You probably have heard the word KPI being thrown around a lot. That’s because it’s one of the most important elements in digital marketing!
In fact, being able to measure and manage your results is one of the main perks that digital marketing has compared to its traditional version. And that can be done with the help of KPIs.
A KPI, short for Key Performance Indicator, can be defined as a metric that measures how businesses are achieving their goals.
These indicators are essential in any digital marketing strategy nowadays. That’s why it’s crucial to choose your objectives wisely as well as the metrics that are relevant to your digital marketing strategy. That’s why, if you don’t choose the right KPIs, you won’t be able to find out if your work is actually paying off.
Then, how can you determine if the goals and KPIs selected are the correct ones?
Well, it’s easier than you think. You just need to set SMART goals, which means that they need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.
Sometimes, the concepts of objective and KPI are confused with each other and this can lead to poor and chaotic results. While your goals need to be SMART, your KPIs need to be effective and describe your data correctly.
Another common misunderstanding is the word KPI and metric being used interchangeably.
Let’s see what this is about!
What’s the difference between KPIs and metrics?
You may have noticed that we’ve used the word metric to define the concept of KPI. But while they seem like synonyms, they’re actually different concepts. What’s the difference between them?
A metric is the measurement you record to track the success or the failure of your business activity. We use them to measure daily objectives that may or may not be crucial to the development of your business.
That doesn’t mean that they can’t provide valuable information though. They are mainly used on an operational and tactical level, so they can provide data on a minor perspective.
On the other hand, KPIs are the key measures that have the most impact in moving your organization forward. In short, they define your strategy. They determine performance over time, see if goals are being met and analyze whether changes need to be made.
In the world of social media, it’s easy to see how many followers you have, what posts people like and how many comments your audience is posting. However, knowing, for instance, the level of engagement or your conversion rate is way more difficult to discover. If you want to know more about social media, don’t miss our article about it!
Here’s where social media KPIs come into play, as it helps you find out the repercussions of your actions and whether your marketing strategy is successful or not.
So, if you’ve ever wondered how you can measure your digital marketing results, keep reading!
What are the main social media KPIs?
Social media KPIs can be classified into 3 main groups depending of the goal you want to accomplish:
Once you know what you want to achieve, you need to make sure to use the right KPIs and metrics that best reflect your results.
Because, even though all KPIs are helpful in different ways, not all of them reflect the actual information you are looking for. So think well before choosing the right ones!
1. Social media KPIs for reach:
If your goal is to increase your reach, these KPIs will surely provide useful information. But, what does it mean?
Reach can be defined as the amount of users who come across your social media accounts and posts. You can determine that with the following metrics:
➞ Follower count
This is an essential KPI to track and probably the easiest too. It tells you how many accounts are keeping up with your brand.
While the number of followers you have might be a sometimes misleading metric, the rate at which it increases or decreases can reveal a lot of information about the state of the account and its level of growth.
Impressions indicate how many times your post has been seen. This metric is often mistaken with the term reach, which measures unique users.
In the case of impressions, you need to keep in mind that this KPI only indicates the total of all the views so, if someone sees your post more than once, this will be counted as a new one. That’s why you can have, for instance, 3.000 views on a post and 3.500 impressions at the same time.
➞ Post reach
This KPI indicates the number of unique accounts that have seen your post and, therefore, could potentially interact in different ways with it, like by following your account. That’s why you can say that there is no engagement without reach.
This metric can be considered one of the most helpful ones in terms of content marketing, as it lets you find out what kind of posts are the most or least popular.
You can calculate post reach like this:
Post Views / Total Followers x 100 = Post Reach %
➞ Web Traffic
This is another of the most essential KPIs, as it indicates how your posts with links to a website are performing.
Web Traffic shows how many times someone clicked from your social media to get to the website of your brand or business. This can help you determine if the content your posting in social media is working properly and if your web traffic reflects the social media work you’re creating.
2. Social media KPIs for engagement
We consider engagement as the number of people who interact with your posts in a positive way. It can help you answer questions about how your audience interacts with you, if they like your posts or if they’re sharing them with others.
If your level of engagement is low, it means that your social media strategy is not working as well as you thought and that you need to do some tweaks.
This is an easy to track but fundamental KPI. “Favorites” and “likes” indicate that your fans and your possible new followers are enjoying your post and interacting with it.
It’s true that, today, there are more accurate ways to determine your engagement, but still, good-old likes never go out of style!
Another basic but essential KPI. In digital marketing and, specifically, social media, clicks are everywhere and is the most basic way of obtaining data. They can show the level of interest your audience has on your posts.
You can measure clicks on different situations, like a click to a link to your website, the expansion of an Instagram caption or a tap on a tweet.
Shares are an excellent way to measure engagement and it provides more quality information than traditional likes.
If someone shares your post on their wall, it means that your content is so interesting that they feel the need to ‘spread the message’. And that’s great!
This KPI is a great way to know if someone is talking about your brand and if you’re being part of a conversation.
Mentions happen when another account tags your business in a post, a comment or a story.
If someone comments on your post with a positive message, with a question or with a general appreciation, that’s an amazing sign and it means that your post is pretty engaging. So, well done!
However, if you have negative comments, take your time to find out what’s causing people to post them and don’t hesitate to engage in a conversation with them.
3. Social media KPIs for conversions
These KPIs determine if your social media work is effective or not by measuring if your audience have become customers or have performed any other specific action. Some of these KPIs can be the following:
➞ Sales revenue
This KPI defines the total number of clicks that came from your social media posts to the website of your brand and converted into purchases.
To track this KPI, you can have a look at Google Analytics or at the website builder. Nowadays, people can shop directly through social media, so it’s easier to measure these stats via your shop’s analytics.
➞ Conversion rate
This KPI shows the numbers of social media users that have clicked on a CTA or Call-To-Action in comparison to the total of clicks on that post. In short, it indicates how many people have performed the action you’ve requested. For example, how many have subscribed to your newsletter after clicking to the CTA in your post.
Landing pages and CTAs are really important in these kinds of KPIs. That’s why they need to be optimized to provide a good user experience and assist your leads into doing the specific action.
You can calculate your conversion rate this way:
Conversions / Total Clicks x 100 = Conversion Rate %
➞ Click-through rate (CTR)
It indicates the number of people that have seen your post and have clicked on a CTA button link. CTR shows how attractive your content is and if it persuades them to act. That’s why the higher the rate is, the better.
To calculate your CTR, use this formula:
Total Clicks / Total Impressions x 100 = CTR %
➞ Bounce Rate
Don’t forget to monitor other stats like your bounce rate! This KPI shows the percentage of visitors that click on a link in any of your posts and quickly leave the page without interacting with it.
This situation can happen when you have poor landing pages or when your audience is not interested in your content so, if your bounce rate is high, make sure to double check those two aspects. In order to know about your bounce rate, you need to use Google Analytics.
These are just some of the main KPIs you can use to measure your social media results. Remember that choosing the most relevant KPIs for your goals is, maybe, the most important aspect to measure your results properly. But we hope that this little guide can help you in this process!
What are the most important KPIs for social media?
It depends on your marketing goals and if you’re focusing on increasing your reach, conversions or the engagement of your audience.
How do you know if your social media strategy is working?
To know if your social marketing strategy is successful or it needs improvement, you need to check if you are reaching the social media KPIs you’ve previously established.
What KPIs should marketers use to improve their reach?
Since reach refers to the amount of people that have come across your content in social media, the best KPIs to measure it are impressions, follower count, web traffic and post reach.
What’s the difference between KPI and metric?
KPIs are the key measures that have the best impact and define your strategy while metrics are used to track the success or failure of your daily business activity.