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Top 8 Essential Social Media Metrics You Need To Track

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Understanding your social media metrics is no longer optional – it‘s essential. By tracking key performance indicators, you gain the actionable insights needed to increase reach, engagement, conversions and more.

Whether you want to grow your influencer empire or scale a business‘ digital presence, data guides the way.

In this post, we’ll explore the top metrics every savvy brand should track, with analysis on how to benchmark and boost performance.

Let‘s dive in to the critical numbers that enable social media success!

Why Social Media Metrics Matter

Here‘s the hard truth – almost half of marketers jump into social media efforts without clearly defining metrics and goals upfront. But shooting in the dark is sure to waste budget and effort.

You need performance data to:

  • Objectively measure campaign impact
  • Track content resonance to know what works
  • Set data-backed objectives for future strategies
  • Build credibility for your personal brand or business through tangible results

Put simply, diligently monitoring metrics transforms guesswork into validated, optimized best practices.

The top metrics we‘ll cover below help answer essential questions like:

  • How much awareness and visibility does our brand have?
  • Are people genuinely engaging with our content?
  • What content should we produce more of?
  • How do people perceive/describe our brand?
  • Are social efforts driving website traffic and conversions?

Turning this quantitative and qualitative data into action delivers measurable ROI – more followers, happier customers and tangible business growth.

Without metrics, you‘re building your brand or creator empire on a shaky foundation. Let‘s reinforce it with steel beams of analytics!

Choosing Metrics To Track

With social platforms providing literally hundreds of potential data points, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Not every metric matters for every brand or campaign.

The key is identifying and tracking metrics aligned to your overarching goals and strategy.

For example, an apparel startup focused on raising brand awareness and reach should emphasize impressions and sentiment. However an ecommerce site driving conversions would monitor CTRs and website analytics.

Here’s a decision tree to help determine the right metrics to guide your social efforts:

[Insert decision flowchart matching goals to optimal metrics]

While the above focuses on brand contexts, the same approach applies for influencer tracking too. Micro or nano influencers may emphasize follower growth and engagement rates while megas track campaign impressions and branded partnership rates closely.

Now let’s explore the top 8 universal metrics every business should have on their radar.

Follower Count

This starting metric seems obvious, but don‘t overlook its importance – the broader your audience, the wider your content and influence spreads.

Monitoring follower growth percentage month over month indicates you‘re expanding your reach and awareness. Stalling growth on a given network signals it’s time to reinvigorate community building efforts.

Benchmark Targets:

  • Instagram: 2.5%+ monthly
  • TikTok: 5%+ monthly
  • Twitter: 1.5%+ monthly
  • Facebook: 0.5-1%+ monthly

Pro Tip: Pay attention to follower demographics too – huge vanity numbers won‘t impact KPIs if the audience isn‘t aligned with your customer avatar or brand. 1,000 niche followers drive more value than 100K random bots.

Content Reach

While followers represent your core community, reach reflects overall content visibility – including vital non-follower impressions.

Companies often solely fixate on owned audience scale, missing how outside network distribution drives awareness.

Tallying reach monitors how well you tap into these amplification opportunities, signaling avenues to convert impressions into followers.

For example, a startup’s Facebook posts average 900 reach weekly, mainly to current fans. But then they begin utilizing trending hashtags, growing reach to 11K and gaining 29% more followers that month.

Engagement Rate

Engagement rate (ER) reveals how compelling your content is by measuring interactions against reach.

Calculate it by dividing engagement (reactions, comments, clicks, shares) by total impressions on a given post. Then aggregate averages over time.

Benchmark Targets by Platform:

  • Facebook – 0.5-1%+
  • Instagram – 1.5-4%+
  • LinkedIn – 2-5%+
  • Twitter – 0.5-2%
  • Tik Tok – 5%+

High ER signifies your content and messaging strongly resonates with fans. Dropping engagement over time is an urgent alarm of declining audience interest – requiring refreshed topics and styles.

Compare ER month over month and for different content formats to guide strategy.

Click Through Rate

For brands focused on driving site traffic, conversions and sales, click through rate is vital.

CTR measures the percentage of viewers that click from your post or bio link to actually visit your site or offer page. Ecommerce brands want this number high!

Calculate it by dividing total clicks by total content impressions, either per post or averaged overall.

Ideal CTR varies widely by industry, but target 5-15%+ to know your content effectively motivates action.

Trending CTRs inform everything from ideal posting times to incentives needed to better promote offers. It pays the bills!

Video Metrics

92% of marketers leverage video for brand building, but 70% don’t know what their metrics benchmarks should be! Don’t leave performance on the table.

Key numbers to track include:

Views: Raw interest and reach signal
Watch time: Content relevancy indicator
Completion rate: Measures content quality / viewer retention
Engagement rate: Like/comment ratio against views

Study metrics by video type and length too – for example TikTok’s strength is sub-60 second bite-sized video ER, while YouTube favors 10+ minute tutorial completion rates.

Sentiment

Metrics provide the quantitative view, but you need qualitative context too. That’s where social listening comes in.

Tools like Awario, Keyhole and Talkwalker analyze brand mentions across the social landscape to uncover:

  • Volume/temperature of conversations
  • Rising issues and complaints to address
  • Praise and positive trends to amplify

Tune into this real-time feedback to monitor reputation and capitalize on opportunities.

For larger brands investing ad dollars into social platforms for further reach, these indicators guide paid performance:

CPC: Cost per click to site/offer
CPM: Cost per thousand impressions
CPL: Cost per lead generated
ROAS: Return on ad spend

Mastering paid advertising guides budgeting and dialing in targeting for lowest cost conversions.

Now for smaller brands on tighter budgets, partnering creatively with relevant micro influencers provides affordable amplification. More cost efficient than paid media in many niches!

How Often To Track Metrics?

While manually exporting reports daily usually overkills it, designating consistent weekly or monthly analysis is crucial. Scheduling this effort spots trends before minimal blips become cratering engagement.

Many social platforms include automated email summaries of top line metrics too – enabling a convenient broad overview. For deeper analysis, export platform insights to tools like Iconosquare or Sprout Social.

Funneling metrics into dashboards makes digesting data easier compared to combing spreadsheets.

Turning Metrics Into Growth

It’s one thing to rigorously track social data – but interpreting insights then implementing changes separates the pros.

Let’s explore some hands-on scenarios for getting more juice from your metrics:

Sagging Engagement Rates? Time to Refresh Your Content Style

Say your dog accessories shop sees Facebook ER drop from 5% to 1.5% over 2 months. Checking post themes reveals your newest product-focused content lacks the visual pop and value framing that better drove shares previously.

You revisit churning out engaging tutorials and buyer guides over mere product showcases – driving ER back to 3.5% within a few weeks. Lesson learned!

Stalling Follower Growth? Try More Cross Promotion

As an eco-friendly influencer, you hit a plateau gaining only 15 new Instagram followers weekly, feeling the limit of solely leveraging IG.

You realize most social graphs overlap anyway, so begin prominently featuring your TikTok profile, Facebook Group and Pinterest on IG.

Followers begin migrating across networks, driving more eyeballs. You gain 47 fresh followers in week one simply asking people to expand the convo across your channels!

The takeaway? Look horizontally to better scale growth before reaching diminishing returns on a single platform. Every channel has unique reach potential!

Poor Video Performance? Switch Up Lengths And Topics

A B2B startup notices 70% shorterHighlight reels far outperform 4-5 minute IGTV equipment demos on Instagram. Maximizing views seems ideal, but IGTV still provides more conversions.

Rather than 100% pivoting to quick clips ignoring conversion potential, they test hybridizing. Shortight teaser reels now redirect into in-depth IGTV videos – achieving both strong viewership and signup numbers!

The metrics interplay teaches that consistency matters, but so does agility to evolving platforms. Optimize response!

I hope these real brand examples illustrate how seriously tracking metrics then taking action pays dividends.

Now let’s move onto even more ways to build on metrics momentum.

More Tips For Metrics Success

Personalize metrics for unique objectives across campaigns – impressions matter more for awareness plays than conversions
Tie metrics to business impact like site visits, average order value increases and lead quality over vanity metrics
Monitor real-time dashboards through analytics platforms vs. manual reports for rapid response agility
Learn from competitors’ metrics through social listening’s aggregation without overindexing
Leverage micro and midtier influencers more cost effectively for branded content partnerships correlated to sales lift

The Takeaway

With 73% of marketers planning to expand future influencer collaborations and $16 billion poised to flow into social advertising by 2025, mastering metrics now futureproofs your strategy.

The data lights the way, but you choose whether to bask in the insights or fumble around aimlessly!

Now no more excuses – go embrace the social metrics that enable audience growth, engagement and conversions at scale!

I‘m eager to hear your biggest metrics-driven success stories in the comments. What numbers shocked or taught you the most about your audience? Let‘s talk stats!

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