The past two decades have witnessed the ups and downs of several social media platforms, which have surpassed 4 billion users worldwide. The evolution of social media from being a luxury to the playground of 97% of Fortune 500 companies and home to millions of virtual business setups is quite breath-taking.
Undoubtedly, social media metrics have been introduced and refined over time with the aim to attract businesses to strengthen their social media presence and thrive in a highly competitive industry. As of now, there are seven prominent social media platforms (YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Reddit, Snapchat, Tik Tok, and Facebook/ Meta) with a user base of over a billion.
According to Facebook, there are now nearly 10 million active advertisers. With more businesses flowing in to capitalize on different social media metrics, the platforms have started adding more parameters to maintain the surge.
Simply put, social media metrics are simple tools that provide the necessary insights regarding the posts, content, and presence of the business over different platforms. Nearly 81% of companies depend on these social media metrics to take major business decisions, underlining the magnitude of its growth and prevalence in the past few years.
The major parameters of social media metrics can be broadly classified into four segments –
Awareness: The pandemic witnessed a 43% rise in the usage rate of social media, followed by an uptick in 90% of brands establishing their social media presence. An average individual spends nearly 2.5 hours on social media, and the race to grab the maximum attention of netizens is measured through the awareness metrics.
Different social media platforms provide businesses with the impressions made, the reach of their posts, and even the rate of growth they have achieved over time. These awareness metrics can be tracked with the help of what the platform offers or an external monitoring tool. The numerical data generated are used to develop new benchmarks and further track the metrics to match them.
Return on Investment (ROI): Investments made in detecting and employing the social media metrics should reap sufficient returns. According to Buffer, more than 73% of marketers claim that they find metrics effective to keep track of their businesses.
Keeping an eye on the social media metrics has been fruitful for businesses, right from profit generation to customer satisfaction, including successful referrals and conversion and bounce rate. The ROI metrics can be tracked with a simple formula of profit earned from social media marketing efforts divided by the investment made, which is further multiplied by 100.
Customer care: Establishing effective channels of communication is a prerequisite for every virtual business platform to build and retain a good customer base. The efficiency of these channels can be measured through the response rate and time, followed by the C-SAT or customer satisfaction score and net promoter score.
Since 80% of the customers are most likely to engage in word-of-mouth marketing, customer care parameters need sturdy handling and close monitoring on social media. The customer care metrics can be tracked by calculating the number of inbound messages, the response time for each and a timely average, the number of issues solved, and the follow-up of customers who were satisfied by the assistance provided.
Engagement: The most important set of social media parameters where an audience’s interaction with various touch-points of a brand is measured to gauge the level of engagement. The simplest set of insights cover the interactions like – shares, comments, likes, saves, clicks, mentions, etc. – which provide the business with an ocean of data.
As per a LinkedIn report, live videos exhibiting and promoting services have an engagement rate of 24 times, in contrast to text content, followed by images and videos. The engagement metrics can be tracked by calculating the sum of total likes, comments, and shares of the posts, dividing it by the followers’ count, and finally multiplying it by 100.
It is easy to see the popularity and prominence of social media metrics in helping brands connect with customers like never before. These sets of numbers and metrics are capable of transforming business swiftly when they are fuelled with befitting strategies and optimum efforts. No two businesses can perform the same. However, when put into right use, social media metrics can create alternate streams of revenue and even enhance customer interaction and retention figures.
Making the best use of social media metrics was a distant reality until some global brands created revolutions in the virtual world. #shotoniphone is a popular social media campaign aimed at popularising the unbeatable camera quality of iPhones. It has more than 23 million posts on Instagram. Spotify, the popular music streaming platform, came to the spotlight with a single #wrapped hashtag, rousing the interests of millions to share their playlists on social media.
Closer home, from user-generated campaigns to multi-platform campaigns, brands ranging from start-ups to established players are serving customized content by listening to their audience.
As per the data provided by GlobalWebIndex, 54% of consumers depend on social media for making purchase decisions, and 49% of them follow the endorsements of influencers. The numbers tend to rise in the future, with the virtual marketplaces on social media replacing the rest.
The role of influencers, usage of chatbots and AI tools, and most importantly, the power of social media metrics will reign over a good number of e-commerce sites, with multiple social media platforms replacing them.