John Wanamaker (1838-1922) was considered by some to be a “pioneer in marketing.”
He is credited with coining the phrase:
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”
If he were marketing today, then he’d know precisely where his money and efforts were being rewarded and wasted, thanks to the plethora of available metrics.
Social media KPIs allow you to address this conundrum and focus your efforts on the marketing strategies that work for your brand.
In this guide, you’ll discover:
- Why your brand needs to track social media KPIs
- Which social media KPIs are relevant to your goals
- How to set up and track your social media KPIs
What is a Social Media KPI?
KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator.
Businesses use KPIs to measure performance over time, track if they’re meeting goals, and evaluate whether changes are needed. Each business function has different KPIs to measure its goals.
A social media KPI is a metric used to measure content performance versus goals and determine if a company’s social media marketing strategy is working.
Why Your Brand Should Track Social Media KPIs
There are several benefits of tracking social media KPIs, such as measuring performance, surfacing insights, and driving continuous improvement.
By tracking specific metrics, you’ll know if your social media strategy is working and your brand is achieving its business goals.
There are lots of social media KPIs you could use. But the key is choosing those that are relevant to your specific goals.
For example, say your business wanted to build brand awareness and reach more of your ideal customers. Then your Instagram goal might be to increase followers, and your KPI might be to increase the number of Instagram followers by 5% in Q1. In other words, you’ve applied a specific target and measure for the goal.
Let’s look at some more social media KPIs that might be relevant to you.
Which Social Media KPIs are Relevant to Your Goals?
With so many possible social media KPIs to track, it’s essential that you choose the ones that match your goals. And given that goals vary from campaign to campaign, it’s not simply a case of picking a few now and forgetting about the rest. Instead, you’ll have to re-evaluate each time.
The following list of social media KPIs is not platform-specific – we’ll look at those in the next section. These KPIs are listed by business goals, such as reach, engagement, lead generation, conversions, and customer loyalty.
Social media KPIs for reach
The number of followers your social media account has at a set time.
The number of times your post or account/profile has been seen.
Note: This doesn’t necessarily mean the person who saw the post noticed it or read it. And it doesn’t distinguish between individual accounts. It only totals up the views. So one person could see the same post in their feed three times, which means three impressions.
The number of individual accounts that saw your post.
In the previous example, when one person saw the same post three times, the post reach was one. So post reach is usually lower than impressions.
Post reach varies depending on when your audience is online and how good your content is. But it’s a good indication of what your audience finds valuable and interesting.
Here’s how to calculate post reach:
Post Views / Total Followers x 100 = Post Reach Percentage
Share of voice
Your share of voice (SOV) shows how much visibility you have online compared to your competitors. In social media, it’s measured by brand mentions – i.e. the number of times your brand is mentioned compared to the number of times your competitors are mentioned.
Here’s how to calculate social media share of voice:
Brand Mentions / Total Mentions x 100 = SSoV Percentage
Web traffic shows you how well your social media posts with links to your website are performing.
It’s usually tracked in Google Analytics (or other analytics platforms) with UTM parameters. It shows the number of times someone clicked from your social media account to get to one of your website pages.
Social media KPIs for engagement
Engagement KPIs measure how your audience is interacting with your brand, and it’s one of the most important social media metrics. Reaching thousands of people counts for nothing if they don’t show any interest in what you have to offer.
Simply put, engagement measures the amount of likes, shares, and comments that your content receives.
The number of times people interact with a social post by clicking the “Like” button. Likes are often considered to be a “vanity metric” as they are the lowest form of interaction on a platform and don’t show any significant type of intent.
Some platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, are now hiding the “Like” count from public view, but you can still see these metrics in your analytics.
While Likes can be a passive or mindless action, Shares are more deliberate. They show the next level of engagement – someone liked your post enough to want to share it with friends. A high share count reflects the quality of your work and can indicate how viral a post is.
Note: Shares have different names on different platforms:
- On Pinterest, it’s a Repin.
- On Twitter, it’s a Retweet.
- On Instagram, it’s the use of the share icon to either DMs or a Story.
The number of times people comment either positively or negatively on your posts Receiving comments is another indicator that your content is on track. And it’s an excellent way to continue a conversation with your audience.
Mentions are when someone tags your account or mentions your brand. It can happen in a post, in a comment, in a story, or in a direct message.
In the past, Clicks were a measure of how many times a link in a post was clicked. Now, Clicks also refer to the number of times a person clicks to read more, i.e. expands the caption to read more.
Social media KPIs for conversions
Conversion KPIs measure how many social interactions convert into desired actions, like website visits, newsletter sign-ups, or purchases. They reflect how effective your social media strategy is and whether it’s leading to actionable outcomes.
The number of users who perform the actions described in your CTA (Call to Action) compared to the total number of clicks on that given post. For example, how many people visited your website or landing page, subscribed to your mailing list, or made a purchase after clicking the CTA.
A high conversion rate indicates that your social media post was valuable to your audience and made them take action.
Here’s how to calculate your conversion rate:
Conversions / Total Clicks x 100 = Conversion Rate Percentage
Click-through rate (CTR)
CTR shows the number of people who viewed your social media post and clicked on its CTA. It provides insight into whether your content captures your audience’s attention and inspires them to act.
Here’s how to calculate your CTR:
Total Clicks / Total Impressions x 100 = CTA Percentage
To measure your sales revenue, you’ll need to use a web analytics tool Google Analytics. You can see which clicks from social media to your website converted into purchases and the total revenue generated.
If you’re using social commerce, you can track sales revenue in your shop analytics.
Social media KPIs for customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction KPIs reveal how social media users think and feel about your brand. Social media interactions with your brand provide direct feedback for your business.
Reviews posted by your customers to social media channels like Google My Business or Facebook demonstrate how they feel about your brand. Star ratings also provide a quick snapshot of how customers perceive your business.
If you provide customer support via social media, you’ll want to measure your response time. Customers expect quick responses, so the faster you acknowledge their comments toward you, the better.
Not only do you need to measure response rate but also how quickly you resolve those issues and inform your customers. The impact on your brand is huge.
Customer satisfaction score
This metric shows how happy your customers are with your brand’s products or services. You could collect this data through a poll or survey. For example: “How would you describe your overall satisfaction with this product/service/brand?”
Respondents would rate their satisfaction on a scale from 1 to 10.
You could also measure your customers’ brand loyalty. Using a social media poll or survey, ask one question: “How likely are you to recommend this product/service/brand to your friends, family, or colleagues?”
Using the Net promoter score (NPS) customers can respond by selecting a number from zero (not likely) to ten (highly likely). This then categorizes customers into one of the following:
- Detractors: Customers who select 0-6
- Passive: Customers who select 7-8
- Promoters: Customers who select 9-10
Based on the number of people in each category, brands receive a score from zero to 100. The closer to 100, the better the score.
Social Media KPIs by Platform
In this section, we’ll look at the social media KPIs for each major platform.
Facebook Business Suite
Facebook Business Suite lets you manage all of your connected accounts across Facebook and Instagram in one place.
- Followers: Facebook Page Likes, Instagram Followers, Age & Gender. Top Cities, Top Countries:
- Facebook Page Reach
- Instagram Reach
Content – For Ads, FB posts, and IG posts:
- Reach, Likes and Reactions, Comments, Shares, Results, Cost Per Result, Link Clicks
- Followers: Total followers; New followers; Top follower.
- Impressions: Total impressions; Impressions per day; Individual Tweet impressions.
- Tweets: Total Tweets per period.
- Profile visits: Number of profile views per period.
- Engagements: Total number of times a user interacted with a Tweet, including:
- Engagement rate: Number of engagements divided by impressions.
- Clicks: Clicks anywhere on the Tweet, including Retweets, Replies, Follows, Likes, Links, Cards, Hashtags, Embedded media, Username, Profile photo, or Tweet expansion.
- Conversion rate: Conversion tracking.
- Followers: New organic followers; New sponsored followers; Follower demographics by location, job function, seniority, industry, or company size.
- Impressions: Impressions; Unique Impressions.
- Reach: Page Views; Unique Visitors; Visitor Demographics by top job functions, location, seniority, industry, or company size.
- Clicks: Custom button clicks
- Engagement rate
Employee advocacy KPIs
- Posts from recommendations
- Reactions to posts
- Comments on posts
- Reshares of posts
The Overview tab shows you a summary of how your channel and videos are performing. The key metrics card shows your views, watch time, subscribers, and estimated revenue (If you’re in the YouTube Partner Program).
- Subscribers: Subscribers gained; Subscribers lost.
- Impressions: Impressions; Impressions click-through rate.
- Reach: Views; Unique views.
- Likes: Likes; Dislikes; Likes vs. dislikes.
- Comments: Comments added.
- Viewing: Watch time (hours); Average view duration; Audience retention (% still watching at 0:30).
- Clicks: Card clicks; Clicks per cards shown; Card teaser clicks; Teaser clicks per card teasers shown.
Note: Only shown if you’re in the YouTube Partner Programme:
- Estimated revenue; Transaction revenue; Transactions; Revenue per transaction.
- Estimated ad revenue; YouTube ad revenue; Estimated DoubleClick revenue; Estimated AdSense revenue.
Google My Business
- Total views (listing on search vs. listing on maps)
- Customer actions (visit your website vs. call you)
- Phone calls
- Photo Views
- Photo quantity (customer photos vs. owner photos)
- Performance (new): Business profile interactions, calls, messages, or booking
- Followers: Total followers; New followers; Growth rate; Gender, top territories, follower activity.
- Profile views
- Video views
- Likes (Reactions)
Note: Snapchat Insights is currently only offered to influencers and brands who are verified or have a large following. From the Snapchat website: “Snapchatters who are Official Stories or creators who have cultivated a large audience on Snapchat have access to Insights!”
- Followers: Number of followers; Demographics.
- Views: Unique (Story) views: View time; Completion rate; Fall-off rate.
- Likes: Number of screenshots.
How to Track Social Media KPIs
In this section, we’ll cover how to set up and track your social media KPIs and highlight a few social media analytics tools that you could use.
How to set your social media KPIs
Before you can track your social media KPIs, you need to set them. Follow this 5-step plan:
1. Align your KPIs with your business goals
It’s important to ensure you align your social media KPIs with your business goals.
For example, if your business goal is to grow the brand, you’d want to build brand awareness on social media and then set Reach KPIs for the different platforms:
- Business: grow the brand
- Social media: build brand awareness
- Social media platform: increase reach
- Social media: build brand awareness
2. Set your KPIs
After you’ve aligned your KPIs to your business goals, you can make your KPIs SMART. For example, if you want to build brand awareness on social media, you might use these platform-specific KPIs:
- Increase Instagram followers by 10% in June.
- Increase Twitter impressions by 30% in July.
- Increase Facebook post reach by 5% in Q3.
3. Benchmark your current performance
Make sure you benchmark your current performance metrics so that you can measure the KPIs. For example, if you had 10,000 Tweet impressions in June and you want to increase by 30% in July, then you know your target is 13,000 Tweet impressions.
4. Define your cadence
Decide how often you’re going to track your KPIs so you can see trends – e.g. weekly/monthly/ bimonthly. If you don’t track frequently, you can’t react quickly when things aren’t working.
5. Review your KPIs
You need to review your KPIs regularly to ensure they’re still relevant and helping your business achieve its goals. Some campaigns are short, while others last longer, so you’ll need different review periods. Depending on your performance, you might need to adjust KPIs up or down.
How to track your social media KPIs
Now that you know how to set your social media KPIs, you need to track them. There are a couple of options.
1. Platform Analytics
Each social media platform has its built-in analytics, which is free and easy to use:
- Facebook Business Suite allows you to manage your Facebook and Instagram business accounts.
- Google My Business
These tools are fine when you’re starting or only have a few accounts to monitor. However, if you’re an agency tracking several accounts across several platforms, it can become tricky.
At that stage, you’re probably better off using a social media analytics tool that pulls multiple platform metrics into one dashboard.
2. Loomly Analytics
Loomly’s Advanced Analytics includes account, post, and link metrics.
- Account-level metrics, such as Page Likes on Facebook:
- Post-level metrics, including Reach and Engagement Rate:
- Date filtering and period comparison:
With Advanced Analytics, you can compare your performance over time in user-friendly reports that you can download and send to your clients.
Top 5 Social Media Analytics Tools
According to G2, the best social media analytics tools are:
- Sprout Social
- Zoho Social
Social Media KPIs in a Nutshell
You can use social media KPIs to measure your performance against business goals, surface insights and trends, drive continuous improvement, and determine if your brand’s social media marketing strategy is working.
As there are so many possible social media KPIs varying from platform to platform, it’s essential to choose the ones relevant to your brand’s goals.
Follow this 5-step plan to set your social media KPIs:
- Align your KPIs with your business goals
- Set your KPIs
- Benchmark your current performance
- Define your cadence
- Review your KPIs
You can track your social media KPIs using native platform insights or social media analytics software like Loomly.