What should you be tracking? Is it even important for your business? In this blog, I will take you through the most basic metrics that every company should be paying attention to based on your goals and your brand’s social growth strategies in 2022.

What are social media metrics and why should you track them weekly?

Social media is the ideal channel for communicating with your target audience and giving them a place where they can feel like they are part of a community. A sense of belonging, enthusiasm and loyalty can be established through a thorough organic social strategy and reinforced through paid social campaigns. Ultimately, paid social vs. organic social goals are what determine your numbers. 

As your business grows, your campaign goals will change. Your first paid social campaigns may focus on building awareness and acquiring new customers. In later months, you may want to encourage your audience personas to make a purchase or sign up for an event, because they have given you clues about where they sit in a purchasing funnel where audience groups go to and fro at each stage of a decision-making model tailored to support them in making the final purchase. 

For every goal, you need to find a relevant metric, which will help showcase if your paid social campaigns are hitting the mark or not.

For example, if your goal in 2022 is to encourage people interested in your business to buy or use your product or service. For example, a florist in Maidstone has opened a few new locations. Using a Store Traffic objective, we can create a campaign to encourage potential nearby customers to visit their nearest shop and offer them a unique code to purchase their first bouquet in store.

Your paid social media strategy will lean towards increasing conversions from audience personas that visit your site via posts that are part of your social organic strategy or have abandoned your cart during purchasing in the last 90 days. 

Now that you have an end goal set, you can identify which social media metrics you need to focus on and a time frame in which to measure them. For example, increasing conversions from social by 25% in three months. 

To meet this goal, you decide to run a campaign that will include ads, product tags and influencers. To measure this, you determine that you’ll look at the social traffic and conversion rate metrics from those posts in your website analytics such as Google Analytics (for example).

The 5 top paid social media metrics you need to be tracking 

#1 Reach 

Reach is the total number of audience personas or people from a particular interest pool that have been exposed to an advertisement over the standard length of time. Of course, the more eyes on your paid banners the better, and while reach does not always paint the full picture, it is a critical metric to monitor in terms of messaging, colour psychology and testing with format (image or video) work better with your audience. 

Why reach matters

Reach is a top-of-funnel metric, but still, a metric that every marketer should be closely monitoring and continuously working to improve. Strong reach is an indication of strong brand awareness. You can use Facebook Ads to let more people discover what you do and think of your brand when it's time to buy.

My key point is that if your reach is not growing, this is a problem! Have look at dividing your campaigns by audience and objective types, to ensure you are communicating to the correct audience personas. This way of building your account, you can quickly see which adset isn't working with your audience group, which allows you to deactivate that set and focus your money on reaching your audience at the right time they want to know more about your product 

How to measure reach
To track this metric, look at your post reach, overall campaign reach, and your follower growth rate in your various social media platforms. Your campaigns should improve your reach over time.

#2 Social Media Referrals

Referrals, or referral traffic, is a measure of how many visitors are coming to your site from social media. When someone clicks a link in a social media post and then lands on your website or landing page, that’s counted in Google Analytics as a referral visit. For many businesses, social media referrals are a significant source of website traffic.

Why social referral visits matter
Great question, of course, it’s phenomenal when people engage with your paid social posts, but even better if they come to your website, where you have complete control of their experience with your brand. If people are taking the time to leave Instagram to explore your website, this says something about how interested they are in your ad content and offerings.

There are many ways to encourage followers to visit your website on social media. Whether it be through an Instagram story ad or a video advertisement with a CTA at the 20-second mark to act as an audience hook to generate interest, it is critical to track who is taking advantage of these opportunities to leave social and come to your website. This will ensure you can understand what content, wording and colours are resonating the most with audience personas or interests so you can leverage that knowledge to improve your social strategy next time.

How to measure social media referrals
You can track this metric through Google Analytics. Go to Acquisition > Social to see which networks are driving traffic to your site and how much. Are there any peaks like Black Friday or Ramadan for example

In an ideal world, you should be using UTM parameters on your social links so you can separate organic referrals from paid social referrals and see which campaigns and ad formats are driving the most traffic to your website.

#3 Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

Click-through-rate or CTR tracks how many people have clicked on your ad divided by the number of times your ad is shown: clicks ÷ impressions = CTR.

Why CTR matters
If people are clicking, they are interested (unless their finger slipped lol). Tracking CTR is important because if your CTR’s are very low then it’s clear the ad creative is not stopping your audience from strolling. But that’s not the only reason it’s important. Similar to Google Ads, your CTR affects your ad costs; social platforms tend to favour ads with high click-through rates, so they get more impressions and better placements such as Instagram Reels and are rewarded with lower costs per click.

How to measure CTR
CTR is defined as the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions, multiplied by 100. Lucky for you, all the major social platforms automatically calculate CTR for each of your ads, so you don’t have to calculate this manually. To see the CTR of a Facebook ad, you can check the “Ads” tab and select the “Performance and Clicks” column view:

#4 Bounce Rate

This, thankfully, is the only metric you want to keep low. 

Bounce rate measures the number of people who landed on your website or landing page and then immediately left running back to Instagram for more cat photos. This could be due to a variety of reasons, such as accidental clicks, but if the traffic coming to your site from social media has an unusually high bounce rate, it’s a sign that your site isn’t giving users what they hoping to find.

Why bounce rate matters
A low bounce rate indicates that your site is providing value to your audience personas, because once they reach it, they want to stick around a while, and hopefully even purchase a product. In contrast, a high bounce rate above 65% is an indication that something is wrong.

The nice thing about measuring bounce rate is that you can compare the bounce rate of your social traffic to that of other traffic sources, like search for instance. If your bounce rate is much lower through Facebook compared to Bing, then you know your social strategy on that channel is quite effective.

How to measure bounce rate
To measure bounce rate, you can use tools like Google Analytics. Within Google Analytics, go to the Acquisition tab > All Traffic, then segment by Channels. You’ll then find a column labelled “Bounce Rate.” Click on the heading to sort your channels from lowest to highest bounce rate.

#5 Conversions and Conversion Rate

Conversions are quite specific to your business model, so this is something that you will need to define with your social media strategy and industry. A conversion might be a direct website purchase, if someone subscribes to your newsletter, downloads gated content like a PDF, or registers for your local event. Conversions are the business goals you’re ultimately trying to achieve, the goals that raise your bottom line.

However, your specific conversions are defined, conversion rate is a measure of how many people who click your ad go on to complete the conversion process.

Why conversion rate matters
In social media advertising, the conversion rate is important because of its direct effect on your ROI (return on investment). You need a strong conversion rate, as well as a low cost per conversion, to make your ad investment on Instagram or Facebook worth it.

How to measure conversions
After you’ve defined what a conversion is for you, to properly track conversions you should work with your website team to ensure you have conversion tracking properly configured through your website. 

Even if you’re not running paid social media campaigns, when posting through social it’s a good idea to have a method of tracking a user’s path through a shortened URL or call-to-action link that is collecting the data. This will allow you to track which organic social posts are leading to conversions down the line.

Key Takeaways

Among the dozens of social media metrics that are available to you to track, I have compiled the most essential ones that will matter for most businesses and their goals; reach, referrals, click-through rate, bounce rate, and conversions/ conversion rate. 

If I can leave you with one last nugget of advice it’s to pay careful attention to your target audience. At Reflect we use customer personas for every single paid campaign we do to ensure that the consumer, their wants and needs are at the core of what we do. 

Defining your target audience by building buyer personas can increase user engagement and allow you to focus on leads, ultimately advancing your Paid Social. If you have questions or need assistance creating your buyer personas, reach out to us today! We’d love to talk with you.


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