Tracking the right KPIs helps you evaluate your content better and takes you closer to your social media goals. Here’s all you need to know about those KPIs.
It’s 2022, and social media is engrained in the life of every individual now more than ever. A significant section of people start their day by checking their social media apps. This makes it a pretty valuable tool for businesses to build personal relationships with their audience. And not just relationships.
When used strategically, social media can also become an excellent contributor to sales and revenue.
But the increased use of social media is not all rosy. Like every story, this one, too, has a flip side. Okay, so all of us have to agree that Instagram is the most engaging platform for brands — nearly 2-7% of the users engage with each of the posts. This high engagement rate is bringing more and more brands to leverage the potential of this reigning platform.
With the arrival of new brands every day, there’s a traffic jam in the engagement rate. This decline is clearly visible.
As reported by RivalIQ, the average engagement rate per post has fallen down from 1.22% in 2019 to 0.98% in 2020. What’s worse is that this decline was consistent quarter by quarter.
At the same time, the world is becoming more and more about pay to play. Businesses opt for paid social media promotion which hampers the cost-effectiveness of social media engagement. Going all-in on paid methods, however, is not the only way. There are a few KPIs that indicate true engagement even when you think your social media efforts are not paying off.
Let’s look at the social media KPIs that are worth keeping an eye on.
7 KPIs That Demonstrate True Engagement on Social Media
Awareness Metrics: Impressions and Reach
If the goal of your social media is to spread awareness about your brands, reach, and impressions become an important metric for you to track.
People often get confused between these two about what’s what. But on the post level, it’s quite simple to understand.
Reach indicates the total number of unique accounts you were able to send your message to — the number of eyes that land on your posts. So if one person views your post four times, the reach will be one. This is an old-school metric that is still as relevant in marketing as it used to be.
Impressions, on the other hand, is the number of times your post appears on the timeline of the viewers. It doesn’t matter if the user interacted with the post or not — the post appears, and the count goes up.
Unlike reach, if a user views a post four times, the impression will be four. It’s an insightful metric that tells you if your content has the potential to be visible on the social media platform.
However, reach and impression alone will not be sufficient for your social growth. You need to amalgamate them with some other metrics too.
For example, if your goal is to spread awareness and educate your audience, impressions won’t tell you if you’re successful in educating the viewers. You’ll also need to look at something like the engagement rate. So now, if your post has a high impression count, but the engagement rate is low, it clearly means the content was not interesting enough for viewers to interact with it. Meaning you failed to educate them.
On the flip side, if both the metrics tell a good story — Voila! You got what you wanted.
Getting shares on social media is getting 100 toffees by paying for just one. It is quite a valuable deal for brands. Tracking these metrics gives you a good idea of what campaigns, images, or messages engage your followers and target audience the most. On the other hand, if the viewers are not sharing the content enough, it’s a sign that your content strategy lacks the luster.
Nearly 50% of the social media marketers use shares as a metric to determine the success of their campaigns, which makes it one of the most essential metrics to track. However, some critics don’t believe much in it, and they aren’t completely wrong. Yes, getting shares/retweets makes your content viral, but they don’t mean much if their impact on your business is low.
For example, you might get tens of thousands of shares on one of your posts, but the engagement in the long-term is not very high. How does it help? But if the same post results get you some press mentions, a lot of traffic, and even a small number of interested customers — that’s when you win.
A number of shares or retweets is definitely a metric worth tracking if it brings some sort of value to your business.
The reactions you get on your social media posts help you become an authority in your industry. It increases your credibility in the eyes of your target audience.
Even the algorithms of almost every social media platform support the content that gets a good amount of likes/reactions. It gives free organic reach to your brand without taking any extra steps to achieve it. But just like shares, these reactions are worthless if they are coming from users who are not part of your target audience.
For example, let’s say you are a brand that deals in clothing but sells only to local customers in your city. Getting likes from users of another country won’t do much for you. There’s no point in creating likable content if your business is not getting any benefit from it.
Don’t just shout out there in the wind hoping that some listeners will turn up to help you reach your social media goals. Be strategic and create content that is relevant to the people you want to target, and you’ll be on the right track.
Link clicks are the number of social media users who come across your post and click on the link you’ve put up for them to reach a particular destination. Let’s say an eCommerce store has published an Instagram ad to take the viewer to their newly launched product page. And social media users visit the page 5000 times through that link. In this case, the link clicks count will be 5000.
It is one of the most crucial KPIs to track because this is where the conversion happens. Unless you’re completely dependent on social media to sell your products and market your brand, you’ll want your viewers to click on the link and reach your website.
You can easily track link clicks through your site analytics. You can go to Google Analytics and open the Acquisition section. Under the Acquisition panel, there’s a Social section. This is where you can get all the details about the traffic that came to your site through social media platforms.
Optimal Engagement Time
If you are a social media marketer, you must have searched Google for the best time to post on social media. Haven’t you? Of course, you have. And you might be just thinking, why should you track this KPI when you can easily get access to studies about the best time?
Well, there’s a rock-solid reason behind it. Most of the studies that you’ll find online are based on aggregated data. The problem with aggregated data is that they are collected from multiple sources — can include data of businesses and individuals from a completely irrelevant industry and different locations.
You have to understand that your audience is not the same as the audience of other businesses and industries. They are unique, and the average optimal time for other industries won’t always produce good results for you.
Moreover, some of those published studies are outdated too. This only increases the difference between the time you’re posting and the optimal engagement time. Basically, not tracking this metric and relying on studies only means that you are running away from making informed decisions and relying on luck, which is terrible from a business perspective.
The total number of users who subscribe to receive the content you post on their feed. These are the ones who have actively said that they like your content and want more from you. Many people consider the followers count to be a vanity metric, yet the growing/declining numbers tell a story.
It’s worth looking at the reasons why the people who once liked your content don’t want it from you anymore? It tells you what the things you’re doing wrong are and how you can correct them to appeal to your followers again. And even when the count is increasing, you should ask — why? The strategies that bring more followers must be prioritized.
There’s only one way to ensure that your follower count keeps increasing — being what your target audience expects you to be. The more relevant your content is to them, the higher the chances of them following you. Moreover, it’s also essential that you keep engaging with your existing followers to notify them. Talk to them, reply to their messages and comments, and interact as much as you can.
As we know it, the digital world is constantly evolving. And so is the number of people living in it. This makes it important for brands to spend their social media marketing time and budget efficiently. This job of wise and efficient spending becomes a lot easier when you know who your customers are, where they live, what time they are online, etc.
Audience demographic is a combination of multiple metrics (like location, age, gender, income, lifestyle, etc.) that helps you better understand your audience. With a better understanding, you can create more relevant and better-targeted content for your social media.
When you are on a social media platform for a significant period of time, you get better, more accurate audience demographics. This data can help you build strategies for content and social media marketing. If your demographics don’t align with what your business strategy team wanted, you need to change your content strategies to appear more to the audience that you want.
Bonus – The Most Important Engagement KPI – Conversations
If you are using social media just as a one-way channel to broadcast your products or services, then you’re missing out on a lot. Social media will be far more valuable for you if you can generate conversations and build genuine connections. These conversations can be through stories, posts, comments, etc.
But only generating conversations is not enough. You need to keep track of it too. The kind of conversation that social media users have about your brand tells you a lot about how they feel about it and what their expectations are from you.
However, as the number of conversations goes up, it becomes difficult to analyze and keep track of it. And if you don’t have the right resources, it will be quite challenging for you to derive actionable insights from those hard-earned conversations.
Now, doing all the tracking manually doesn’t make sense because, with so much information present, it is totally human to mess up. But what if we told you that there’s a way out? Yes, there is — social listening. You can rely on it to track the conversations related to your brand on various platforms. It tells you everything from what your customers want from you to what they feel about you as a brand.
Radarr is a social listening tool that helps you monitor all your social media platforms under one roof. The best part is that it brings real-time data of the ongoing conversations onto your dashboard. This makes it quite convenient for you to understand what engages people, what’s trending, etc.
By tracking conversations, you can tweak your content strategy that aligns well with your customer expectations.
Ready To Level Up Your Social Media Engagement?
As we already said, it is not a good idea to use social media as a one-way channel for your products and service-related announcements. Your focus should be on driving engagement. But with such fierce competition out there, it’s not at all easy to engage the audience.
There are so many brands on social media, and all of them are running a campaign of their own. But you don’t have to care about their campaigns. You just have to ensure that you set yourself on the right path that begins with understanding what your audience truly wants from you.
Listening to the conversations is what helps you identify customer expectations. And with Radarr, you can do this and much more in real-time.