3 ways to measure social media success

If your business is using social media, then you need to measure its impact – it’s that simple! The potential of social media is vast, but no business should be posting in a vacuum. You need goals behind your social media activities, with a related metric for each to allow you to see if your social strategy is working – or not!

By effectively measuring the impact of your social media activities, this will also allow you to better understand their significance and communicate this to others. This article looks at 3 key metrics to help your business evaluate its social media performance.

3 ways to measure social media success

So, what are the metrics your business should focus on right now? The specifics that you track will vary according to sector, business type and any campaigns you’re running. But we’ve put together this handy list to help get you started:

1) Reach

Reach corresponds to your potential audience size, factoring in the unique views a post could have based on your business’ followers plus any accounts following them. To measure your reach, use one or a combination of social media monitoring tools like Hootsuite or Followerwonk. Or make use of in-platform analytics such as Facebook Insights.

These tools will track the number of mentions your business or products receive. They’ll also calculate how large your overall audience exposure could be based on the number of people who have engaged with your content and their followers.

2) Engagement

This is undoubtedly one of the most important areas to measure. Engagement will always be at the heart of an effective social media strategy, after all the more followers you have the more you can spread the word about your business! Engagement covers areas like how people are participating in conversations about your business, when and how often. It also includes how your followers are spreading your content (e.g. via shares, comments, retweets and likes).

When analysing the data from this metric, you’ll pick up some valuable (and sometimes surprising!) tips on the content that’s most popular with your followers. This information will, in turn, help inspire future campaigns for your business.

3) Audience Growth Rate (AGR)

All businesses should be trying to expand their audience, ideally by attracting a consistent number of new followers every month.

This metric will allow you to track which platforms have the highest growth rates as well as how quickly your audience is growing. Tracking your growth will also give you an insight into recent social activities that have attracted new followers. For example, it will inform you about the types of content that received many shares, or PR exposure that piqued interest in your business.

To measure your AGR:

1) Record your new followers on each platform over a specific reporting period, using an analytics tool such as Hootsuite.

2) Divide this number by your total audience on each platform. Then multiply this figure by 100 to work out your AGR as a percentage, as shown in the graphic below:

You can also track your competitors’ growth in the same way.

As with most things, consistency is key so you need to review the data you obtain through your analytics on a regular basis and act upon your findings. However, if your metrics are increasing on a monthly basis then you’re certainly heading in the right direction!


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