What Metrics in Social Media Marketing Really Matter?


Social media marketing success can’t be measured simply by looking at vanity metrics.

While your company probably knows you should be engaging in social media marketing, you may struggle to identify goals and then determine how, or if, social media is contributing to any success. Do likes or other vanity metrics have any value, or should marketers be focused on another measure of impact?

It’s important for you to have a clear idea of what you’re trying to accomplish with social media marketing, and then it will be easier to measure whether you’re achieving your goals. Ultimately, your purpose is always conversions, but which metric will tell you whether you’re succeeding?

While you could measure click-throughs that end in a sale, that doesn’t capture those click-throughs that peruse your site a bit because of a social media post, but a week later come directly back to your site to make a purchase. This is why no single metric will tell you whether your social media marketing is effective. Instead, use a combination of metrics:

Traffic: This is a perfect example of why no one metric will tell the full story. There may be plenty of traffic on your page, but if someone simply views your material without clicking, sharing or otherwise engaging, that traffic isn’t as valuable as it could be.

Engagement: This metric helps demonstrate how well you understand your target audience. It tells whether your audience relates to you and if you’re meeting some of their needs. You might be adept at starting conversations or posting a poll that people find compelling.

Likes and Follows: These are, indeed, vanity metrics, but they can be valuable indicators if you focus on quality of your likes and follows, rather than simply the number. For instance, how many of your followers are members of your industry, or are squarely in your target market? Are they actively engaged in sharing your posts or participating in conversation?

Reach: This is a metric that is often broadcasted by marketers, but it needs other metrics to offer any insight into how effective your social media marketing strategy is. If you don’t compare your reach number to the number of people engaging with your material, you won’t have a clear picture.

Assisted Social Conversions: This is a metric that tells you, over time, the interactions of specific users. It helps you understand the path that emerges from social media interactions that lead to sales later. It can help you determine what types of social media activities are leading to sales.

There are a lot of metrics available on different social media platforms, and the key is finding those that provide information related to your goals. For assistance in determining which metrics are right for you, or for help designing a results-driven social media marketing strategy, our team at SJC Marketing is ready!

We’d love to learn more about you.