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Social Media Metrics: What Do They Really Mean?

As marketers, we oftentimes forget that what is common knowledge to us is not common knowledge to others. It’s definitely not common to our clients, who hire us so that they don’t have to learn this information. At Smarter Searches, we each have our department and we’re experts in that subject matter, through and through; I’m all things social, Mara is amazing at all design pieces and websites, Chris and JoJo are wizards at SEO and PPC, and Courtney knows pretty much all of it. We’re going to break this blog down for those who aren’t experts in marketing because there’s no reason for them to be!

Let’s start with organic social media and I’ll follow up in a few weeks with paid social. Organic social media is content – photos, videos, text, stories, etc. – that lives on your social media pages. With the exception of stories, which disappear after 24 hours unless they are highlighted, all of these pieces of organic content can be found by going to the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn page. 

We’ll start with Facebook as it’s still the most popular social media platform in the world, with almost 1.85 billion daily users. These metrics are what we report on each and every month to our clients. If we take a step back, we realize that this information can be quite confusing – some metrics are almost identical while others are new and foreign to many people. 

Page Likes – The total number of people who like your page. This is a key metric for most of our clients.

Page Followers – The total number of people who follow your page. Oftentimes, you’ll see these metrics as interchangeable but there are slight differences between the two.

Unlikes – The number of people who decided to “unlike” or stop liking your page. You never want to see these but they do happen.

Reach – The unique number of people who have seen any content associated with your page.

Impressions – The total number of times your content is seen. This number will almost always be higher than reach and is a sign that your audience is seeing your content multiple times. 

Posts Published – The number of updates (photos, videos, text, etc.) created during the given time period. 

Reactions – The total number of reactions (like, love, wow, care, etc.) on your posts. 

Engaged Users – The number of people who engaged (any click, comment, share, or reaction) with a post. 

Engagement Rate – The number of people a post reached, who then liked, commented, shared, or clicked on the post. 

Since Facebook owns Instagram, that’ll be the next platform we look at. Everything above holds true for Instagram because again, Facebook owns them. We have a few additional metrics to look at that we’ll break down below. 

Profile Views – The number of unique accounts who visited your Page.

Story Views – The number of unique accounts who viewed your story while it was live for 24 hours.

Saves – The total number of people who saved a post or video so they can go back and look at it later. 

The next of the “Big 3” is Twitter, which is the simplest of the platforms, with only a few main metrics to consider. Some metrics, like impressions and followers, remain the same as Facebook and Instagram, but there are also differences. Let’s take a look:

Likes – This is basically the same thing as reactions for Facebook, but there’s only one option. You like a tweet or you scroll past it. 

Retweets – This is similar to a share on Facebook. If someone retweets your content, they are sharing that content onto their own timeline. 

Lastly, we have LinkedIn. Like Twitter, there are some similarities to Facebook and there are some differences. 

Views – The total number of views on your profile and updates. 

Clicks – The number of clicks on your content, including your company name and logo.
These metrics are all included in the monthly reports we prepare for our clients. We let them know how their organic social media is performing and why it’s performing the way it is. In certain months, we’ll see huge spikes in reach and reactions. In others, we’ll see small dips in impressions. My job is to keep these numbers growing and to figure out the ‘why’ if they stop. Across all social media platforms that I work with, these are the most important metrics to take note of. I wanted to share this information with anyone who’s interested in learning about them. If you’re interested in social, but not what any of this means (don’t worry, it won’t hurt my feelings), reach out to us to see if we can help your organic social media reach new heights and new metrics!

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