How Do You Measure Social Media Post Success?

We break down the basics of defining success on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Mary Liebowitz
March 24, 2019 - 6 min. read

A good social media campaign isn’t just made up of smart, compelling content—it also requires channel expertise and a solid understanding of your business’s goals.

Even with the best tools at your disposal, tracking the success of these campaigns is a complicated task.

The trick to tracking a social campaign’s success is simply breaking down the elements of what works for you.

Determine what you want to achieve through social media, then choose the metrics that are relevant to your specific goals. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to measuring social media success. But by following the steps laid out below, you’ll be well on your way to knowing exactly what metrics you should be using and why.

For more on KPIs and measuring social media success, see The Best Way to Do a Twitter Audit, then check out these 5 Essential Instagram Analytics to Track.

Defend your investment 

how to measure social media success

In any business effort, you’ll want to know if your investment is worth the time and money you’ve put into it.

After all, how can you justify using your marketing budget on social media if you can’t prove you’re getting results?

Measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) for your social media marketing campaigns will tell you if they are contributing to your business goals. It will also tell you what is working in your social campaigns and what isn’t.

When you can see what parts of your campaigns are performing well, you can kill what isn’t working and optimize what is to repeat your successes and prevent future flops.

That way, you’re constantly improving your social media marketing strategy with each new effort.

To understand whether your social media posts are successful or not, however, you must first define the unique goals and KPIs which matter to your business.

Define your goals

The goals for your social media work will usually fall into broader categories such as:

· Brand awareness and product adoption
· Community growth and engagement
· Reputation building
· Lead generation and revenue growth
· Providing social customer support

measure social media post success strategy goals
One way of categorizing your social media marketing goals is by deciding whether they’re brand-related or revenue-linked.

When setting your goals for social media post success, it helps to find a framework that works for you.

For example, the SMART format is a time-honored set of principles that applies to social media marketing as much as it does to all aspects of business. The acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

So, you should strive to achieve concrete goals with your social media campaigns that you can prove with data and realistically finish within a set deadline.

You should also make sure that your goals are relevant in the current business climate and that aren’t too vague or abstract.

By defining your marketing objectives with this framework in mind, you’ll have a meaningful context in which to measure your social media post success. 

And of course, the exact nature of your social media goals depends on your existing business objectives as well as the general direction of the company.

Match goals to KPIs

measuring social media marketing success kpis

Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measure how well your work meets the goals you’ve set. We took a deeper look at financial KPIs here, which are essential for reporting and understanding the value of your posts.

KPIs can also include traditional social metrics such as engagement, audience growth, reach, leads, and conversions. The most valuable KPIs for each of your social channels will depend completely on the goals you’ve set.

If your goals are more centered on raising awareness of your brand, for example, you might want to focus on growing the reach of your posts or the number of followers you have on social media. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for metrics that prove how your social media post success affects your bottom line, it makes more sense to look at KPIs like your cost per conversion or cost per click to your landing pages.

Success by channel

How to measure Facebook post success

how to measure social media post success on facebook

When you create a post on Facebook, you’ll want to look at how well each post performs. It’s also helpful to compare your posts to each other to see which ones perform the best.

Let’s say one of your business goals is to increase brand awareness, so you create a timely infographic that you share on Facebook.

To determine the success of your post, you’ll check performance metrics like reach and shares on your infographic post. You’ll know brand awareness is increasing if you see a growing number of likes on your page and greater engagement on your posts.

If you need to show the impact of social media on lead generation, use the Facebook pixel for conversion tracking and retargeting. Here’s how to install the Facebook Pixel.

It will help you to optimize your ads, and with the right UTM parameters, it can greatly assist in evaluating your traffic.

How to measure Instagram post success

measure social media post success instagram

With an Instagram business account, you can track the performance of your photo and video posts on the platform.

Look at top posts and view demographics to assess your audience, or take a deeper dive into impressions, reach, and engagement for each post.

When your business is a good fit for visual social content, you can use Instagram’s native analytics to find the right combination of image, content, hashtags, and post length.

Because of Instagram’s algorithmic feed, your content gets delivered when it has a better chance of being relevant. Keeping a close eye on your posts’ engagement will help you to deliver high-performing content to your audience.

How to measure LinkedIn post success

measuring social media effectiveness linkedin

LinkedIn posts can help you to gain followers, establish yourself as an industry expert, or broaden your network for better recruitment possibilities and brand awareness.

Not only do LinkedIn’s analytics give you data on the engagement and impressions for your posts, but they also offer information on your audience.

Tapping into your employees’ networks to share news and updates gives you additional metrics to work with and expands your reach exponentially.

If post reach is one of your KPIs on LinkedIn, look at the content that gets the greatest amounts of engagement, likes, and shares when posted to your company page or shared by your employees as brand ambassadors.

If you’re looking to hire a new team member through LinkedIn posts, your success metrics may be offline, but they’re still trackable.

For example, you can track the number of applications you receive per LinkedIn post or the number of qualified applicants that respond to a post.

How to measure Twitter post success

how to measure social media post success twitter

Twitter is a great channel to test your metrics and quickly optimize your top-achieving content. By keeping an eye on the performance of your content over 30-day periods, you should have a firm grasp on how your posts track and what a typical engagement rate looks like for you.

Whether you’re seeking engagement and reach on your posts or tracking conversion rates on your ads, remember to choose metrics that matter for your operations.

Growing your audience won’t have an impact if you aren’t driving engagement and conversions through your content. Don’t be afraid to reuse your best material.

It pays to be agile

Measuring your post success should be a real-time exercise. 

As mentioned above, the Facebook pixel is one option to track conversions on your website and collect data on ad performance. But to be truly real-time it pays to use a social management platform. In Falcon Publish you can track a post’s success—or lack thereof—directly in your content calendar. 

When coupled with the in-depth Facebook and Instagram analytics in Falcon’s Measure section, you can get a complete idea of a post or campaign’s success. Armed with such insights, you can adjust your posts for the better or create a plan for next time.

social media post success measurement software

Why we track

Performance tracking will help you adjust your work along the way so that you can continue to hone your content.

When your content cleanly matches your audience’s expectations, it will improve their overall experience with your brand and encourage their next actions. 

Not to mention that there’s no concrete way to see if you’re reaching your goals without performance tracking.

Being able to measure social media post success is crucial to social media strategy. Without knowing your KPIs, you’re just throwing content against the wall to see what sticks.

So define your social media goals, find the right metrics to match them, and use that data to make your content the best it can possibly be.