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The Most Important KPIs for Social Media and Tools for Measuring Social Media

created on 20 May 25 Monday 11:41

best kpis for social media

With the birth of digital marketing, social media comes out as one of the primary sources of traffic to your website. On its own, social media could still be the centre of today's digital marketing. Your company could decide that it wants to focus fully on marketing on your social media platforms. Well, if that is the choice, then it may mean that you get the best out of your social media by being in control of your social media marketing strategy. You can only do that by ensuring that you track your social media meticulously.

If your worry is how that can be possible, the response is that there are social media KPIs, in other words, metrics that can do that for you. The measurements usually occur against a target and are always appropriate when done over a specified period. A timeline allows you to do significant analyses about the effectiveness of your enterprise. KPIs for social media are many, but you just need a select few. Here are some of them.

Social Media Reach KPIs

The first goal of any social media marketing campaign is to be visible to as many people as possible. Your reach is simply a combination of people that already like your Facebook, your twitter followers, amongst other followers of your social media accounts. If you have 300 followers on your Twitter, 2000 likes on your Facebook page, and 1500 followers on your Instagram, then your reach should be about 3800 people. This is pretty simple, if they like your page or follow it there is a high chance they will see your post when they are live on social media, which leads to a familiar social media metric, impressions.

1. Impressions

Usually, your post will show up on someone else's feed a couple of times. It does not mean the people that just saw the post noticed it or even viewed but how many times it appeared on their screens. Your question is probably how do you track such a metric? The solution is to pay attention to the impressions over specified periods. You may want to measure them on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. What follows is that you will compare the impressions of a certain period against its previous performance.

2. Audience growth rate

You have heard people boast about having more followers on social media and wondered whether it might be a big deal. Yes, it is a big deal for your business to grow organically without employing scrupulous means such as paying for likes and followers. Certain efforts, when put will result in the growth of your social media. The audience growth rate tells you exactly how fast you are growing. The question is not about the number of followers being gained but about how fast you are gaining them. You will want to compare this metric between two periods, which you may consider as data points or the time of your data collection. So how do you go about this rate?

Foremost, you need to know the number of new followers gained on a particular platform. Then, you will divide this number by the total audience to get the rate of growth. This figure needs to be in percentage; therefore, you have to multiply the result by a hundred percent.

For instance:

  • If you have about 250 new followers on your Twitter in January
  • Then, already had a total following of 4000
  • You will divide the 250 by 4000 and multiple it by a hundred and get a 6.25% audience growth rate

3. Post reach

Post reach is the number of people that saw your post from the time it went live. Your reach relies on your post and when you post it, know the best time to post content and the kind of content to do for each social media platform. When arriving at the post reach, you need to identify the post that needs measuring. What follows is to check the number of people that viewed the post. You will then divide that number by the number of followers and multiply that number by a hundred to get its percentage.

If you have periods set for your analysis, then you could compare the performance across those periods. You could then replicate what you did right for the performing periods on the less performing ones.

4. Social share of voice (SSoV)

People talking about your brand on social media and even sharing is a good sign. As a marketer, you may want to know how many times people mentioned you against the number of times they measured your competitors.

You may want to know whether the mentions were direct or indirect. The social share of voice (SSoV) metric should help you to do that. So how do you do it?

  • Foremost, you define a period you want to consider in your measuring
  • You will then measure all the mentions of your brand
  • What follows is to measure mentions for competitors
  • Then, add your mentions to those of your competitor to get a total of mentions
  • Lastly, divide the mentions of your brand to the total of mentions
  • Multiply what you will get by a hundred and know who between you and competitor is getting the most mentions

Social Media Engagement KPIs

how to come up with kpis for social media

You now know the items to pay attention to when checking who sees your posts. What follows is to know the number of people that interact with the posts. These metrics will mostly tell you how your reach feels about your content, page and brand. This leads to the first engagement metric, the applause rate.

1. Applause rate

This rate tells you the number of people liking your posts, applauding the posts. These items are a sign of your followers, approving your content. The important bit about this metric is that it allows you to know whether your content offers value to your reach. Your next step is to know why the audience liked the content. It may have been because of the discount, others because the message was good. The reason is to stop when you are doing something wrongly and replicate a positive effort.

You can track this rate by first identify a period of doing your report, knowing the post to measure, bringing together the post approvals, divide it by the overall number of followers of your page. What follows is multiplying the result by a hundred and comparing the outcome with those of previous periods and desired applaud rates.

2. Average engagement rate

Above, engagement is how people interact with your content. When it comes to the engagement rate, then you compare those likes, comments and shares to the number of people following your social media page. If the engagement rate is high, then you are doing a great job. So how do you arrive at that average engagement rate?

  • You need to identify the period of reporting
  • Sum together your likes, comments, and shares
  • Divide that sum with the number of followers of that social media platform
  • Multiply the result by a hundred, compare the result with those you have for previous periods and with your goals.

3. Amplification rate

It is good to know whether your followers go beyond liking your content and even share it with others. You can arrive at this metric by checking the retweets if it is on Twitter, the shares if it is on Facebook, the repins if it is on Pinterest, and the regrams if it is on Instagram. The amplification rate shows the interest of your followers to your brand.

You can arrive at the Amplification rate by first defining reporting period. It could be each week, each month, and quarterly (three months). You will then check shares for these periods. What follows is to divide the shares by total followers of that platform and to multiply the outcome by a hundred. Lastly, you need to compare the rate against those of previous rates to know the things you did right and wrong and improve your social media campaigns.

4. Virality rate

By now, you know how going viral could easily change your life and in this case, your business. It should be your dream as a marketer to go viral. When arriving at the virality rate, you need to compare the number of people that shared your content to the number of people that saw it; in other words, the impressions.

When doing this, remember to do over particular periods, you could decide to do your rates weekly, monthly or quarterly. The idea here is not about the shares but rates of those shares. Tracking this metric will, therefore encapsulate:

  • Knowing total impressions for a particular post in that period
  • Knowing the number of shares for that period
  • What follows is dividing the shares by the impression and multiplying the outcome by 100
  • You will then need to compare this rate with the number of goals

Social media conversions KPIs

social media kpis 2016

No matter how much engagement your posts might get, it is important to understand that it does not matter if there are no conversions at the end of it. You can do that by starting with tracking your conversion rate.

1. Conversion rate

The first question is whether you asked the visitors of your platform to do anything. If you did that, the question is whether they took that step, you wanted them to take. The path for such action starts with you having a post and within the posts having calls-to-action (CTA). The user may then click the CTA and end up on a landing page. The landing page will tell them what they need to do. It could be to subscribe to something, a service or a newsletter. It may be to download something or even schedule a time to talk with you.

 A conversion is the sign of a good marketing job. It means that your social media is adding value to your business. It is also a sign that your following cares about your content and anything you offer them. Many paths could lead to a conversion. A common way is creating a landing page for the campaign, adding an excellent call-to-action to it, creating a post with the CTA to your page and embedding a cookie to the visitor's device that makes the visitor relate the lead to the campaign. 

You may want to track this metric by publishing a post, keeping track of the clicks it gets and the conversions. You then divide conversions by clicks and multiple the result by a hundred. For a better analysis, you may compare the outcome to those of other periods before.

2. Click-through rate (CTR)

You have been getting those conversions, and you are not sure how fast they are coming. You also need to know what has slowed or quickened conversions. To do that, then you will find it important to do a click-through rate check. You will focus is therefore fully on how your CTA links perform. You can arrive at this rate by paying attention to the number of CTA clicks and the number of impressions a post gets. You will then divide the conversions by the number of impressions and multiply the outcome by 100. You could then compare what you get to the CTA rate goals you had made or compare the rate with a previous one.

3. Bounce rate

Well, if you are not getting conversions or you are getting list than what you anticipate then one metric comes to mind the bounce rate. This KPI should be something you need to reduce as a social media marketer for a company. You need to know why the visitor clicks your post, hot to the landing page and then just left without acting as desired.

Do not be scared because you can do something about your social media marketing to fix the bounce rates. Bounce rate demonstrates to you about your traffic. It can be an excellent way to know your return on investment and even compare the returns to those gotten from other sources of traffic. For instance, you may want to compare traffic from a social media platform to traffic from a search engine. If your bounce rate reduces, it simply means that you are speaking to the right audience.

You could arrive at bounce rate using a Google Analytics tool. Foremost, set up the tool, go to the “Acquisition button, under it go to “All traffic” and to “channels.” There, click the button for “Bounce rate.” You will see every channel and the rates for each. The rates per channel will be sorted by rate. You go on to compare the bounce rate you gate against those of similar periods before.

4. Cost-per-click (CPC)

Do not look at the monies you get from your social media and overlook that each of those clicks cost you something. You need to be aware of the much you spent for every single click on your post. It could be sponsored or not. Make sure to know how much it cost you for a particular period. You could call this value a CPC, in other words, cost per click. The question is, how do you arrive at this value?

Foremost, pay attention to how much was spent on the ads. This is followed by counting the number of clicks for that ad. You can then divide the total spend by the number of clicks and compare your goals over a specified amount of time.

For instance, if you spent $2000 on ads on Facebook and got 400 clicks from it, your CPC was $5 per click. You will have known how much you spent on each click.

5. Cost per 1000 impressions

Also referred to as CPM is how much it costs you every time 1000 people will scroll past a sponsored ad. This metric can never tell you the effectiveness of an ad, but it can help you exhibit your brand to new customers. You also get to know before you could sign up the much it will cost you. It also tells you the number of people that may see the ad. Furthermore, it could help you get some worthy income. Moreover, you get to A/B test the content efficiently and cost-effectively.

You could arrive at this value, defining the overall spend on an ad and dividing the value by the number of impressions over a particular period. Furthermore, multiply that value by 1,000 and compare it to value earned previously to improve your sponsored ad performances.

6. Social media conversion rate

You need to have a general perception of your contribution of social media to conversions. This rate is usually in percentage form and can tell you the effectiveness of your ads. It also tells how relevant your ad is to your desired audience. For instance, you may have had a landing page on the other end when the client clicks it. If it was for software, you might want to know the number of people that downloaded the software. On another case, whether they upgraded a similar software, they downloaded from your landing page before.

You can arrive at the social media conversion rate by knowing the total number of conversions and knowing the number of conversions gotten from social media. You may then divide the social media conversion by the total number of conversions and multiply the outcome by 100. You could then compare the value gotten against a goal you for this metric prior.

Now that you know some of the main KPIs related to social media, you may want to know whether one could arrive at these values manually. The truth is that you could do that, but it may be cumbersome considering how many the metrics may be and the comparative analysis you may need to do between the recording periods. The good thing is that there are social media tools that can help you do the necessary calculations. Here are some of those tools starting with Hootsuite:

#1 Hootsuite

This tool is one of the most popular tools in the digital marketing space. The impressive bit about Hootsuite is that you can track your social media platforms from one place. The tool also allows you to correctly schedule your social media posts for those platforms. Moreover, the tool allows you to delegate the social media management duties to the various if the accounts are managed by separate individuals.

#2 Twitter Analytics

This feature is quite easy to locate on your Twitter. What you do is to click the more button on the menu on your left side as seated and you will see the Analytics button for twitter. Clicking the button tells you three things, that is your impressions, visits and followers performance rates in percentage form. Just below these values on the right, you will have the same value with all the months backwards. It is always easy to figure out on this tool why there is a drop on the impressions, site visits and followers. The main reasons are usually:

  • You have not posted anything on your profile,
  • You have not retweeted anything to attract another follower’s attention to visit your page, and
  • You have not been following other people, respectively

#3 AgoraPulse

Agora is like a talking analytics tool. The AgoraPulse tool pays attention to what people say about your brand and offers you insights to improve your page performance. The tool can tell you when it is appropriate on your social media to get more attention from a targeted audience. It does this by comparing how a previous post performed and when it would have gotten the most attention.

#4 Keyhole

Even as you try to grapple with your social media numbers, you need to pay attention to the impact of your campaigns. Keyhole allows you to track a campaign, a brand, events, influencer marketing campaigns, and even conduct market research.

Your social media could easily become the backbone of your digital marketing efforts. You need to know how your social media efforts are doing and work towards improving them. The above KPIs and tools should help with that. 

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