The Best Social Media Metrics That Matter in 2019 and Beyond
The social media world has certainly had its ups and downs this year. One pivotal turning point was the removal of likes across Instagram and Facebook. You may have seen that many businesses and influencers did not take these decisions well. In fact, many questioned whether or not this change would affect engagement levels and make it more difficult to lock down brand deals and partnerships.
And, it’s understandable why people questioned this; there's no doubt that likes have played an instrumental role in social media engagement and reporting. But, in our opinion? There are plenty of other metrics that provide plenty more benefits than likes. Here are the best social media metrics that businesses should be looking at and what they mean.
Reach and Impressions
Reach and impressions are some of the best social media metrics for businesses looking to focus on achieving better brand awareness.
Impressions measure how many times a post shows up in a person’s timeline. These impressions are not unique to a single user, meaning the same piece of content can be viewed by one user multiple times. So, if your post on Instagram popped up on a single user's feed 5 times, then then the number of impressions is 5.
Reach is the number of users who see your content. Regardless of how many followers/fans your account has, the chances of your content reaching every single person is pretty low. Thanks, algorithms! Rather than focusing on the number of followers or fans, focus on how many people your content reaches, and look at ways to improve this number through your content choice. Here's an example of a reach metric. If 300 people see your post, then 300 is your post’s reach.
Image via Sprout Social
If you had to choose between comments and likes for measuring social engagement, we suggest focusing on comments. Why? They take longer to write than hitting ‘thumbs up’ or double tapping, revealing that your followers or fans are actually reading your post and deem it worthy to connect and engage with. As such, comments are a much better measure of true engagement than likes.
Share Of Voice
Brand awareness is a top marketing objective for many businesses. One of the best social media metrics to use to measure your brand’s visibility is 'share of voice' (SOV). It is a fantastic metric for measuring the percentage of online conversations your business owns versus your competitors.
This metric can offer many benefits to your business. Firstly, it allows you to perform a competitive analysis to get the big picture of where your business stands in the industry. It also allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of any marketing efforts you have made over a specific period of time. Analysing your share of voice can help you improve future social strategies.
Metrics you can use to measure share of voice include impressions, reach, mentions and hashtags. You can use tools like Mention and Hootsuite to measure this metric.
An essential component for many Instagram and Facebook marketing strategies is the use of Stories. Measuring the success of both your Instagram and Facebook Stories can help brands understand how their followers are engaging with them.
Here are the best social media metrics you should be tracking on Instagram Stories:
- Discovery: To measure the number of accounts that have viewed your Story and help you understand the extent of your audience. You can analyse the total number of Impressions and Follows (accounts that started following you).
- Interactions: Calculate the total actions your audience take when they see your Story, for instance, replies, profile visits and sticker taps (people who have tapped a hashtag or geotag)
- Navigation: Track how your users have manoeuvred through your Stories. For instance, how many users clicked ‘forward’ (to see the next story) or ‘exited’ your Story.
- Swipe Up: Instagram does not track link clicks, but using a UTM parameter allows you to track website visitors from the platform.
Here are some of the best social media metrics you should be tracking on Facebook Stories:
- Unique Story Opens
- Forward Taps: The number of times a user has skipped to your next Story.
- Forward Swipes: The number of times a user has skipped to the next account’s Story.
- Shares: Number of users who shared your Story (sharing in Messenger or in their own Story)
Example via Hootsuite.
This goes without saying, but, every business should have a target market. It is important to understand who this market is, what they like, where they are from, and how they consume content. Monitoring your audience demographics is one of the best social media metrics to make sure that your content is reaching the right people. Demographics can also help you focus your content strategy to create better-targeted content.
Instagram demographics include Locations (country), Age and Gender. You can also monitor the average times your followers engage on Instagram (Hours), as well as the days of the week your followers are most active (Days).
Demographic data available on Facebook includes Age, Gender, Location (country and city), as well as Languages.
You will find similar demographics on social media monitoring platforms like Sprout Social.
If your social media post sends your audience to a destination outside of the platform, this is known as a link click. Sharing links on social media is an excellent tactic for driving traffic to your website. Bloggers will share their latest blog post as either a ‘swipe up’ in Instagram Stories, or as a link in their bio. Retail businesses will do the same with new products and promotions.
Tracking your link clicks is one of the best social media metrics to show you how effective your social media content (imagery and copy) is. Say you have written a compelling Facebook post and have asked your audience to ‘click on the link’ to know more. Wouldn’t you want to know just how persuasive your marketing efforts are and how many people have listened and clicked on that link?
You can easily add links to your Facebook content by pasting the URL at the bottom of your copy. Instagram, on the other hand, doesn’t allow clickable links in the captions. Your best option is to add a trackable link in your bio. If you're a verified Instagram user or you have over 10,000 followers, you can add "swipe up" links in your stories. You can track your links with either BITLY, a URL shortener tool, or a UTM parameter. These can help you get an idea of who is clicking the link, and where from.
What Are The Best Social Media Metrics For Your Business?
There are so many metrics to follow and analyse across all social media platforms. Ultimately, it is up to you what you choose to look at. The main point is, you can gain a better understanding of how your social media strategies are performing without 'likes'. What are the best social media metrics for your business? We would love to hear from you! If you need help implementing a social media strategy for your business, we can help. Feel free to get in touch!