7 Underrated Social Media Metrics You Should be Tracking.

Forget the vanity metrics, these are the social media statistics you can really bank on.
Michael Harbone
November 9, 2017 - 5 min. read

Social media marketing metrics have become a key part of many companies’ marketing strategy.

Data and social media statistics have become more refined and specific, allowing you to make calculated decisions based on previous tests. With social media tools you can easily analyze data, allowing you to put your time, focus and money on activities that deliver the greatest benefits to your campaigns.

Many people underrate the importance of key social media marketing metrics, but if they’re applied correctly they can significantly improve your data and boost your ROI.

1. User comments
The highest engagement metric a post will receive is ‘Likes’, a metric shared by Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This results from the ease of just one tap. Even though a Like is nice, a comment shows that the audience is more engaged.

Just stop and think for a moment. On a phone, likes and shares are pretty easy to do: one tap for likes, two taps for a share. Writing a comment, on the other hand, takes more time and effort. If a follower leaves a comment it means they’re more engaged, and they resonate with the content. Whether the comment is positive or negative, you’ve hit an emotion that the follower has towards the content, the brand, or both.

If the number of comments per post increases, it means people are resonating with the chosen message, and more people will come back to view future posts, resulting in increased brand influence and a loyal following. However, if the comments per post decline or are non-existent you will need to rethink your strategy as people aren’t sufficiently compelled to have their say.

2. Hashtags
Hashtags are gold when used correctly. You can use them to find data on what is trending right now. Using a tool such as Ritetag and its dashboard can make your job ten times easier, because it shows what is working and the hashtags you can use in order to rank and be seen.

Using the right hashtags is the best way to gain quick exposure. You can see what is trending, and piggyback on that trend to boost your content. 

However, beware: Instagram has now cut the organic reach of posts where hashtags are used in a spammy manner. The network’s algorithm is able to detect whether hashtags are relevant to the post. You can get some simple tips on Instagram SEO here.

social media analytics

Hashtags are trackable and your customers are keeping an eye out. Source: Listen.

How to track conversations

To monitor followers’ conversations you need to create your own hashtag and make it trend. To make it memorable it should be short, specific and conversational.  

When a hashtag is used correctly it can give you some important data: the conversations people are having, how often the hashtag is used, and whether the conversation is positive or negative.

Use hashtags to engage with the audience more effectively and build up more loyalty amongst them.

3. Sentiment analysis
The opinions of your audience have always mattered, but they have become more visible with social media. A single post or tweet, either positive or negative, can spread like wildfire.

Monitoring this activity with a social listening tool will keep you up to date with what your customers are feeling, and you can quickly respond. The way you handle a situation will affect how your brand is seen.

When the activity is positive, you can reward people for spreading the word. When negative, you can quickly get in contact with that person and resolve any issues, speedily putting out a potential wildfire.

This is essentially building your brand and letting people know who you really are, increasing your brand’s ROI.

social media analytics

Tracking sentiment can alert you to opportunities or potential problems. Source: Listen.

4. Click through + Bounce rate (rather than just clicks)
Both the click through and bounce rate should work in harmony. You can identify two distinct things based on these metrics.

If someone scrolls past your post, it lowers your CTR. This will affect how often a network will show your content. If the majority of people are scrolling past it, it’s seen as less valuable. On the flip side, if more people are clicking through, it will be shown more, but only if people don’t bounce back from the content straight away.

If this happens a higher percentage of the time, your content is regarded as low quality. On Facebook, the algorithm works by showing someone more of what they would like to see. So if your content is constantly scrolled past or bounced back from, it becomes less valuable to people, meaning it will quickly become obsolete.

One easy tip for boosting Facebook’s organic reach is to instantly like and share your post among colleagues.

5. Leads (rather than just numbers)
Leads are potential customers: the more of them you capture, the better. The important thing is to have targeted, quality leads, not just a huge quantity of leads as the latter just wastes your time and money.

You want to be able to measure the effectiveness of the lead capture campaign. By using social media KPIs you can determine whether the lead is sufficiently targeted. This assessment will help you create marketing campaigns aimed towards specific people in your target audience. It will also help you determine which kind of ad you will use based on the previous data.

6. Audience growth rate
The audience growth rate is the change of an audience size on a social network, i.e. the total number of your followers and fans over a period of time.

By monitoring these metrics you can see the effect of a marketing campaign. Did it add any new fans and followers, or decrease them? By analyzing this data you can make calculated decisions on what to use in your next campaign.

7. Impressions
Some have relegated impressions to the list of ‘vanity metrics’. But to underrate them is a mistake.

Brand awareness is one of the leading objectives to drive new consumers to a brand. Increasing impression on the content will lead to more engagement and an increased community size.

By tracking your impressions you’ll be able to monitor the direction in which the content is taking your client’s brand, whether positive or negative. You are then able to see which types of content their audience resonates with the most, allowing you to take targeted action to create more content around those topics.

Impressions are particularly useful for advertisers by the simple equation that the more eyes on an ad, the greater value for the advertiser.

By utilizing the above metrics and using them to their full potential, you’ll increase not only the number of followers but also the attractiveness of the company.

However, it’s down to you to test and experiment, and see what works specifically for the company. Look at your end goal to assess how to use these metrics effectively. So, social media managers, what is your end goal with each of these metrics?

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