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BLOG - Measure social media success

03 Dec 2014

Measuring Social Media Success: Which KPI's should I look at?

The key performance indicators of successful social media are generally recognised as being:

Reach: number of followers overall – this should grow week on week and month on month.

Demographics – some social media analytics will show whether your followers are male or female, what type of sector they’re in and where they're located.

Number of Active Followers – there's no point collecting followers who aren't doing anything!

Interaction – as appropriate - how many likes, shares, comments, mentions, retweets/re-posts did you get in any month?

Website data – what percentage of traffic is coming from social media? If appropriate, how many were attracted to your newsletter sign up/downloadable resource/event via this medium?

Now let’s look at these KPI’s in the cold light of day. Are these really what you should be aiming for - after all there is organic growth which happens responsively: the more people you follow the more follow you, the more interactions you give, the more interactions you get.

And then there’s the consequence of “look at me” activity. Suppliers may follow you in the hope that you follow them. Those building their own numbers will favourite your comments in order to get you to look at them to see if they’re worth following
But do they actually have any value to your business?

Numbers v quality

I believe that number gathering should not necessarily be the ultimate sign of success.
Indeed if you are involved in something which is a hot topic or seen as something people “should” follow gathering numbers will probably not require any real skill.

No, the skill lies in whether you are gaining the right followers and whether engagement is such that those followers are sharing your message with their followers. So if all your Facebook likes come from 25 to 34 year olds in the City and they’re not your target market that’s not successful marketing.

And what about if you have loads of followers but they’re inactive? Sort that problem out on Twitter and Instagram followers by using

It’s the constant prompting of activity via a quality number of influential advocates who have a broad engagement that’s key – and these it’s these influential advocates that need to be identified and monitored.

Of course you may know who your key influencers are - but if not one recommended way to do this is to use which not only identifies your best influencers but also your competitor’s most shared content.

Going forward - You can then hone your activity

What – worked best that month in terms of type of message, and in terms of subject matter?

Who – of note/influence began to follow you or share your information and to how many?

Which days/times worked best – do evenings get a surprisingly high uptake because your influencers are commuters looking at their phones on the train?

I hope that’s been helpful. Do you have any more tips about social media KPI’s? I'd love to hear about them.

Jane Buswell - Business Fulcrum