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From follower counts to post engagement percentages, the world of social media metrics can be confusing to wade into. On top of that, a new important metric seems to be developed on a weekly basis. What should you be tracking? Is it even important for your business?

The trick is to identify specifically what social data is relevant – and to analyze just exactly what that data means. There are a slew of metrics, tools, and services to help you make sense of your business’ social data, as with any other data you’re managing.

In this guide, I will take you through the social media metrics you should be paying attention to. 

So, here are 5 social media metrics that your business should be tracking. 

  1. Reach

Metric to track: Audience Growth Rate

Tracking benefit: Directly connect social media data with business’ profits

Related metrics: Audience Growth, Total Followers

Thankfully, vague aggregated metrics like Facebook’s “People Talking About This” are disappearing, replaced by more specific break-out categories. One item you should pay attention to is your Audience Growth Rate. A refinement of New Followers or similar stats, expressed in percent-change over time, the growth rate of your audience depicts your social media momentum. 

Audience Growth Rate allows you to evaluate marketing efforts over time. Compare growth-hacking efforts in your business’ infancy with more sophisticated campaigns you are using today. What events match up with the highest growth-rate periods in your history?

  1. Engagement

Metric to track: Average Engagement Rate

Tracking benefit: Make engagement numbers meaningful and actionable

Related metrics: Reach, Overall Engagement, Audience Growth Rate

As your Audience Growth Rate follows a positive level of growth, you also need to ensure that you are speaking to the right people and that those people are listening. 

Average Engagement Rate enables you to check the pulse of your existing network and see how your social media efforts are resonating with this established base. Your average engagement rate compares your posts’ engagement with your overall follower base.

Again, numbers like shares, likes, favourites etc are an effective way to brag about and they are informative to an extent. However, careful consideration of your audience’s engagement rate lets you highlight your tribe amidst a sea of silent followers. 

  1. Acquisition

Metric to track: Visitor Frequency Rate

Tracking benefit: Optimize targeting of new and returning visitors

Related metrics: Click-Thru Rate, Impressions from Social Media

Tools such as Google Analytics allow you to track website referral traffic from social media, to see what percentage of overall referrals come from social media and determine the frequency rates of your visitors. This last metric represents the real improvement on standard click-through rates (CTR) numbers. 

Visitor Frequency Rate parses viewers into new and return visitors, two particularly valuable groups to understand and target. Return visitor numbers further indicate the depth of engagement and strength of your social networks. New visitors confirm that you are more nebulous ‘reach’ and ‘audience’ metrics accurately depict meaningful growth. 

  1. Conversion

Metric to track: Assisted Social Conversions

Tracking benefit: Directly connect social media data with business’ profits

Related metrics: Last Click (Direct) Conversions

Beyond getting visitors to your brand’s website and then getting them to return, you should clearly define goals for how you want these visitors to convert into sales or other desired actions. At the same time, incessantly pushing your product is one of the surest ways on social media to lose your audience. 

Direct click-on conversion metrics may not show the value of your efforts to build trust and influence on social media, however Assisted Social Conversions certainly can. By defining specific conversion goals on Google Analytics and related tools, you can follow visitors referred through social channels and track their conversions over a period of time

Perhaps your witty tweet today will not make a sale, but you do end up with potential customers who are more likely to revisit your site. Now you can chart when that rapport pays off for your business. Comparing Assisted Social Conversions with Last Click (Direct) Conversions also identifies which social networks are better at courting your specific customers and which ones are more sited for sealing the deal. 

  1. Activity

Metric to track: Customer Service Savings

Tracking benefit: Show impact on business’ bottom line

Related Metrics: Customer Service Costs Social Media Posts

Go beyond post counts and content types to connect social media activity with profits. Combine your social media data with other data related to your business and derive information like Customer Service Savings.

Your business’ savings from social media equal the average time to complete traditional customer service, multiplied by the hourly cost of customer service. Repeated 100 or 1000 times over, this translates to significant savings for your business. 

Avg Time x Costs Per Hour x Customer Service Inquiries Completed = Savings. (If you want to get even more precise, subtract out the costs of answering those inquiries through social media) 

Conclusion

All social media metrics should be viewed through the lens of your overall business goals. Evaluate these analytics on the basis of how you are doing in pursuit of those goals and leverage this information to drive decisions about better positioning your brand in the marketplace. Feel free to celebrate your numerical successes along the way, just ensure you are getting excited about the most meaningful metrics.

 

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