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The 3 Social Metrics You’re Missing

Social marketers are bombarded with far more metrics than they can ever truly keep tabs on. On top of that, they often pay attention to metrics that are difficult to put in context and aren’t actionable. This is okay when you’re focusing on reporting to others, and you’ve agreed upon KPIs for your objectives, but those of us in the trenches — optimizing on the fly, and figuring out what works — have to look beyond engagement and audience growth.

Here are the three metrics that can help you put your social performance in context on any social channel, so you can focus on the right things at the right time.

What You’re Missing

Audience Growth Rate

If you’re like most companies, your social profiles were created at different times, as social grew and expanded. You probably have more followers on Facebook, because brands often do. In fact, you may even be gaining the largest number of followers week over week there. Sound familiar?

Nobody has time to double down everywhere, and if you’re not paying attention to  audience growth rate, you’re likely missing opportunities for growth on other networks.  

Why You Should Care

Metrics are nothing without context. The audience growth rate metric will tell you which social properties are growing the fastest relative to their size. While I would never suggest that you completely neglect your Facebook channel, spend some time understanding where you’re growing fastest and take advantage of that momentum by showing some love to those channels and learning more about what moves that audience.

Wowza! Check out that Growth Rate on Instagram!

Look at this metric across all your active social channels for a context-rich comparison. This comparative view can help you understand how your social channels are flourishing (or not so much) in relationship to one another.

By looking at audience growth rate across all your active channels, you’ll be able to optimize individual channels by learning from others.

What You’re Missing

Engaged Users

Speaking of Facebook, I have to admit, I’m probably not engaging with your brand on Facebook in the traditional sense. I like to keep my brand endorsements personal, which means I’m often viewing, clicking, and sending your posts to my friends through Messenger. I am not alone, but you’re probably not paying close enough attention to audience members like me.

Engaged Users
Engaged users is highlighted in the Facebook Engagement Megaphone of the Simply Measured Facebook Page Insights Report.

The engaged users metric on Facebook helps you capture my interest in your brand, even if I didn’t leave a trace. “Engaged users” is the number of unique users interacting with your page or posts. This includes all forms of engagement, as well as clicks and stories created. The metric is available on the page and post level. You can use this to understand if you’re capturing your audience’s attention on a post and see how a particular post may be drawing people in.

Are you inspiring your audience, or is your Facebook post the digital equivalent of putting a billboard in a forest?

Why You Should Care

When you’re optimizing content based on engagement, you can use this metric to answer a few questions. First, determine which posts had the highest number of engaged users. Did they also have the highest engagement?

If they don’t, what can you do to inspire people to act? Is there a clear CTA that can help you move audience members to more aggressively engage?

What You’re Missing

Engagement Relative to Channel Average

Once again, we have a wonderful metric that helps put post performance in context. Did you want to demonstrate the fantastic performance of a post, or understand your top performers for the month or year?

Check out the calculated metric Engagement Relative to Channel Average to see how much better a given post performed over all the other posts in your reporting period. Just divide your per-post engagement by your average engagement for all posts.

Engagement Relative to Channel Average
Engagement Relative to Channel Average can be found in the Appendix of many Simply Measured Reports

You don’t have to stop there. You can use this technique to understand performance across any metric in comparison to your average. For example, try calculating Post Impressions Relative to Channel Average to better understand how you’re making an impact on brand awareness.

Why You Should Care

Simply put, focusing your attention on these metrics is a great way to measure and optimize your social performance on a monthly, weekly, and annual basis. You can use this information to understand which posts to put spend behind, and it’s a powerful metric that speaks to a wide audience of colleagues. This should strip away all ambiguity when you’re evaluating posts and campaigns. 

Why Do I Love These Metrics?

They tell so much more of the story than those basic A-B-C metrics. The deeper the context, the better your ability to measure content performance and optimize in the future. Do you have any lesser-used metrics that you can’t live without? Let me know on Twitter @linnyschwab, and download our guide below to understand how your data-driven social strategy can expand its reach into other arms of your organization. 

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Linda Schwaber-Cohen

I'm the Onboarding and Education Lead here at Simply Measured, so I spend my days teaching our customers how to use Simply Measured and analyze their data! On evenings and weekends, I can be found walking my three dogs and exploring the lattes of Seattle.

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