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7 Social Media Metrics Your Boss Needs to Know

By Derek Franks  •  July 5, 2017

Take your social media reporting to the next level.

7 Social Media Metrics Your Boss Needs to Know

Posted by: Derek Franks on July 5, 2017

When’s the last time you WOW’d your boss? Too long, right?

We’ve all been there. If you’re in digital or social media marketing and your brand or business is ready to take off and reach the next level, you’ll need to be armed with the power of social media metrics.

Here’s your opportunity to really show the impact of your marketing efforts.  Don’t just be on social media.  Become a social media power user.  One way to do this is by leveraging the analytics side of social media and putting together some mindblowing reports that provide real proof that all this noise is worth it. 

If you can add these social media metrics to your toolkit, you’ll be well on your way to showcasing a true business ROI to your supervisor or CEO. Here are 7 social media metrics your boss needs to know:



Audience Growth Rate

Everyone obsesses over how many followers they have. But follower numbers are a vanity metric. It’s nice to tell someone you have 50K in the follower bucket. But what does this number tell you about your success as a business?

What your following number needs is context. The audience growth rate provides some of that context by allowing you to see your brand’s growth on the social channel over time.

Using the Audience Growth Rate, you can better connect your social efforts to your business results. By establishing a correlation between audience growth and sales, you can visualize and understand why social has made a contribution to your marketing efforts.

Better yet, it can help identify what’s not working. If the audience growth rate and/or conversion numbers aren’t where you want them to be, you can start looking for trends to see what your team can do to improve. Perhaps your targeting needs to be enhanced or your messaging tweaked to attract more eyeballs. Maybe you need to create content more relevant for your follower base, or maybe you need to target more relevant followers in general.

Next time you’re presenting a report to your boss or client about the state of your social media efforts, use the audience growth rate chart instead of just listing your follower number to showcase the real growth and provide context.

How to calculate:

In each channel’s analytics tools, find your follower numbers over time chart and tabulate the number of followers each month. Your best bet is to create a bar graph for visual reference.

Take it a step further with the audience growth rate change formula to calculate the percentage change from one month to the next (the letters represent a month):

 (A-B)/B = % change  *(multiple this number by 100 to get the percentage)*


Average Engagement Rate:

Engagement is the in-vogue metric to track. That’s because it gives you an indicator if the content you create resonates with your audience and is relevant to your potential customers. Engagement is any audience behavior on your social posts-- likes, comments, shares, clicks and follows. This is an important metric to track because these actions validate your content and show that what you have to say is important to people you want to do business with.

Engagement rate, however, is not totally indicative of sales. Conversion rate gives us a better clue as to how well social content is laddering up to business objectives. But if you keep close tabs on how well your content is performing, the audience will help guide your content strategy and determine what kind of social posts to create, which, in turn, will lead to more conversions.

The key? Use the “Average Engagement Rate”. This takes the engagement metric a step further by establishing a trend in your content’s impact on your base of followers.

Rather than simply reporting on the engagements of your posts, you should include the average over the course of the reporting period to your boss. This will help present the true value of the content you created, set benchmarks for your content performance and identify important learnings that can inform your next round content. 

How to calculate:

The formula for average engagement rate is this: 

Total engagement (likes, comments, shares) / total number of fans

While most channels will only let you look back about 30 days on the engagement of your content, start documenting from month to month and see if you’re able to garner a higher rate as you progress.

Sentiment and emotional analysis 

What if you could get into the mind of your customers? The sentiment and emotional analysis metric helps you do that. Social media listening provides marketers with a whole different utility belt to understand marketing, advertising, business and sales efforts. These two social listening metrics will help take your reporting to the next level.

Sentiment and emotional analysis tracks the online conversation from all the social networks, online forums, blogs and microblogs, influential people and publications. It then analyzes this information using natural language processing and gives you an accurate measurement of sentiment and emotions surrounding a given topic. It displays positivity or negativity from audiences and calculates the different emotions over the time period of your choice.

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By understanding the trends in emotion and sentiment during a specific moment in time, you can precisely report the reaction, responses, feelings, unsolicited thoughts and feedback of your customers and potential customers.

Notice a trend here? Trends are important. Be trendy! Recognize them and learn from them.

The great thing about measuring sentiment and emotions are that you can gauge more than than just how social media marketing is performing. You can show your boss how the latest ad campaign is going, how the audience responded to your product launch and you can even spy on your competitors and how the audience views them.

These are incredibly valuable metrics that help boost your reporting and prove the effectiveness of analyzing audiences and social conversations for your business.

How to Calculate:

To calculate emotion and sentiment analysis, you’ll need a social listening tool. Thankfully, we know of one. You can get a free personalized demo to see the the capabilities of social listening here.

Assisted social conversions 

Conversions are the most important statistic in digital marketing.  Social media can be a vital piece to the conversion puzzle.

Assisted social conversions is a metric that goes beyond clicks and site visits to tell you the true value of the content you’re posting. For this metric, you need Google Analytics. If you don’t currently use Google Analytics, you’re missing out and should probably get that set up ASAP. 

[Google has a great beginner’s overview of how to use GA so you’re starting out in the right direction.]

Once you’re setup in Analytics, you can use the Assisted Social Conversions metric to show you just how many times someone converted because of social. This number shows you how many people visited your site from social, but didn’t immediately convert and only to convert later on, something hard to track without the help of Google.

Google counts this as an assist because your social content was deemed quality enough for target customers to visit and later lead to a conversion. You might be missing some important conversion numbers without this! 

Include this measurement in your next report as proof that investment in social media is the right call.

How to calculate:

In the Google Analytics profile click the Acquisition and drop down the Social tab then click assisted conversions. Hit the drop down and click Assisted vs. Last interaction, then scroll down to click on assisted conversions. In the table under the lable conversions is where you’ll find the “assisted social conversions” number.

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Share of Voice (SOV)

One of the primo benefits of living in a social media driven world is that you can better spy on your competitors.

Share-of-voice lets you see how well your competitors’ social content is performing. The name of this metric pretty much sums it up: it’s how much piece of the conversation pie one brand has compared to another.  This could be branded as well as unbranded conversations.

By comparing your brand’s share-of-voice with another in your industry, you can gain a better understanding of how well your content is performing with your target customers. It’s likely that your closest competitors share similar target audiences. One caveat here is that the conversation could, in fact, be either positive or negative. In that regard, it will be important to know if you’re getting positive or negative coverage compared to a competitor.

Measuring the effectiveness of their content compared to yours can tell you as much about your brand’s marketing efforts as theirs and even help you find out if you’re leading the pack. And we can all agree that if your brand is outperforming the competition, that is definitely something you will want to share with your boss.

How to calculate:

Take the total number of mentions for your brand and divide it by the total number of mentions of your competitor. Here’s the formula:

SOV = Total number of brand mentions  / Total number of market mentions


You can use a social listening tool or a brand mention tool like Social Mention or Follower Wonk to see mentions and formulate your social share of voice.

Audience/Follower Interests

Take the time to get to know your customers. If you’ve done a good job of targeting your audience on social media, then you probably have a good aggregate of followers on your various channels who have specific details about them that they share in common. 

Additionally, monitoring the larger universe of social conversation can help you see what relevant topics and content people are engaged in. This all adds up to helping you understand your audiences better.

These metrics would be valuable to share with your team especially when it comes to strategy and tactical planning for big campaigns. Keeping your audience’s interests at front of mind will help you create more relevant content and lead more effective campaigns.

How to calculate:

The social channels themselves typically have some built in analysis tools to give you a good idea of what kind of topics your followers are interested in:

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On top of that, social listening tools can give you a deeper look into the online conversation around given topics and provide data on the people who are talking about it:


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How can you know if your social content and your brand objectives are aligned? If people are clicking through to your site from social media and then hanging around to check you out, it stands to reason that they have some vested interest in you.

For this reason, attention metrics are far more effective to measure than just simply pageviews.

This is a great way to also gauge how quality your content is, whether it’s social media, blog or other forms of content. If you’re crafting great work, you’re going to pique the interest of your target customers. It’s that simple.

How to calculate:

Google Analytics also tracks this metric. Look there to find the following measurements: time on page, pageviews and unique pageviews. The primary goal should be to increase the amount of time spent on your page from views and unique views over time. 

In Closing

Skeptical or not, your boss might be missing some important information with regards to your social media marketing. By creating in-depth reports with the more telling and precise metrics, you can provide your supervisor, strategists and even CEO with the social proof your business needs.

This data doesn’t just help you report on your social content, it helps you improve it. By identifying trends and documenting your observations, you can produce better content and optimize the approach to your advertising campaigns, product launches and online content.

Ready to get trendy? Report on your social media metrics in style and you’re sure to impress.


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