Social Media Metrics That Matter

Whether it’s posting selfies on Facebook or showing off your latest culinary creation on Instagram, everybody loves social media. Sure, it’s a heck of a lot of fun, but how do you take something like social media and turn it into effective marketing?

You may be surprised to learn that there is a lot of data behind what works and what doesn’t when it comes to social media marketing. This is commonly referred to as social media metrics, or the use of data to gauge the overall impact of social media on a company’s revenue. Sounds complicated, right? Well luckily, we here at Social Media Beast appreciate transparency, so read on as we break down the stats you should pay attention to when considering how to market your company.    

Conversion Rate: Conversion rate is the percentage of users who, when they view your content online (whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), take a desired action. The easiest example of conversion is a user who buys something from the site they’re visiting.

While any industry should consider conversion rate when measuring their metrics, the retail industry is particularly dependent on good stats. For example, a normal online conversion rate for an online retail site is 1.5-3.5%, but really good retailers, specifically websites and social channels offering convenience and accessibility, are converting at 15-30%. According to an article by E-commerce Platforms on the 50 best online shops, some of the more successful retail sites are online giants Amazon and Made, however some smaller businesses such as Hello!Lucky and Drink for Good perform surprisingly well due to their multichannel social approach. So don’t sell yourself short!  

Reach: Let’s delve into this a little further with “reach.” This is essentially the measurement of the spread of a social media topic. How far is your content disseminating and how big is the audience? Reach can be applied as the denominator in social media measurement equations (oh yes, there’s math), taking important engagement numbers like clicks, replies, retweets, or shares and dividing them by the potential audience for your campaign. The resulting percentage indicates how many people participated out of how many people could have participated.

Reach is a powerful metric, one that gives you a hard statistic on how your content is performing. This can be especially important in the food and beverage industry, which, according to a TrackMaven 2016 Social Media Impact Report on the B2C Industry, had seen a 0.06% decline in social followers over the course of 2015, which may be in part due to the backlash against big soda companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, or may be due to a number of campaigns that failed to connect well with the target demographic. So whether you are marketing for a major national corporation or small local business, reach can help you understand not only how many people see your content, but how interested they are in it as well.  

Engagement Rate: This is a social metric that can’t be ignored. While everyone wants  to have a high conversion rate and a large reach potential, it’s also important to gauge how users are participating in the conversation around your brand. How are they spreading the content and engaging with the topic? Retweets and shares are great ways to know who is spreading your content, while comments, replies, and likes are helpful in knowing who is replying to your content.

This is a widely tracked statistic in social media metrics, and it can help you define your marketing strategy. Are you more focused on generating reactions or spreading a message? Tracking engagement also tells you which of your channels are most successful. To give it some context, according to the 2016 TrackMaven Report, most industries, ranging from hospitality, to food & beverage, to automotive saw the highest engagement percentage overwhelmingly on Instagram.


Video Views – This one’s a no brainer. Videos can make your company some serious money. Adding a product video on your website or social channels can increase conversions by up to 80% according to While video production may not be the easiest or the cheapest task, the payoff makes it worthwhile. Visual content is important as ever. It allows your product to speak for itself, providing the viewer with useful information without clouding them with sales lingo.

The retail industry has some of the more favorable video stats. According to DMB Adobe, online shoppers who view product videos are 1.81x more likely to make a purchase, and some retailers have cited up to 40% increases in purchases as a result of a video. With the amount of video viewers rising every year, especially on mobile phones, your brand has the best chance of reaching the most people through this medium, so consider the above stats when building your next social campaign.

Audience Growth: The final social metric you should be tracking is audience growth. The term more or less defines itself and in many ways is dependent on previous metric stats. Brands with consistent reach, a higher conversion rate, and strong engagement percentages will most likely show significant audience growth. A strong growth percentage basically tells you that your brand is doing it right.

It’s important to remember that every business and social channel has unique audience demands and building a “one size fits all” solution for audience growth is simply not possible. Needless to say, for smaller brands, a small but engaged audience is more valuable than one that is huge and largely uninterested.

The hospitality industry is currently leading the pack in terms of audience growth according to the 2016 Trackmaven Report, increasing 53.34% over the course of 2015, followed by the apparel industry with a growth rate of 18.62%. What makes these industries so successful? While it’s hard to pinpoint, a high engagement rate and diverse content across multiple social channels is the most likely answer. Additionally, these two industries thrive in social marketing niches, such as the hospitality industry’s success in using Facebook’s “Check-In” capabilities.

So whether your company is new to the world of social media metrics, or you’re looking for ways to improve your company’s social media influence, just remember that data is your friend. Track your brand’s conversion rate and potential reach, diversify your social channels using video to promote your product, and keep an eye on your engagement rate to determine the quality of  conversation around your brand. Keep all these things in mind and watch your audience growth soar! Or – if you’re not quite ready to delve into the data – Social Media Beast will do it for you! Contact us today for your free consultation.


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