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4 Social Media Metrics you should be tracking this year

If you have followed me for any amount of time, you know that Metrics – especially social media metrics – are kinda my love language. (And surprise, surprise: that’s what we are talking about this month in the Content Simplified Monthly Membership.)

But never fear.  If you aren’t ready to join that yet, no worries.  I’ve got you covered. 

Metrics can be kind of confusing if you aren’t sure what to look for and why the numbers are so important. There is reach and engagement and followers and video views and so many more. And the names of the metrics can vary from channel to channel.

I’m going to be walking you through the most basic metrics that every company should be paying attention to based on your goals. 

Let’s start with the basics. 

What are social media metrics and why should you track them?

Social media metrics are important because it proves how successful a campaign is, how well your social media strategy is performing, and how your marketing impacts your overall business.   Metrics also keep you aware of your brand and profile health.  You won’t know if your profiles and brand are performing well until you have the data to back it up.

The important thing to note is that ALL metrics have meaning and the data can be vast. If you are looking to drive awareness, then you should be focused on impressions. If you are looking to build a community,you should be focused on your engagement rates. 

First, define your goals. Then, track the metrics.

How do I view my analytics?

Every social media platform has its own native analytics for you to dive into.  You have to have a business page setup to view metrics on any platform. Facebook has the Insights tab. Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest have their own Insights sections too. 

If you are just starting out, using the tools native Insights is a great place to start. You don’t need anything beyond that.

If you are more seasoned in reviewing analytics and somewhere to see all your metrics all in one place, we like Metricool.  It displays the metrics we need to see in one easy-to-read report, that we can then analyze to see what’s working.

Whatever you use, the important thing is to monitor and track your progress.  If you aren’t tracking, how do you know what goals you are accomplishing?

And do it consistently!  Looking at your metrics should be part of your content planning process every single month. If you are more seasoned, you should be looking at your numbers every week and your video metrics 24 hours after going live. 

Engagement: Likes, Comments, Shares, and Clicks

This is one of the most important metrics you should be tracking. It’s basically how much your audience is interacting with your posts and how often. 

A lot of people think the most important metric is followers, but I consider followers to be a vanity metric. It’s great to increase this number, but followers aren’t what puts money in your pocket.  

Yes, it tells others that you are popular, but it doesn’t exactly show your success.  So is it important to track, yes? (You also get some additional features when you hit 10k followers, which is cool) But is it the most important one? No.

Every platform has a way to track engagement.  It’s a total sum of the smaller metrics such as likes, comments, saves, and shares.

There are a few things to watch for with your engagement rates though.  If you have a post with a call to action and no one engages, try changing up the caption or the image.  For some reason that post didn’t land with your audience, so tweak it and try it again.

On the contrary, if you have a post that doesn’t have a call to action, but gets a ton of engagement, try to figure out why.  Was the graphic beautiful and timely?  Was it a good quote but didn’t drive anywhere? What were your goals for the post? Was it speaking to someone other than your idea client?

When your engagement is increasing, it means that you are creating engaging content that people want to interact with, so create more of that.

Awareness: Impressions and Reach

These 2 metrics often get confused, but they are different. 

Impressions are the number of times a post shows up in someone’s timeline.  It actually has to show up in someone’s feed to count. A viewer doesn’t have to engage with a post in order for it to count as an impression. It’s also possible for one person to have multiple impressions for a single piece of content. So if it shows 4x in someone’s feed, then it counts as 4 impressions.  

Reach is the total number of people who may have seen your content. It’s the unique number of people who see your content. Ideally, every one of your followers would see everything you posted, but that’s not really how it works.  Only about 5-10% of your followers actually see your posts.  Keep that number in mind as you are reviewing your metrics.

If your reach is lower, but your engagement is higher, that’s okay. That means you are targeting the RIGHT people. And that is super important too. 

Video Views & Retention

This is one that often gets overlooked but is important.  This is how long people are actually watching your videos. 

You are taking the time to create content and deliver your message via video, so you want to make sure people are actually watching your videos.

When you are looking at these metrics, notice when people stop watching. If it’s within the first few seconds, then change the way you start your videos or the content. 

Please note: The numbers are not all of the story.  The metrics are just part of it.  You still have to have that human connection with people. You still have to be engaging with them in groups, on posts, and in messenger. You still have to relate to your audience and build a relationship with them. Give them a reason to keep coming back for more content.

So remember that too as you are reviewing your numbers.

More important than the numbers are

  • Is your presence consistently growing?
  • Are you getting engagement (and is it improving each month)?
  • Is your content driving somewhere?

Take time every single month to review your social media metrics. 

So let’s recap the most important social media metrics you should be tracking online:

  1. Engagement: Likes, Comments, Shares, and Saves
  2. Impressions: The number of times your post shows up in someone’s feed
  3. Reach: The number of people who are seeing your content
  4. Video Views & Retention: How many people are watching and for how long

Metrics are super important.  Data doesn’t lie. That’s probably one of the reasons that I love it.  You can tell so much from the numbers.

If you want to learn more about metrics, check out the Content Simplified Membership. We talk about numbers often and this month we are focused exclusively on all things metrics.  We’ll be going through some real life examples, talking about how to track them, how to interpret them, and how to get them to increase in 2021.