By Alexandria McCulloch
Alexandria McCulloch, social media analyst at Socialbakers, explains why social media metrics are so important and on which ones you should focus.
Success on social media is relative, but knowing what metrics to measure is critical for uncovering weaknesses and improving your strategy where others fall short.
Social media is also a constantly changing landscape, and as it matures, the way social media success is defined and measured evolves with it. Remember the race for acquiring as many fans as possible? Today, merely having a social presence is not enough, and building communities needs to be just one aspect of a brand’s social strategy.
Now social media managers have data at their fingertips to measure a wide range of performance metrics from engagement and reach to customer care and deep advertising demographics across countries and regions. The challenge lies in focusing on those metrics that truly matter – some of which aren’t the first ones that come to mind, and require a little bit of digging to uncover.
By now social marketers are very familiar with engagement – in Socialbakers Analytics, we use the Interactions per 1,000 Fans metric to track engagement, which enables marketers to compare the engagement on their Pages’ posts against one another, and broadly paint a picture of performance across fan bases. It gives a more accurate depiction of how brands compare to competitors that have a much larger Page size by way of more fans.
Here are three less-familiar metrics that nonetheless provide an interesting perspective into how you’re performing on social.
Engagement has been an important metric for understanding if your audience is interacting with your brand. However, if you’re stuck on only analysing the numbers of those who have taken an action on your content (like, comment, share, click) then you’re not seeing the complete picture. Reach and frequency are arguably just as important as engagement. When it comes to brand marketing, it’s all about striking that balance of reaching the appropriate number of people at the right amount of frequency.
Repetition is key, and reaching larger audiences and exposing them to your brand messaging is what strengthens brand awareness and grows revenue. Frequency is calculated by dividing Total Reach (the number of times your content appeared in Facebook users’ News Feeds) by Unique Reach (unique Facebook IDs to which your content was displayed, not counting multiple views by the same Facebook user). It shows you the average number of times your post (or ad) was shown to each person. It’s important to monitor your volume of posts because a high frequency can result in negative feedback, which can hurt reach and lead to ineffective spend. Looking at this will put you on the path to finding the ideal amount of posts for publishing based on your content quality. The better the content, the more Facebook will show your ad to a given user, thus giving you more value for your budget and allowing you to publish more in a given period.
This metric measures how many people are hiding your content from their News Feed. This clearly affects your reach since it tags your content as uninteresting or spammy, and it will become shown less frequently. No matter if you put money behind your post or not (paid or organic), this number shows whether your content is resonating with your audience.
**If this number is quite high, take it as a sign that you are likely targeting the wrong audience.**
Deep Demographics in Paid
This metric segments other top-line metrics such as CTR (Click Through Rate), CPC (Cost Per Click), reach and so on by demographic. This enables you to measure your ad performance by region, so that you can benchmark and identify where your ads were the most effective and ineffective.
Additionally, brands should know how to listen to their fans and assure them that they are not only interested in the profit and engagement, but also in their customers' concerns.