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Five social media metrics businesses should follow

July 30 . 3 Min Read

Social media has settled comfortably into the business sphere. With a greater understanding of which metrics matter to businesses, we've moved away from 'vanity metrics'.

Vanity metrics are likes, shares, impressions, and even followers, for example. They are easy wins that are easy to measure and tell you little about real engagement or the success of your campaigns.

An effective social media campaign requires you to identify the data relevant to your business and its goals, measure and analyse that data and distil it into appropriate actions. What you want are metrics linked to a precise target or objective.

The following are five meaty social media metrics to get stuck into:


Audience Growth Rate

Rather than tracking how many followers you gained, audience growth rate shows the rate at which you gained those followers expressed in percentage-change over time.

By measuring audience growth, you can evaluate your marketing efforts and see which campaigns are most effective by tracking peaks. You can also measure your competitors' audience growth rates and benchmark these against your audience growth rate.

Doing the math

  1. Take your net new followers on a platform over a defined period (i.e. a given month)

  2. Divide net new followers by your total number of followers

  3. Multiply by 100

Average Engagement Rate

This metric considers the total number of engagements – reactions, comments, shares – received by your posts against your total number of followers. Measuring engagement relative to your follower base helps to identify your core audience, if your social media campaigns resonate with them and how to tailor your messaging to drive engagement.

Doing the math

  1. Add the total number of engagements – reactions, comments, shares – received by your posts

  2. Divide the total number of engagements by your total number of followers on that platform

  3. Multiply by 100

Click-through Rate

Your click-through rate is how often people click on the call-to-action (CTA) link in your posts. While a like, share or comment indicates a shallow level of engagement, clicking on a link shows a deeper interest and a willingness to be diverted to find out more.

Tracking your click-through rate gives you insight into whether your posts (and products or services) resonate with your target audience, and whether your content is engaging – or not.

Doing the math

  1. Divide the number of clicks per post by the total impressions

  2. Multiply by 100

Social Media Referrals

This metric measures the number of visitors coming to your website from your social media accounts – i.e. when a link in your bio or a post directs a visitor to your site. Understanding which social platforms are driving the most traffic to your website can help you to focus your social strategy and highlight areas for improvement.

Doing the math

  1. Google Analytics tracks social media referrals (acquisition > social).

  2. Google Analytics shows the percentage of referrals that come from social media and breaks it down by channel. Not only can you see paid and organic traffic, but you can also track return visitor numbers, which indicates the depth of engagement on your social networks.

Assisted Social Conversions

These are conversions driven by your social media activity. You can find this data through Google Analytics. It works as follows: if a social media referral lands on your website but leaves before completing a goal – a purchase, download, or other action – they're a social visitor. However, if they return a little later and complete a goal, they're considered an assisted social conversion.

Assisted social conversions is a useful social metric as it connects social media data with business profits and helps identify/measure social activity return on investment.

Doing the math

  1. Google Analytics tracks assisted social conversions.

  2. To work out assisted social conversions, set conversion goals on Google Analytics, then follow social media referrals through social channels and track conversions over a period.

Business developmentMarketing

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