The amount businesses spend on communications is shifting fast towards online and especially social. As a social media manager it is key to perfectly know how your ongoing campaign is performing in order to invest your time and money correctly. You can achieve this through measuring your key performance indicators (KPIs). In this first part of our upcoming social media KPIs blogging series, we will thus introduce the essentials of successfully monitoring your social media performance.

Basically, a KPI is any indicator or metric that is central for the success of whatever action you take. However, it is vital to use the correct metrics in order to tailor your reports towards the goals of your campaign and company. But which indicators can you use to get started? In the following, we will present three groups of possible social media KPIs.

1. Growth Metrics

These metrics quantitatively observe growth goals. They will help you identify how your campaign is performing but also how your competition is doing. Here are some important social media KPIs if you’re aiming at your reach.

Fan Growth
The growth of your fans and followers is one of the most basic KPIs for monitoring if you continuously reach more people.

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Besides looking at your followers through tables and graphs, there is also a very useful visualization if you want to measure your status while you are aiming for a specific goal. The Gauge chart gives you an accessible insight into your current stage towards reaching the set goal. Based on this chart, you are able to adjust your actions and spendings easily.

Fan / Follower Change
On your way to reaching a certain follower goal, one day the number will rise steeply and sometimes it won’t – it might even go down at some point. All of these are normal fluctuations. Monitoring this rate of change can help you identify successful campaigns or determine actions that might not have achieved their intended result. This relevant social media KPI can be measured by the Fan Change metric.

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This graph comparing four car manufacturers shows that BMW and Mercedes had a highly positive fan change where it was outperforming its competitors. It does not only help you to better understand your own performance but also to always be a step ahead of your competitors.

Reach (Facebook Insight metric)
If you want to monitor your own brand’s social media appearance, it is possible to gain even more useful KPIs by connecting Facebook Insights. This helps to measure if you have done a good job amplifying your real reach. The Reach metric gets increasingly important in times where organic reach decreases and companies may have to invest more into sponsored content. If you are admin of a Facebook Page you should measure how the reach of your posts develops. Shameless plug here: This and a lot more is possible with our social media analytics tool. Start your 14-day free trial.

2. Publication Metrics

These metrics will present you quantitative data that will help you identify your own and the posting behavior of your competitors.

Own Posts
This KPI will show you the number of the posts that have been published. Having a close look on this metric is important to know if you have posted the targeted amount of content and if you or your competitors post the most. Here you can see that Mercedes has posted slightly more content than its competitor.

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Own Posts by Time
Managing the timing of your posting can be vital especially if your pages have a global audience. In order not to miss any region by only posting when it is late at night in its time zone, every social media manager should have a close eye on the Own Posts by Time KPI.

OwnPostsInstagram
In quintly, this social media KPI will be visualized as a bubble chart showing you not only when you post but if you post often at any given time.It will also help you identify relevant posting patterns. In the case of BMW, you can identify peaks in their posting Tuesday and Thursday morning and Monday and Tuesday around noon if you consider the time zone of Western Europe.

Post Type Distribution
Besides knowing how often and when you post, it likewise important to know the distribution of post types. These could be photos, videos or links. As some content is more effective than others, this KPI gives you insights into which of these you use the most. Based on this information, you will see if you publish the content that works best.

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While BMW seems to rely heavily on images, Mercedes-Benz posts more links and videos on Facebook. On Instagram BMW and Audi did not post any videos in the analyzed period of time. As a good mix of photos and videos generally cause a greater reaction on Facebook, MINI and Mercedes-Benz might have chosen the better approach.

3. Engagement Metrics

Most social media managers value the engagement of users the most as this is creating a dialogue between a business and the potential clients. At the end, it might help to tightly bind loyal customers to your company and make them brand advocates. As for all the other KPIs it is also important to track the Engagement Metrics of your competitors.

Total Interactions per Network
A central social media KPI measuring engagement is the Total Interactions per network. This metric will easily show you the best-performing network at a glance. It enables the social media managers to identify where their own content and that of their competitors is creating the highest amount of interactions.

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This graph shows that there are significantly more interactions happening on Instagram than on Facebook. This revealing metric that should be part of any social media report, because it suggests that it might be wise to spend more financial resources and time on Instagram content.

Interaction by Time
The most effective time for posting content has been part of a controversial discussion among social media managers for a long time now. As it is dependent on different factors like the industry, product and audience, it is very helpful to monitor when posts create the highest engagement.

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By comparing the Interaction by Time with the Own Posts by Time, you can easily point out the times that are most effective for gaining a high rate of interactions.

Average Interactions per Post
This last KPI is going one level deeper into the process of social media analytics. By monitoring the interaction for a specific post, you will be able to find the posts that are working especially well. By doing so, your company can prevent spending money on content which is not creating a high rate of engagement.

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These graphs show that BMW is creating the best Average Interactions per Post both on Facebook and Instagram.
Now you should have a good overview of some key metrics that can help you make the first steps towards measuring your company’s social media performance. Here are all social media metrics discussed in a quick summary:

Growth Metrics
– Fan Growth
– Fan Change
– Reach (Insight metric)

Publication Metrics
– Own Posts
– Own Posts by Time
– Own Post Distribution

Engagement Metrics
– Total Interactions by Network
– Interaction by Time
– Average Interactions per Post

Outlook

In our next post, we will move on to key KPIs for specific purposes like Customer Relationship Management. However, you are the one who has to decide which social media KPIs are the most useful ones for your current goals. If you aim to integrate social media KPIs in your strategy, head over to our free social media analytics course in our academy.

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