Academy Xi Blog

Which social media marketing metrics matter most?

By Academy Xi

Social media marketing metrics

When you’re measuring the performance of your brand’s social media platforms, which metrics should you be tracking and reporting on? In this article we’ll draw on the wisdom of Good Media founder Emily Osmond to help you plan success metrics for your brand’s social media marketing campaigns.  

According to social media professional and Good Media founder Emily Osmond, if you’re only interested in measuring the number of followers your brand has, you’re focusing on vanity metrics. And what are vanity metrics, exactly? “Vanity metrics are empty metrics”, says Emily.

To be more specific, vanity metrics offer very little actionable insight in terms of how a user interacts with a brand. Lots of followers and likes may look good on a superficial level, but how many of those users are actually engaging with your brand and converting into paying customers?

Engagement is key

Emily has a lot of experience helping clients overhaul their social media presence and believes that many brands are followers-obsessed. “Lots of my clients want more followers – but why? What’s the actual goal you’re trying to achieve? Once you know that, you can break that goal down into tactics”, Emily explains.

“Sometimes it might be generating buzz about a brand, so then you’d look at improving social engagement on your posts to get more people viewing it. Or if you have a sale on, then you’d want to improve click-through rates on your posts.”

To gain a better understanding of the value your social media efforts are producing, pay close attention to the metrics that indicate users are genuinely engaging with your brand, such as subscriptions and click-through rates. 

Tools and tactics to boost your metrics

Simply telling you to make your social posts more engaging is easy enough, but actually pulling this off is another challenge altogether. This is why Emily can’t stress enough how important quality content is when it comes to improving social engagement.

“You’re not going to get great results if your content is poor”, Emily says. “Imagery is also really important – so investing in photography or video production is a great way to ensure quality.”

Emily highly recommends these useful apps to improve your social media content:

  • Plann: This scheduling, content calendar, analytics and design app is a great way to plan, build and execute the best possible content. It also offers some useful insights into what content is performing well on your platform. Best of all, this app can be used across platforms and integrates with Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, TikTok and LinkedIn. 
  • Hashtag Expert: This hashtag generator tool is fantastic for identifying trending hashtags relevant to your posts. If you enter one hashtag, the app will generate a list of other popular and relevant hashtags, helping to ensure your posts reach the right users in volume.

Engagement versus reach

Another metric Social Media Managers and Marketers are obsessed with is reach. But is reach more important than engagement? Emily explains that reach can sometimes mean nothing if the people who’ve ‘seen’ your post haven’t actually taken notice of it.

measuring social media marketing engagement

“If you’re reaching a lot of people then that’s a great thing, but if users aren’t interacting with your post or taking an action to remember your brand then it’s a wasted effort. Engagement more frequently translates into conversions.”

Pitching the right metrics to stakeholder

If your superiors and other stakeholders are still hung up on tracking vanity metrics such as followers, Emily advises to back up your argument with facts and historical data. 

For example, demonstrate how posts with metrics such as comments, shares, and click-throughs deliver greater results than posts that simply have a lot of likes. By doing this, Emily claims you can “show them what’s happening with the bigger brands and industry-leading examples of social media marketing.”

Stay on top of engagement

Emily says she’s seen many brands who aren’t on top of their social media marketing and their metrics suffer as a result.

“I’ve seen a lot of brands who continue running seasonal ads well after the holidays have ended. This means all of the metrics they’ve gathered during this time are useless.”

If we can learn anything from Emily’s social media words of wisdom, it’s to focus on measuring the metrics that reflect audience engagement. 

Social media management tools like Buffer and HootSuite offer metrics that will allow you to measure clicks, comments, likes and other forms of audience engagement. Remember – you should also review responses for sentiment to ensure your brand is getting a warm reception.

Want to learn more about social media marketing?

Academy Xi’s Social Media Marketing: Elevate course is perfect if you want to boost your career with in-demand Social Media Marketing skills, offering you the chance to:

  • Level up your social media skills and take on a new role or promote your business
  • Develop an end-to-end social media strategy and put it into action
  • Set goals, measure results and use analytics to refine your approach
  • Build skills applicable in a wide range of industries

Want to discuss your transferable skills and course options? Chat to a course advisor today.