What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Smile, stretch, enjoy the first rays of the sun, and hop out of bed ready to tackle the day? If so… good for you! The rest of us reach for our smartphones.
Over 70% of us pick up our phones within 10 minutes of waking up. Sure, we may be checking the time or the weather, but as likely, we’re checking Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, or Tiktok to see what we missed while we were asleep.
Social media isn’t just a part of our lives; it’s ingrained in them. We live a synchronous existence between our current surroundings and our virtual worlds. And this makes popular platforms an invaluable tool for reaching, connecting, engaging, and building trust with your target audience – as well as creating bottom-line results.
When it comes to success, brands must look beyond how many followers they have or how many “likes” their latest post has. What are the most important social media KPIs to track?
KPIs for Social Media
If you are charged with handling social media for your company (or you are an owner/solopreneur who is charged with handling… everything!), part of your job is to justify the time, effort, and resources spent on these endeavors. Simply put: is our investment in social media worth it?
Without social media KPIs to back you up, it is a challenging proposition, to say the least. And no, it may not be worth it currently – but could be if you revamp your strategy. In other words, you need to know what’s working, what’s not, and what you can do going forward. KPIs tell you.
What Is a KPI?
We’ll back up. A KPI is a key performance indicator. It is a quantifiable measure of your brand’s performance towards a specific goal or objective over time. It supports your strategies and directs your business’s focus on what really matters. There are KPIs for every aspect involved in running a successful, sustainable company, and we can apply them to social media efforts as well.
Now, let’s talk vanity. Like it or not, social media feels like it’s about attention. Think about your personal profiles. If you post a picture or video of a new dish you created, a difficult peak you climbed, or an adventure you’ve embarked on… don’t you want people to give the thumbs-up? Of course – we’re only human! But as brands, we need to be focused on more than vanity metrics. We’re playing the long game, and we’re after sustainable success.
The following five KPIs for social media are where you want to keep your focus:
- Follower Count. This metric tells you how many people follow your brand and who have actively indicated that they’d like to see your posts. It does not, however, give you the most accurate account of how many people actually see your posts on their newsfeeds. Still, all said and done, it is a good place to start. Without a healthy number of followers, it is difficult to achieve goals such as raising brand awareness or expanding your audience base.
- Impressions. This social media KPI tells you how many times a post has appeared in someone’s news feed or timeline. They may be following you directly, or someone with whom they are connected may have interacted with or shared your content. Again, it’s limited in that it does not tell you if someone looked at or noticed your content – but it does indicate that they have had the chance to. More impressions is typically a great sign, and it means your posts will be in front of more eyeballs.
Again, this is a starting point. It’s a good base metric or KPI to watch as you are embarking on a social media strategy.
- Shares, Comments, Mentions. Now, this is where we start making progress. Shares, comments, and mentions go beyond how many people your posts may encounter. They show you how many engage with them. It’s easy enough to just hit the “like” button and go on your way – but the fact that people bothered is a good sign. That they take the next steps and comment, share, or give you a mention is a further indication of engagement and interest.
Most social media users learn about a brand via social media (55%). If you are talking or being talked about – you need to measure and track these conversations in order to realize an ROI.
- Web Traffic and Profile Visits. How many people who engage with you via social media take the next steps? How many visit your profile page or click through to your website? This is CRITICAL data to track. It indicates that your content is relevant and compelling – as well as able to convert people to complete your target calls-to-action.
- Leads and Acquired Customers. Likes, comments, and other metrics are important, but how are they translating into bottom-line results? Keep track of how many leads you accrue through social media platforms and how many convert into paying customers.
Making Progress Towards Social Media KPIs
There is a myriad of steps you can take to boot performance in the social media world now – and there are crucial KPIs that you can use to track your progress. But social media for inbound marketing is a long-term game. Ensure your short-term wins translate into long-term gains. THAT Agency will evaluate your current social game and develop a strategy that will lead to success that is a success.