How Do You Measure Social Media Metrics?
Article from DISRUPT Media
As social media managers we are always seeking new analytics tools and ways to measure engagement. Because without metrics we wouldn’t know if we were accomplishing our goals or improving over time. But how exactly do you measure the success of a Facebook page? What are the metrics that matter?
There are two categories of metrics that you can measure. There are public metrics and private. The public metrics are things everyone can see, so number of fans, comment, total shares etc. And private metrics are the numbers only available to the Page owner and managers, which would mean the Facebook Insights.
While we’re using Facebook as the example here, these numbers can be measured across other networks too. And because they are public numbers, you could even apply them to a competitor’s account and see how you compare.
To find the right number for “any given day” we suggest taking an average from your last week.
The best thing about this equation is that it takes your number of fans in to account therefore meaning that a Page with very few fans can be compared with a larger Page without bias. For example let’s compare Costa Coffee with their 1 million fans to Caffè Nero and their 38,800 fans.
Costa make a post that gets 4422 interactions (Likes, comments and shares), they typically post twice a day and have 1 million fans. Therefore the equation looks something like this:
4422/ 2/ 1,000,000 x 100 = 0.22
Nero make a post with 216 interactions, they usually post once a day and have over 38,000 fans so their equation looks like this:
216/ 1/ 38,843 x 100 = 0.56
Now we can see that on an average day Nero is actually getting more engagement per post than Costa is. While it might have more Likes and comments overall, that number could be bigger considering the size of its audience.
This is similar to engagement rate except it’s taking a total count of interactions regardless of audience size. So that’s one day’s Likes, comments and shares all added together. Done this way, Costa is back on top again. While it’s averages aren’t great, its total interactions are far bigger in number.
This is simplifying things even more. Simply count the number of shares each post gets to measure its performance. So why count shares when you can be counting other things too? Well it’s because shares are the Holy Grail in social media. Not only does a share mean your post is reaching a whole new audience but on Facebook it’ll also be seen by more of the audience you already have*.
On Caffè Nero a quick glance shows that one of its most popular posts gained 44 shares but over at Costa a good post can be shared anywhere between 350 and 1,000 times.
Total Fans and People Talking About This:
On Facebook there’s another public metric to measure called “People Talking About This”. It measures Likes and comments but also includes new fans on your Page. The only issue with this number is that it only looks at a 7-day stretch and isn’t as accurate as the metrics we’ve looked at already.
Another option would be to just look at the number of fans a Page has in addition to the other public metrics. This way you’re not only making sure your content is performing as well as you want, but also that you are expanding your audience.
Private metrics are typically designed to give you a better understanding on how your Pages and posts are performing. They are designed to help you discover who’s following you, what time they’re posting and where they live. All valuable information as you move forward and create a strategy.
This is the number of people who saw your post. You can use this to work out what percentage of your audience has viewed a certain post so far. But within that metric there is the Organic reach and the Paid reach. Paid reach is how many people saw something because of paid advertising and promotion. Whereas Organic is how many people found it either on their on or because someone shared it with them.
These are the interactions you don’t see on a public domain. For example, how many people clicked on a link you shared? This is essential knowledge if your aim is to drive a larger audience to your website. You can link back to that article all you want but it’s essential to know how many people clicked the link, because if no one is then you need to do something about it.
Platform Specific Metrics:
There’s so much information out there about Facebook Insights and while it’s valuable we mustn’t forget that there are other platforms out there with their own analytics. Because while it’s the most popular social network, Facebook might not be where your fans are.
Pinterest introduced analytics a few months ago and Google+ have their own Insights too. Typically these analytics have some sort of restriction before you can view them. For Facebook it’s once you hit 30 Likes and for Google+ you must have a verified Google+ Page. But once in the metrics there are invaluable.
Other networks might require you to think outside of the box. For example on Instagram there are no shares, so then comments become more valuable. On Twitter it’s very easy to gain a new follower but it’s far harder to get a retweet. So get to know your platform and then decide what it is you want to measure.
* – This is down to Facebook algorithms. On average a post will be seen by about 15% of your fans. A well performing post can reach about 50% at the most.