Social media metrics are an essential part that makes up the puzzle of a digital marketing strategy. Imagine playing an instrument without the notes in front of you. Or eating a sandwich without the bread. Or heck, trying to drink your morning coffee without a cup! They're all doable but not complete without their counterpart.
The key is not to report just any social media metrics to your clients because they'll likely want to go beyond the surface level of followers, likes, and shares. The goal your agency should be aiming for is highlighting their return on investment (ROI), so they clearly see the value your agency is bringing them. Using tools like a social media dashboard helps you connect the dots between their social media accounts and their overall marketing campaigns.
But what metrics do you include in your clients' social media reports? Choosing the right social media metrics helps differentiate your agency from others.
This article identifies the top 13 social media metrics to include in your client reports.
In particular, we’ll discuss:
What Are Social Media Metrics?
In the ever-growing digital age, businesses have turned to social media platforms to reach customers, increase engagement, and keep track of their interactions. Crafting their social media presence is a great way to highlight their brand online and build strong customer loyalty at the same time.
Social media metrics are important for your agency because they measure the effectiveness of social media campaigns. Social media managers use these social metrics to inform their competitive analysis research and develop strategies for clients' specific social media channels.
There are a number of marketing metrics that you should be aware of when running social media marketing campaigns. These include things like audience growth rate, engagement rates, and shares. Knowing these numbers can help you determine which campaigns are working best, what changes need to be made to increase engagement and reach their target audience, and whether they are generating the desired social media performance for their clients.
Why Are Social Media Metrics Important to Agencies?
With an estimated 4.14 billion active social media users globally, investing in social media marketing makes sense for most businesses. What isn't always clear, however, is exactly how to track the ROI of your efforts.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center, about half of Americans get news on social media at least sometimes:
Social media marketing has become a multi-platform strategy. While it was easy to focus on one social media platform a couple of years ago, now you have even more options to target potential customers for your client. While nearly a third of Americans get news on Facebook, other social media platforms also have great potential:
As an advertising or marketing agency, it’s important to be aware of this statistic and understand how social media impacts your clients’ businesses.
One way to measure how well your clients’ social media strategy is performing is by tracking top social media metrics that are important for their needs across multiple social media platforms.
These metrics can tell you how many people are following your client on social media, how much engagement they’re getting, what kind of content is resonating with followers, and more.
For example, monitoring other social media networks, like LinkedIn, helps your agency compare what platform is seeing a higher click-through rate. Tracking LinkedIn analytics has the potential to boost your clients' credibility in an untapped market.
Tracking social media metrics helps determine whether or not your clients’ social media campaigns are successful and identify areas where they could improve. It can also help you develop new content ideas and target new audiences by keeping an eye on specific content marketing metrics.
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Measuring Social Media Campaign Success: Vanity Metrics Vs. Actionable Metrics
There are two types of metrics: vanity metrics and actionable metrics. Vanity metrics are measurements that look good on paper but don't actually mean anything. On the other hand, actionable metrics tell you how well your marketing campaigns are doing and how they can be improved. To measure the success of your marketing campaigns, you need to use actionable metrics.
Why Social Vanity Metrics Don't Help Your Client’s Social Media Strategy
Vanity metrics are measurements of activity that look impressive but don't actually help a business improve. For example, a vanity metric is a company’s number of followers on social media. Although it looks good to have a lot of followers, it doesn't mean that the company is doing well or that its products are popular. In fact, having a lot of followers could be a sign that the company is doing a poor job of targeting its advertising.
The other interesting thing about vanity metrics versus actional metrics is that the data can switch camps based on the campaign's focus.
For example, the total number of social media followers is often considered a vanity metric for the reasons we just outlined. However, if your agency’s goal is to improve the audience growth rate for a brand-new profile, then the number of followers during the initial growth phase of a social media profile can become an actionable metric.
Your agency may be looking to unlock certain platform privileges only available with a minimum number of followers (such as a branded URL on YouTube). However, once a certain threshold is reached, it will likely flip back into the vanity camp.
The important differentiation is whether or not the metric is tied to a business goal and can provide actional insights.
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Defining the Social Media Sales Funnel
Before we get into specific social media metrics to track the success of your clients' campaigns, let’s first review the social media sales funnel. At a high level, the social media sales funnel can be broken down into four main stages:
Awareness: The top-of-funnel involves attracting new prospects and making them aware of your brand.
Consideration: The middle of funnel involves getting people to consider your offers, including viewing your products or downloading your sales material.
Conversion: The bottom-of-funnel involves getting the prospect to take the desired action—in most cases, this means making a purchase.
Advocacy: After the first conversion, you want to track how effectively you're turning customers into loyal advocates and brand evangelists.
Check out our guide on How To Build A Social Media Sales Funnel That Actually Converts if you want to learn more.
Now that we've reviewed the various stages of the buyer’s journey let’s look at 13 top social media metrics to help track the ROI of your clients'.
Awareness metrics won’t necessarily give you an exact monetary ROI of your social media efforts, but they can indicate that your efforts are heading in the right direction and your audience size is growing over time. These kinds of social media analytics tools are invaluable for reporting on and optimizing campaigns.
Reach refers to the total number of people that have viewed an individual post since it was launched. With our Facebook integration, for example, we have a tab dedicated to reach that includes additional insights, such as:
2. Follower Growth Rate
Although followers may seem like a vanity metric, your follower growth rate indicates that you’re reaching a larger audience over time; this is calculated by dividing your net new followers over a certain period by your total audience. Below is an example of an Instagram widget that measures follower growth over time, including organic followers gained, lost, and how many came from paid advertising. This is one of the most important Instagram metrics to track, so keep it front and center.
Also referred to as engagement, consideration metrics allow you to determine if the content you’re creating is resonating with the audience and that a certain percentage of people are moving down the sales funnel.
3. Audience Engagement
Audience engagement can mean different things depending on the platform, although it typically includes actions such as likes, comments, and shares. On YouTube, for example, you can see there is a tab for engagement metrics that includes single statistics and time-based charts:
Tracking YouTube metrics helps your agency optimize existing content that's already performing well. After all, engaging videos create a domino effect of good social media presence, increased engagement with your clients' content, and more conversions.
Agency Tip: A good social strategy to boost engagement is to take note of the best social media posting times. Look at when their followers are most active and when the competition is posting to make an informed decision.
4. Engagement Per Follower
Tracking engagement rate over time is important, but engagement per follower is perhaps more important. Social media algorithms have gotten much smarter in recent years and can tell if you have a low engagement rate, which may result in a lower reach for your posts. As Later puts it in their article on how the Instagram algorithm works:
If a large percentage of your following is inactive, they could be doing more harm than good for your account’s algorithmic ranking.
Calculate engagement per follower by dividing total engagement—including likes, comments, shares, saves, etc.—by total follower count.
Monitoring social media engagement rates helps your agency (and clients) understand what is working and what is not. The key is determining what resonates with your clients' audience to help inform future strategies.
Having a high engagement rate also opens the door for potential monetization opportunities for your clients. For example, brands often collaborate with influencers or creators with a high engagement rate per follower because it indicates an active and engaged audience, leading to higher conversion rates.
5. Website Traffic from Social
One of the best ways to measure the effectiveness of your social media strategies is to track website traffic from your clients' social media accounts. Measuring social traffic can be done with our Google Analytics integration—under the “Acquisition” page, you’ll find a tab for “Social,” which includes website sessions from each platform:
6. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
One of the top social media metrics to track includes your clients' Click-Through Rate (CTR). This is calculated by dividing total clicks by the number of impressions, giving you an idea of how effective your social call-to-actions (CTAs) are at getting prospects off the social platform and onto their website.
With the Facebook Ads integration, for example, you automatically track the CTR over time of their ad campaigns in a dedicated dashboard:
Combining Facebook Ads metrics in your clients' report shows a larger picture of which ads have the best CTR and CPC and how much you've spent, helping you make data-driven marketing decisions with your clients' budgets.
Conversion metrics allow you to measure the number of desired actions visitors take, including conversions, conversion rate, and the actual monetary value that came from social media marketing.
7. Goal Completions from Social
Also referred to as conversions, goal completions are how Google Analytics tracks a completed activity that you’ve defined as valuable to the website. Goals can vary based on the site and include things like signing up for an email list, completing a form, or making a purchase.
You can track goal completions from social within our Google Analytics integration under the Acquisition > Social tab and compare the social media performance of each platform:
8. Conversion Rate
Conversion rate, or goal completion rate, is defined as the number of conversions divided by the total number of visitors. Tracking your conversion rate from social is key to making sure that your landing pages and website copy are effectively turning leads into customers. This can be tracked for each social platform in the Google Analytics dashboard under Acquisition > Social:
9. Goal Value
When defining goals in Google Analytics, you can optionally assign a monetary value to its completion. Of course, there’s no better way to track the ROI from social media than to have a specific monetary value attached to each goal. To get your overall ROI from social, simply divide this number by advertising or employee costs associated with your social media marketing.
10. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
If you have an advertising budget for your social posts, you should also be tracking the return on ad spend (ROAS). Most social ad platforms will have this metric available in the ads manager. For example, Facebook Ads has a metric called Website Purchase ROAS, which is based on the value of all conversions recorded by the Facebook pixel that's attributable to ads:
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Agency Tip: Make sure you pay attention to the attribution settings for Facebook Ads campaigns. The default is a 7-day click or 1-day view, which means that Facebook could attribute sales to a specific campaign when an ad appeared in their feed, even if they scrolled right past it.
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After someone becomes a customer for the first time, the next step is to track how effectively you turn them into loyal advocates and evangelists.
One way to measure advocacy is to use a reputation management tool like Yext and track customer reviews. Even if the review didn’t come from a social platform, customer reviews, and user-generated content are great for future posts.
12. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Net promoter score (NPS) is a number between 0 and 10 that measures the likelihood of a customer recommending a product, service, or company. Tracking NPS gives you an overview of the customer experience and allows you to identify any issues that may have otherwise been missed. This metric can also be tracked in AgencyAnalytics through our GatherUp integration:
Reply time is the amount of time it takes for a social media user to reply to a message. Messaging metrics are the measurements of how users interact with messages. The reply time and messaging metrics are important for businesses because they can help them understand how customers interact with their brand on social media.
By understanding social media metrics, businesses improve their customer service and provide the best possible experience for their customers.
Why Choosing the Right Platform for Your Social Media Strategy Is Important?
Social media is one of the most important marketing tools a business can use. But with so many social media platforms available, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for your client’s business. Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses. Choose the wrong platform and risk wasting your client’s time and money.
The first step in choosing the right social media platform is understanding your clients' goals. What are you trying to achieve? Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or generate leads? Once you know what you want to achieve, tailor your social media marketing strategy accordingly.
Next, you need to consider your target audience. Each social media platform has a different demographic. For example,
Facebook is a great platform for reaching a large number of people. With over 2 billion active users, it’s the perfect place to build a large audience. However, the audience on Facebook is diverse, so you’ll need to tailor your content to appeal to a wide range of people.
Twitter is ideal for businesses that want to build relationships with their customers. It’s a great platform for sharing news and insights about your company, allowing customers to easily connect with you.
LinkedIn is a great place to find new clients, while TikTok is more popular among teenagers and young adults.
Choosing the Right Social Media Metrics and How to Track Them
As businesses increasingly turn to social media as a way to connect with customers, it's important to track the right metrics to gauge the effectiveness of those efforts. While many metrics could be tracked, not all of them are useful for gauging the success of a social media campaign. The most important social media metrics to track depend on the goals of the campaign.
For example, if a business is looking to increase brand awareness, then measures such as reach and engagement would be most important. If the goal is to generate leads or sales, then conversion rates and ROI would be more relevant. Once the business knows which metrics are most important, they need to find a way to track them.
Why Do I Need a Social Media Metrics and KPIs Dashboard for Clients?
What are the best ways to measure your success on social media? And how do you determine whether your efforts are effective? A social media metrics and KPIs dashboard can help.
A social media metrics and KPIs dashboard are essential for your clients. It helps them measure the success of their social media campaigns and identify areas that need improvement.
The dashboard should include data on likes, shares, followers, website visits, and other key metrics. It is also important to include social media KPIs such as conversion rates, leads generated, and ROI. Your clients will appreciate having this information in one place so they can easily track the progress of their campaigns.
If you're not sure about the difference between KPIs vs. metrics and which dashboard your client needs, ask yourself these questions:
What are the KPIs that I have? Did the client request a specific one?
How effective am I at reaching my target audience on social media?
What's the ROI of my social media campaigns?
How is my effort on social media reflected in the KPIs?
Which social media platforms do I use, and how many times per day do I use them?
What type of data do you want to track? Is it vanity metrics, growth metrics, or something else?
Do you need analytics for click-throughs, conversions, and other sales KPIs?
Do I have the right social media analytics software in place to help me answer these questions?
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Summary: Tracking ROI on Social Media
As a marketer, you already know the value of increasing your client's exposure on social platforms. The challenging part, however, is definitively proving the ROI of your social media marketing efforts to your clients. Using a marketing analytics tool helps track your client’s social ROI. Your agency's social media reports are essential for getting approval for budget requests, retaining clients over the long run, and also landing new clients to your agency.
At each stage of the social media sales funnel, some metrics can help prove the value of your services. As a busy marketer, however, tracking social media metrics on each individual platform is time-consuming and inefficient.
By building a dedicated social media dashboard, automatically pull each metric in real-time from various platforms. Give your clients their login so they can view their social media success on their own time.
Use the dedicated social media dashboard to prove the ROI of your agency's social campaigns to clients. Start your 14-day free trial today.