1 to 10 while creating a survey to record the answers. Separate and subtract the promoters’ number from detractors and divide by the total respondents. Multiply the figure achieved by 10 to get your net promoter score.
Social media is an excellent channel for building customer relationships and improving revenue generation. As you track these social media KPIs, you will get a clear picture of how well your efforts are aligning with your social media goals.
Masooma Memon is a pizza-loving freelance writer by day and a novel nerd by night. She crafts research-backed blog posts and articles for small businesses and app companies who aim to employ quality content to educate and engage with their audience.