Nail Social Media KPIs & They’ll Make You Money

Before you can set out your Key Performance Indicators for social media, you need to be confident in what they’re achieving for you, so quickly:

What do you have to gain from marketing on social media?

Well, it allows you to engage with your target audience, enabling you to show your passion for the stuff they care about. This builds awareness and trust.

It promotes your business to a wider audience, no matter how boring or sensitive you think it is. You’re able to find your audience on it and put your service or product in front of them, creating demand.

It allows potent targeting, letting you craft audiences based on people who have shown distinct, buyer-mentality interest, to bring cold hard conversions and cash.

It serves as an integral tool for customer service and subsequent satisfaction – the vast majority of people now go to company social media accounts to publicly deliver their complaints and queries. Giving great customer service online will leave a customer satisfied beyond just enjoying your product, increasing the likelihood of them adopting your brand and buying again.

Basically, social media is the way to let your potential customers know about your business, in an up-to-date, interactive fashion. It’s the way to create a dialogue with your audience to turn your business into a successful, money-making brand, complete with loyal followers and advocates. And here’s a nice and simple diagram to map out these wonderful milestones:

social media marketing map

So with this as your Social Media Marketing Map, or MAMA (it will catch on, it will) you want to identify the KPIs that measure your success relating to each stage. They’ll allow you to see how you’re performing in relation to each benchmark of Social Media success.

Measuring how much awareness you’re generating

One of the biggest struggles of marketing on social media is your content being seen. Nurturing brand awareness on social platforms is the first major challenge of SM marketing. With awareness comes traffic and ultimately, sales. As such, the following KPIs are crucial in measuring how successful you are in this integral step.

Reach and Impressions

The definition of reach varies, as social networks measure reach differently. Some people measure reach as the potential number of people who see your post, which would essentially be your total followers. If Facebook has any authority (what do you think), measure reach their way – the number of unique people who have actually seen a post.

Impressions is the number of time a post is displayed. This includes times when it is displayed more than once to the same person or when it is displayed but no engagement takes place.

So we have two metrics here that relate to visibility. Different platforms have different emphasis on either one, so get to know the variations. Reach and impressions represent the awareness of your brand at its most basic.


Engagement is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the measurement of how people interact with your social content. Likes, shares, retweets and more, all fall under the metric of engagement.

At the preliminary stages of your social media campaign, it’s superficial engagement that is most likely to occur. Don’t be put off if your Facebook likes greatly outweigh shares or discussions. Likes and follows and other facile acts of engagement are the validation that not only are people seeing your brand, they feel like prodding it, curiously.

They’re raising their hand to say – hey, I’m interested!

Measuring your growing demand

With the right content being posted on your social accounts, you’ll see your following grow and your impressions/reach increase. But then what? Well, It’s crucial to measure how much commercial interest you’re generating in correlation with your social visibility. Why? Because high demand means the awareness you’ve garnered is from the right audience.

Rich Engagementengagement uality

Comments, shares and genuine discussion all show that people are actively keen in your brand. They’re qualitative indicators that people are engaged and willing to spend time participating in discussion. And when I say quality I mean, what are people saying? And what kind of people are sharing your material?

Measuring this can be done by observing your engagement metrics and collating them with the number of comments, mentions and shares you’ve received.

Link Clicks

All your self-promotional posts (with the exception of Instagram posts, which don’t allow links in posts), should have a link in them directing viewers to your website where they can go on to purchase your wares.

Social networks have metrics that let you see just how many clicks these posts receive, allowing you to measure just how keen your social audiences are in response to your posts.

Traffic via social channels

Google Analytics has a daunting number of metrics for you to keep your eye on when measuring performance. For measuring how high your demand is, keep track of your traffic source, namely from your social channels.

social channel traffic

These let you gauge how successful your social content is in compelling people to delve deeper into your brand, on-site.

Measuring the transactional effect of your SM marketing

These Key Performance Indicators represent the fruit of your labour. Knowing how much it’s costing you to run social ads, how many conversions can be attributed to social media and the value of these visitors, is key in determining your ROI, and ultimately justifying – in a monetary sense – the work you’ve put in.


This KPI is obvious, isn’t it?

It’s measuring the final hurdle of the customer journey, whether that’s a purchase, a free download, a sign-up or more.

Click here to learn how to set up conversion metrics on Google Analytics.

And for the record, once you’ve built up an audience and some website traffic to remarket to, you should be running Facebook Ads.

One of the custom objectives of Facebook Ads is a conversion on your site. This is awesome because it gives your individual social posts the robust measurability of pay-per-click marketing. So for Facebook Ads, your conversion rate is visible right there in the ad manager.


Another obvious one, measuring your revenue growth (again via Google Analytics) allows you to feel warm inside knowing that your website is generating real-life money.

Google Analytics allows you to get detailed with revenue, such as monitoring multi-channel attribution and assisted conversions. Why does this matter? Because the majority of people don’t simply visit your website and do what you expect them to do. They shop around, browse and revisit on different devices.

An example of top conversion paths for a website:

conversion path

Attribution models allow you to measure the ‘multi-touch’ browsing habits of website visitors.

Cost per acquisition

Cost per acquisition, put simply, is how much it’s costing you to turn a lead into a customer. For example, it would include how much it’s costing you to send out adverts to a remarketing audience – turning a website visitor into a social media impression and ultimately into a customer.

Dividing all your social media marketing costs in a certain period by the number of customers you acquired in that time frame is the basic formula for knowing this KPI.

Once you understand your ‘CPA’ and bring it in to your target range, you can scale your marketing efforts with confidence.

Measuring how much community and advocacy you’ve fostered

Any smart business knows that your service to a customer doesn’t end with their purchase.

The best organisations foster a community of loyal brand advocates, and in 2016 it’s social media that enables this.

The following KPIs allow you to gauge how attractive your brand is to adopt and how socially relevant it has become.


Sharing, mentions, retweets – they’re all actions that people take that amplify the audience of your content. People are conscious of what they share on their personal social feeds as it all contributes to the online identity they’re carefully crafting. So if they’ve chosen to share your content – especially multiple times – it means your social media marketing has resonated with them on a personal level – they’ve adopted your brand! Yaaaaay!

Search term growth and backlinks

SEO seems like a far cry from social media marketing, but their influence on one another grows.

Check your backlinks – try a tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush – to see if the number of people linking to your website or social channels has grown. Chances are, your social content played a part in their discovering you.

Measuring search terms means that what you’re posting on social is permeating the wider web – meaning your marketing content is on point.

There’s ‘Measure’ In the Madness

Key Performance Indicators are the metrics of success. If you don’t stringently monitor them and set targets, you’ll never reach maximum efficiency.

  • Reach and Impressions
  • Engagement
  • Rich Engagement
  • Link Clicks
  • Traffic via social channels
  • Conversions
  • Revenue
  • Cost per Acquisition
  • Amplification
  • Search Term Growth

We’ve identified some core KPIs in this article but we can’t keep track of all the tools and resources becoming available; do you know any KPIs or metric tools we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

Nat Rubyan-Ling

Author: Nat Rubyan-Ling

Nat specialises in the persuasive and creative elements of content, reinforced by a long, dusty history of studying literature and a thrilling spate in the sales and retail industry where he has guided countless individuals to the frozen peas. Nat's mantra: Inbound is so fly.

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