One of the most exciting aspects of digital and social media marketing is also one of the most challenging, since it’s always changing. Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter constantly release new features, policy changes and algorithm updates that influence the way we approach our campaign tactics. The key to optimizing your social media performance is data.
Measuring your results from these campaigns is always a top priority. The main challenge is figuring out which metrics are most important and how to apply them. In other words, it’s not just as simple as looking at “likes.” Here are the metrics we deem most important for our clients based on campaign type for both organic, unpaid social media efforts and paid ad campaigns.
Link clicks: In Facebook Insights, you can see overall clicks on your posts, but you can also break it down further to see specific link clicks. Link clicks are the most important, because they show the most relevant form of engagement. This tells you your audience is interested enough to learn more, and if they’re on your own site, you can track their journey from there.
A client of ours once wished to boost a Facebook post (an uploaded photo with a link in the text above) for clicks. Initially, he was not pleased since the post received a high number of clicks but a low number of conversions on his site. It turned out that he was looking at total clicks and not link clicks, which required a different evaluation. Since total clicks were so much higher than link clicks, we were able to attribute a significant amount of page “likes” to that particular post. The difference helps you to attribute your successes (and failures) more efficiently.
Reach versus impressions: Reach is the number of people who see a post, while impressions are the number of times the ad was seen. For example, if an ad was shown to the same person twice, it would count as one reach and two impressions. If your campaign goal is to get your ad in front of a specific number of people or get the word out to as many people as possible, then reach would be the appropriate metric to look at. If your goal is to have your ad shown a specific number of times to your audience to increase brand awareness, then impressions would be a suitable metric to look at. It all depends on what your goal is.
Platform engagement: Platform engagement here means likes, retweets, shares, comments, follows, etc., and while probably overrated in terms of its importance for driving ROI, it is helpful for appearance’s sake in terms of interesting content. Though it’s less reliable than link clicks, it can help increase reach and impressions when people interact with your content. For example, if you do work for a networking business where social media brand optics are important to its operations, Facebook reactions become legitimate metrics to keep track of in your campaign