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Social Media 101: Understand Metrics to Beat The Trends

Engagement, Impressions and Reach, Oh My!

The world of social media can be overwhelming. How do you measure the success of your social media campaign? How do you know what content is resonating with your target audience? What key performance indicators (KPIs) should I be paying attention to?


That’s why we’ve put together a list of the key social media metrics you need to know when growing your business on any social media platform.


(Did you know we offer social media management as one of our services? We’ll shoot your photos and videos, edit them to your style, write content that deepens your voice, and post them on your social media platform of choice!)

What are social media metrics and why are they important?

Social media metrics allow you to measure the success of your social strategy. For every goal, you need related data to show proof.


For instance, maybe your business goal is to increase brand awareness online. You might set your social media goal as increasing impressions by 25% in the first quarter or reaching an engagement rate of 2% by the end of one month.



Ultimately, metrics can show whether or not social media has had an impact on your overall business.

So let’s get to it. Here are three social media metrics you need to know.

1. Awareness.

Is your content reaching people?

First and foremost, you want to make sure people are seeing your posts on their feed.


  • Impressions are how many times a post appears on someone’s timeline.
  • Reach is the number of unique viewers who have seen your post.

Impressions and reach are key metrics to look at to understand if your content has visibility potential. However, on their own, they don’t do enough to see if audiences are actually interested in your content or interacting with what you’re posting. This is where engagement comes into play.

2. Engagement.

Are audiences interacting with your content?

Engagement includes everything from:


  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Mentions
  • Clicks
  • Saves
  • Messages
  • Profile visits
  • Replies
  • Use of branded hashtags 

Every social media platform varies in the way they name these metrics. For instance, engagement on Twitter may look like a retweeting of a post. This would be equivalent to someone sharing your post to their Instagram story. Essentially, engagement tracks how actively involved audiences are with your content.

Need some content ideas to engage with your followers? Check out our blog post, “23 Best Videos for Getting and Keeping Attention on Social Media.” 

3. Conversions.

Is your engagement actually effective?

It’s one thing for a post to receive a thousand likes, but are users actually taking the action you want them to take? For example, let’s say your end goal is to sell more shoes on your online store. Sure, your post on a pair of stylish sneakers may have received 20 re-shares on Instagram and 50 positive comments. Those engagements don’t necessarily equate to more sales. That’s when we look at conversions.

A conversion is when someone takes action after clicking on your post. In this example, they may have seen your post about the sneakers and then clicked your profile. Intrigued to learn more, they clicked the link in your bio, taking them to your online shop where they purchased the sneakers.


Conversion actions don’t necessarily have to end in sales. Here are some common actions you may want to consider:


  • Downloads

  • Registrations

  • Subscriptions to your newsletter

  • Installations

  • Clicks on call-to-action buttons


Many social media platforms provide their own analytics tools for you to look at. Facebook provides the Insights tab. Twitter has Twitter Analytics. For Instagram, you’ll need to create a business account to see all data.

Want to learn more about our social skills? Head to our Social Media Management page for more on our approach (with the analytics to back us up)

Hungry for more tips and tricks? Check out our last post in our series on social media strategy, Better Brands Get Social: Why Hire Out Your Social Media Management?