Dec 13, 2022

The Best Social Media Metrics To Focus On In Your Campaigns

Any social media strategy worth its salt needs to be measured properly. Yet you might be surprised by how many marketers don't think to look past the data found on the ‘Overview’ tab. 

While no one would argue about the importance of keeping track of those stats (that’s why they’re right up front), there’s more valuable intelligence to be gathered by doing a deeper dive.

Let’s look at the top platforms and find out the best social media metrics you should track for each one to boost brand awareness and improve social media ROI.

Facebook Metrics – The Basics

Facebook (owned by parent company Meta) is still the most popular social media network out there according to Statista despite competition from newcomer TikTok and second-place YouTube. For businesses, Facebook offers a range of advertising options that are highly targeted and have a broad reach. So how do you use Facebook analytics to grow and engage?  

1. Facebook - Engagement

Engagement measures the number of times people took an action on your post. Actions include clicks, shares, comments, or reactions.

This is a valuable metric to gauge how much your audience likes your content. Learning the kinds of posts that people engage with will help inform your content strategy. Better engagement also helps your post reach more of your followers’ newsfeeds.

2. Facebook - Reach

Reach indicates the number of people who have seen your post. Changes to Facebook’s algorithm have made it more difficult to have messages seen organically. So, even if a business has a large number of followers on Facebook, it doesn’t mean its posts will be visible to many of them.

You can access topline reach information on the ‘Overview’ tab of your Facebook Insights page and get more detail in the ‘Reach’ tab. This is a useful metric to help show the number of individual people who saw your campaign or content.

3. Facebook - Impressions

While reach is the number of people who saw your post, impressions are the number of times your post was seen. If an individual saw a single post on three different occasions, that individual represents an increase of one in the reach figure and an increase of three in the impressions figure.

To see impressions data, go to the ‘Posts’ tab and choose ‘Impressions: Organic/Paid’ in the drop-down menu. This metric allows you to understand how many times your ad was shown. 

If you divide your impressions by your reach you will get your frequency metric, which is the average number of times a person saw your ad. This can be helpful when trying to determine ad recall or brand uplift.

4. Facebook - Page Likes and Followers

Facebook likes and followers are important audience measurements. Likes are people who have identified themselves as a fan of your page, whereas followers have indicated a desire to see posts from your pages on their newsfeeds (although the algorithm does not guarantee that they will).

It’s important to keep track of your audience size to make sure you are not losing more fans than you are gaining.

Twitter Metrics – The Basics

Despite ongoing changes at Twitter, it’s a platform that can offer a lot to marketers and brands. Its real-time nature means hashtags can trend quickly and companies can leverage tweets to raise brand awareness and drive engagement. Let’s look at the metrics to look at using Twitter analytics

1. Twitter - Tweet Impressions

This metric is the number of times the tweet was shown, either on your followers’ timelines, as the result of a like, or in a search. This data can be found by selecting ‘View tweet activity’ in your Twitter analytics and can help show how your content or campaign has been pushed out to audiences outside of your follower list.

2. Twitter - Engagements

On Twitter, engagement is any action a user has taken on your tweet, including clicking on a link, retweet, reply, and like. This measure indicates whether or not your tweet motivated someone to find out more or to share it with others. You will find engagement data under the ‘Tweet’ tab. Having more engagements is a good sign that people like or want to interact with your content. 

3. Twitter - Top Tweet

On the account homepage in Twitter analytics, you’ll find the top tweet for the current month. That’s the tweet that has earned the most impressions and includes the top card tweet (includes a card) and the top media tweet (includes a photo or video). It’s an important indicator of what works well with your audience, be it the type of content, the hashtag used, the day and time of the tweet, or a combination of some or all of those factors.

4. Twitter - New Followers

‘New followers’ is the tally of new people who have chosen to follow your Twitter account during the past month. Choosing to become a follower shows a greater connection to your brand than retweets or likes do. This is a useful key performance indicator (KPI) for your brand’s overall performance in growing your audience.

5. Twitter - Top Follower

The top follower is the follower with the highest number of followers of his or her own who has been following you during the last month. Your top followers are the ones who have the greatest potential to spread your tweets to others by liking or retweeting them.

6. Twitter - Top mention

This is the tweet in which you were tagged with the most impressions using your @handle. The users behind your top tweets are often good candidates for possible influencer marketing campaigns as they have a significant number of followers and are engaged with your brand.

Instagram Metrics – The Basics

Over two billion people use Instagram once a month, making it the fourth most popular social app worldwide according to the Business of Apps. With a new focus on video formats, Instagram can be an effective platform for brands looking to drive brand awareness and engagement, especially among those over 35 years of age. Let’s see the top metrics to keep an eye on using Instagram analytics

1. Instagram - Impressions

This is the number of times your post was shown to your audience. Instagram analytics breaks down this data further by showing the impressions that came from hashtags, from home, or  profile. Good hashtag use will help improve your post impressions.

2. Instagram - Reach

Another key metric to gauge campaign or post-performance on Instagram is reach. This refers to the number of individual users or unique accounts who saw your post. 

3. Instagram - Content interactions

This looks at the actions people take when engaging with your content including likes, comments, shares, saves, and replies. This is the total number of user actions taken directly on your post.

4. Instagram - Explore

Instagram’s Explore feature allows users to find new, relevant content from accounts they may not be currently following. It works by Instagram’s algorithm curating content based on similar accounts or content interacted with and includes photos, videos (see a guide to IG video formats for more information), Reels and Stories. Instagram’s insights will show the number of users reached through the feature who are not currently following you.

IG explore
IG explore

5. Instagram - Accounts reached and accounts engaged

These metrics show engagement with your feed and posts. Accounts reached is the number of unique accounts that have seen your content at least once and includes social media demographics such as top countries, top cities, top age ranges, and gender. 

Accounts engaged refers to the number of unique accounts that have interacted with your content and provides a breakdown (like above) of each. 

Pinterest Metrics - The Basics

Pinterest is the place to be for brands that share great images or visual content. With the majority of users being female, it’s ideal for companies that want to appeal to that audience and is particularly good for fashion, beauty, decor, DIY and food brands. Let’s look at the key metrics to focus on using Pinterest analytics.  

1. Pinterest - Pins

Pins are bookmarks that people use to save content they love. These can be videos, images, or products. Pins are searchable and clickable so marketers can use them to drive people to a website or landing page to drive engagement and conversions. Tracking the number of pins shows you the average amount of daily content pinned from your website so you can understand pin clicks and click rate.

2. Pinterest - Saves

Once known as repins, the Saves feature allows people to pin or save your content onto their boards. This then allows followers to see it in their feeds and gain your content greater exposure and reach. Tracking the average number of daily saves is a good way to see how your content is performing. 

3. Pinterest - Impressions & Engagement

Like any social media network, impressions and engagement are important metrics to track on Pinterest. These show you the performance of your visual content on the platform. A high Pin impression rate means your content is resonating. The Engagement metric shows the total number of engagements your Pins get such as saves, Pin clicks, carousel card swipes, collections clicks, and Idea Pin forward/backward swipes. 

4. Pinterest - Top converting pins

This is a useful metric to track as it tells you which content is performing well and can allow you to dig deeper to find out why. Is it because it is a video or does it offer a solution to a problem or is it linked to an influencer? 

TikTok Metrics - The Basics

As the newest platform in town, TikTok has gained over 1 billion users in just 5 years and made $4.6 billion in revenue in 2021 alone according to the Business of Apps. This popularity is down to its easy-to-use platform and entertainment value. 

It’s also a platform that allows users and brands to go viral, gaining followers and raising brand awareness along the way. Forecast to undergo change to its usability for businesses in 2023, let’s look at the metrics that you should track on TikTok (make sure you have a Business account to access analytics). 

TikTok divides its analytics into four tabs:

  • Overview 
  • Content
  • Followers 
  • LIVE
TikTok analytics
TikTok analytics

1. TikTok - Overview

The ‘Overview’ tab allows you to see a range of metrics in one place including Engagement, Followers, and Content. It’s a great way to get insight into the key metrics for your TikTok account. 

Here, you can see video views and profile views (which show how many people looked at your profile and is good for brand awareness if that’s a KPI for your business). It also shows data on shares, likes, comments and followers.  

2. TikTok - Content

The Content tab is all about the performance of your video content. It provides data on total video views and trending videos along with likes, comments and shares on a video. 

It can dig deeper by telling you the total play time and average watch time along with the reached audience and the number of people who watched the full video. These metrics will help you understand what video content is engaging your audience. 

3. TikTok - Followers

This tab will tell you more about who your followers are. It includes details on gender, location and follower activity which tells you when your followers are active. There is also videos your followers watch and sounds they listened to. 

4. TikTok - LIVE

Live video is a big part of TikTok and is a great way to drive engagement and earn rewards or get free gifts like Diamonds. The tab shows metrics such as total views and time along with viewer count and unique viewers.

5. TikTok - Hashtag performance

People love hashtags on TikTok and so monitoring performance can be helpful. Hashtag views shows the number of times a hashtag has been watched. You can also search for a hashtag in the ‘Discover’ section to get an idea of what’s popular or trending. 

You can read ‘How to Use Hashtags Effectively on Social Media’ for more information or tips. 

LinkedIn Metrics - The Basics

LinkedIn turns 20 next year and it has evolved to be a popular social media platform with over 875 million users worldwide. Seen as the leading B2B platform, it’s also a place where people can build and advance their careers. Let’s find out how to use LinkedIn analytics to track the performance of your B2B campaigns.

1. LinkedIn - Visitors

Visitor analytics will show you who is visiting your page and help you spot dips and peaks to see what content is resonating. Use filters here (page views, dates, unique visitors) to dig down into your visitor profile like job function, seniority, company size, and industry.

2. LinkedIn - Followers

The Follower feature on LinkedIn shows you the sources and demographics of those who follow your company page. This metric will let you know who is following you and the best ways to engage with them. 

3. LinkedIn - Impressions & Engagement

Impressions are the number of times your post has been seen. This metric is important as it shows you how many times your content is seen and increases the probability of an interaction with it. Also, track unique impressions as it counts the number of unique LinkedIn users that see your post.

On LinkedIn, the engagement rate is calculated by adding the number of interactions, clicks, and new followers gained, divided by the number of post impressions. Including this in your analysis will give you an overall picture of how content is performing.

4. LinkedIn - Competitor

This feature is under the ‘Analytics’ tab (currently limited to some users) and can compare follower metrics and organic content metrics. It will help you gain insight into your competitors’ followers and find out more about the type of content that works for them.

Next Level Social Media Metrics

With extra digging and calculation, you can gain some more valuable data and formulate digital marketing KPIs to help quantify how well your social media strategy is performing from an awareness, engagement, and customer satisfaction point of view. Let’s look at five next-level metrics for social media marketing that you should consider tracking. 

1. Follower Growth Rate

It stands to reason that as internet access continues to grow worldwide, brands can expect to see a proportional rate of growth in their social media audience. So, quantifying the speed at which your brand is gaining followers is important, as is comparing your growth rate to your competitors.

This represents a shift in thinking from asking “How much is our audience growing?”, to asking “How fast is our audience growing?” If you see a flattening of your social media audience growth rate, it may indicate that you need to take action to counteract the trend.

To calculate your audience growth rate, add up your net follower growth on all platforms for the previous month, divide that by your total audience on all platforms and multiply that by 100 (to get it as a percentage). 

For comparative purposes, you could think of doing the same calculation on your competition’s social media platforms. 

2. Social Share of Voice

Social Share of Voice (SSoV) compares social media mentions of your brand in relation to all of your competitors. It’s a useful way to see how visible, how relevant, and how ‘top of mind’ your brand is within the marketplace.

Begin by measuring all direct and indirect mentions of your brand during the month, using your handle or your name, across all social media platforms. (Social media monitoring and analytics tools can simplify this process.) Do the same for your competitors. Divide your total mentions by the total mentions for all brands (including your own) and multiply it by 100 to arrive at your share of voice percentage.

3. Amplification Rate

Amplification rate is the ratio of shares per post to the number of overall followers and so it shows the rate at which followers share your content. It’s a KPI that reveals your audience’s willingness to be associated and engaged with your brand.

The higher your amplification rate, the more your followers are expanding your reach for you. You can calculate the amplification rate by dividing a post’s number of shares by your total number of followers and then multiplying by 100 for a percentage.

4. Virality Rate

There’s far more to measuring the quality of a post than the number of likes it has received or the number of times it was shared. One post’s ability to go ‘viral’ is reflected by calculating the percentage of how much it was shared out of the total number of times it was displayed. The calculation is simple: the total number of shares is divided by total impressions and multiplied by 100. This is the virality rate.

Let’s say that one post got 400 likes but it was shared by 2,000 of the 20,000 people who saw it. This shows more potential than another post that received 1,000 likes but was only shared by 2,000 of the 200,000 people who saw it.

5. Social sentiment

While social share tracks your share of the conversation on social media, sentiment tracks feelings and attitudes. So when people talk about your brand online, do they say things that are positive or negative?

Calculating social sentiment requires analytics tools that can process and categorize context and language such as TalkWalker.

(Blog updated Dec 2022)

Upgrade your social media analytics powers

If you use social media marketing (as most brands do), it’s essential to understand the data behind the content. DMIs social media marketing course will give you the in-depth knowledge and skills needed to navigate the social landscape. Topics covered are social research, social strategy, social customer service and social commerce along with exploring the intricacies of all the top platforms. 

Upgrade to Power Membership to continue your access to thousands of articles, toolkits, podcasts, lessons and much much more.
Become a Power Member

CPD points available

This content is eligible for CPD points. Please sign in if you wish to track this in your account.