6 Social Media Networks And The Metrics That Matter

September 9, 2014 Emily Bauer

As the lines between business and leisure continue to blur in the world of social media, the importance of marketing through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn cannot be denied. Social media is ingrained in modern digital marketing and successful brands understand how to make the most of any social space they choose to occupy. In order to reap the full benefits of your social media marketing, you must consider which social platforms are most valuable to you and which social media metrics are more important to your company.

Deciding which metrics you focus on really depends on your marketing goals and the scope of your audience. Whether you’re just starting out and trying to expand your company’s visibility or promoting a specific social campaign, here are the top 7 social media metrics you should be tracking.

1. Facebook Likes

You probably already know that Facebook’s giant user base makes the site a crucial component of your social media marketing. Tracking the amount of ‘Likes’ you receive on Facebook can tell you a number of important things about your social media and branding efforts. Not only does Facebook tally the growth of your fan base through page Follows, it also tracks fan engagement through Likes on individual posts and pieces of content.

2. Twitter Mentions

Twitter is a great place to start if you’re first getting into the social media marketing game. In addition to tracking follower growth and retweets, one of the most important Twitter metrics you should keep an eye on is how frequently another user mentions your brand. Mentions, which tag your Twitter handle in another user’s tweet, demonstrate a coveted level of engagement at which your audience is actively reaching out for discussion with your company or other fans in the Twittersphere.

3. LinkedIn Demographics

One of the best things about LinkedIn is the built-in analytics feature for Company Pages that provides insight into your audience demographics. By taking the time to assess who comprises your LinkedIn following, you can tailor content more effectively to meet their interests. For analyzing followers of your Company Page, LinkedIn provides information based on various types of data including the industry, seniority, and job function of each user.

Editor's note: LinkedIn is especially content marketing friendly. Learn about their new Direct Sponsored Content feature and Content Marketing Score. (PS. We've got a Content Score feature too!)

4. Snapchat Engagement

Although Snapchat doesn’t offer much for brands in the way of concrete, measurable metrics, there are a few ways you can track fan engagement on the app. Use Snapchat to launch contests or offer special promo codes that must be redeemed elsewhere online to find out how many users are paying attention. If you don’t understand the appeal of Snapchat from a branding perspective, consider this: What better way to ensure your audience is paying attention than to set a time limit on the window in which may view your content?

5. Vine Loops 

Placing constraints on your video marketing by challenging yourself to produce a meaningful 6-second Vine not only forces you to think more creatively, it also opens up your potential for tracking metrics on the popular video platform. Loop counts reveal how many times a particular clip has been replayed or looped on mobile devices as well as online where the video has been embedded. Unlike engagement-based metrics such as retweets or Facebook Likes, your Vine loop count provides valuable data that tells you how well your content is performing overall. 

6. Instagram Engagement Rates

The popularity of Instagram is linked to the fact that images are easily digestible compared to more complex content. As important as it is to track follower growth, shares, and likes on Instagram, a more valuable way to analyze these interactions is to track user engagement rates. The speed at which your pictures are shared or liked can be more meaningful than total number of interactions, especially when you’re starting out with a modest following.

Bonus: Web Traffic Origins

In addition to the above benefits of tracking various social media metrics, you should review the origins of your web traffic via Google Analytics on a regular basis. The amount of information to be gained through Google Analytics is abundant, but tracking the origins of your website traffic is one of the most valuable functions offered by this tool. Studying the origins of website traffic can help you determine which social media platforms are most worth your time and resources, thereby helping you concentrate on achieving your marketing goals.

What other metrics do you track for these social networks? Which do you think are most important?

Social media marketing is as much about timing as it is about tracking! Click here to grab our free eBook, "The Complete Guide To Real-Time Marketing."

About the Author

Emily Bauer

Emily is a freelance writer based in Toronto, Ontario who covers a range of topics from technology to travel. She holds a Bachelor in English Literature and Business from the University of Waterloo. No matter how many projects she is working on, Emily always finds time for baking, reading, and yoga.

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