Social media is a fantastic digital marketing tool. It allows quick, straightforward, two-way communication on digital platforms that people visit every single day.
Especially in the small cities where we operate—Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida and Boone-Banner Elk, North Carolina—social media puts you smack dab in the middle of the local community conversation.
But how do you know your social media message is getting through and effectively marketing your brand?
Well, we’ve got some fantastic social media metrics to go by. These are our social media KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators. They can give us a great idea of whether or not you’re effectively growing your social media audience.
But if you use them incorrectly, social media KPIs can lead you seriously astray. Here’s how to make them work for you.
What are social media KPIs?
Social media KPIs are measurable metrics attached to your small business’s social media accounts.
Social media in the digital marketing world is quite literally a conversation your brand (ie your company’s account) is having with other social media users. And like any conversation, a lot of it comes down to subjective impressions—ie something we can’t measure.
KPIs are the things we can measure and then compare, month over month and year over year, to see how well your social media strategy is working.
But what does “working” look like in the world of social media digital marketing? The answers may surprise you.
What are the most important social media KPIs?
When you think of social media KPIs, the first things that come to mind are probably likes, shares and followers. And these are certainly numbers we look at.
But remember two things:
- There are other, equally important social media KPIs besides likes and follower counts.
- Likes don’t always mean much.
For instance, if all you want is likes, you are more than welcome to post pictures of kittens from your business account all day long. Yep, you’ll get loads of likes. Of course, people still won’t know squat about your business, but you keep tallying up those likes if that’s the only thing that’s important to you.
See, post reactions are just one of many KPIs. You have to look at more than that.
Here are some of the social media KPIs that we look at:
- New followers
- Post reach
- Post engagement
- Engagement rate
By looking at a full array of KPIs, we can see the big picture behind your social media strategy.
We can see what’s happening behind the scenes—like when a post looks “unsuccessful” because it didn’t get many likes, but loads of people clicked on the link and visited your website instead. Even better!
How do you use social media KPIs to determine a campaign’s effectiveness?
The other factor we look at when it comes to social media KPIs is time. Effective social media takes time. One post won’t do it. Heck, one month won’t do it.
To be effective, your social media strategy needs to be long-term. And that takes patience and consistency. Stick with the plan.
In order to effectively harness your KPI information, you need to know what you’re looking for. We don’t look for spikes in activity; we look for a steady climb.
We’re not just looking at how many followers you have; we’re looking for a steady count of “new followers” as the months go by. The same goes for post engagement and post reach. Then we can look at a whole year’s worth of KPIs and compare them to the following year.
This is why we like to talk social media KPIs before we ever create a single post for our clients. We want to make sure your expectations are in the right place. And we don’t want to get distracted from the long-term goal by the allure of a single post.