Social Media KPIs: The most important key figures in social media marketing

Social Media KPIs: The most important key figures in social media marketing

Tina Ackermann
Tina Ackermann
published on August 31, 2022   

Social Media KPI – The most important in a nutshell

  • KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are key figures that allow statements to be made about the performance of a marketing measure.

  • These key figures are used in social media monitoring and reporting.

  • You can compare KPIs from different campaigns or KPIs from a different period.

  • There are a variety of different KPIs, which help to measure the success of the company and to solve possible problems.

Nowadays, it is impossible to imagine marketing without social media. Countless companies use the platforms to draw attention to their products and services and to win new customers. Anyone pursuing a social media strategy should, of course, also think about monitoring and reporting. Certain tools can be used to identify successes or failures. Here, companies also gain a detailed insight into important key figures that can be used to optimize the strategy. What exactly monitoring and reporting means and which metrics you should keep an eye on for success on social media, you will learn in this blog post.

Social media monitoring vs. reporting – here’s the difference

Often, customers don’t share their opinions about your company’s services or products directly with you. However, there are ways to get feedback from customers in a different way. This is important because only when you know how your offering is rated can adjustments be made to satisfy the customer. The best way to view feedback is through regular social media monitoring.

Social media monitoring: Checking your own target achievement

In marketing, the term monitoring refers to the observation of specific marketing measures. In social media monitoring, relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) are monitored in order to be able to control and analyze the goals set in the social media strategy. With the help of monitoring, processes can be optimized quickly and at short notice. It also gives you an authentic picture of how your company is perceived by social media users. In addition, monitoring helps you to find out on which platforms your company is best received by customers. With this knowledge, you can improve your performance on the other networks or decide to use only the platforms that are most promising for you.

Social media reporting: Identifying forecasts and trends

In contrast to monitoring, reporting focuses on creating transparency. Here, for example, information on forecasts and possible trends becomes visible. Reporting provides companies with an overview of the most important key figures of the social media platforms within a certain period of time, which helps them to make sensible decisions about how to proceed. For example, reporting can be used to determine which content has performed well in recent weeks and which adjustments should possibly be made to the editorial plan.

Often the terms monitoring and reporting are confused with each other or used synonymously. However, these are two different and independent processes.

What does KPI mean?

The abbreviation KPI stands for “Key Performance Indicator”. It is a measurable value that can be used to determine the efficiency and thus the success of a marketing strategy in relation to the company’s goals. KPIs are therefore key figures that measure performance and can be used to make statements about the performance of a marketing measure.

KPIs are used by companies at various levels, e.g. for the overall performance of the company, but also for processes in individual departments such as marketing, HR and sales. In this post, you will get a detailed insight into social media KPIs.

Why are KPIs important in social media marketing?

If you want to be successful in social media marketing, it is essential to monitor the KPIs on the platforms. With the help of reporting that compares various KPIs, you can measure the efficiency of your strategy. Why you should do this is simple:

  • Successes and failures become visible, which means that certain processes can be adjusted or optimized.
  • KPIs can be used to identify noticeable patterns over time, which can be used for optimization purposes.
  • KPIs are important for solving potential problems and identifying new opportunities.

Social media KPIs vs. social media metrics

Often, social media metrics are mistakenly used interchangeably with the term social media KPIs. However, a key difference is that a KPI is a metric, but a metric is not necessarily a KPI.

Metrics are pure data that have no correlation to each other. For the time being, however, these data say nothing about whether a campaign or strategy is actually successful. In contrast, KPIs can be used to measure a specific goal. For example, if you want to increase your company’s brand awareness, you should monitor the “reach” KPI.

Social Media KPIs: The most important key figures in social media marketing
Want to learn more about brand awareness?
Read how you can strengthen your brand awareness with social media.

What are the KPIs and how are they calculated?

There are various KPIs that help you measure and evaluate your social media strategy. These can be metrics on your reach, return on investment, or community engagement.

In social media, the following KPIs are the most popular:

  • Reach
  • Interaction
  • Link clicks
  • Mentions of your brand
  • Video views

To get a detailed look at KPIs, they can be broken down into specific areas.

Your presence and reach on social media

This area can measure the number of followers as well as the number of mentions and your reach. You should get some insight into how many people are following your profile. A goal that is not primary, but still important, is the growth of your fan base. Even more important, however, is the growth of user interaction. For example, the number of mentions is a good way to see your brand’s influence on users.

One of the main goals in the presence section is your reach. The reach consists of the maximum number of people you could reach with your post. Here, we distinguish between total reach (Total Reach), paid reach (Paid Reach), and organic reach (Organic Reach).

Related to the reach are also the impressions. Impressions show how often your post was seen in the user’s newsfeed. It should be noted that a user may have seen your ad more than once, resulting in duplications. This is in contrast to the reach metric, which excludes duplications. It is therefore always advisable to consider the two key figures together or to combine them.

An important KPI in the area of impressions is the cost per mille (CPM). This shows the average cost per 1,000 impressions and is calculated as follows (Spend is the total amount spent on the campaign or ad during its lifetime).

CPM = (Spend ÷ Impressions) x 1.000

Another important KPI is Share of Voice, which indicates how often your brand or company was mentioned compared to the competition. It is therefore an important KPI in terms of awareness of your company within the relevant target group. Additionally, the number of video views is a KPI that can be used to determine social media reach. However, it should be mentioned here that a video view is defined differently on the various platforms, which enters the duration of the video view. On Twitter, a video view counts from two seconds, on Facebook and Instagram from three seconds, and on Instagram Stories the view counts regardless of time.

Engagement of your community

This area includes all metrics that have something to do with your community’s reactions to your post or profile.

One important metric is the interaction rate (IR), which can be used to determine how high the level of interaction your subscribers actually have with your posts. This is a very crucial KPI because the higher the engagement rate percentage ends up being, the higher the likelihood of a high ROI (return on investment) at the same time. The interaction rate can be calculated as follows:

IR = (number of engagements ÷ number of followers) x 100

In addition to the interaction rate, the number of shares and retweets can also be calculated, which indicates how often your post has been shared. This metric is also crucial, for example, if you want to increase your reach. Accordingly, you should try to get a larger number of shares and retweets. Additionally, a company should take a look at the number of reactions and likes on their social media posts. This metric can be an indicator of the quality of the posts. Of course, the number of comments should not be neglected either. With these, you can observe the basic mood of your target group. You also receive feedback and have the opportunity to engage in a personal exchange with your followers.

Your social media ROI

This includes the KPIs conversions, conversion rate and lead conversion rate. Conversions can be used, for example, to determine how well your actions are helping you reach your specific goal, such as making a purchase or signing up for your newsletter. Conversion rate (CR) shows the percentage of users who perform a desired action. It is calculated as follows:

CR = (Conversions ÷ Interactions) x 100

Lead conversion rate (LCR) gives you the percentage of leads that actually take the action you want them to take (for example, buying your product). A high conversion rate in this case means that qualified leads are generated that show interest in your product. It is calculated as follows:

LCR = (Deals ÷ Leads) x 100.

Cost per Lead (CPL)  shows how much a lead, i.e. a new contact or potential new customer, costs you. To calculate this metric, you first need to measure your conversions to get the number of leads generated.
To determine the Cost per Lead KPI, the advertising cost ÷ leads is calculated.

CPL = advertising costs ÷ leads

To determine the percentage of views and link clicks of their ad, the click-through rate (CTR) is considered. The formula for calculating the rate is:

CTR = link clicks ÷ impressions

In the paid area, there is also the KPI Cost per Click (CPC), which indicates how much you have to pay for a click on your ad. With this KPI, ads can be compared very well with each other. If the CPC is relatively high, you should once again adjust your ad or the targeting. With this formula you get the Cost per Click:

CPC = advertising costs ÷ clicks

Finally, the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) should be mentioned. With the help of this KPI, you can determine whether you have effectively invested your money in advertising (however, taxes and delivery costs must often be deducted here). It shows how profitable your ads are. The key figure is particularly important for companies that are active in e-commerce, for example, i.e. sell products via an online store. Return on Ad Spend is calculated as follows:

ROAS = advertising profit ÷ advertising costs

5 popular social media monitoring and reporting tools

There are countless tools that can be used to create reports on social media metrics. Here is a list of the five most popular tools:

  1. Sistrix

    The Sistrix Toolbox is one of the best-known SEO tools and is very widely used in German-speaking countries. Another feature of Sistrix is the social module. This measures which and how many social signals from social networks are present for the individual URLs of a website. This includes likes, shares and comments of a URL on Facebook, the frequency of mentions on Pinterest or data on followers, hashtags and posts on Instagram. Sistrix works as “software as a service” and uses a browser, which means that the tool does not have to be downloaded and can be used independently of a particular operating system.

  2. Zoho Analytics

    The cloud-based reporting and business intelligence solution Zoho has several applications integrated into the suite. These include dashboards, analytics, reports and data warehousing. Customers get real-time insights into various business aspects and can create a custom dashboard. In this system, teams can work together on spreadsheets. and share data with each other. Zoho Analytics is compatible for both Windows and Apple operating systems and can be accessed on all devices via the Internet.

  3. Data Studio

    The free Data Studio tool is part of the Google Marketing Platform. This is used to collect and analyze all the data from the other Google tools, such as Google Analytics, Google Ads, etc. This data can then be processed into detailed evaluations using Data Studio. In addition to the free use, another major advantage over other reporting tools is that various sources, e.g. data from YouTube and Google Spreadsheets, can be connected via the Data Connector. In addition, real-time editing is possible for all team members. The comprehensive tool impresses with its functionality and clarity, as well as its ability to use heterogeneous data sources as the basis for detailed reporting.

  4. Wrike

    The Wrike application includes charts, custom dashboards, real-time updates and much more. Folders, projects and tasks can be well structured and automatically assigned here. Wrike for Marketers is a separate product with additional custom templates as well as proofing tools and an Adobe extension. The application integrates with many tools, such as Dropbox, Slack and Adobe Creative Cloud, and is suitable for medium to large teams.

  5. Salesforce

    Salesforce Analytics Cloud (also known as Wave Analytics) is a cloud-based business intelligence system with an interactive platform for sharing business trends. Salesforce Analytics Cloud provides insights into data from multiple sources that enable companies to gain business-relevant insights and make decisions. The application provides a contextual dashboard that can also track and monitor critical business metrics and KPIs. The storytelling feature can be used to automatically create presentations with data visualizations.

Leverage social media KPIs for your business

KPIs help you better evaluate your social media marketing activities. After all, there’s a lot to be gained from having power over your own data. Knowing about social media KPIs is exceedingly crucial to the success of any marketing strategy. Getting an overview of all relevant data helps to optimize processes and develop new promising content ideas. As a company, you benefit from well thought-out monitoring and reporting of your key figures, as this makes it clear, for example, which content interests your subscribers. This allows you to play out suitable offers for the user, which generates conversions or even leads.