Go ahead, #AMA about impressions and social media analytics: we have the skinny on the ROI of your KPIs, and we’re not even newsjacking or clickbaiting your RSS feed to tell you about it. We know, we know, the social media jargon can get a little overwhelming (some might even say annoying). Instead of embracing the wealth of information we have about our customers, we sometimes shy away from media analytics because it’s easy to get confused or misled by the myriad of abbreviations and trendy marketing terms associated with data analysis. But any good marketer will tell you that we don’t need code words to make our data more glamorous because it’s one of the most powerful and sexy marketing tools we have in our arsenal.
Social media analytics KPI’s
To help you feel more comfortable telling the difference between everything from engagement to impressions and social media analytics, we’re breaking down the top three key performance indicators (KPI’s) and analytics terms you need to know as a social media marketer.
Your brand’s reach is one of the most simple, straightforward media analytics metrics to capture. It represents your network or the total audience your brand interacts with. Reach is made up of your followers, users, and subscribers. When analysts talk about reach, they often use it as a proxy for how recognizable your brand is, how popular your company is within the marketplace, or how likely customers are to switch to (and stay with) your brand compared to your competitors because reach represents how loyal and proud customers are to follow and interact with your brand.
Not to be confused with impressions:
Unfortunately, people often confuse reach with impressions. If reach represents your self-identified audience as a whole, your impressions represent the actual number of times a single piece of content (a post, tweet, or picture) is seen by users. Impressions aren’t always limited to your audience – or reach – because additional impressions occur through sharing, digital ads, or promoted content. The number of impressions, or times your content is seen, is often used to help calculate the return on investment (ROI) of a certain campaign or marketing initiative. For a deep dive into impressions, click here to read our blog on actual versus potential impressions.
But none of it matters without engagement:
Your brand might have an incredible reach, and your posts might be getting thousands of impressions, but if your engagement metric is low, chances are your content isn’t working. Engagement describes how often your viewers interact with your content via likes, shares, comments, tweets, or reposts. It tells you how relevant your posts are to your viewers and helps you discover what they enjoy reading or seeing in their newsfeeds. The more people that interact with your posts, the greater their engagement is. This is one of the most important social media analytics metrics because it reveals whether your social media is breaking through the clutter and reaching your target audience in a meaningful way or just getting lost in the sea of posts.
Now that you understand the basics, you should feel more confident digging into your data to understand what your customers need from you to trust and interact with your brand on the internet. Social media marketing is one of the most powerful and ubiquitous marketing channels and we’re here to help you use it to its fullest potential.