Guide

How to measure organic social success

Imogen Davies

Social Media Expert
How to measure organic social success

When it comes to social media, it can be quite difficult to know how to measure your business’s success. 

You can usually take a guess at what posts are doing well by considering likes and comments, but how do you actually know what’s performing well? And how do you continue to ensure that your social accounts are highly engaging?

We’re going to take you through the basics - from what you should be tracking, to setting KPIs and interpreting your analytics. 

Metrics to consider

Engagement

Engagement is 100%, without a doubt, the most important tool for your business’s success on social media. Looking at Facebook and Instagram as an example, engagement is measured by comments, likes, and shares across your posts and stories.

The higher your engagement, the happier your audience is with the content you’re posting. A good engagement rate is a clear indicator of having created a sense of community and trust around your business.

Most social media platforms come with their own analytics system, which are easy to access if you have a business/creator account. (It’s important to note, however, that analytics are only shown after you become a business or creator profile - Instagram will not show details prior to this switch.) When you access these analytics, you can see your top performing posts and this is a great way to know which types of content you should be producing when it comes to your business and its audience.

Taking Instagram analytics as an example, you can measure performance on the ‘Insights’ tab - including analytics for:

  • Your posts and stories – you can see your best performing posts and stories, with the ability to filter by post interactions, comments, likes, follows, impressions etc.
  • Follower growth – overall, follows, unfollows.
  • Age ranges
  • Gender
  • Locations – cities and countries.
  • Most active times – hours and days.
Instagram analytics

KPIs

KPIs - or key performance indicators - evaluate the success of an organisation or of a particular activity (e.g. social media performance). To set a KPI, it’s important to follow the SMART guidelines:

  • Specific: Make sure your KPI is clear - and you know exactly what it will be measuring.
  • Measurable: The KPI must be easily measurable.
  • Achievable: Is it realistic and possible for you to deliver on this KPI?
  • Relevant: It is critical that your KPI is relevant to your business goals.
  • Time-Bound: Can you achieve this goal within a specific time-frame?

Your KPI should always fill this SMART criteria. For example, a social media KPI could follow along the lines of “Our company will aim to acquire200 followers by the end of next month” instead of “Our company wants to get a lot of followers quickly”.

Volume

Volume measures how many people are discussing your business on social media, how big the conversation surrounding your company is and whether people in your industry know your company exists. 

When it comes to social media, there are a few easy ways to measure the volume of your business - let’s take Twitter as an example.

  1. @ Mentions – when somebody mentions your business on Twitter, you’re automatically alerted via a notification or a “Twitter mention”.

  2. Brand discussion – similarly to the above point, minus the Twitter mention - a user talking about your brand, without tagging your username. You can search your business name using the Twitter search bar to see how many people are talking about your business, or use online services such as mention.com to manage audience insights.
  1. Hashtags – Do you have a company branded hashtag? Or are people using your company name as a hashtag without you even knowing it? It’s time to check how many people are talking about your business via #Hashtags. Not sure what a hashtag is?

Volume can be measured across other social media platforms in a similar way to Twitter – by using the search bar or notifications for your business name.


Why is it important to measure success?

Measuring social media success will help you to understand what types of content your followers are engaging with, and who you’re talking to. Understanding these factors will help you to tailor your content strategy effectively and will make scheduling so much easier for you, as you’ll know the best times to post for your followers. Once you know what kind of content your followers enjoy seeing from you, you’ll be able to track your post success and know what content works - and what doesn’t.

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