7 Social Media Metrics and why they are important for your Business

Social media analytics is an important part of any business strategy.

Social media dominates the way that people communicate and keeping up with the multitude of available analytics can be overwhelming.

To help you out, I’ve compiled a shortlist of some social media analytics and explained why they are important for your company.

One note on the below – definitions are everything.

When discussing metrics, there should be an agreed-upon definition to limit confusion when discussing and analyzing the numbers.

Metric definitions may change slightly from platform to platform.

Below is a list of terms and a generally agreed-upon explanation for them, but you may want to check a specific social media platform to see if their definition varies slightly.

This first set of metrics are gained from the individual social media platforms:

1. Impressions

Impressions help measure how many people have seen a post on a screen somewhere despite not clicking, commenting, or engaging with it. This is when your content is visible to a person, even if for a short amount of time while a person is scrolling through their social media feed. Your impressions numbers will typically be higher than your reach numbers.

Why are impressions important? Because it gives you an indication of the potential number of people that have seen or could see, your post. These are not people that have actively sought out your content, but your content has passively appeared on their screen due to their social network.

2. Reach

Social Media reach is how many people choose to see your content. You want to reach as many different demographics and areas of interest with posts so you can increase the chances that people will find what you’re saying interesting. A high social media reach is a good thing.

Why is reach important? This metric is an indication of how many people have clicked on your content. It is important because these people are performing a behavior as opposed to passively seeing your content on their screen.

3. Engagement

Comments, shares, likes, and clicks (like save) are the four main types of engagement. Your Engagement rate is the number of times your audience has liked and commented on a post or video that was made, as well as how many times they have shared it with their friends. The higher the engagement rate, the more likely people are to find your content.

Why is engagement important? This metric can be an indication that your audience found what you’re saying as being intriguing or either controversial enough to interact with it and engage in conversation. You can determine which social media content your audience resonates with the most by looking at their engagement rate. This will allow you to focus on that type of content in order to better engage them.


Shares, sometimes called Amplification, refers to the number of times people share a post on their social media account.

Why are shares important? A high amplification rate is an indication that your community is interested in you and what you have to offer. They found what you were writing either intriguing or controversial enough to pass it onto others in their network.

5. Clicks

Social Media Clicks are defined as the number of clicks on a link that directs readers to your content or website. For example, if you post an article about how great it is to work for your company and someone shares it with their own network, then they might click on one of the links in order to find out more information about employment opportunities at your business.

Why are clicks important? Clicks are important for the same reasons shares are. When someone clicks on your content, it means they’re interested enough to take any action that will lead them closer towards becoming a customer of your company or even joining its workforce.


The next two set of metrics are gained from your website’s analytic software like Google Analytics:

6. Referrals

Social media referrals are a measure of how many visitors come from social networks. When someone clicks a link in a post and then lands on your site, that’s a referral visit. For many businesses, social networks provide significant traffic. You can track referrals by looking at the data on your Google Analytics.

Why are referrals important? Web visitors who come to leave their social invitations and explore your website may be better leads and potential consumers. It also allows you to understand what content is resonating the most with followers so you can leverage that knowledge to improve your social strategy.

7. Conversions

Your conversions are the percentage of your site visitors that came from social media that took the desired action. Conversions are the next step after referrals.

Why are conversions from social important? If you have a high referral rate but a low conversion rate, then you are getting an initial look but are losing customers after they come to your site. This is an indication that you may have to refine where your customers go (i.e. your landing page), what they see, or what actions they need to take.

Move Out

It is important to know what your social media metrics are and what they mean.

The next step is to use this information and make adjustments to some of the variables like the timing of your social media posts, the messages they contain, the platforms they are posted on, or the webpage that they land on.

Make small changes and watch for any increasing or decreasing trends.

The more you do this, and the more data you get, the better you will be able to assess, make the necessary changes, and go back into execution with a better product.


This post may contain affiliate links. Click here for my disclaimer.

Mike Nicholson

I've spent my career working in a variety of Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Public Affairs, Information Operations, and Executive Outreach positions. With a history of planning, preparing, executing, and assessing communication strategies in the U.S. and abroad, I use this site to write, think and share lessons learned on organizational communications.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap