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What Metrics Matter on Social Media?

One of the best parts about using social media to achieve your business goals is that the tools provide a series of analytics that help you measure progress and see results.

The challenge is that there are so many metrics. I am often asked, which ones really matter? Here’s a rundown of three metrics to watch:

1. Number of Followers

How many people are following you? They’re called page likes on Facebook, followers on Twitter, and connections on LinkedIn. The terms vary by platform, but the focus is the same. How many people are following you (or your business page)? This number should grow month over month simply because of your presence and the value you’re bringing.

If you’re not growing in this area, step back and consider why. A “fan campaign” or different content plan may be in order. A well-thought out campaign can generate a 10 percent increase in a matter of a few days to 25 percent increase in a month. Invest in a following first.

2. Quality of Followers 

Are the right people following you? Your followers need to reach a pivotal level (usually at least 500), but quantity is not as important as quality. You may have 1,000 followers, but if only a few reflect your target market, your efforts become valueless.

Through platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, you can dig into the data and dissect the demographics of your followers by gender, geography, age, interest, etc.

Take the time to compare your followers to who you’re trying to reach as an organization. The majority of your followers should be your targeted profile. The 80-20 rule is a good rule of thumb; 80 percent of your followers should reflect your desired audience.

3. Engagement Ratio

How many people are you engaging? It’s easier to gain followers than to get them engaged. You can have a lot of followers and only be engaging a very small number. That’s a red flag. Engagement is a key way to measure your content’s value – and achieve your organizational goals. The monetary value of a follower increases ten-fold – or more – with engagement.

Some posts will generate more interest than others (and you may be surprised what soars and what sizzles). Overall, you should see strong engagement on your top posts. Tracking the most comments, likes, retweets, etc. you receive on your top posts can help you create a baseline at which to grow.

It’s common for posts to engage about 20 percent of followers, depending on the social media tool and how it’s used. Organizations with strong content plans can see upwards of 50 percent engagement over the month. The total number of engaged users can even be higher than your followers, thanks to the power of networks and social sharing.   These metrics are just the baseline to measure general performance. I also recommend honing in on three specific metrics that best match the goals you are trying to reach. Metrics matter. They can keep you focused, on track and lead to some significant bottom line results for your organization.

This was previously published in Business Central Magazine

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