The metrics don’t lie. They tell us if our social media strategy is working, and they provide us with invaluable information about our users, the type of content they prefer, and where to focus over time.
However, there are some social media metrics that can be a little deceiving and give you a false sense of social media success. There are also many other social metrics that companies tend to overlook that play a vital role in your online success. This is why it’s important to understand the social media metrics you should be tracking and the metrics that are overvalued.
Overvalued Social Media Metrics
The main objective of any social media campaign is to increase your overall brand presence, awareness and customer engagement. Overvalued or vanity metrics provide you with a sense of accomplishment without actually adding much value or providing you with great insights that you tie to your business goals and objectives.
Metrics such as profile or post likes and community size are two of the most popular vanity social media metrics that businesses track. While these metrics can tell businesses that more people are following their brand online, it’s more important to focus on quality over quantity. Having 1000 followers doesn’t really do much for your business if these people never engage with your brand, click through to your website or become paying customers. You also need to factor in the number of spam, dormant and inactive accounts that are included in your follower numbers.
5 Social Media Metrics You Should Be Tracking
1. Engagement: As we previously mentioned in Social Media Metrics That Matter, “High engagement is often considered the Holy Grail of social media achievement – and for good reason. If your audience is highly engaged, chances are your content is matching their needs.” Focus on future content development.
2. Social Traffic Referrals: The ultimate goal of social media is to get users to visit your website. Things like URL clicks and referral traffic from social media allow you to track your social media ROI and how your social media strategy is having an impact on your business goals.
3. Brand Sentiment: If people are generally reacting in a positive way to your brand online, it is a good indication your social strategy is headed in the right direction. However, for new businesses that are just starting on social media, sentiment is typically positive, but it is a good metric to track over the long term.
4. Click Through Rates: This is one of the most important social media metrics if one of your goals is to drive traffic back to your website. It’s a vital stat for ecommerce and will provide you with insights into how social media is impacting your online sales leads.
5. Content Quality: High quality content is a key driver of social media success. Your users are looking for great content, and your ability to post relevant content that your users are looking for will help to increase engagement, social traffic referrals, brand sentiment, and click through rates. You can assess the quality of your content by looking at page views, time spent on a page, and social signals such as likes, shares and comments.
To determine the value of a social media metric, it’s important to ask yourself, “What does it really tell us?”
What does a metric tell us about our audience, our social media strategy, and how does it related to our business goals? If it provides little insight, then it may not be a social metric you need to worry about tracking.