Social media: how to find the right KPIs for your goals
Carolina Mateus
27 Jul. 2016

What are KPIs?

Every marketing decision a company makes should be analyzed afterwards, in order to understand if changes need to be made to reach the defined goals – and that is what KPIs are for. The acronym KPI means Key Performance Indicator and, simplifying, it is what really matters in the end and what the department should measure and focus on.

In an organization, each department will have a group of KPIs that matter most, depending on their role and their tasks. So, what are the most relevant KPIs for the digital marketing department, when it comes to social media?

3 important KPIs for social media

A lot can be measured when it comes to a brand’s performance on social media and more and more platforms have analytics, where the outcomes of several decisions are saved – but beware, when working with KPIs it is important not to have too many. In this article, we talk a little bit about three simple KPIs that every brand present on a social media platform should measure:

1. Reach:

What am I going to measure? Number of fans/followers, number of people my page reached (and also each of my posts) and if these people are a part of my target.

Why is it important? It measures the potential size of my audience and helps me understand if I’m communicating my message the most beneficial way for my company.

KPI Reach

2.Interactions:

What am I going to measure? Number of people who take part in conversations about my brand, how they share my message and how they interact with my posts. Likes, comments, shares, retweets, mentions, favorites.

Why is it important? It allows me to know which type of content generates a bigger response in the audience and leads to a bigger reach and it is a direct source of customer feedback.

KPI Interactions

3.Influence:

What am I going to measure? Who is talking about my brand and what impact they have on it.

Why is it important? This indicator is a bit more subjective but it can be used to choose my target and it also enables me to know who is bringing more people to the conversation about my brand and, that way, find representatives of the brand that will amplify my message.

How do I choose KPIs that will meet my goals?

Obviously there are a lot more metrics than those we just mentioned. So one question arises: how do I know which ones adapt better to what I intend? The first step is to have the department/company goals well defined: in this case, the ones that concern the social media presence. Do we want to work our brand awareness? Strengthen the relation with the consumer? Generate leads?

Goals set, it is time to select the indicators that adapt the best to them. For that, we can answer a set of questions:

• Does this KPI reflect the company’s goals as a whole? And is it relevant to every level of the company?

• Does it have a strategic nature and does it fall into line with the day to day work of the employees?

• Is it based on trust-worthy, measurable information?

• Is it simple, both to understand and to measure? It is very important that employees know what is being evaluated and how.

• Are its conclusions going to be used in the company’s action plan?

If the answer to these questions was ‘Yes’, you found a good KPI!

However, you have to bare in mind that analyzing the numbers alone is not enough: there are qualitative factors that help you understand the numbers and that should not be ignored. It is crucial to make an analysis over time, comparing time periods and including efforts, budgets and resources – and this way predict future actions’ performance. Of course, these predictions will never be 100% accurate but they should help speed up and improve the working process. And, over time, you should adapt your KPIs, since the department/company goals change throughout its life. After all, implementing KPIs is no good if its analysis isn’t correctly done.

Conclusion

Having KPIs can be a very effective way to the work of a social media manager and understand what the next step is. Each case is a different case: each company and each department will have different relevant KPIs. The most important thing is to find the right ones for your goals, continually monitor them and use them for future actions.