Maintaining a brand’s social media presence is time-consuming—it often requires a dedicated team focused on creating engaging original content. If you’re posting content without examining performance, you’re not getting the most out of your work.
Measuring social media metrics tells you whether you have a successful strategy and how well you connect with your audience. Learn more about the best social media performance metrics to track, so you can measure the success of your efforts.
Table of contents
What are social media metrics?
Social media metrics are data points used to evaluate social media performance and marketing campaigns. Metrics like audience growth rate and overall engagement rate evaluate the strength of your social media channels. Brands can use more specific metrics like conversion rate to assess how their social media campaigns are performing.
Social media managers and marketing teams may use Google Analytics or social media analytics tools to collect and parse this data. Depending on the social platform, key metrics include click-through rate,video completion rate, and engagement rate.
Why are social media metrics important?
Tracking social media metrics allows you to attribute traffic and conversions to your social media channels, which tells you whether your campaign is successful and drives growth. Using social metrics to spot patterns can also spark new ideas and identify opportunities for improvement.
Consider the following scenario: At the end of the reporting period, your team pulls metrics for all of your social pages. After reviewing the data, your social media manager notices a theme—your most engaging Instagram posts include your CEO wearing a silly hat. This observation tells your team that your audience responds positively to humor and images of people. Now, you can tweak your social media marketing strategy to include those elements more often.
13 useful social media metrics
- Engagement rate
- Conversion rate
- Click-through rate
- Follower growth
- Bounce rate
- Watch time
- Video completion rate
- Audience demographics
- Customer service metrics
- Cost per click
Depending on your social strategy, certain metrics matter more than others. For example, social media advertising campaigns may value conversion metrics, while organic campaigns might zero in on awareness metrics. Here are the top social media metrics brands use:
Social media impressions track the number of times a user sees your content. Impressions do not necessarily mean a viewer read your post or engaged with it in a meaningful way, but they are a powerful measurement of virality and reach.
2. Engagement rate
Calculate your social media engagement rate by dividing the total number of engagements a post receives by the total audience. Clicks, likes, comments, and views can all count as engagement depending on the platform. This is a crucial metric—a high engagement rate shows your audience is paying attention and is a positive indicator of the overall health of your social media channels.
3. Conversion rate
Conversion rate measures the percentage of users who perform an action after seeing your social media post. You can use conversion rates to track a variety of customer actions, including sales, email sign-ups, and account creation.
4. Click-through rate
The click-through rate (CTR) represents the percentage of users who clicked on the links included in your social media content. Calculate it by dividing the number of clicks by the overall impressions.
Evaluating CTR provides insight into content quality—a high click-through rate suggests that your post successfully captured user attention. Improving your click-through rate can lead to an increase in website traffic.
5. Follower growth
When it comes to follower count, you can track your overall account growth as well as measure net new followers and unfollows. Monitoring the new followers and unfollows associated with your posts helps your team understand the most effective posting time, assess post frequency, and discover what type of content resonates with your target audience.
Audience growth rate can be a better indicator of channel health than total social media followers because you can determine when and how your accounts grow. Some social media experts consider follower count to be a vanity metric—a small, engaged audience is more likely to help your team succeed than a large, uninterested audience.
6. Bounce rate
Bounce rate represents the percentage of users who leave immediately after viewing a single page on your website. A high bounce rate may indicate a mismatch between your social media posts and the website content to which they link. This may be a signal to take a closer look at your social media strategy and ensure your content aligns with the users’ expectations.
7. Watch time
Watch time measures the amount of time in minutes and seconds that a user spends watching your content. When it comes to video, watch time is a crucial social media metric, since many social platforms use it to evaluate content quality. Social algorithms are more likely to favor videos with a longer watch time.
8. Video completion rate
A video completion rate represents the percentage of viewers who watched a video all the way until the end. A high completion rate indicates an engaging video that captured viewer interest. Evaluating video completion rates can help your team develop better video marketing—by analyzing the elements of your most engaging videos, you can replicate their success.
Brand mentions occur when an unaffiliated social media user publishes social media content including your company’s name. Monitoring social channels for mentions helps keep track of the social conversation surrounding your company. Many teams track mentions as part of their community management strategy, often choosing to reach out to customers who post about their experience with the brand.
Sentiment analysis is a social listening technique that can tell you about your overall brand reputation. Social listening tools evaluate audience sentiment by looking for the keywords associated with your brand and analyzing their tone. This type of social media data can help brands spot potential public relations problems before they arise.
11. Audience demographics
Fine-tune your social media efforts by understanding your audience demographics, including location, age, and gender breakdowns. Once you know whom you’re talking to, you can tailor your content to meet their needs. For example, if the majority of your followers are on the West Coast of the US, consider timing your posts to align with their schedules.
12. Customer service metrics
Customer service metrics include public reviews, customer satisfaction scores, and the results of brand surveys. This information gives your team clear feedback about what is going well and where you can improve. Customer service teams may also consider other metrics not related to social media, such as churn rate (how many customers stop using a product or service over a given time) to determine if they are connecting with potential customers.
13. Cost per click
Cost per click (CPC) measures the effectiveness of paid social media campaigns. This important social media metric can help your team determine if you’re spending your ad budget wisely. A low cost per click can lead to a high return on your investment.
Find influencers to drive sales with Shopify Collabs
Shopify Collabs makes it easy to partner with creators, promote your products, reach new customers, grow your sales, and track affiliate campaign performance, all from Shopify admin.Discover Shopify Collabs
Social media metrics FAQ
What are the best social media KPIs?
The most important key performance indicators (KPI) vary depending on the social media platform and what individual companies want to achieve. In general, keeping track of your brand’s audience growth rate, average post impressions, and social media engagement rate will provide an understanding of your overall channel health.
How do you track social media metrics?
Social media marketers use analytics tools, including Google Analytics and social media marketing tools, to measure social media success. Many social media platforms also include native analytics tools that may offer additional insights.
What are the best metrics for tracking social media ROI?
Conversion and engagement metrics both help brands understand their social media return on investment (ROI). Conversion rate ties directly to traffic and sales, while a high engagement rate indicates your content is building relationships and creating customer loyalty.