Winning social media metrics

Social media has evolved at an incredible pace. New social networking sites are introduced regularly, algorithms change, audiences mature and every brand on earth is searching for the next piece of viral content.

Social media advertising has allowed marketers to ‘fake it ‘till you make it.’ You can pay a couple of bucks and you’ll get more likes, follows and video views and, on the surface, it will appear as though you’re winning. But it’s all in vain.

So often we hear companies defining success in social media as the amount of followers they have or bemoaning that their competitors are doing a better job on social because of the size of their Facebook audience.

We need to stop this.

A winning social media strategy is one that aims to amplify your victory metrics, not your vanity ones. So if you want to reap the benefits of social media for your business, these are the four pillars that Avinash Kaushik recommends should be supporting your digital strategy.

Conversation Rate

The conversation rate measures how much conversation your content is generating on its respective social network. Measuring this requires you to listen to your audience and pay attention to the content driving conversation.

Your conversation rate can be measured across all social media sites; it’s simply the number of comments you receive on a post on Facebook, comments on a photo on Instagram, replies to your blog and responses to tweets. Easy.

Online communities are built on conversation. It gives you the opportunity to understand your audience by participating in the conversation and in return increasing a metric which matters.

The math is simple: the fewer comments you receive, the less your content is engaging and connecting with your audience.

You can measure conversation per post, but for the purpose of monthly reporting you can:
Total number of comments / total number of posts = Average monthly conversation rate.

Our recommendation is to provide the average as well as the top three performing pieces of content for the month.

Measure your social media efforts based on the conversation your content is starting.


Amplification Rate

Whether you have 300,000 or three followers, you have a social network. What’s even better is that each of those followers also has a social network of their own that you can access. If you provide engaging content, your audience will want to share, retweet, repost or regram it. This is amplification.

If your business can amplify your content, you’re not only reaching potentially thousands more people, but you can rest assured that you’re providing your audience with content of value, content they believe they need to share with their network. All of a sudden, your likes and follows are growing; not because you’re paying for them, but because your audience sees your value. That is a relationship no social media marketing dollar can buy.

To measure amplification:

Number of shares per post.

Number of retweets per tweet.

Number of video shares.

Number of blog shares.

Number of regram / mentions.

How many people are sharing your social media efforts?

Applause Rate

Applause rate helps us understand how our audience feels about our content. Is your Instagram photo visually appealing enough to encourage your audience to double tap the screen? Do people relate to your tweet enough to be persuaded to tap that little love heart? Measure it.

Applause rate measures the amount of likes, favourites, or +1’s on our content. It’s pretty simple.

What has given the applause rate metric more depth recently is the introduction of Facebook Reactions. These reactions allows Facebook users to express laughter, amazement, sadness or anger at content, while the old-school ‘like’ has been paired up with a ‘love.’ We can now actually report on exactly how our content makes our audience feel.

To measure applause rate:

On a graph, represent the number and type of reactions

Number of favourites on tweets

Number of likes on videos

Number of likes on blogs

Number of likes on photos

If people are 'liking' your social media content, they're liking your social media content.

Economic Value

Economic value of social media is what every business wants to see. Whether you’re operating an ecommerce site or a blog, you can measure the value of referrals to your website from social networks.

Google analytics allows you to view the amount of revenue generated from any social media site and this is the data that will keep your boss happy. The ultimate goal of any marketing activity is to generate more leads and convert them to sales. Google analytics can easily measure that.

If you’re not running an ecommerce site, google analytics will allow you to set macro and micro goals, which can be referred directly from your social media networks. These will provide an economic value per click that you can then report directly on.

A macro goal is the end product that you want the referral to complete, whether this is a sale or a sign up for a webinar. A micro level goal is everything in between: researching the product, reading about the company or signing up for a newsletter. Everything is trackable and everything has an economic value.

Visit your Google Analytics account to setup the appropriate goals for your business.

All social media is there as another avenue for your to increase your bottom line.

So there you have it, the four victory metrics that will always be honest about your content.

Let’s remember what social media is: it’s ‘social’ media. It’s there for businesses to build a community and engage with their customers and this is what we, as marketers, should be focused on growing. Stop being vain with your metrics; likes, followers and subscribers don’t matter anymore. It’s not the community with the most people that wins, it’s the community with the most meaningful voice.



Written by Natalie East