How should companies measure their social media marketing success?

Success is measured using the same metrics you use for any other marketing activity: traffic, leads, and customers. Counting the number of fans or followers you have can help you understand your social media reach, but the bottom line that determines its success is how many people it drives to your site, how many of them are qualified leads, and how many of them actually become customers.

When it comes to social media marketing, it may seem like every competitor out there is trying to grab your customers’ attention. While it may seem a bit daunting at first, gaining traction on social media doesn’t have to be difficult if you know which key performance indicators (KPI) to look at. By understanding volume, reach, engagement and influence, you and your marketing team will be well on your way to learning how to measure social media success.

Measure Your Audience Volume

Understanding audience volume goes well beyond how many followers your business account has, but it’s a vital part of how to measure social media performance.

Volume also refers to the number of social mentions and brand-related hashtags circulating throughout social media platforms. In other words, you want to measure how many people are talking about your brand online.

Social mentions can be done by directly tagging your company by its username, mentioning your brand with a tag and also by using hashtags that are specific to your brand.

Measure Your Brand Reach

The number of people that are talking about your brand online will be very different from the number of people who have seen your content. Your brand reach signifies how many users were exposed to your content; this is the potential size of your audience.

Reach is measured by how many people saw your post or social media ad campaign. There are three different types of reach:

  • Organic Reach – The number of people who saw your content in their newsfeed because they follow you
  • Viral Reach – The number of people who saw your content from sharing, suggested posts, or content hashtags
  • Paid Reach – The number of people who saw your sponsored ad content

Organic reach seems to be the metric that business owners and marketing teams want to hit. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for posts from business accounts to reach users’ news feeds. New algorithm changes on many social platforms now favor posts that have been shared by friends and family.

Measure Your Engagement

When you’re thinking about how to measure social media performance, engagement is a major factor. This goes beyond likes and even comments. Sharing is another valuable form of engagement that can help any company boost its online presence through viral reach (see above).

If you are having trouble with engagement on your social media posts, consider rethinking your marketing strategy. Humans are visual beings — content with dynamic imagery and creative videos perform the best on social media.

Measure Your Influence

The final key performance indicator you should look at when you’re learning how to measure social media success is how much influence your brand has over your audience.

You can measure your influence by taking a look at how many website visitors are coming from your social media business accounts. To drive up your brand’s influence, post dynamic content that gets your followers excited. Contests and giveaways are a great way to interact with your audience.

Measuring the success of social media marketing campaigns is rather difficult. There are no certain metrics that can help you gauge what people really like, even though there are many new statistics tools that claim to measure “engagement.”

However, there are some recommendations we at Creatives Co have been testing for a few years now and see with our own campaign successes. The most important one is to always test your competitors’ content first; this will give you an idea of which themes and topics work best when utilized in a proper context. And by correlating the data with likes on websites, it might also show which topics resonate better than others within your target audience.