Social Media KPIs: Here’s Why You Need Them

If you’re spending money on social media marketing and you’re not measuring KPIs – you’re doing it wrong.

It’s really as simple as that. While there are many benefits of social media that are qualitative – think brand awareness – there are also a great number of components that are measurable. In short, social media marketing KPIs keep you on track to reaching your goals.

So what are KPIs and why are they so important for Social?

KPI stands for key performance indicator. KPIs are metrics that help you identify progress toward your ultimate goal as well as smaller goals along the way. While your ultimate goal of, let’s say, increased sales should be tracked, so should other metrics that indicate progress toward that goal such as visits to the “where to buy” page on your website.

KPIs can be extremely valuable when it comes to abstract marketing tactics such as social media where a dollar value ROI isn’t always measurable and sales can be difficult to attribute. In effect, KPIs help you identify what success looks like, what you can realistically measure, and whether or not the dollars you’re spending are having an impact.

How do I come up with the right KPIs?

To figure out what your KPIs should be, start by listing your social media goals. Once you’ve identified the goals, try to identify a couple of KPIs for each goal. Ask yourself, what can I measure that indicates progress toward this goal?

For example:

GOAL:Increase Engagement
KPINumber of post likes
KPINumber of post shares
KPINumber of post comments
GOAL:Increase Purchase Intent
KPILink clicks to website
KPIOffer claims

In addition to outlining KPIs that relate to your marketing goals, it’s also important to use KPIs to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of your social media spend. Including a couple of “cost per” KPIs such as cost per impression or cost per engagement can help you track how efficiently you’re utilizing budget.

Got it. So what kinds of numbers should I expect?

Ahh, the age-old question. “What should my cost per engagement be? How many shares should a post receive?”

The answer is – it depends. We know, we know – not the answer you were looking for. But it’s the truth. What constitutes a “good” number depends on a variety of factors from budget to company size to competition, etc.

Because of this, we recommend not setting numerical KPI targets up front. Rather, assign your KPIs, launch your social media program, and then try to improve your numbers each month. Because every company is different, and therefore has different goals and objectives, you should largely be competing against yourself. Once you’ve established a baseline, work to exceed it with every campaign.

The Bottom Line

KPIs help you identify what success looks like, what you can realistically measure, and whether or not the dollars you’re spending are having an impact.

Don’t worry about what a “good” KPI is – instead focus on improving on your own KPIs.

Do you use KPIs to track your social media progress? Why or why not?

About Ethos

Ethos is a multiplatform branding agency that develops and executes integrated marketing campaigns across multiple channels for companies inside and outside Maine.

At Ethos, we believe that the most effective way to set a company’s marketing course is by finding its core truth – its ethos. We know that once we discover and communicate that core truth, we can truly make a difference to each client’s unique marketing and business objectives.

With Ethos, you get more than a Maine branding agency. You get a long-term partner whose goals are your goals.

Learn more about the Ethos approach and the work we’ve done for our clients. Want to have a conversation about your brand’s core truth? Contact us!

Written By

The ETHOS Team