Not showing success? Perhaps you've been measuring your social media efforts wrong!

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

Are you a marketer, social media manager, or business owner struggling to show that your social media efforts are worth the while? Given that you have aced your content and are in the right marketing mindset, what you need next is to recognize the data that matters based on your social media objective.

Content Marketing measurements and metrics

Most businesses will grade their social media efforts based on organic traffic and the number of leads generated. To be fair, these are things social media marketing can drive but is not made to do.


It's the same concept as being given a spoon. Yes, a spoon can perhaps become a prop in an egg-racing game and help open a can of soda; but it is an eating utensil. Social media is the same. It is for socializing. It is for people to share and react to ideas by other people. Once that is understood, metrics such as organic traffic and leads become far-fetched.


So, what should one look into when they measure their social media success?



i) It's about rates

Content marketing institute KPIs by content type

Above are some ways to measure the success of different content. As you can tell, social media covers a lot of rates. That is because social media metrics should always be measured relatively. Social media are owned channels that are completely dictated by their ever-changing algorithm. If we only looked at singular, quantitative numbers, it is not representative of the whole picture.

Instead of looking just at the numbers of followers, for example, one should look at the growth and the engagement from these followers. Platforms like Instagram even tell you if the engagement came from your followers or non-followers. Not to mention, you can also track saves and shares. These numbers are often neglected when they are the key indicators of successful social media marketing.


My favorite metric to look at is reach when it comes to social media marketing. Not only does this allow one to view social media marketing as an ongoing process, but also indicates potential growth and benchmarks that help the business set goals and objectives. At the end of the day, a potential lead might not buy from you today, but if they were reached, and they have engaged, chances are you have become top of mind, and it is likely that continuous social media efforts will convert them down the road.

  • Data you should gather: Reach, followers vs non-followers, engagement rate



ii) It's about driving awareness


Joyce Tsang content marketer lecture notes on social media marketing

As mentioned above, what sets social media marketing and other forms of marketing apart is it has built-in engagement metrics. You can easily see how many people have liked and commented on your content. These are good indications of engaging content, and by scaling this content, adding appropriate CTAs, and placing it in a particular part of the funnel, a brand is able to start valuable dialogues with their audiences.


Not to mention, social media is literally a gateway to the world. The only thing a business needs to figure out is how to effectively reach its people. And one of the most effective ways is to create a strong branding. Make it obvious in a glance what your business is about. Then, let social media do all the hard work.

Once a brand starts treating its social media platform as a vehicle to quickly raise brand awareness, it would realize how silly it is to be so fixated on leads and sales.

  • Data you should gather: Engagement (qualitative and quantitative), brand mentions, profile/ website visits



iii) It's about the level of engagement


Joyce Tsang content marketer lecture notes on content marketing funnel

Most of your target audience is unaware of the problem you are trying to solve. They may just be attracted by the glitz and glam of your social media marketing efforts. But they can't find the reason to buy from you. That is unless they realize you are the solution they need. Therefore, you content has to be strategically implemented by having social media at a particular stage in the content marketing funnel.

As social media is strong at reaching lots of people, it makes the most sense for it to be on the top of the funnel, helping to educate your target audience. With that said, the objective of your social media should be to drive engagement, let it be questions, inquiries, a follow, or even a simple like. They indicate that your content is consumed, and your objective to educate is well on its way.


  • Data you should gather: Engagement rate, link clicks, acquisitions



iv) It's about personalization and quality of experience


Joyce Tsang content marketer lecture notes on customer journey

No customer enjoys seeing the same content over and over again. And for brands, there's only so much to talk about. That is why the key to social media success is to have a customer journey.

It is no doubt that your social media marketing efforts will not be justifiable if all you're doing is posting generic brand, product, or industry-related content. You must understand which stage your social media content touches your target audiences.

As mentioned in the last point, it makes the most sense for social media to be on the top of the funnel, but social media is also a strong paid channel for retargeting purposes. With that said, there is more than one way to measure the success of your social media effort. It can be based on your organic and paid objective in the customer journey.

  • Data you should gather: Number of leads, ROI, ROAS, conversion rate, average time spent



Joyce Tsang content marketer lecture notes on what data matters

In conclusion, all of these indicators are only worthwhile if the company can derive actionable insights from it.


  • What needs to be improved in your content to achieve higher engagement rate?

  • What needs to be posted to increase reach?

  • How can we scale the existing successful social media post?


Spotting such patterns and learnings from data is not easy most marketers struggle with this, on top of having so much data to digest every day. If you're struggling with the same problem, why not reach out to me and let me help you out?

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