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As a business owner using social media for marketing purposes, you’ll need to know how to track the important social media metrics and focus less on metrics that don’t necessarily contribute to your bottom line.

It’s true. What is an important social media metric to you may not be the same for an opposing company with different goals. However, we truly believe that there is a solid base of important social media metrics that should be essential to your digital strategy.

Determining the difference between an important social media metric and a vanity metric can be difficult. This is especially true when the vanity metrics make us feel so good inside. (I’m looking at you, Instagram likes!)

There’s no need to stress, though. We’ve compiled a list of important social media metrics that you should start analyzing in your digital strategy today, and a few that may not be as essential.


What’s The Difference Between Important Social Media Metrics And Vanity Metrics?


The limits to what you can measure on a social media advertising campaign and even your organic social media profiles are immense. Because of this, you can sometimes become overwhelmed with the data and not know how to use this to your advantage.

Measuring your metrics properly is important because this is how you gain insight into your target audience and how you make positive changes to your digital strategy.


Vanity Metrics

You’ve probably hear or read about vanity metrics before, so I won’t dive too deep into this. For those who haven’t, Hubspot describes vanity metrics as “metrics not to obsess over.” We think that is one of the best ways to describe it. While you should still definitely be looking at this data, these metrics are definitely nothing you should be obsessing over.

Some vanity metrics that you should be looking at, but definitely shouldn’t obsess over are:

  • Page Follows/Likes
  • Post Comments
  • Post Likes
  • Post Shares
  • Clicks
  • Etc.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be proud of having 10,000 followers on Instagram. That’s fantastic, congratulations! I’m just saying that you may want to focus a little more on a few other important social media metrics if you’re looking to improve your social media marketing strategy.


Actionable Metrics

An actionable metric is essentially what a vanity metric is not. These are metrics that correlate actions with outcomes/results. Important social media metrics, if you will.

If you’re a business owner, you certainly have goals that you want to achieve. That’s why you’re developing a social media marketing strategy. Actionable metrics are the numbers/data that you will need to analyze in order to determine the success/failure of your strategy, how and where to alter your strategy, and to gain relevant insight on your target audience.


What Are Important Social Media Metrics That Matter?


As a social media marketing agency, we deal with data on a daily basis. As a result, we have developed a list of important social media metrics that we find are essential to every digital strategy. Without further ado, these are the few social media metrics that should be at the core of your social media marketing strategy.


Follower Growth

We mentioned previously that page likes and follower count is considered a vanity metric. While this is true, that doesn’t mean that your followers aren’t important to track.

In order to turn page likes and followers into a vanity metric, you should be consistently measuring on a growth basis.

Sure, you have 10,000 followers, and that’s fabulous. But did you lose followers this week? How many have you gained? Have these gains been consistent? Was there a period of time where there was rapid growth? These are just a few of the questions that you should be asking yourself and analyzing.

Let’s say you created an amazing social media post that was right on point with your target audience. This may have caused you to rapidly gain followers during a certain period of time. If you’re not measuring properly, you may miss that opportunity for audience insight and to assist with your content creation strategy.

A simple way to track growth is on a weekly basis. Create a spreadsheet and document the number of followers you have on each platform every Monday. You can then document the percentage difference between each week. Once you’ve got that down, you can start analyzing your follower growth more in depth!


Click Through Rate

Click through rate (CTR) measures the percentage of users who click on the content you post. We have had many clients who are simply happy to know the number of link clicks without digging into more detail.

However, even if you have a high number of link clicks, how much did those clicks cost? What percentage of your audience reach actually clicked? Did more users ignore and not click on your content? These are great questions to ask when analyzing your CTR.


Bounce Rate

Similarly to CTR, you should also be analyzing your bounce rate. Bounce rate is essentially the percentage of users who left your website after viewing only the entrance page.  

Perhaps you posted a link to your company’s website to encourage users to look at a new product. You have a goal of 100 users clicking on your link and viewing your new product. Let’s say you received those 100 link clicks and reached your goal. How many of those users clicked accidentally and immediately click the back button?

This is important to track, because you can look at where each user is coming from. You can determine if a particular audience coming from, let’s say, social media is more likely to be interested in your product or service than another source, like search.


Engagement Rate

Another important social media metric to track is engagement rate. Tracking general engagement on each post is a fun vanity metric, but the rate of engagement is where you are going to find actionable data for your social media marketing strategy.

The easiest way to calculate engagement rate of one particular post is to divide the number of users who engaged with your post by the number of users who were reached by your post. There are many ways to calculate your engagement rate on social media, but this is a great place to start!


Social Media Mentions

Lastly, you should always be monitoring social media mentions as an important social media metric. Likewise, it’s important to also track your competitors mentions.

When tracking mentions, you have the ability to determine if you’re posting at the right time of the day, if your audience is excited to engage with your product or service and if you’re becoming part of the conversation on social media.

Alternatively, what about your competitors? Are they receiving mentions from your target audience? Are they part of the conversation on social media? What are they doing differently?  These are just a few important questions to ask yourself when analyzing your mentions on social media.


The Finale


Monitoring and analyzing key metrics is a must for your social media marketing strategy. Improving your analysis game will allow you to create a more on-point content strategy for your target audience, and ensure your social media strategy is in line with your goals.

It is important that you see actionable results with your social media marketing strategy, which is why we always focus on important social media metrics when creating a strategy for our clients.

If you need help creating your digital strategy or determining how to analyze your data to improve your current strategy, don’t be afraid to give us a shout!  

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