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Author: Bart Caylor

Far too often, uninformed goals are established for social media success, such as an arbitrary number of likes on Facebook or the number of tweets made during a specified time period. Using social media KPIs (key performance indicators) is a useful way to establish a common language for leadership and the marketing team to measure success in the social media strategy.

I have been reading David McCullough’s fascinating history The Wright Brothers. Their success in flying was a time-consuming and iterative process…so much so that the Dayton Daily News did not even mention their first successful flight at Kitty Hawk. It was only after years of further development back at Dayton’s Huffman Prairie that the brothers eventually began to see the success of their steady and slow work.

Throughout the process of trial and error, improvements, modifications, and ultimately sustained success, they utilized a scientific approach to developing key performance indicators of their success: distance and duration of flight.

Similarly, you can measure your marketing success and use these social media KPIs as your scientific approach.  The goal for each of the bullet points below (unless otherwise indicated) is to see an increase at a stated rate during a stated time period. For example, your goal might be to increase your Facebook reach by 10% over six months.

The following are key elements to consider for six of the top social networks:

Facebook

Use the following social media KPIs for Facebook:

  • Reach: Utilizing Facebook Insights, measure the number of users the page and posts have reached. This will provide a better understanding of the successful posts and how they are being received by the audience.
  • Engaged Users: While a “like” may indicate a one-time interaction, the Engaged Users metric within the Facebook Insights will better provide data on the number of users who are actually engaging regularly with your content.
  • Click-Through Rate for External Links: All posts in all channels of social media should have a unique, trackable link to measure the click-through rate. This will provide metrics to the engagement levels beyond the Facebook Insights and provide information on the most relevant and useful posts. The goal should be to increase this number on a regular basis. Use Google URL Builder to generate custom and trackable URLs back to your site.
  • New Likes: While we don’t recommend using “Likes” as a metric of success, it will be good to measure when new content is identified as worthy of a like. You can then use this metric in developing original and shared content based on the types of posts that engage your audience most.
  • Negative Feedback: Facebook Insights provides the ability to track various types of negative feedback such as Post Hides, Spam Reporting, and Unlikes. The goal of this KPI should be to see this number reduced over time.

Twitter

Use the following social media KPIs for Twitter:

  • Followers: As followers grow, so do the opportunities for engagement. We recommend using tools such as Spokal or Commun.it to grow followers. These tools allow the automation of things like favoriting keywords and finding hashtags with geo-specific locations.
  • User Engagement: Tracking the number of retweets, favorites, and new follows will provide an indication of what content was most popular and engaged users most.
  • Click-Through Rate: All posts in all channels of social media should have a unique, trackable link to measure the click-through rate. This will provide metrics to the engagement levels beyond the basic metrics and provide information on the most relevant and useful posts.

Instagram

Use the following social media KPIs for Instagram:

  • Followers: As followers grow, so do the opportunities for engagement. We recommend creating incentives for following unique to Instagram.
  • Engaged Rates: Again, tracking the number of likes and comments over time will help you identify the type of content that is engaging the most with your audience.
  • Opportunities to Engage with User-Generated Content: Tracking the number of engagements from your organization to followers over time. For example, your organization should set up an automated tool to allow you to receive a daily digest of all photos taken within your geo location. You should then engage with these users who have posted a photo nearby.
  • Click-Through Rate: All posts in all channels of social media should have a unique, trackable link to measure the click-through rate. This will provide metrics to the engagement levels beyond the basic metrics and provide information on the most relevant and useful posts.

LinkedIn

Use the following social media KPIs for LinkedIn:

  • Engagement Rates: Tracking the number of likes and comments over time.
  • Click-Through Rate: All posts in all channels of social media should have a unique, trackable link to measure the click-through rate. This will provide metrics to the engagement levels beyond the basic metrics and provide information on the most relevant and useful posts.
  • Followers
 to Company Page or Members in Group: While not the primary form of success, this should be measured and maintained.  Groups can be a very effective way to engage with users in your target audience.  Participating in discussions where you can answer questions or post thought-provoking questions will elevate the level of engagement.
  • University Page Metrics (if applicable): While not the primary form of success, this should be measured and maintained.  If you have not yet set up your university page yet, see our blog on why this is very important in your higher education marketing efforts.

YouTube

Use the following social media KPIs for YouTube:

  • Overall Views:  Aggregation metric of overall views of videos.
  • Viewer Duration: How long are videos actually watched?
  • Views in Relation to Subscribers: 
Review on a regular basis the number of views in proportion to the number of subscribers on the site.
  • Views in Relation to User Interactions: 
Review ratio of views compared to user interactions such as sharing, retention, favorites, etc.
  • Click-Through Rate: 
All posts in all channels of social media should have a unique, trackable link to measure the click-through rate. This should provide metrics to the engagement levels beyond the basic metrics and provide information on the most relevant and useful posts.
  • Subscribers: 
While not the primary measure of success, this should be measured and maintained.

Pinterest

Use the following social media KPIs for Pinterest:

  • Website Pins: Be sure to measure how many pins are coming from your website. The goal should be to increase this number on a regular basis by pinning your own content and providing visual content that is attractive to share on Pinterest.
  • Audience Reach:  Much like Facebook, measure the number of users the pins have reached. This will provide a better understanding of the successful pins and how they are being received by the audience.
  • Repinned Content: Tracking the number of repins and favorites will provide an indication of what content was most popular and engaged.
  • Clicked Content/Click-Through Rate: This should provide metrics to the engagement levels beyond the basic metrics and provide information on the most relevant and useful pins.

Measure the Right Things to Determine Your True Level of Success

Using social media KPIs will provide you a better way to manage and measure the success of your social media strategy. By leveraging these 25 key performance indicators, you can bring a proactive matrix to the regular review of your social media marketing efforts.

What social media KPIs are you using to measure success? Leave a comment below.

This post was originally published at http://www.caylor-solutions.com/25-social-media-kpis/.

Bart Caylor

Bart Caylor


President at Caylor Solutions

Bart Caylor is president of Caylor Solutions, an education marketing and branding firm in Indianapolis.

As a first-generation college student, Caylor has a passion for helping schools tell their unique story through both digital and traditional marketing and communication channels.

http://www.caylor-solutions.com

 


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