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5 Social Media Metrics That Matter in 2021

Are “Vanity Metrics” dead?

If you’re trying to follow along with the social media metrics that matter in 2021 it might be giving you whiplash. The stern lectures that we’re getting in blogs, YouTube videos, and tersely-worded social posts is that “Vanity Metrics” are out and a whole host of new track-ables are in. Don’t worry, though, there are dozens of social media wizards who will set you right.

What are Vanity Metrics?

Vanity Metrics feel like the greatest hits of social media strategies of yesterday: they were the numbers people were trying to increase because that’s what success looked like, right?

Likes, Shares, Followers, Subscribers, Pageviews, Retweets… these numbers were easy to track, and they felt good when you made them go up… but they didn’t tell the whole story.

Is there any truth to it? Yes, there is, but it’s not the whole story. The “Vanity Metrics” that felt like the thing for you to pay attention to for so long are still important, but these new indicators are the reasons why our “Vanity Metrics” go up or down. So the change we’re seeing is that analysis is letting us know not the “what” of those numbers but the “why” of how they happened, and what we can do to enact positive change again

5 Social Media Metrics that Matter in 2021

The metrics that matter for 2021 have a few things in common: they take more work than pulling some numbers from an Excel spreadsheet from your social channels, and they all use a little bit of math. Thankfully you can find templates that will handle most of the math for you. In fact, we’ve built one for you. You can get a copy of it by giving us your email here

1. Social Media Conversion Rate

A conversion happens when you get someone to do what you want them to do. Social Media Conversion happens when a social media post is what’s driving that action. When you create compelling content, your audience will follow your CTAs (calls to action), doing things like signing up for your newsletter, creating a new account, or downloading a piece of content that puts them in to your sales funnel. For the time being social media conversion requires a cookie to track users through their journey; with that setup we’ll take the total number of conversions created by a specific posts and divide it by the total number of clicks the post received. We want a percentage, so multiply that number by 100 and we have our Social Media Conversion Rate.

2. Social Media Click-Though Rate

Alright we’ve just looked at the number of clicks a post received in our Social Media Conversion rate; what if we wanted to find our Click-through rate? After all, that’s a good indicator as to whether or not the content is driving interest. To find our click-through rate we’ll take the total number of clicks on a social post’s link divided by the total impressions for that post. Make it a percentage by multiplying by 100 and you have your click-through rate.

3. Engagement Rate FTW.

The evolution of the most basics measurement of social media–the number of likes, shares, and comments–is your engagement rate. It’s the figure that illustrates whether your content is finding your audience authentically and getting that reaction using those factors listed about–likes, shares, and comments. Engagement takes the total number of likes, shares, and comments, and divides it by your total number of followers; this still doesn’t account for individual users over indexing in their engagement, so if your audience has a few hyper engaged members who run up the numbers, you may want to adjust that down to find a more realistic figure. As always multiply by 100 to get your percentage.

4. Effective Post Reach

Effective post reach can be useful for a few things: see how many people have engaged with your content since it was published, along with giving you indicators as to whether you’re posting your content at the right time and/or if the audience finds it useful. You can determine your Effective post reach by taking your post reach dividing that number by your total of followers; this is where you multiply by 100 to get your percentage. 

5. Social Share of Voice

To find out how things compare when you’re looking at who’s talking about your brand and your competition online, you’re looking to find your Social Share of Voice. This stat tracks down mentions about your brand: direct mentions like using your band name or social media handle, or they can be indirect: the quiet mention without the tag. It’s this metric that lets you know how visible your brand is. To find Social Share of Voice you’ll need to find the sum of your mentions–direct and indirect, and then find the sum of mentions of your competitors. Add these together and you get your total industry mentions.

Take the number that represents your mentions, divide it by the total, and multiply by 100%

There are plenty of great articles that go into even further depth as to why these–and other social media metrics–can play such a crucial roll in your success. So, while yes, you’re going to need to put some elbow grease into switching over from vanity-focused to value-focused reports, but it’s time well-spent. If you’re looking at what you think is a daunting job, give us a call at Blink. We’ve got a team who can help you out.

Written by

Graye Williams

Graye Williams

Chief Strategist at Blink

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