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October 1, 2021 Last updated on October 4th, 2021
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There’s a lot more to social media than vanity metrics like engagement and follower growth. Tracking your performance only in terms of likes, retweets, shares, and the following is a false indicator of how good or bad you’re doing.

So what should you be tracking instead of these vanity metrics? How do you find the best social media metrics for your business?

This article will take you through 8 metrics that truly matter in determining your social media performance. From conversion rates to amplification and growth rate, this blog will give you an insight into what your dashboard should look like.

Impressions

Measuring your awareness levels is naturally one of the most crucial social media metrics. 

Impressions are the best indicator of your brand’s awareness and visibility on social media and as perceived by your audience. Simply put, impressions refer to the exposure your content has received—how many times has your audience viewed your posts.

Why they matter

Measuring your brand reach through impressions helps evaluate how impactful your content is. It answers the question—is your content adding value for your audience? Not only that but tracking impressions can also tell you which type of content is working best for you.

How to track them

Every social media platform has a dedicated section to present a record of impressions. Here’s how you can track them:

  • Instagram: On your profile page, click on the graph button and open the activity tab. Here, you will find all the impressions from the last seven days. You can also check insights about follower activity throughout the day.
  • Twitter: Twitter Analytics shows impressions and other data for your account in a detailed dashboard. You will find the impression count for all your tweets in the last 28 days in a graph. You can also check the impressions for individual tweets. 
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  • LinkedIn: On the company page, go to the “analytics” tabs and click on “visitors” to check your post views for the last 15 days. Every post also shows the total impressions earned.
  • Facebook—When you open your Facebook profile and go to the Insights section, you will find a dashboard with multiple metrics. Page Views will tell you the number of impressions your page has gained in the selected period. 
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In addition to the built-in analytics tools for these platforms, you can also use tools like Iconosquare to monitor brand awareness through impressions and reach.

Average engagement rate 

The likes and comments on your social media posts mean a lot more for your social media performance when evaluated in a broader framework. That’s exactly what engagement rate measures.

Engagement rate evaluates the interaction your content has created in terms of—shares, comments, saves, messages, click-throughs, and mentions.

Why it matters

How can you grow your social media presence when you don’t resonate with your audience? This is where your engagement rate will help you understand what kind of content is working best for your audience and how you can tweak your strategy for including content that fetches better results.

How to track it

Engagement has a different meaning and a varied set of parameters for every platform. But here are some formulas to help you find the average engagement rate of all platforms:

  • By reach: Calculates the percent of people interacting with your content after viewing it. Measure it using total engagements per post/reach per post x100.
  • By post: Calculates the engagement earned on a single post. Measure it using total engagements per post/reach per post x100.
  • By impressions: Calculates the percentage of views gained on a post. Measure it using total engagements per post/reach per post x100.

Audience growth rate 

Building a massive following on social media is the ultimate goal for marketing any brand. However, the size of your audience qualifies as a vanity metric.

What you should track instead is—the rate at which you’re increasing the size of your audience.

Why it matters

Impressions, engagement, and conversions are directly proportional to your audience growth. 

But more importantly, measuring your audience growth rate tells you how well you’re able to connect with your target audience and add them to your community. This will further motivate you to create better content so your audience keeps growing consistently.

How to track it

You can track your audience growth rate in two easy steps:

  • Calculate the new followers you gained over a period on a single platform.
  • Divide this number of new followers with your total followers on the concerned platform.

Share of voice

While measuring multiple indicators of your social media success, remember to keep an eye on your competition as well. Your share of voice will tell you about your standing in your industry against all competition.

As a mix of social listening and competitor analysis, the share of voice measures your visibility in the industry.

Why it matters

The share of voice gives you a competitive edge by tapping the market sentiment and giving you a peek into the customers’ needs. It is also helpful in building a brand voice and campaigns for your audience. 

How to track it

You can measure your share of voice through these steps:

  • Track your brand mentions and your competitors’ mentions. 
  • Put these numbers into this formula: total industry mentions or your brand mentions x 100 to find your share of voice.

Amplification rate 

Avinash Kaushik, one of Google’s marketing evangelists, derived the term “amplification rate” for measuring the rate at which your followers share your content with their network.

The amplification rate is a clear metric of how many followers openly associate themselves with your brand. It registers their reaction to the content you create in addition to their brand loyalty.

Why it matters

While engagement within your brand’s network is great, reaching your followers’ networks is even better. Amplification shows that your followers are willing to become ambassadors for your brand and expand the exposure you receive.

How to track it

You can calculate your amplification rate by:

  • Measuring the total number of shares, retweets, and regrams your posts have received in a period.
  • Dividing this number by total posts you’ve created in the concerned period.

Virality rate 

Likes and comments are superficial indicators of your success. What matters is the virality rate of your content. Unlike the passive engagement measured through likes, comments, and other vanity metrics, the virality rate calculates how actively your audience interacts with your content.

Why it matters

Virality rate dives deep into the engagement metric. It determines how many people are engaging with a post in proportion to the impressions it has received. Doing so tells you about the rate at which your post is spreading among the audience.

How to track it

Calculating the virality rate is simple. Simply use the formula—number of shares/number of impressions x 100 to determine the virality rate. The higher it is, the better your content is performing.

Conversion rate 

Conversions form a key metric for every business’ social media performance. How effectively you can convert users into your customers shows the success of your social media efforts.

The conversion rate depends on the criteria you are using to determine conversion. It can be a purchase, a subscription to your newsletter, a download, or anything related to your business goals.

Why it matters

Conversions help you measure the return on investment for your social media strategy. They work best for ad campaigns on social media and show you the success of the CTAs for your organic posts. 

How to track it

Calculate the conversion rate for your posts using these few steps:

  1. Add a CTA in your posts along with a trackable link
  2. Use cookies to add every lead to your campaign
  3. Track the number of clicks and conversions you receive for your campaign
  4. Use this formula to calculate the conversion rate conversions / total clicks x100

Customer satisfaction score 

Ultimately, your social media success depends on the satisfaction of your followers and customers. Vanity metrics will often simulate success in this area but are meaningless without hard data.

The customer satisfaction (CSAT) score is equally about your customers’ feelings towards your brand as a whole as it is about your product/service. Track your CSAT score to focus your efforts on engaging with your customers better. 

Why it matters

Measuring customer satisfaction goes a long way in building your popularity on social media. Identify your customers’ pain points and address them to avoid negative publicity while you work hard to create a positive brand image. You can also increase your revenue through social media efforts. 

How to track it

The best way to measure customer satisfaction is through a scored survey.

  • Circulate this survey on your social media channels and calculate the scores for each survey
  • Sum up the scores in every response and divide the total by the number of respondents
  • Multiply this by 10 to receive your CSAT score

Conclusion

Many marketers are often trapped into tracking vanity metrics like follower growth and engagement. But a lot of other, more meaningful metrics lie beneath the surface.

Leave vanity metrics at the door! With the eight key metrics detailed in this post, you can analyze your social media success effectively. Keeping a tab on these metrics will give you actionable insights to build on, drive your strategy in the right direction, and ultimately boost your performance.

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About the author
Adela Belin

Adela Belin

Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people's lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

More posts by Adela Belin

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