How To Pick Effective Social Media KPIs

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effective social media KPIs

Picking effective social media KPIs (key performance indicators) can be a daunting task.

Some social media managers choose to go super “vanity” and only measure follower growth (which isn’t that smart considering you can have hundreds of thousands of fans who still aren’t buying your stuff).

And some CEOs force their social teams to stick with direct return on investment (ROI) only — which for many brands, a direct dollar-for-dollar return is extremely tough to prove.

We’ve got some tips for a happy medium when it comes to choosing social media KPIs.


What’s A “KPI”, Anyway?

KPI is an acronym for the word, “key performance indicator.”

Businesses use KPIs to measure and evaluate factors that are critical to success. And no, in case you were wondering, not all KPIs are the same across businesses.

Even social media KPIs may vary depending on your social media goals and what outcomes you’re trying to produce.

Effective social media KPIs are crucial because they determine progress towards your goals.Click To Tweet

Since we’re KPI-measuring beasts at B Squared, we’re going to share with you a few tips for ensuring you’re picking the best, most effective, social media KPIs.

Effective Social Media KPIs Are …

To start, you’ve got to make sure your team is on the same page. Again, what I deem important may seem trivial to you and vice versa.

The middle ground often includes direct or “hard” ROI key performance indicators, or quantitative goals, while also including qualitative metrics or “soft” measurements.

Case in point: If you want leads, that’s a direct KPI, but many brands use social media to gain awareness, and that’s a much softer metric.

So when you’re ready to start putting together your social media KPIs, get with the team and make sure you cover the four areas below.

Effective social media KPIs are …

  1. Agreeable: Everyone on the team (and anyone you’re reporting to) should know why this KPI is important, and agree it’s essential for tracking progress.
  2. Clear: Everyone on the team (and anyone you’re reporting to) should understand what the KPI means.
  3. Relevant: The KPIs must have a positive impact or tie to a business goal.
  4. Objective: Look at the minutia (like our “seesaw data“) as well as the big-picture metrics.
These four points will help your team agree on effective social media KPIs.Click To Tweet

How To Choose YOUR Social Media KPIs

Now that your team is on the same page, how do you decide which social media KPIs will best serve you?

1) Start with company goals

For most of our clients, social media is used as an outlet for collecting leads. And leads, of course, can drive sales and direct ROI.

Sending traffic from your social sites to your website may also be a quantifiable goal.

Most c-level executives will expect some sort of conversion to happen on social, so be ready to create social media KPIs that can track those conversions.

2) Include brand goals

Brand goals are probably a little softer and include things like follower growth and reviews.

If you’re using Facebook for your business, their newest algorithm update means you should definitely have a KPI that keeps track of those.

3) Campaign goals

As you get more granular, you may want to set up social media KPIs that track your specific campaigns.

You can track things like:

  • Campaign or brand mentions
  • Custom hashtag use
  • Sign-ups
  • Check-ins
When choosing your KPIs, start big and then get granular.Click To Tweet

Tracking Your Social Media KPIs

Once you’ve determined which social media KPIs you want to track, you should create a spreadsheet that helps you measure them month-over-month, year-over-year.

Not only does this help you see where you’re falling short, it also helps you clearly show your team how your efforts are paying off.

Here’s an example of our Social Media Scorecard, which we use to track social media KPIs for clients:


Our Scorecard helps us track our goal (the number or outcome we expect for a particular month) and our actual (the actual number or outcome we garnered in a particular month).

As we pop the numbers into Excel, a formula automatically turns the cell red if we failed to meet our goal, and green if we meet or exceed our goal.

Percentages are also automatically calculated.

Of course, these vary from client to client, but you can see how easily we’re able to show success or failure by month, quarter, or year.

Clients LOVE that!

This scorecard helps measure and track your social media KPIs.Click To Tweet

How does your team choose effective social media KPIs? Which ones do you find most important to measure? We’ve love to hear from you — just pop a comment in down below.


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Brooke B. Sellas is an award-winning Customer Marketing Strategist and the CEO & Founder of B Squared Media. Her book, Conversations That Connect has been recognized nationally and is required reading for a Customer Experience class at NSU. Brooke's influence in digital marketing is not just about her accomplishments but also about her unwavering commitment to elevating the industry standard of digital customer experience and customer marketing.
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Category: Data, Metrics, , ,
Tags: analytics, key performance indicators, KPIs, metrics, Return on Investment, ROI, ,
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