Which Social Media Metrics REALLY matter?

Here are some of the most important social media metrics for you to track that will always be imperative to your social strategy.

Charlotte Yorke

Charlotte Yorke

Charlotte Yorke
Wholehearted Social
March 4, 2022

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Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Social Media Metrics can be an absolute minefield, and it can feel like you’re walking through it blindfolded at times. With new “important” metrics being created every week, it can be beyond confusing and stress-inducing - not to mention the fact that sometimes it can feel as though you’re spending so much time keeping up with what’s new that you barely have the time to actually analyse and act upon the metrics you are tracking!

Sometimes it’s best to stick to the basics. The old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” definitely applies here - metrics are constantly being added, however, some of the golden oldies have truly stood the test of time as the metrics that truly matter. So here are some of the most important social media metrics for you to track that will always be imperative to your social strategy.

Audience Growth Rate

Obviously, we know that quality is more important than quantity - and Audience Growth Rate is not about having the MOST followers. However, making sure that your audience is continually and steadily growing is imperative to keeping up engagement on your social media channels. It’s also a great sign of how well your campaigns are performing. 

It’s a great idea to check in with your Audience Growth Rate once a quarter - or perhaps once a month if your account is quite new - to see how different campaigns are performing. To calculate this:

Follower Growth Rate = New Followers / Starting Follower Count X 100

Social Media Engagement Rate

Engagement is a huge umbrella term here that encompasses likes, comments, clicks, and shares. No matter how large your audience is, if they aren’t interacting regularly with your content, then your account has no opportunity to grow. 

A brilliant way of looking at social media marketing is described by Kelly Hendrickson, Senior Manager of Social Media at Hubspot; “best-in-class social media marketing is a delicate balance behind providing your audience value while meeting business needs.” So you can get an insight into that balance by taking a look at your engagement rate. If you’re tipping the scales too far in favor of business, then perhaps your audience won’t be engaging in it, which in turn will mean a downturn in business. 

So where should you focus engagement for each of the different platforms? 

Here are a few of our favourite social media platforms and what you can look out for to measure your engagement rate:

  • Instagram: Likes, Comments, Shares, Saves, DM’s
  • Facebook: Click-throughs, Comments, Reactions, Shares
  • Twitter: Likes, Retweets, Comments
  • YouTube: Click through rate, Comments, Likes and Dislikes
  • TikTok: Shares, Likes, Comments

Impressions & Reach

Impressions are all about how many times your content was displayed to social media users. So, for instance, if your post or advert was seen 4,000 times, then your impressions would be 4,000.

Reach lets you measure how many unique social media users have actually seen or interacted with your content. So for instance, if 60 unique users saw your content twice, then your reach would be 60, but your impressions would be 120.

When it comes to Social Media Marketing Strategies, you really want to be aiming for a high reach. A higher number of unique users engaging with your content means higher chances of your post being engaged with/shared to expose it to new audiences. Impressions really come into play when you want to see quickly how well a post is doing not long after it is published. If a post is getting no impressions, this is when you may want to review the content, edit it, and use it at a later date.

Customer Response Rate

So far we’ve discussed a lot of metrics that are directly correlating to the performance of posts - however, let’s get back to the basics of what makes a good business and a good brand; the customer experience. 

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou

This quote really applies to everything when it comes to building a successful brand or business - but especially when it comes to customers. Customer Response Rate and Time is a way for you to track both how many customers are being responded to, and also how fast those important messages are being dealt with. It lets’ customers know that they are important, and makes them feel valued by your brand. 

A great idea is to set a goal for your team when it comes to Customer Response Rate: for instance, your goal could be to respond to any message within 8 hours. If this metric is not consistently being met, then it may be time to hire additional help to make sure that your customers’ needs are being met. After all, not answering a complaint decreases customer advocacy by as much as 50%

ROI Data

Now it’s time for the big one, and to be honest it’s the concept that can probably put the most fear in people because it is such a vast topic. It’s also really what all of the above metrics are building towards. As we know, put simply ROI is known as the return on your investment. By understanding and tracking the above metrics closely, you are able to calculate your Social Media ROI. But how do we measure retweets, likes, and shares in a monetary value? Let’s break it down in an easy how-to guide:

Step One:

  • How much do you spend per month on social media?
  • Content Creation - Do you work with freelancers or creators?
  • Budget allocated to social media adverts
  • Social Media Team - Salaries, expenses, training etc.
  • Tools and platforms for managing your social media accounts
  • Your own time - If you’re a one-man band, then your salary counts!

Step 2:

  • Work out Social Objectives which correlate directly to Business Goals
  • Brand Awareness
  • Customer Experience
  • Business Conversions - Sales, Newsletter Sign-Ups, Lead Generation etc.

Step 3:

  • Track the metrics that correlate to your objectives
  • Audience Growth - This ties into your brand awareness
  • Engagement Rate - This ties into both awareness and conversions
  • Impressions & Reach - This ties into all 3 of the above-mentioned objectives
  • Customer Response Rate - This is great for measuring your customer experience.

Step 4:

Create an ROI Report

Once you’ve got your data from tracking all of the above metrics, you can build a report to share with investors/stakeholders to show that social media is more than just going “viral.” It is imperative to both understand and widen your audience. 

While the obvious return on investment is most easily measured through eCommerce, it is impossible to ignore how important all of the above metrics are to a brand. In fact, Worldwide Executives say that engagement is the most common metric that they use to measure content performance. So it’s not necessarily all about the benjamins!

If you want a 360º look at how your social media marketing is performing, looking at the above metrics is non-negotiable. Over time you will be able to clearly see how consistency and preparation is the key to measuring your brand’s social outreach effectively. In fact, if you dig deep enough and long enough into your social media metrics, you’ll begin to see a story emerge; A narrative that highlights your brand’s growth in all areas.

If you’re feeling lost in the minefield of social media metrics, and don’t know where to begin, why not reach out to our team today? Our multi-skilled team take a fully immersive 360º approach to understand, improve, and explode your brand’s growth. Get in touch with us to find out how.

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