How to Master Social Media Measurement: Insights and Best Practices
Analytics & Reporting

How to Master Social Media Measurement: Insights and Best Practices

Andreea Udescu
Elena Cucu
Andreea Udescu, Elena Cucu
Table of Contents

Remember that saying “pics or it didn’t happen”?

Well, the same goes for social media. Except here we don’t have to take pictures, we just have to get serious about measuring our performance and results. Unless we track our progress, we won’t know it’s happening.

Social media measurement may not be the prettiest part of a social media manager’s job, but knowledge is power. Analyzing your performance gives you more control over your strategy and makes it so much easier for you to fix what’s not working.

Want to learn how to measure your social media success? Keep on reading to find out!

Social media measurement 101

1. What is social media measurement?
2. What are the benefits of measuring social media successs?
3. How to get started with social media measurement?

1. What is social media measurement?

To make things crystal clear, let’s start by defining social media measurement.

Social media measurement is that practice of analyzing your performance on social media and seeing how far or close you are to meeting your goals. That being said, it’s not about chasing numbers, it’s about tracking progress and understanding what type of content resonates best with your audience.

The insights gathered from measuring your social media performance are key to making informed decisions when it comes to your strategy.

2. What are the benefits of social media measurement?

As with every process that takes up your time and energy, you should know what you’re getting out of social media measurement if you decide to start doing it.

In other words, what are the benefits of keeping a close eye on your social media performance.

  • Increased brand awareness

Through social media measurement, you can see how big a splash your brand is making in the online pond. If it’s a big splash, that means your brand awareness is high, and a lot of people have your brand/product/service in mind when they think of a specific industry or niche.

If the splash is small, it means not a lot of people are yet aware of your brand and you should take measures to boost your brand awareness.

  • Better audience understanding

Measuring your social media results often has the added benefit of deepening your understanding of your audience. By seeing what type of content your followers react to the most, you'll find out more about them: what makes them tick, what makes them engage and what drives them away.

  • Turning numbers into insights

Like I said at the very beginning, social media measurement is not about chasing numbers. Instead, you should aim to turn those numbers into insights - and consistent social media monitoring can help you do just that.

  • Proving ROI

Proving ROI is one of social media marketers' biggest challenges. But through social media measurement, you have tangible proof that your strategy is working, which makes it easy to prove that the results are worth the investment.

3. How to get started with social media measurement

Social media measurement is a complex and constant process. But it shouldn't be intimidating.

Here's how to start measuring your social media performance:

  • Set your social media goals

Numbers don’t mean much if you don’t have anything to compare them to.

That’s why it’s essential to set some important social goals from the very beginning, establish a direction, and then select the social media marketing metrics that correlate to those social objectives.

Avoid ambiguity. Set the right expectations and decide what is your social media strategy.

No matter if you want to raise your brand awareness, increase your sales, attract more viewers, or boost your engagement, set your social objective from the beginning.

  • Choose the right social media measurement tools for you

Nobody is born an expert in social media measurement, which is why you will need a set of social media analytics tools to help you accurately track the performance of brand social media campaigns.

You must do your research to see what's better suited for your needs, what type of information will help you optimize your efforts, and what tools will help you measure social media easier.

Of course, you can start small, with the social platform's native analytics, but you must remember that the more you find out about your social media performance and how you can improve it, the more you’ll benefit from your social media measurement process.

And this will all be reflected in the public sentiment towards your brand, as well as in your ROI. So choosing the right social measurement tool is essential for an effective social media measurement strategy.

  • Determine what KPIs you'll measure

Setting KPIs for social media is crucial. But remember, some KPIs hold more value than others.

Engagement, reach, fans, or followers evolution and growth in numbers are the top metrics that social media professionals are measuring.

So, having quick access to these social media marketing KPIs across all social media platforms is a great time-saver.

Of course, you can get the social media data directly from the native analytics without digging too deep, or you can turn to a professional social media analytics tool like Socialinsider, for a more detailed understanding of your social media results.

  • Followers growth

Is your brand gaining or losing followers across a particular or on all social media platforms?

In learning how to do social media measurement, you should consider having an analytical approach, taking a look at how people are responding to your actions, when you’re receiving the most followers/fans, and when you’ve lost the most.

Then, think of the actions (posts, ads, social campaigns) that have helped you gain the most followers.

When you're doing your social media measurement, go to your profile or page, access Insights, Analytics, or Audience, depending on the social media platform you want to check, and you’ll bump into some detailed data that will get you a picture of your fans that come from organic and paid sources, as well as the fans that unliked your page.

Alternatively, you can use tools like Socialinsider to get a detailed view of your page’s evolution.

Here's an example of some engagement metrics you can check with Socialinsider.

Each native analytics tool will show you this metric upfront in the ‘posts’ or ‘tweets’ sections. However, this means that you have to constantly go back and forth between these native apps.

To make things easier, third party analytics apps gather all the information you need and find ways to present it to you in the quickest manner.

  • Engagement metrics

By far, the main concern of any social media professional when doing a content calendar, an entire social strategy, or a social measurement is the engagement or engagement rates per post.

Most brands try to get the recipe for the best social media content by adjusting caption length, adding hashtags or emojis, and carefully working on the messages they communicate through their social posts.

To keep up with these adjustments, they need to constantly check engagement metrics.

Each native analytics tool will show you this metric upfront from the ‘posts’ or ‘tweets’ sections. However, this means that you have to constantly go back and forth between these native apps.

To make things easier, third party analytics apps gather all the information you need and find ways to present it to you in the most accessible manner.

Safe to say, engagement is the absolute judge of the strength of your social media posts, so having this information available at all times at the press of a button is key, especially if you’re interested in comparing this metric across multiple channels.

Usually, taking a peek at your best performing posts can give you the answer you were looking for when doing social media measurement and trying to discover what can be improved.

Your past top-performing posts should be the driving force behind upcoming social media content.

They help you decide if your audience likes images or videos best, set your hashtags, and help identify what elements from your captions are more appealing.

Here is how the best performing social media posts are displayed in Socialinsider.

  • Reach

Social media reach is a very important metric for social media professionals.

When you're looking to see how effective your social media strategy is, you can follow the daily reach you receive on your posts within the time range you set, as well as the average reach for the entire period of time you selected.

Reach metrics are important to be considered when doing measuring your social media success.

  • Impressions

Are you cooking ideas for your social media campaigns, hoping for a post or hashtag to become viral?

Here is where impressions come in.

Impressions are defined as that social metric that tells the number of times a piece of content has been displayed, regardless of being clicked or not.

When you're doing your social media monitoring, if you see a big number for this social metric, it means you have truly loyal and dedicated fans that show enough interest in your content to watch it multiple times.

When you do your social media campaign measurement make sure to keep an eye on the impressions metrics.

  • Benchmark: see how your performance stacks up

After reviewing all your past efforts, it’s time to see what your social media competitors are doing. This is a step you don't want to miss while doing social media measurement.

Benchmarking is a great way to understand how you stack up to your competitors on social media, as well as pinpoint what they might be doing better.

You’ll be able to see how many posts you and the social competitors have in a particular period of time, but you’ll also compare: engagement, fans growth, average engagement, average engagement per post, engagement rate per page, global fan count, review which are the best posts and their evolution and many, many other features.

Here is low the Instagram competitor analysis looks for leading brands in the luxury fashion.

Final thoughts

Social media measurement is an efficient way to constantly learn from the past while improving future tactics and overall social strategy.

But we all know it: it’s always easier said than done. Long-term social media measurement might prove to be complex and time-consuming.

Fortunately, with a few tips and some dedicated social measurement tools, you’ll find the job easier than expected.

Andreea Udescu

Andreea Udescu

I love helping people make sense of things. Especially data.

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