The Social Media Metrics Map: A Comprehensive Guide for Marketers

social media metrics map eclincher comprehensive guide

The days when you could afford to treat social media as an afterthought are long past. In 2021, social media is not just a cool place to be; it’s an extension of your brand. It shows who you are and guides you to where you’re headed.

Managing this online community, making it work for your audience and business goals is an important responsibility. Your social media activities have to translate to a positive impact on your business’s bottom line.

However, it can be challenging to measure your performance and demonstrate how your decisions and the results you’ve generated are driving the business forward. This is why it’s important to incorporate social media metric maps into your performance measurement to ensure you’re on the right track at all times.

This post will help you understand how a social metric map works, how to build one, the right metrics to track at each stage of the customer journey, and how you can use it to amp up your marketing strategy and success.

What is a social media metrics map?

Let’s face it, looking at documents with pages filled with numbers, charts, and lengthy explanations about your social media marketing strategy and analytics is boring. And creating them isn’t fun either. If you want to get your manager or CEO excited about your work or ideas, you need to present them in a simple, engaging, easy-to-understand format. Enter the social metrics map!

A social media metrics map comprises your business objectives, buyer’s journey, social strategy, content, tactics, key performance indicators and reflects how they impact one another. It is a form of visual communication to show social media metrics KPI performance.

A social media metrics map is a visual representation of data from social networks and other websites. The idea behind the map is to give marketers a bird’s-eye view of their organization’s digital footprint, with each dot representing an activity on any given site such as customer service interactions or website visits.

The social media metrics map will tell you the appropriate KPIs to track for owned, earned, and paid social media metrics efforts and the value they’re producing for your business at various stages of the buyer journey.

This way, you’ll be able to see if the metrics you’re measuring align with your marketing or business objectives and gain insights to help you improve your performance going forward.

Strategy & planning before creating your map

To build a strong social metrics map, fine-tune your analytics and reporting methods, gather insights, and propose ideas that will impact your business for the better, there are certain things you need to take into consideration. 

1. Set realistic goals

If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you’ve arrived?

The first step to any kind of marketing success is setting a goal. What are you trying to achieve with your organic and paid social media metrics strategy?

When you establish clear goals, you can then create a strategy to help you get the results you’re looking for. You’ll also be able to determine if your efforts are paying off. Communicate the desired metrics via internal communication to all parties concerned, so you’re all on the same page.

To ensure your marketing efforts are integrated, you should carve your social media goals out of your existing marketing goals. Let’s say your company’s goal is to raise brand awareness or educate customers about your products; you should implement your social marketing activities with those goals in mind.

Don’t just say you want to increase sales; specify by how much. State what success with a particular goal would look like for you. Make sure it’s something you can realistically achieve from your current position.

Hydrate Marketing's SMART goals graphic
Source: Hydrate Marketing

2. Define your objective

Think of your objectives as goals combined with actions for each stage of the buyer journey. They tell you what you hope to achieve at every point as you move the customer through your marketing funnel.

For instance, the social media objectives or primary action for your company could look like this:

Stages of the customer journeySocial media Objectives
Awareness Expand audience reach
Consideration Create demand for products or services 
DecisionGenerate sales or conversions
Adoption Educate customers on how to use product or service
Advocacy Encourage word of mouth marketing 

Now that you know what your objectives are for each stage, you can now develop specific ideas and campaigns to help you accomplish them.

If your primary marketing goal is to increase advocacy and your objective is to encourage word of mouth marketing, in your social media strategy, you could adopt the following techniques in your social media metrics plan to achieve your aims:

  • Get at least 15 customers to share reviews, testimonials, recommendations, or user-generated content every month by offering incentives.
  • Run targeted ads to promote positive customer or influencer posts around your brand twice a month.
  • Reduce reply time to 30 minutes or less.
  • Retweet, share, repost, and engage with user-generated content. 

Be as specific as possible about the timeline and how you plan to execute your objectives. It’s also important to know what systems or tools you’ll use to implement and manage your projects.

3. Understand social metrics and their usage

This is where many social media marketers falter. They don’t take the time to figure out the proper metrics to track to accurately represent their performance based on the objectives they’ve outlined. 

Some end up using vanity metrics because they’re flashy and easy to come about. And others just give up and ignore their social data, so they end up only scratching the surface with their strategy.

An easy to discover what metrics to track is by using the objectives and key results (OKR) framework. Essentially, you define what you want to accomplish and how you’ll measure progress towards that goal.

To identify the key results you’ll be reporting to determine the success of each objective, you need to understand the different metric categories and the social media KPIs that belong to each category. 

Activity metrics

This has to do with owned efforts or the parts of your social strategy within your team’s control. It includes things like the frequency of your paid promotions, the volume of organic content you put out, and how often you post on social media. Earned metrics you can measure like brand or product mentions also fall into this category. 

KDnuggets Sentiment Analysis Graphic
Source: KDnuggets

Success metrics

These metrics help you track performance and ascertain the success of your social marketing activities. Success metrics include external factors that are not directly within your control like interactions, engagement rate, cost per click, brand mentions, impressions, the volume of user-generated content, and more.

Impact metrics

Impact metrics reveal the effect your social activities have had on the broader scheme of things. They include ad conversions, click-through rate, website conversions from social visitors, the share of voice, return on ad spend, etc.

Goal-setting for your social media metrics map

Now that you know the different stages of the buyer’s journey, as well as the stage(s) your social strategy or campaign will be focusing on, and the action you hope to drive at the end of the day, it’s time to begin sketching out the goals for your social metric map in detail.

To do that, ask yourself the following questions:

1. What are your benchmarks?

Take a look at your current social marketing performance for the objective you want to achieve. What do the numbers say? Use that as the starting point when setting new goals to ensure you stay within the realm of what is achievable.

If your goal is to grow your audience, and you have 1300 followers at the moment, it probably isn’t realistic to say you want to gain 10k followers per month unless you have a secret potion in your back pocket to help you go viral post after post.

2. What are the success stories of your peers?

Use the success of your other businesses in your niche to inform the goals you set. What kind of results are they seeing from a similar social strategy or in general? Is there a unique tactic driving their marketing efforts that you can implement to maximize the impact of your campaigns?

Find out the social media management tools that are being used in your industry and are helping to boost sales and performance. Invest in them too.

3. How is your competition faring?

Another way to figure out specific goals for your social metric maps is by borrowing a page from your direct competitors. Do a little research to see what they’re up to.

Go through their social media pages and take notes on their performance. Leverage social listening to monitor public sentiments around your brand and that of your competitor and find opportunities to gain an edge over them.

4. What are your industry’s common benchmarks?

The current standard for a particular metric in your industry is a good reference point for what your goals should be. For example, let’s say you’re a fashion retailer, the average engagement rate per post on Instagram for the fashion industry in 2020 was 0.68%.

Assuming you declare increased engagement as one of the objectives of your social strategy, this statistic will tell you whether the goal you’ve set is attainable or just a pipedream.

Digital Marketing Community's Average engagement rate per post on Instagram graphic
Source: DigitalMarketingCommunity

Tracking and documenting your metrics and how you’re progressing towards set goals regularly is key. It’ll help you stay on track and generate new ideas to bring you closer to your goal.

As you know, there are many metrics that you can monitor for your brand, but not all of them will be relevant to you. However, the following are essential social metrics worth keeping an eye on regardless of the type of business you’re running.

If you’re not sure how to go about reporting your social metrics and sharing that information with other personnel and departments, check out eclincher’s free social media metrics template here 

eclincher's social media metrics map [template]

Engagement metrics

Engagement metrics show how active your audience is when it comes to interacting with your content and campaigns. This metric includes post engagement rate and the number of shares, likes, retweets, comments, organic mentions, and saves your post or account gets.

If you have a high engagement rate, it means you have an active audience, a significant number of real followers, and you share exciting or relevant content. As a result, your brand will be seen as trustworthy, and social media platforms will boost your posts so they’ll be discovered by more people.

Engagement metrics belong to the success metrics category, and they can provide valuable insights at the awareness, consideration, and adoption stage of your buyer journey.

Awareness metrics

If increasing brand awareness is one of your social marketing goals, you need to track your reach and impressions to see how you’re performing in this regard.

Reach refers to the total number of people who have viewed your post since it went live. On the other hand, impressions are the number of times your post appears in or was delivered to someone’s feed/timeline, whether they engaged with it or not.

Although impressions give you an idea of your continent’s potential visibility, you might need other metrics to get the full picture. For example, you might have lots of impressions, but minimal interactions on your post, suggesting that content wasn’t interesting enough to get people to engage.

Awareness metrics are success metrics. If your social strategy is focused on reaching new customers and growing your audience, these are the metrics you should be tracking.

Share of voice metrics

Share of voice falls under success metrics and is an excellent metric to monitor at the adoption stage.

It shows the percentage or number of brand mentions that your brand controls compared to your competitors. For instance, if you’re a fintech company in London, you can measure the share of voice metrics to see how many people are talking about your products or business.

You can then compare it to your competitor’s share of voice to see where you stand and what you can do to skew more of the attention in your favor.

ROI metrics

As the name suggests, your return on investment metrics will tell you the value your brand is getting from your social media efforts. The calculate your social media ROI, here are some key metrics to watch out for:

  • Conversions — This occurs when someone purchases on your website or online store. If a user goes to your social media page or sees your ad on a social platform, clicks on a link to your website from there, and ends up buying something, that’s a social conversion.
  • Referrals — This is the channel through which a user visited your site or ecommerce shop. To monitor where your referral traffic is coming from, you’re going to need UTM tracking and a web analytics tool like Google Analytics. 
  • Click-through rate — CTR is the number of times someone clicks on your post or ad compared to the number of times it was viewed. Industries have different click-through rates, so research and use your industry benchmark to determine whether you’re succeeding or underperforming with this metric.
Instapage Facebook Ads Industry Benchmarks
Source: Instapage

ROI metrics belong to the impact metrics category. Make sure you track them at the consideration and decision stages of your marketing funnel to measure how well you’re progressing towards your goals and objectives. 

Customer service metrics 

Customer service metrics are activity metrics because they concern factors largely within your control like reply rate, response time, and brand/product sentiment.

It’s essential to track this metric at the adoption stage to understand how people experience your brand and what you can do to serve them better.

For example, if your objective is to improve customer experience and your brand sentiment report shows that people think your website or app is difficult to navigate, that tells you it’s time to revamp your UI/UX.

Transform the effectiveness of your social strategy

One of the most important duties of a marketer is to connect the dots between social media tactics, business goals, and the organization’s bottom line.

This task is not as daunting as it seems when you know the correct metrics to track, your specific goals, the buyer journey stages to focus on, and the methods you’ll use to accomplish your objectives. 

Your social media metrics map can help you figure all these and more out, so you can stay accountable, easily articulate your strategy, and implement new ideas based on the performance of your social content and campaigns.

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