Key performance indicators are a set of measures that define whether or not a company is on track to reach its overall business or marketing objectives. By defining KPIs, the company can determine the strategies and tactics needed to achieve its goals. When it comes to marketing, social media KPIs can be set for each channel and stage of the marketing funnel to ensure every effort and initiative is being measured with relevant metrics. Measuring marketing performance informs marketers which channels, ads and audiences are on target to achieve goals and where pivots are needed.
The marketing funnel is a visual representation of the customer journey stages toward completing an action or making a purchase. The funnel comprises seven stages, grouped into three main subsections. The journey is represented by a funnel to resemble the natural drop-off in audience size as the path progresses from the awareness stage to the conversion stage.
The three stages of the funnel:
The marketing efforts in each section of the funnel should entice the customer to move onto the next stage, with the ultimate goal of moving the customer to the bottom of the funnel. The KPIs set for each stage should focus on measures unique to each goal. For example, a brand launching a new product into the market may set reach as a KPI against their ToFu efforts to indicate that their target audience has seen their message. The brand can then also set click-through rate (CTR) and unique page views as key KPIs to determine their success at driving top-of-funnel efforts to the consideration stage. In this example, the customer would have clicked through to the brand’s website to learn more about the product(s).
Each social channel has unique metrics, but the three main subcategories of the marketing funnel also apply to the types of KPIs that can be measured for social media. The KPIs that are chosen should influence the performance of your brand’s unique strategy.
For ToFu objectives, KPIs can be set to measure awareness and interest within your audience. These users are likely new to your brand and message, so the goal is to make them aware and interested in what you’re posting and ultimately your brand and products. Start by measuring post visibility metrics such as reach and impressions for a baseline of understanding how many people have seen your posts and how many times they’ve seen them. Engagement metrics such as likes, comments, saves and video views can be measured to understand how engaged your audience is with each post. To derive more insight from these metrics, divide the post’s likes and comments by followers to get the engagement rate. Engagement rate can be used as a benchmark for social media content performance.
When setting MoFu objectives, take interest metrics such as profile visits, follows, shares, retweets and closeups into consideration. These metrics will show your audience’s overall interest in your brand’s content. Brand consideration metrics such as website clicks and profile actions should be tracked to understand the number of users who have seen your posts and have chosen to dig deeper into your brand. Keep an eye on post visibility metrics to provide a point of reference to set your benchmarks. Some examples of MoFu KPIs are click-through rate, follower growth rate, and new vs returning website users.
BoFu objectives are all about customer evaluation, purchase, loyalty and advocacy. Measuring bounce rate, customer lifetime value, customer acquisition cost and conversion rate can be incredibly valuable insight into whether or not your bottom of funnel messaging is driving the desired results effectively, on a long and short-term basis.
Remember, the most important KPIs to set are the metrics that will provide insight into your current strategy as well as indicate where improvements may be made in incoming efforts.
Social media KPIs should be set during the planning phase. This gives your team an opportunity to align on content strategy and executional tactics, as well as a performance benchmark to work from. KPIs are an integral part of the feedback loop that naturally occurs during the content cycle: planning and setting goals, posting and executing the strategy, measuring across posts and channels and applying what you’ve learned to the next plan and adjusting goals if needed. There are two functions of KPIs: leading indicators are the analytics that measure how well your social channels are currently doing and lagging indicators are the analytics that measure how well your social channels performed historically. By using metrics that inform both types of indicators, this can help inform your content strategy. For example, you may have hit a high impression count, but a low engagement rate may indicate that your content isn’t resonating with your audience and a pivot may be needed.
Dash Hudson provides intuitive insights that help brands master their strategies across the entire content lifecycle. By providing KPIs in an easy-to-digest visual format, you’ll be able to decipher the health of your channels at a glance, determine which pillars of content are high performers and dig into each post’s performance. With Dashboards, multi-channel and multi-brand reports are fully customizable to showcase the data that matters the most to your unique team.
Relationships, our influencer management tool, removes manual, surface-level tracking of ambassador, influencer and gifting programs by providing seamless ROI reporting. With Visual IQ, our AI-powered content segmentation tool, marketers can decipher which owned, competitive and UGC content pillars are performing above the rest. As a badged partner with the major social channels, you can be certain that the data presented is direct from the source and handled securely.
There are a few best practices when it comes to setting KPIs. The goals need to be clear and leave no question as to what your team is working towards and if it has been achieved. Each KPI should have a specific target metric within a given time frame. The data source should also be consistent within sets of KPIs.
It is not necessary to set unique social media KPIs for each channel when starting from scratch. However, not every channel will prove to be as valuable as the next and not all metrics translate to each social channel. Using performance data, targets can be set based on the audience and effectiveness of each channel. Underperforming social media channels can be given different targets to be more realistic and can be allocated more or less resources based on your strategy for that channel.
If you find that your current KPIs are not providing a clear picture of performance or success, it is recommended that you update your KPIs. However, if you want to change your KPIs in the middle of a reporting period, it would be best to gather as much back data as possible to provide a clear picture of success. Always ensure you have enough data to be able to set an accurate benchmark.