Digital marketing metrics are key to measuring the success of any social media campaign. Sometimes we are quick to use these metrics as the measure of a campaign’s success, after all, impressions feel great to look at! However, more often than not, they are just vanity metrics. Vanity metrics are metrics that make a social media campaign look successful, but do not help in understanding performance to inform future social media strategies. To ensure your association is tracking actionable metrics, start with your campaign's goal.
Actionable metrics are measurements tied to specific goals. Typically, an association's social media marketing campaign will aim to achieve one of three goals: awareness, engagement, or conversion. To properly analyze campaign performance, always keep your goal in mind and track the relevant metrics.
If your marketing goal is to increase your association’s exposure to reach potential new audiences, your goal is to increase awareness. Awareness is a smart campaign goal for associations looking to increase visibility of the organization, market new products or services, or expand its audience.
The following metrics align to an awareness goal:
- Impressions are how many times a social media post shows up in someone’s social media timeline or feed. Yes, this is when impressions do matter.
- Reach is the potential unique views a social post could have. This is usually your follower count, plus the follower count of any account that shared your post.
- Amplification rate is the ratio of shares per post to the number of overall followers. Amplification rate measures the digital “word-of-mouth” impact your post has. To calculate, divide your shares by followers and multiply by 100.
Engagement is arguably the most important goal for association social media campaigns, and refers to the collective social media power your audience holds by measuring interactions. Social media platforms favor posts that receive high engagement, therefore it works in your association’s favor to keep your social media audience engaged and active.
- Engagement rate measures the amount of interaction social media content earns relative to reach (organic) or impressions (paid). When calculating your engagement rate, include actions such as reactions, likes, comments, and clicks.
- Average daily engagement rate shows how often your followers interact with your account and is meaningful in long-term analysis.
If the goal of your social media campaign is to increase purchases of products, services, memberships, conference registration, or any sort of action that begins on a social platform and ends elsewhere, you want to pay attention to conversion metrics.
Pay special attention to these metrics for conversion goals:
- Click-through rate is how often people click through the link on your social post to the linked content. It provides insight into general interest around your offering as well as how effective social media is as a tool to promote it.
- Conversion rate is an indicator of how often your social content leads to sales (or sign-ups, registration, memberships, whatever your goal is). Conversion rate is tricky to accurately track because social platforms often require you to add their UTM parameter (a bit of tracking code) to your website.
In a data-driven sphere, there are many metrics to measure your social media campaign performance. However, your association gains the most valuable insights when you align your campaign goals with the metrics you track. And, as we shared throughout this article - first impressions aren’t necessarily everything.
Dani Damario is in the Marketing & Communication Services unit at Smithbucklin.