What do you measure on social media? There are so many metrics you could pay attention to, but who has time to track – and improve – 50 different things? It’s better to monitor your progress against a smaller set of important goals, versus monitoring everything under the sun to see what sticks.
Not sure which few things to focus on? Here are five social media KPIs we think every marketer should track.
First, be sure you’re measuring a simple, but important, top-line volume metric. You should always know how many posts there are about your brand on social media at any time. Be sure this includes mentions of your official accounts and pages across channels, as well as keyword and hashtag mentions. How large is the conversation about your brand on social? Include the channels that are most important to your customers, and always include Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, plus any others you deem relevant.
You also need to measure the size of your audience. There are lots of audience metrics you could focus on, like fans and followers, people who have mentioned your brand, and so on. But our recommended audience metric is reach. Reach tells you the size of the unique potential audience for posts about your brand. You can look at only your owned and paid content (along with any retweets/shares of that content), or expand out to include earned mentions, or anything posted about your brand by you or someone else. Understanding the size of your audience helps you contextualize all your other metrics.
3. Amplification engagement
If you’re a marketer (and if you’re reading this, you probably are), then you definitely want to measure engagement. Depending on the campaign and the social media channel you’re interested in, engagement can take many different forms. So we think it’s a good idea to focus on broad engagement types instead of specific engagement behaviors. Why measure just retweets when you can measure all amplification across content types?
The kinds of engagement that result in amplification are especially important to marketing teams because they spread your message to new audiences. So keep track of the amount and impact of amplification across social media. That includes things like retweets, shares, reposts and reblogs. Think about contextualizing amplification on a per post basis – how many amplification engagements do your posts on average receive? Does this vary channel by channel?
4. Conversational engagement
The other important form of engagement is more conversational than amplifying. For example, comments and replies are both great ways for your followers to engage with you on social media, but they don’t really amplify your message beyond your existing audience. You still want to keep track of these engagements, but they’re fundamentally different than amplification types of engagement.
5. Share of voice
Finally, in order to make all these other numbers mean anything, you need to put them in larger context. Of course you can monitor your KPIs over time to see how you compare to your previous metrics, but to really understand your impact, you need to see how you compare to others on social media. So be sure you’re analyzing your competitors and tracking your share of voice on social. Depending on how old your accounts are and whether or not you’ve paid to increase your following, you may start out with a small share of voice, and that’s okay.
The main thing to be concerned with for share of voice is a decline. If your share of a conversation gets smaller over time relative to your competitors, then that’s a red flag you should pay attention to. You want to maintain or grow your share.
And if you need help with your measurement, we’re always here.