How To Identify Your Social Media KPIs


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Which KPIs are you considering for your social media strategy? Do you measure your key performances?
KPI for marketing is the way to measure if you are reaching your goals.

They indicate how well your organization is meeting its goals. Are you good at this?

How do you create a KPI?

What is a good KPI?
Which KPIs are reasoning for social media?

KPIs are your compass. You may plan the best digital strategy in the world, but you will never know how well it worked until you set and measure a series of KPIs. This is a marketing term that stands for “key performance indicator”.

However, do not worry! They may look intimidating, but, like everything else in the marketing world, you only have to understand which ones fit you best and how to apply them to your strategies.

So, follow us in this little adventure.

Check if you are doing well with your Social Media KPIs.

What is a KPI?

Let’s begin with a punctual and straightforward definition of KPIs.

According to Investopedia,

“Key performance indicators (KPIs) refer to a set of quantifiable measurements used to gauge a company’s overall long-term performance. KPIs specifically help determine a company’s strategic, financial, and operational achievements, especially compared to those of other businesses within the same sector.”

This definition means that KPIs are measurable values and parameters that allow marketing managers and companies to understand better how to make the business grow.

They also have another name, less known than the first, which is “key success indicators” – or KSIs. It is a massive hint of how and why those data are so important for a brand.

Measuring a KPI instead of another is extremely personal, and it changes from company to company.

It may seem uncommon, but KPIs are a way to have a comprehensive overview that tracks as a compass if the actions that you are doing are going in the right direction, according to what matters for you and your brand.


They will lead you and show you how to proceed towards a goal. KPIs measure the result of a path made of choices.

They are a sort of navigation tool that will make you understand if your ship is sailing in the right direction. The best set of KPIs that you will select will be your inseparable compass through changes in plans and adversities.

Well, maybe we went a touch too dramatic, but you get the picture.

Tracking KPIs will give you a picture of how your audience sees the brand and, thanks to those pieces of information, you will be able to know of what to do next and which path to follow to make your business prosper.


However, remember that one of the most essential concepts of business is change. Take care of the KPIs you selected, but do not be afraid to discard or modify them when something – time, circumstances, technology, chance – will make them obsolete.

There are many kinds of KPIs. For our intent, the most important KPIs are those to track marketing activities and, more rooted, which KPIs you need to consider for social marketing.

However, a quick overview of how to create a KPI is still worth spending a few lines on.

How to Select the Right KPIs?

According to Bernard Marr, there are some steps to start to define your KPIs successfully:

  • Start with strategy
  • Define the questions you need answers to
  • Identify your data needs
  • Evaluate all existing data
  • Find the right supporting data
  • Determine the proper measurement methodology and frequency
  • Assign ownership for your KPIs
  • Ensure KPIs are understood by people within your organization
  • Find the best way to communicate your KPIs
  • Review your KPIs to ensure they help improve performance

One of the clearest examples of which way you should use them is the so-called S.M.A.R.T. criteria. What S.M.A.R.T. stays for? Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound.

  • Specific. You need a sharp goal to achieve. This is the first and most important element for smart – and S.M.A.R.T.- KPIs for goal setting. Everything starts with a purpose and a path to follow, because KPIs can act as decision-making tools and show you the right road, but only if you already want to support it.
  • Measurable. That said goal needs to be measurable, to understand which point of it you reached so far.
  • Attainable. Be honest with yourself and select KPIs that you can realistically achieve. Dreaming of greater success is lovely, but for measurement, you have to stick with reality.
  • Relevant. Remember when we spoke about fundamental KPIs, a few lines ago? We can not insist enough on this point. To measure something and to plan concrete actions over these measurements, you have to pick something valuable. Imagine what would happen if you selected a wrong or insignificant KPI. You would lose time, money, customers, and reputation. Do you want to risk?
  • Time-bound. Napoleon Hill once said: “A goal is a dream with a deadline”. Having a restricted time range makes you understand your next move, what went well and what did not work. If you do not set a deadline, you may lose yourself into a too broad spectrum. Give yourself a reasoned time frame and stick to it. It will help and widen your perspective.

As in many strategies, you need to ask yourself questions to pick the best plan for you. In this case, the right questions to identify the best KPIs for your social media strategy.

Which KPIs To Select For Social Media?

Let’s discover how you can select KPIs for your marketing strategies, creating some of the most important ones.

Not every KPI is the same, and you have to know in which arena you are going to play.

Social Engagement

We can not stop saying how important it is to engage your customers and prospects. Some of the KPIs you can study to see how your engagement is going are accessible from the Insights of the social networks themselves.

However, one of the most important things to do to improve your engagement is to know your audience! gathers information about your target audience. It tells you the keywords they are searching for, what they care about, what they are talking and gives you actionable data on which you can base your ad campaigns around, giving you better results in less time.

  • Clicks. Nobody has a lot of time to browse carefully every content on their social feed. This means that the amount of attention for each piece of content is minimum. If an element does not draw your audience’s attention, you need to ask yourself why. This is why clicks are so important – the more you have, the more people appreciated your content so much they decided to open it. If this KPI is unsatisfactory, try to change something about how you present it – for instance, the title or the quality of the preview images.
    You can preview how your audience is going to react to a given piece of content thanks to our Predictor Tool. You can insert the text of your article and an image, and the system will tell you how your different personas are going to react to this kind of content, according to their interests and features. One little spoiler – remember that a fitting image always pays off.
  • Shares. Shares may be way more valuable than simple likes. If someone shares one of your pieces of content, it means that they find that element relevant and useful. They can even identify their thoughts in your words – unless they share the content to criticize it, which may be a problem for your reputation.
  • Comments. Social media are born to – as the word itself says – socialize. It means that interaction is one of the leading and most cherished elements to reach. We hope you will always have new comments, brilliant conversations, and great ideas, but do not neglect some community management and sentiment analysis, to still know what is going on at your “home.”
  • Mentions. Monitoring discussions about your brands is vital to know how things are going on around you. Thanks to social listening, you can build and strengthen relationships, fix problems, find out new ideas for your brand and be aware of what people think about you. This is why you want not only to check the number of mentions you obtain – but also their quality.

Some of the primary measurements you can consider are:

  • Average engagement rate. This metric tells you how much your audience feels engaged. It is the result of the sum of likes, comments, and shares divided for the number of followers and multiplied for 100.
  • Applause rate. This measurement is the number of people that appreciated a piece of content in a given period. You find it by dividing the number of likes for the number of followers and multiplying the result for 100.
  • Virality rate. This measurement is probably the most uncommon one, but it still is pretty impressive. It measures the popularity of a post. Get it by dividing the number of impressions by the number of shares. The percentage you obtain will tell you the virality of your post.

Facebook also ++considers Likes’ number as a KPI**.

However, don’t think this is another vanity metrics. People like pieces of content, sometimes looking at it for less than a second! Those people might not be so useful for your strategy neither for conversions.

Try to understand which elements your audience tends to like more! You can use GhostwriterAI Profiler tool to have a look at your current audience’s interests and trends. Do you want to reach a different target audience? Easy! Get suggestions about what are important pieces of content to them and gain their attention!


How many people did you hit with your messages and your chiseled social media posts?

This metric represents your reach. By improving it, you make sure that more people meet your company and your products. It is one of the oldest KPIs of all time, but it still is relevant for any brand, if understood correctly.

Some of the most essential values to measure reach are:

  • Impressions. This is a significant yet tricky value to measure. “Impressions” are the number of times someone saw your piece of content. The most important thing to do is to distinguish general impressions from unique impressions. The first ones are the total number of people that saw the material, even more than once. Unique impressions only consider the view per person counted only one time.
  • Traffic. We love the shining content calendars and editorial plans, but remember something – the ultimate purpose of social media marketing is selling. Not always in a direct way, but elements like engagement and cute pieces of content have only one goal, which is making the customer know the brand, like it a lot, and leading him on our website.
    This is why it is so vital to measure the amount of traffic that our social media channels originated.

As for the “Like” metric, we may be tempted to consider the number of Followers. This is one of the metrics that people love more. It is one of the first – if not the very first – metric that people look at.

However, you have to be careful with it. The number of followers may not be matching with your target audience. You never know where followers come from!

Take care of bad past strategies for those who are used to buying followers. They may have affected reality. Followers change interests along the time, and now they may be a cold and irrelevant part of the total. You can have millions of followers that can be completely silent and not engaged. In this case, they are useless for your strategy.

For example, rather than only reporting the number of followers and their variations in the time, you might want to analyze with which hashtags and keywords they have interacted the most.

Or discuss how the keywords have changed compared to previous campaigns, and hypothesize why.

Some of the primary measurements you can consider for the reach are:

  • Audience growth. Did your number of followers grow in a certain period? How much did it do in comparison to the previous month? The audience growth rate gives you the answer to this question. Select a period and find out how many new followers you had. Then, divide the number of new followers for the total followers and multiply the result x100.
  • Post reach. Did that new post go well? How many people saw it? You can find out by measuring the post reach. Divide the number of post views for the number of total followers and multiply the result x100. Do not forget that in this measurement, several elements that can affect the performance, like the timing you post and the kind of content you propose to your audience.
  • Social share of voice (SSoV). This may not be a standard measurement as the others, but it still has an important value. SSoV is the number of people that mentioned your brand in comparison with your competitors.

    Consider the number of mentions of your brand, then the same for your competitors in the same period. Sum the two together, that will become the “total”, and divide the number of your mentions for the total mentions. Then multiply the result x100. Of course, do not forget that a mention is a tricky value – sentiment analysis is what matters!


Conversions measure the actual interest of people in your company and your services.
They are the result of a successful call to action (CTA), which convinces the users to act we want them to do. For instance, subscribing to our newsletter, downloading a report, or filling out a form with their data.

In this case, we can consider:

  • Sales. There are two kinds of deals, that is to say, direct and indirect ones. Direct sales are, for example, the ones that you obtain when a customer buys your product or service from a direct link on your social media channels. On the other side, indirect sales happen when you get a lead (see below) that will eventually become a client.
  • Leads. Do not think that the only conversions that matter are sales, because you would be so wrong. Data, for example, are one of the most valuable elements that you can acquire. You can obtain email addresses thanks to people that subscribe to your newsletter or download your freebies. All of this is extremely valuable to build a database of constant contacts, so remember to keep track of them.

Some of the primary measurements you can consider are:

  • Conversion rate. Divide the conversions by clicks and multiply the result by 100. This is your conversion rate, which measures the number of visitors that made the action to convert – download a freebie, subscribe to a mailing list etc.
  • Click-through rate (CTR). Having a catchy CTA is essential, but how can you measure its effectiveness? Thanks to Click Through Rate measurement, which shows how many people click on the CTA link on your posts.
    You can obtain this percentage by dividing the CTA clicks for a post by its impressions and multiplying the result x100.
  • Cost per click (CPC). The price per click measurement tells you how much you are spending per click on a sponsored social media post. It tells you clearly how your investments are going. The lower the number, the better.
    To find it out, divide your total advertising spend in a given time and share it by the full click of the ad. This is your CPC.
Hootsuite infographic


Conclusions: Good KPIs for social media marketing

The amount of KPIs you can measure is vast but always try to focus on the main important ones, as you can see in this Hootsuite infographic. It is an essential guiding light to measure your performance and adjust your strategy.

So, how can you pick the most valuable ones for social media, and how can you measure them the most effective way?

  • Goals lead the KPIs. Select them, focusing on the element of your strategy you want to measure. Talking about social media, for example, you may want to track conversions and lead after the launch of a brand new campaign.
    Identify your company goals, select the most important to you, and match your KPIs by consequence.
  • Do not exaggerate. If you track too many of them, you will quickly lose the thread. The fewer, the better. Moreover, take care of them. Do not think that you can select KPI once and forget for the rest of your life, because it is the best strategy to make them unuseful.
  • Identify where you are as a business. A startup and a multinational brand have different goals to achieve. The same happens with KPIs. If you have just started your Facebook page, any follower or conversion will be great news. On the other hand, if you have a lot of followers, you may struggle for engagement and conversion. Every metric can not live by itself, but you need to consider them inside your strategy and your business condition.

Do you measure social media KPIs? Which ones did you select for your brand?

KPIs are measurable values that allow marketing managers and companies to understand the road better to follow to make the business grow
Measuring a KPI instead of another is extremely personal, and it changes from company to company. Select them according to your goals and strategy

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