Social Media

4 Social Media KPIs Your Business Needs To Track (Part 1): Social Media Reach Explained

 October 10, 2019

By  Madelyn Young


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Nowadays, customers want to connect with brands, and social media is the ultimate way for brands to interact with people on a more personal level. People don’t respond to companies that push products and sales anymore; instead, they want their favorite brands to join in the conversation and prove their value by building relationships and telling their stories. But how can you ensure that your company is sending the right message to your target audience? By setting and measuring your social media KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators.

What are social media KPIs?

Oxford’s Dictionary defines a KPI as a quantifiable measure used to evaluate the success of an organization, employee, etc. in meeting objectives for performance. Every KPI you set should tie into your business goals. 

Social media KPIs are used to measure the performance of your social media efforts. To break it down a little…

A KPI is used to measure the success of a specific social goal you set. For example, if your campaign goal is to build brand awareness, your reach is important. Therefore, you can use KPIs like follower count, impressions, social mentions, and share of voice to measure the success of your goal.  

Knowing your social media KPIs will help you make crucial decisions on content, advertising, budget and other resources.


social media KPIs
Source: Social Media Examiner

Simply put, reach is the total number of people who see your content. The sum of all your followers across every social media account is your potential reach. As mentioned earlier, if the objective of a specific social media campaign is to build brand awareness and to reach as many qualified users as possible, these may be the KPIs to measure.

Follower count

This KPI — the number of people that follow your account — tends to be the most “fluffy.” It looks great on paper, but doesn’t always correlate to business success. You might have 10,000 followers on your account, but do these followers engage with your content? Are they genuinely interested in your company and your product?


According to Sprout Social, impressions are the number of times your content is displayed on someone’s news feed, no matter if it was clicked or not. This means that your content showed up in someone’s feed, but they didn’t necessarily read it or notice it.

Tracking impressions may seem pointless, but the fact is, this valuable metric actually indicates the true potential of your content. 

For example, you can compare your impressions to the level of engagement your content generated. Let’s say your engagement rate is low compared with the total impressions. That likely means your content didn’t resonate with your audience when it showed up in their feeds. So adjust your strategy accordingly. 

Social mentions

Tagging a person or a brand in a social post ties into a very important social media practice: social listening. According to Hootsuite, insights from social listening can inform every aspect of running your business, from public relations and customer service to product and marketing. Tracking social mentions reveals what people are saying about your brand, positive or negative. It also ensures that you respond to your customer’s questions, reviews or complaints on social media. 

— How to track social mentions: Use free social listening tools like Google Alerts, Hashtagify, Social Mention and Tweetdeck. Then take social listening to the next level by using a paid platform like Hubspot

Share of Voice

SOV measures brand visibility or the amount of space your brand owns in the market. It reflects how much your brand dominates the conversation in your industry. According to Sprout Social, SOV typically refers to a brand’s share of paid advertising in a competitive marketplace. But it can also include various elements of digital marketing and advertising, including mentions on social media as well as traffic for certain keywords. 

Let’s say you’re an air conditioner supplier in Chicago. Your “share of voice” measures how much of the online sphere (air conditioner suppliers in Chicago) your brand is taking part in, especially compared with your competitors. 

How to track SOV: Traditional SOV tracks what brands say. Social SOV tracks what people say about brands. In either case, the metric is usually expressed as a percentage of total mentions within an industry or a defined group of competitors. 

For example, our agency uses BurrellesLuce, a desktop monitoring and analytics tool, to monitor and report traditional SOV for our clients’ public relations efforts. Each time Burrelles finds a keyword (company name, product name, etc.) pertaining to a client or one of its competitors, it automatically counts the mention as a placement. At the end of the reporting period, the placements for each brand are totaled, and the percentage shares of the whole are calculated.

Below is an example of how to report your SOV by placement, compared with that of your competitors:

social media KPIs: Share of Voice

Likewise, the best and easiest way to calculate your brand’s social share of voice is with a social media analytics tool, such as Hootsuite Insights. Through Hootsuite, you can get key metrics from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, indicating the number of mentions your brand receives and ultimately report on your SOV with a chart similar to the example above.

Source: Social Media Today 

TIP: If people aren’t responding to your content, it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate your social media efforts. It might be in your best interest to work with a social media expert to help you create and manage a quality social media strategy or campaign. 

 “Next: Social Media KPIs Your Business Needs To Track (Part 2): The KPIs That Really Matter.


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