How to Measure Social Media Success? [2023 Guide]
How to tell if your social media campaigns are profitable? Many marketers struggle with reporting social media ROI; I’ve written this article for those of you. Here’s how to measure social media success and which metrics you should track.
You might be the most creative person ever and produce a lot of great social media content. But unfortunately, your managers, C-levels, investors, or clients will eventually demand numbers. Do the social channels sell products? Does the follower count boost the client rate? What is the cost per click on paid ads? These questions will appear sooner or later, so it’s good to be prepared.
Don’t worry. I have some tips for you on how to check if your social media marketing efforts are any good. Let’s find out together!
Table of contents:
- Setting goals
- Social media metrics to track
- Helpful tools
- Measure success!
Before you start measuring anything, you need goals. It’s crucial to set up KPIs that will tell you if your campaign was successful or not.
The goals should be simple and easy to measure. For example, the goal of your social media strategy can be raising brand awareness. In this scenario, you will track the traffic and engagement metrics. If you have the right tools, you can also track the conversion rate – for example, how many people bought your products after clicking through social media posts.
It’s important the KPIs are clear and measurable because otherwise, you won’t be able to tell if your efforts are successful or not.
Social media metrics to track
There are dozens of metrics you can track to check your social media success. I’ll provide you with some key metrics I like to monitor, but I’m sure you will soon come up with new ideas.
Analyze social media mentions and measure your success with Brand24.
Social reach and impressions
Reach and impressions are one of the most common metrics to track. It’s the number of users that have seen your social media posts. While this will give you an overall idea of how many people actually see your content, it’s not really quality data you can solely use while measuring social media success.
I use these numbers to check if the reach is increasing or decreasing to determine if I need to boost my marketing efforts or not. It’s always good to combine this metric with others to calculate click-through rates and overall engagement.
Engagement rate is usually more useful than reach only because it will tell you how many people were actually interested in the content you published.
While your posts may be visible to only a handful of people, a high engagement rate indicates that your followers care about the content. Don’t get me wrong – you still need to check if the comments are positive or negative (see sentiment analysis below). Too much negativity is usually caused by controversial content that you might want to tone down a bit. But if the engagement is mostly positive – keep up the good work!
Now this is getting interesting. While you might have a lot of impressions and a high engagement rate, your brand might still not be very popular. Sentiment analytics tools will help you to check if the target audience is speaking positively or negatively about your brand.
You can use tools like Brand24 or Brandwatch (more about tools later) to calculate the sentiment and see if you need to hire a PR specialist to avert a crisis.
Sentiment analysis is definitely a very useful metric to track while measuring social media performance.
Perform social media sentiment analysis with Brand24. Try a free trial.
Audience growth rate
The audience growth rate is an important metric to track because it will tell you if you gain new followers or not. If your audience is growing, it usually means you reach new potential customers with relevant content.
You can measure the growth rate manually by making a spreadsheet and writing the numbers every week or month. Or you can use social media analytics tools to to it for you.
Oh yes, you need to be constantly aware of what your opponents are doing on social media, and competitor analysis is the way to go.
How to measure social media success with competitive analysis? It’s very simple. You need to benchmark your numbers against theirs. You can use the same tactics and metrics for your competitors and compare. Additionally, conduct audits of competitors’ content regularly to see what type of posts they produce and how it resonates with their audience.
Leads and sales
Unless your social media strategy is aimed only at raising brand awareness, you should have a separate spreadsheet for leads acquired via social media. You can use Google Analytics to filter social media conversions to see how many clients came from your Facebook or Twitter pages.
If you are using paid ads, Facebook (or Meta) analytics can give you the info. There’s a convenient template for social media lead generation ads that will collect e-mails or phone numbers. When you hand over the hot leads to your sales department, don’t forget to annotate them as social media contacts. You can later use the tags to count clients that came through your social media channels.
Do you want more metrics?
Check out Katarzyna’s article with 15 key social media metrics to track in 2023. She talks a little bit more about the metrics I mentioned and gives you thorough instructions on how to measure social media success using these indicators.
I have great news for you! There are tons of social media analytics tools that you can use to measure success. There are a lot of free tools, too, so if you are a newbie, you don’t have to spend money yet. Here’s how you can measure social media success with online tools. I’ve added price info to each tool so you can quickly check if they are in your budget.
Let’s start with a free tool that you probably already have implemented anyway. It’s a must in every marketer’s tool stack.
Google Analytics will let you measure many important metrics, such as website traffic, conversion rate, and simplified user demographics. You can filter the analytics by social media traffic and see how these users behave directly on your website.
The new, event-based Google Analytics Universal will let you see and measure the success of your social media efforts on a basic level. It’s worth getting acquainted with this tool because it’s free, and other members of your team will benefit from it too.
Brand24 is a social media monitoring tool with many useful analytics features that will help you in measuring social media success.
Not only will it help you to find all unliked mentions of your brand on social media you might have missed, but also it will calculate social metrics such as sentiment analysis, AVE, or overall reach. The analytics tools available in Brand24 are a handy supplement to any social media management app.
If you are measuring the engagement rate, reach, visibility across different platforms, or want to compare your brand against the competition, Brand24 is definitely a tool for you. We offer a free 14-day trial so you can test all features.
Pricing: Paid plans start at $69 per month.
Analyze social media mentions and measure your success with Brand24.
Social media marketing and management tool Hootsuite is a holistic app that will let you control and analyze your efforts.
Hootsuite features publishing and scheduling tools that integrate across all your social channels and useful suggestions on how to engage with the audience. But we’re here for measurement purposes. The tool is also equipped with activity monitoring features so that you can measure important social media metrics such as engagement rate, reach, or click-through rate.
Hootsuite is good for both organic and paid content management on social media. You can grab a 30-day trial to test if the solution is right for you.
Pricing: Paid plans start at $99 / month.
As a simpler alternative to Hootsuite, you can try Buffer. It lacks some of the analytics features, but it’s also much cheaper.
Buffer covers all popular social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, TikTok, and Twitter. It also supports managing less popular media, for example, Mastodon (a recently popular Twitter alternative).
If you are looking for simple reports of your social media success, try Buffer. The social media management features are free of charge for small businesses, but if you want to use analytics tools, you have to pay extra.
Pricing: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $6 per month.
Brandwatch is an advanced social media intelligence tool recommended for enterprises. It comes at a price, but it has advanced analytics solutions that can be tailored to your business goals.
Brandwatch is designed to give you in-depth insights about your brand, measuring social media activity included.
Pricing: Contact sales.
Another recommended social media management tool is Sprout Social. Apart from classic management tools such as scheduling, publishing, and engaging, Sprout Social also offers analytics to measure the success of your social media efforts.
The tool is slightly more advanced than the previously mentioned Buffer and Hootsuite, so it shouldn’t be a surprise it also costs more. Fortunately, you can register for a free trial to test all the features.
Pricing: Starts at $249 per month.
Now that you know what social media metrics you can track, it’s time to check them against your KPIs. If you observe growth in the relevant areas, that means you are doing a great job as a social media marketer. If the charts are flat, or worse – you see lower stats – that means you need to tweak your strategy.
I hope with these tips and tools, you are now in possession of useful knowledge on how to measure social media success. I wish you good luck in your analytic journey to social success!