Is social media generating the results you expect? You shouldn’t be looking at likes or follows, but tangible business results that affect your bottom line.
If you don’t know, you’re probably tracking the wrong social media KPIs. Social media metrics have moved on from the traditional days of reach and engagement to more meaningful insights. This week, we’re exploring the 5 social media KPIs you should track to improve your bottom line.
A mix of marketing, sales, and customer service
Social media lies at a unique intersection that can serve multiple teams in ways that traditional channels cannot. Marketing, sales, and customer service can all be driven and improved through social media.
This means that 1) social media can take a lot of time to do well, and 2) social media can improve multiple areas of your business.
Vanity metrics aren’t enough
In social media, things like likes and follower counts are great, but they can be distracting vanity metrics for business social media accounts. They look impressive, but unless you can prove there’s a business impact, those numbers are just a distraction.
Even if you get thousands of likes on a post about your latest software release, how do you know how many new qualified (paying) leads you got as a results of that post?
5 social media KPIs you should be tracking
Vanity metrics measure the wrong outcome and can hinder your results in the process – focusing your attention on audience quantity rather than quality, and further impeding your ROI. So, what social metrics should you be tracking instead?
1) Leads generated
A lead is when someone shows an interest in your products or services, making them a potential customer. This is usually measured through number of sign ups.
The leads generated KPI is useful for many reasons, including:
- Further marketing to interested customers
- Collating audience demographics info
- Calculating your conversion rate (we’ll get onto that soon)
The number of leads generated by a social post or activity can be calculated using Google Analytics or a social media platform’s native analytics tool. These will tell you who further engaged with your brand as a result of your activity. You can further categorize these leads into hot, warm, or cold leads.
For example, someone who clicked into your website for two minutes would be considered a cold lead, whereas someone who spent 15 minutes on your site and added items to their cart would be considered a hot lead.
Note: Some businesses mistakenly classify a like or share as a lead. This is incorrect. Social media is a “click-happy” place, where people like posts because they like the photograph, they find the caption funny, or they’re hoping for a like in return – not because they intend to buy from you.
2) Revenue generated
The revenue generated by social media activity refers to how much money a lead goes on to spend with your business. This can be one-time purchases or you can measure the repeat purchases of a social media lead and attribute it to the same channel.
This is a useful KPI for:
- Calculating social media ROI
- Identifying most profitable platform/activity
- Avoiding conversion leaks (i.e., why a lead didn’t go on to purchase)
Revenue generated from social media can be calculated with Google Analytics. Track leads through purchase and record how much they spent. You can record this as a total amount, average per conversion, or an average per lead.
If someone signs up for an account, you can also track their lifetime spend to measure customer lifetime value from social media.
Note: It’s important to be consistent and mindful when tracking revenue generated. For example, are you tracking first purchase, or repeat monthly purchases?
3) Conversions generated
The number of conversions you generate from social media refers to how many people saw your social media posts or profile, and followed a certain call-to-action (CTA).
If your CTA is to make a purchase, someone who views a post then visits your online store then makes a purchase is a conversion.
This is an important KPI to track, because not all social media success results in revenue. For example, you might want more loyalty scheme members, newsletter signups, or customer insights.
Google analytics or the social media platform’s analytics tools can tell you who clicked and completed your CTA. This KPI can then be presented as an overall percentage to demonstrate conversions per impressions, clicks, comments, etc.
4) Cost-per-click (if advertising)
If you’re paying to advertise on social media, you should be recording the cost-per-click (CPC). CPC is how much money each click on your ad costs your business.
This shows whether your ad is generating ROI, or if you’re spending more money getting someone to your website than they’re spending on your site.
From this, you can gain further insights, such as:
- Your ad content and design effectiveness
- Whether you’re pitching to the right audience
- Platform fit for your product or service
You can measure CPC by dividing your total ad spend by your total measured clicks. This figure can be compared against your average revenue generated figure.
5) Complaints resolved
Social media isn’t just for sales and marketing. Social provides an effective customer service tool that you can use to solve issues before it turns into a formal complaint or negative review.
The number of complaints resolved on social media provides you with information on:
- How effective social media is as a customer service channel
- Problems with products or services
- How quickly your staff resolves issues
Complaints resolved is a metric your customer service team must keep a tally of themselves, either across the day, week, month, or quarter. This figure can be compared against your other customer service channels to measure effectiveness.
Improving these KPIs
These five social media KPIs can provide clues for improvement and insight into whether your social media efforts are generating revenue.
For example, a low number of leads might indicate poor content or ineffective timing, whereas a low conversion rate could suggest that your social content is good, but your website copy requires improvement.
Social media is a fun, interactive, and fruitful way to engage with your customers. But it can also be a significant time and money black hole for your business.
To ensure that your efforts yield business value, these KPIs can help you track, monitor, and improve your results to generate a substantial return on effort.