Social media metrics

Social media metrics

Now let’s move from Search Engine Optimization and Email marketing to Social media marketing and Social Media Metrics. This is already Part 6 of the Metrics that matter for bloggers series. In this chapter, we will cover all the metrics related to the main social media channels – social media metrics that matter.

We won’t cover any metrics for paid social media advertising, only metrics that show how many people you can reach and influence without a budget.

Metrics that matter for bloggers

You can also download (1) the completely free eBook with all the seven chapters included and (2) a free Excel template for your monthly blogging metrics report and analysis. Plus, (3) a list of potential ways to make money blogging and (4) a list of 170+ affiliate programs and ad networks for bloggers.

As you know, there are many social networks and new important ones are being born every year (Snapchat, Periscope etc.), which makes it impossible to cover all the channels and all the metrics. But the most popular social networks and the key ones for bloggers are definitely covered. Here they are:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Google+
  4. LinkedIn
  5. YouTube
  6. Instagram
  7. SlideShare
  8. Quora
  9. Pinterest

There is another challenge. There are so many different metrics to follow for every social network, it’s a complete overkill. Under every social network, you will find many metrics, but at the end of the day, you have to decide for yourself which metrics are really important to you and you will follow.

The Excel template contains social media metrics that I consider important and are easy to follow (calculate). You certainly don’t want to spend days gathering and analyzing all the metrics, especially if they aren’t actionable. But you are, of course, free to add or remove metrics from the Excel template.

The names of metrics are slightly different for every social network, but from the macro perspective, every metric falls into one of the following categories:

  • Post creation rate – The total number of social media posts you create in a given time period.
  • Audience: Fans/followers/subscribersThe number of people who follow you on each of your different social media channels.
  • Audience growth rateThe number of new audience members your gain (or lose) for every channel divided by the total audience for that channel in the beginning of the period.
  • Blog awareness – The number of all mentions of your blog (or brand) in a given time period.
  • Reach and impressions – The number of people who have seen your posts during a time period. Posts count as reached when they’re shown in the social media feed. The total reach includes your audience (organic) and reaching people with shares and ads. Organic reach are your fans who have seen your post (without advertising). Reach counts unique people and impressions count all the times that people have seen your posts. One of your posts can be seen multiple times.
  • Applause rate – The number of approval actions you get for a created social media post (like, favorite, +1 etc.).
  • Amplification rates – The number of shares you get for a created social media post (share, retweet etc.).
  • Conversation rate – The number of comments and replies you get for a created post.
  • Response rate – How many comments, questions, complaints or other types of interactions with your readers you respond to.
  • Click-through rate – The percentage of people who click on a link in your created post.
  • Engagement rate – The percentage of people who have engaged with your content in any way (applause, amplification, conversation, sometimes also click is counted). It can be calculated based on reach, followers (if reach is not available), impressions (especially for advertising purposes) or post.
  • Conversion rate and economic value – The percentage of people who take a desired action (micro/macro conversion) and come from social media traffic. Conversions lead to sales and economic value refers to the bottom-line impact of your content promotion on social media.

social media metrics

The most shared content on all social networks

Before we go to any specific social network, you want to know your most shared content on the main social networks. That will only give you a general overview of what content has the best amplification rate.

You can easily check the most popular content shared on social networks with a free Buzzsumo account. And don’t forget to check what the most popular content on social networks from your main competitors is.

Social media metrics

Now let’s dive in to specific social networks, starting with Facebook.

Facebook Page Metrics

FacebookFacebook is probably the most important social network for most content creators, so let’s start there. Since Facebook is a mature marketing platform with many insights, metrics are quite complicated to follow. There are two basic things to understand.

  • You have two levels of reporting (Page and Post level). One is Page Level and gives you a general overview of your page statistics. The other is Post Level, giving you additional breakdown of your content performance (for every post). So it makes sense to use Page Level for general insights of how your page is progressing and Post Level to find what content works best for your audience.
  • The second challenge is that on the Page level, you only have daily, 7-day and 28-day reports available. Facebook doesn’t segment data on a monthly basis. Yes, there’s no way you can get a monthly report easily on the Page level.
  • If you want to do calculations on a monthly basis, things get complicated, especially for unique metrics (like reach and talking about this), because they can’t be added or averaged. The data you can calculate on a monthly basis are all the non-unique metrics like impressions, page stories and page post impressions. Here are a few things you can do:
    • Use the 28-day report from the last day of the month and hope your first days weren’t too strong, because you leave them out. Maybe even intentionally avoid posting anything in those first few days.
    • Use the 28-day report from the last day of the month and try to calculate the metrics for the missing days. You will especially have a problem for unique metrics and would only get a rough estimate. In this case, it makes sense to use only non-unique metrics (use impression instead of reach, stories instead of people talking about). Another downside is that you have to do a lot of calculating.
    • Analyze your data on a weekly or a daily basis.

When you export your Facebook Page insights, you get hundreds of columns with different data and everything is quite confusing. So let’s first break down the data you get:

For your Page For each of your Posts

Likes

  • New Likes
  • Unlikes
Engaged Users Engaged users

Reach

  • Total
  • Organic (Unpaid)
  • Paid

Lifetime reach

  • Total
  • Organic
  • Paid

Impressions

  • Total
  • Organic
  • Paid

Lifetime impressions

  • Total
  • Organic
  • Paid

Page Views (Logged-in)

  • Total
  • Unique

Reach of page posts

  • Total
  • Organic
  • Paid

Impressions of your posts

  • Total
  • Organic
  • Paid

Page Consumers

Page Consumption

Post Consumers

Post Consumption

Negative feedback

  • Total
  • Unique

Lifetime Negative Feedback

  • Total
  • Unique
Daily count of fans online

Check-ins

  • Total
  • Unique
  • Mobile
Video Analytics Video Analytics

Analytics for people who liked your page

  • Impressions
  • Paid Impressions
  • Reach
  • Paid Reach
  • Engagement
Daily people talking about This

Now in the second step, let’s clear up the more complicated part of the terminology:

  • Impressions – The number of times your posts or any content associated with your page were seen (may have been seen). One person can see one piece of content several times.
  • Reach – The number of unique people who see (or more accurately may have seen) your post or content associated with your page.
  • Consumption – The number of clicks (clicking on the post, opening a link, watching a video etc.) on any of your content, even if a story wasn’t created. Consumption is a product of consumers.
  • Consumers – The number of unique people who clicked anywhere on your post or page content.
  • Talking about – The number of people sharing stories about your page (page and post level)
  • Engagement – The unique number of people, including all clicks and created stories (also the ones that were not the result of a click). Engagement is always equal to or higher than consumption. It can happen anywhere on the page, not just on the post level (for example liking your page).
  • Logged-In Page Views – The number of people who saw your Timeline (when logged into Facebook).
  • Stories – Stories are created when users interact with your Facebook Page or your Post. A story is basically an item that’s displayed in the News Feed or News Ticker. Here are the stories that can be created:
Page level Post level
  • Likes of your Page
  • Likes, comments or shares of your Page posts
  • Posts on the Page Wall
  • Answers to a Question you’ve asked
  • Responses to your Event
  • Mentions of your Page
  • Tags of your Page in a photo
  • Check-in (checking-in, liking/sharing check-in deal)
  • Recommendations
  • Likes, comments or shares of your Page post
  • Answers to a question you’ve asked
  • Response to your event

Now below, you can download all the (daily) definitions for every metric that’s defined in an exported file of your Facebook report (there’s more than 60 definitions so it doesn’t makes sense for me to copy it here):

But now here is the most important question. Which metrics should you follow? Well, below are probably the best basic metrics to follow.

First, a few vanity metrics on the page level that you should be following:

  • Total Page Likes and New Net Page Like – Your fan base (and growth rate).
  • Page Views – The number of times your timeline was viewed.
  • Page Reach – The number of people you reached in any way for your brand building.
  • Number of created posts – The number of posts you posted on your Page Timeline.
  • Reach of page posts – How many people were reached by posts you published on your page (you are especially interested in organic reach).
  • Page engagement – The number of people who clicked anywhere or created a story.
  • Page consumers – The number of people who clicked on any of your content. You can also check your page consumption next to the number of consumers.
  • Talking about this – The number of people who shared a story about your page.
  • Negative feedback – You should definitely analyze whether you’re getting any negative feedback and why.

Here is one interesting actionable metric to follow on the page level:

  • Page Consumers / # of posts / Page Reach – Engagement performance of your page

In my case, I export reports on the last day of a month, delete all 1 day and 7 day columns and all rows that don’t refer to the selected date. Then I delete paid and total metrics, because I’m interested in organic metrics the most. In the next step, I transpose cells to have a nicer view, compare metrics to previous months and calculate more actionable metrics.

And on the post level, you should calculate your best performing posts, which are the posts with the highest engagement (with a click on a post):

  • Post Consumers / Post Reach – Percentage of people who saw your post and engaged with it

Based on those metrics, you can also calculate other more actionable metrics. Examples are below. You may choose engaged users instead of consumers, as it is a more complete measure of engagement, but since you’re a blogger, you’re interested in how people are engaged in your content.

  • Post Consumers / Page likes – The percentage of your fans who actually consume you posts
  • Post Shares / Post Consumption – The percentage of consumers who shared your content
  • Link Clicks / Post Consumption – The percentage of consumers who clicked a link to your blog
  • Total Link clicks to your blog – The amount of traffic you received to your blog

On the post level report, I export insights for the chosen month. I calculate post consumers in relation to the total post reach and see my top 10 performing posts. But you can also play with other metrics.

Twitter

TwitterNext to Facebook, Twitter is probably the second most important social network for bloggers. Here are the metrics you should be following for your Twitter account:

  • Tweets – The number of messages you sent out to your followers in a selected time frame (new, total).
  • Tweets Impressions – The number of times users saw your tweets (timeline and search results).
  • Followers – The number of readers who subscribed to your Twitter account.
  • Following – The number of people you are following.
  • New followers – The number of new followers in a selected time frame.
  • New followers within a tweet – The number of people who clicked “follow” within your tweets.
  • Unfollows – People who unfollowed you in a selected time frame.
  • Followers growth rate – New followers (minus unfollows) divided by all the followers you have (in the beginning of selected time).
  • Profile visits – The number of people who visited your profile (clicked on the name, photo or @handle of your Twitter profile).
  • Likes – The number of times a user liked your tweet (new, total).
  • Replies – The number of times a user replied to your tweet. Mentions that start with a @handle of a specific user you’re engaging. Replies only show in your feed and the feed of users who follow you both.
  • Mentions – The number of tweets in which your @handle is used, but not as a direct reply.
  • Retweets (RT) – The number of users who shared your tweet with their own network of followers.
  • Hashtag clicks – The number of clicks on your hashtags in your tweets.
  • Embedded Media Clicks – The number of times a photo, video or a gif was clicked in your tweets.
  • Shared via email – The number of times a user shared one of your tweets by email.
  • Total Engagements – The total number of times users interacted with your tweets (retweets, replies, follows, likes, clicking on links, hashtags, avatar, username or Twitter extension).
  • Engagement per Tweet – The total number of times users interacted with your tweets.
  • Engagement Rate (per Impressions/Followers) – The number of engagements divided by impressions (or average number of followers).
  • Number of Direct Messaged (DM) – The number of direct messages you receive regarding your blog.
  • Outbound clicks – People coming to your blog from your Twitter account.

Google+

GooglePlusMany bloggers are claiming that Google+ is dying out. You have to decide for yourself. Here are the metrics you should be following for your blog’s Google+ Page:

  • Followers – The number of followers you have. You can also analyze the followers of your personal page.
  • New followers – The number of new followers in a selected time period.
  • Followers growth rate – The number of new followers (minus unfollows) divided by the total number of followers (in the beginning of a selected time frame).
  • Following – The number of people you are following.
  • Posts – The number of posts you published on Google+.
  • Reach – The number of people that were shown your posts.
  • Views (Impressions) – The number of times your page and your content were viewed.
  • +1 – The number +1s on posts you published on your page.
  • Comments – The number of comments on your post.
  • Shares – The number of times your post was shared with other users.
  • Total Engagement – The number of comments, shares and +1s on your posts.
  • Engagement rate – Engagement compared to reach (or average number of followers or number of posts).
  • Collections and communities – Collections and communities you are following/managing.
  • Outbound clicks – People coming to your blog from your Google+ Page.

Don’t forget your personal Google+ page, where you should follow:

  • Followers – The number of people that are following you.
  • Following – The number of people you are following.
  • +1 – The number of +1s on posts you have published.
  • Collections and communities – Collections and communities you’re following/managing.
  • Outbound clicks – People coming to your blog from your personal Google+ Page.

LinkedIn

LinkedInI’m not sure whether building a LinkedIn Page makes sense for a blogger. I think it makes much more sense to build your personal profile as a blogger and connect it extensively with your blog. Therefore, I’ve chosen to overview the metrics for a personal LinkedIn Profile. Here are the metrics you should be following for your LinkedIn account:

  • Number of connections – The number of your first level professional connections on LinkedIn.
  • New connections – The number of new connections in a selected time period (and connections growth).
  • Number of followers – The number of people who follow you for publishing posts (total, new)
  • LinkedIn Profile Views – The number of views of your profile in a selected time period.
  • Number of recommendations – The total number of people who recommended you.
  • New recommendations – New recommendations in a selected time period.
  • Endorsement – The total number of endorsements you received.
  • New endorsementsNew endorsements you received in a selected time period.
  • Profile ranking – Where you rank among your connections.
  • Profile rating – The quality of your LinkedIn Profile (it should be All-Star).
  • Inbox messages – The number of people who wrote to you regarding your blog (no sales offers).
  • Number of LinkedIn posts – The number of LinkedIn posts (new, total).
  • Number of Post views – The number of post views from when it was published.
  • New views – The number of new views of posts published in the selected time period.
  • All-time Post Engagement (and engagement rate) – The number of likes, comments and shares on your posts (compared to views or number of posts).
  • Outbound clicks – People coming to your blog from your LinkedIn account.

YouTube

YoutubeSooner or later, your audience will also want to meet you in the most personal way online, which is probably video. Besides that, video and photos are becoming a more and more important media for connecting with people. Here are the metrics you should be following for your YouTube account, if you have one:

  • Total number of uploads – The number of all video uploads to your channel from the beginning.
  • New uploads – The number of new uploaded videos in a given time period.
  • Subscribers – The total number of subscribers to your channel.
  • New subscribers – The number of new subscribers to your YouTube Channel.
  • Lost subscribers – The number of lost subscribers to your YouTube Channel.
  • Subscriber growth rate – The number of new subscribers (minus lost subscribers) divided by the total number of subscribers (in the beginning of a selected time frame).
  • Views – The total number of times a video was viewed or all the views your videos have received.
  • New Views – The number of views during the reported time period.
  • Views to subscribers – Number of views per video divided by the number of subscribers.
  • Minutes watched – Total time that the video has been played. It tells you how long users engaged with your videos (new, lifetime).
  • Likes/Dislikes – The number of likes and number of dislikes (new, lifetime).
  • Likes to views – The number of likes divided by the number of views.
  • Total number of ratings – The number of likes and dislikes (new, lifetime).
  • Comments – The number of comments to a specific video (new, lifetime).
  • Comments to views – The number of comments posted divided by number of views.
  • Shares – The number of shares of your uploaded videos (new, lifetime).
  • Shares to views – The number of shares divided by the number of views.
  • Videos in Playlists (Favorites) – The number of videos added to playlists (new, lifetime).
  • Total Engagement and engagement rate – The total number of favorites, comments, shares and ratings in the reported time period (compared to views, per video or average number of subscribers) or lifetime.
  • Outbound clicks – People coming to your blog from your YouTube account.

Instagram

InstagramInstagram is the most important photo sharing app. Sooner or later, you simply have to be present on Instagram. Below are the metrics you should be following for your Instagram account. If you don’t have one, I suggest you create it right away. To get all the stats, you’ll have to use tools like Iconosquare.

  • Number of followers – The number of people that are following you.
  • Number of following – The number of people that you’re following.
  • New followers – The number of new followers in a given time period.
  • Follower growth rate – New and lost followers divided by the total number of followers in the beginning of a selected time frame.
  • Media – The number of photos and videos (media) you published (new/total).
  • Filters – The filter with the highest engagement per media.
  • Likes – The number of received likes on your media (new/total).
  • Comments – The number of received comments on your media (new/total).
  • Total Engagement – The number of likes and comments combined (new/total).
  • Engagement per post – The number of likes and comments per post.
  • Engagement rate (per follower) – Engagement as a percentage of average number of followers.
  • CTR – The number of clicks on your Instagram bio (hopefully leading to your blog).
  • Best time to publish – The best time to publish a new photo.

SlideShare

SlideshareSlideShare can be a great way to make your content more interactive, especially for extensive and complicated topics, and to give the reader a general overview of it. It also helps by reaching a completely new audience that prefers to consume the slide format of content. Here are the metrics you should be following for your SlideShare account in a selected time period:

  • Followers – The number of people who are following you (new, growth rate).
  • Following – The number of people you’re following.
  • Total number of slides – The total number of published slides.
  • Newly added slides – The number of newly added slides.
  • Views – The number of views of your uploaded slides (new, totoal)
  • Number of favorites – How many slides were marked as favorite (new, total).
  • Number of comments – How many comments you received on your slides (new, total).
  • Number of email shares – How many times your slides were shared by email (new, total).
  • Number of social shares – How many times your slides were shared on different social networks (new, total).
  • Total engagement – The number of favorites, comments, email and social shares.
  • Engagement rate (per views) – Total engagement divided by the number of views.
  • Engagement per slide – Total engagement divided by the number of slides.
  • Number of outbound clicks – How many times users clicked on a link that drove traffic to your blog.

Quora

QuoraAnswering questions relevant for your niche on Quora and linking to your blog builds your authority, you can make awesome new connections and you can drive traffic to your blog. Below are the metrics you should be following for your Quora account in a selected time frame.

  • Followers – The number of people who are following you (new, net, growth rate).
  • Following – The number of people you’re following.
  • Total number of answered questions – What is the total number of questions that you answered.
  • New questions answered – The number of new questions answered in a given period.
  • Number of views – How many times your answer was viewed (new, total).
  • Number of shares – How many times readers shared your answers with their followers (new, total).
  • Number of upvotes – How many times your answer was upvoted (new, total).
  • Total engagement – The number of upvotes and the number of shares.
  • Engagement rate (per views) – Total engagement divided by the number of views.
  • Engagement per answer – Total engagement divided by the number of answers.
  • Outbound clicks – How many times a link to your blog inside the answer was clicked.

Pinterest

PinterestSome niche blogs (like foodie and travel blogs) drive an enormous amount of traffic from Pinterest. As you probably know, it’s a female and picture-dominated social network. You have to decide whether that could be an important distribution channel for you to drive traffic to your blog. Here are the stats you should be following:

  • Pinterest followers – The number of people who are following you on Pinterest.
  • New followers – The number of new people who are following you on Pinterest (and net new).
  • Lost followers – The number of people who unfollowed you on Pinterest.
  • Followers growth rate The number of new followers (and unfollows) divided by all the followers in the beginning of a given time.
  • Pinterest following – The number of people that you’re following on Pinterest.
  • Number of boards – The number of boards you created.
  • Number of pins – The number of pins you made on all of your boards.
  • Number of repins – The number of repins of pins you made.
  • Number of likes – The number of likes your pins and repins received.
  • Number of comments – The total number of comments on your pins.
  • Engagement – The number of repins, likes and comments on your pins.
  • Pinterest shares from your blog – The number of pins your readers created while reading your blog. It shows very well how appealing the visual content on your blog is.
  • Growth of Pinterest shares from your blog – The percentage of change of Pinterest shares from your blog.
  • Repins from your blog – The number of repins of pins that were pinned to Pinterest by your readers from your blog.
  • Average Pins Per Pin – The average number of repins you receive each time you make a pin or repin. A repin is when someone saves your pin to one of their boards. Repins show how fast your visual content is spreading.
  • Top performing pins – Your best performing pins in a given period. You can measure performance by impressions, clicks, repins or likes.
  • Top performing boards – Your best performing boards in a given period, again you can measure it by impressions, clicks, repins or likes.
  • Impressions – The number of times a Pin showed up in the home feed, search results and category feeds.
  • Viewers (Reach) – The number of unique people that have seen your pins.
  • Outbound clicks – People coming to your blog from your Pinterest account.

Metrics in Pinterest analytics are calculated as average daily impressions, average daily viewers, average monthly viewers, average monthly engagements, average daily repins/repinners and clicks to your site.

Now that we’ve gone through the most important social media metrics for bloggers, we have three more things to cover for the end:

  • Qualitative data
  • Validated learning with the A/B test
  • Dashboards and how to measure metrics in the most efficient ways

Continue to the last Part 7: Validated learning and dashboards

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