Social media metrics: What do they all mean?

Man looking at analytics on tabletThe native analytics on social media platforms are better than ever. With this elevated level of functionality, the capacity to critically assess the performance of your content, and understand your audience, has never been greater.

If you’re new to social media analytics, it can feel like an entirely new language. To help decode this language, we have put together a cheat sheet of the most important and commonly seen metrics across the social media platforms.

Views

The following metrics tell you how many people have seen your content. People often use reach and impressions interchangeably, but they are two different metrics.

  • Reach: the number of unique users on the platform who viewed the content.
  • Impressions: the total number of times the content was viewed on the platform. Note – a single user may see the same piece of content multiple times, which is why impressions are typically greater than reach.

Engagement

The following metrics help you better understand how engaged your audience is with your content:

  • Click through rate: the number of clicks the advertisements or content received, divided by the number of impressions served. This is a good measure of overall performance as it takes into account how many people have seen the content, and how many have clicked it. A lot of people might see your content, and not click it. This parameter takes this into account.
  • Post engagements (Facebook): the total number of clicks, comments, reactions and shares on your boosted post or promotion.
  • Engagements (Twitter): The total number of times a user has interacted with a Tweet. This includes all clicks anywhere on the Tweet (including hashtags, links, avatar, username and Tweet expansion), retweets, replies, follows, and likes.
  • Engagement rate (Twitter): The number of engagements (clicks, retweets, replies, follows and likes) divided by the total number of impressions. This metric is very similar to the click through rate (CTR%).
  • Social actions (LinkedIn): The number of times that each update is liked, shared and commented on.
  • Engagement (LinkedIn): The number of interactions, clicks, and followers acquired divided by the number of impressions. Note – followers acquired are only included for Sponsored Updates.

Cost

When running any kind of advertising, whether a boosted post, or a paid advertisement, it’s important to know how much it costs. These metrics will help you understand how much you are spending based on the user clicking or viewing your content.

  • Cost per click (CPC): the amount it costs each time a user clicks on the content.
  • Cost per 1,000 (CPM): the amount it costs per 1,000 impressions (i.e. views) of the content.

Other

  • Influence: An influence score is a number from 1 to 100 that reflects the user’s social media influence, calculated based the user’s levels of reach and engagement with their audience—the bigger the influence, the higher the score. This is often measured on Twitter, and can be analysed using Klout scores. Klout is free to use.
  • Estimated ad recall lift (Facebook): the estimated number of people likely to remember your ads within 2 days.

Not happy with what your social media metrics are telling you? Learn the 8 Reasons why your social media effort is not delivering a result.

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