Recently, social media platforms have been providing more accurate insights and analytics on posted content. You can see down to the seconds that someone has viewed your video on Facebook, and exactly how many people have viewed your profile after seeing your tweet. But how do these numbers interact? Which ones should you pay attention to? It’s easy to get lost in the reports and comparisons, but we’re here to help simplify the equation!
First, why is this all so important? Whether you’re an influencer looking to promote brands or a product company wanting to increase sales, social numbers are a HUGE way to leverage your business or services. Social media metrics help you understand your demographic, produce relevant content, track your progress, and target where your future efforts should focus on. After all, the point of social media, as a business, is to reach as many eyes as possible. These metrics provide insight into how well you are reaching the masses.
For example, if you are running an Instagram account for a sports store, you can compare numbers on your posts containing professional athletes wearing your gear versus local athletes. Comparing engagement rates among the two types of posts will provide insight on which type of content your audience resonates more with. If the numbers are consistently higher for professional athlete posts, consider posting more professional athlete content to boost numbers and further promote the store.
Let’s dive into the individual metrics.
Likes The total number of times user have pressed the “like” button on your post. If a user resonates with your post on any channel, they have the option to “like” it.
Comments The total number of times users have left comments attached to your post.
Share or Retweet The total number of times users have shared your posts.
Impressions The total number of times your picture, video, story, or tweet has been seen. Impressions account for every time any user has scrolled through your post, viewed a post on your profile, or seen the post through a direct message.
Reach The number of unique accounts that have seen your post. In other words, how many people have seen your post. You’ll notice that impressions are often higher than reach. The same person can view a post twice or three times which would increase impressions while reach stays the same.
Engagements The total number of likes and comments on an Instagram post. For Twitter, it is the total number of post likes, comments, and retweets. For Facebook, it is the total number of post reactions, comments, and shares.
Engagement Rate The percentage of your followers or viewers that engage (like, comment, or share) with your posts. To find this, take the number of likes and comments on a particular post and divide by your follower count, which will give you a percentage.
Which Metric Should I Pay Attention To?
Now that you can discern between the different metrics, it is time to determine your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). A KPI is the metric you select to measure the success of your content. Your KPI will depend on what your social media goals are.
Many account owners mistakenly view likes or followers as the most valuable KPI. Although increased likes and followers may indicate increased performance, these metrics can often offer a false sense of success while other metrics may offer more valuable insight. If you are a new product and simply want the public to get a glimpse of your packaging, you may track your impressions and reach. If you’re a local business looking for public opinion, tracking your comments and engagement is probably your best bet. Sometimes you may need to test out different KPIs, track their performance, and see what sticks. Find which KPI correlates with increased sales, website traffic, emails, etc.