Making the Most of Your Metrics

With every social media platform cracking down on organic reach, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to your data. It’s the tool you need to stay ahead – but are you making the most of what platforms share?

Here are the metrics that matter when it comes to growing and maintaining your brand.

Reach 

Reach is the total number of people who see your content. It’s different from impressions in that it tracks unique views while impressions tally the number of times your content appears in anyone’s feed. To put it simply, you can have multiple impressions from one person while your reach counts each viewer once.

Total reach is separated into “paid” and “organic”. As the name might suggest, paid views are arranged through the platform for a fee. On Facebook this includes both ads and promoted posts. Organic views, on the other hand, happen naturally as a result of newsfeed algorithms, follower shares, or other free methods. Organic reach is very low on most platforms. Instagram admits users don’t see 70% of their newsfeeds, and Facebook dropped theirs to effectively zero when they launched their Explore tab.

Why should you care about reach? Though different experts will give different answers, the reasons boil down to three points:

Boosting your reach 

While some tactics are platform specific, there are a few tricks that work on every social media platform.

Growth

Growth is the percentage of new followers your channel gains in a month. It’s a better metric than base follower count. Getting the same number of new followers each month translates into a decline in popularity while keeping the same percentage of new followers indicates steady performance. Here’s how that works:

Your YouTube channel has 1,000,000 subscribers. You got 10,000 new fans in December, so your growth rate is 1%. The following month you start with 1,010,000 subscribers. You would need 10,100 new fans in January to maintain your 1% growth rate.

A low growth rate suggests that your new followers aren’t sharing your content. This could be because the message doesn’t resonate with them anymore or because they’re ghost or secondary accounts. Whatever the reason, low growth means you aren’t attractive valuable new followers.

This can seriously hurt your reach. Most social media platforms prioritize Liked content when generating the Newsfeed. On Facebook the situation is more dire: since they moved un-Liked pages to the Explore feed, no one will see your content in their Feed unless they Like your page.

The bottom line is that you can’t compete if no one sees your posts, and they probably won’t see it unless it’s been Liked or shared by an existing follower.

Maximizing your growth 

The best way to increase growth is to raise the visibility of your content and your brand.

Share of voice 

How much of the conversation in your area of influence includes you? How often are you or your posts mentioned in domain-relevant tags and threads? This percentage is called “share of voice”.

Calculating share of voice can be complex, but it’s a useful way to compare yourself to your closest competitors. A relatively high share of voice demonstrates leadership, expertise on a subject, and influence within your community. These are qualities that make you a very appealing prospect to sponsors and potential collaborators.

Raising your share of voice

Don’t spam social networks trying to raise your share of voice. Your reputation could suffer, and it will hurt your brand in the long run. A better route is to take part in carefully selected online activity that highlights your personality and knowledge.

Engagement 

Engagement measures interaction with your content (i.e., likes, clicks, shares, and mentions). It’s an active metric; fans must be moved to take action in order to count as engagement.

Engagement is a direct reflection of how interested people are in your content. It affects most other metrics; in fact, improving engagement also drives reach, growth, and share of voice. High engagement numbers attract the best sponsors, too.

Enhancing Engagement

If you want better engagement, it’s going to cost time and effort.

Getting access to more data

Of course, there’s only so much you can do with the data you get from social media. There’s no easy way to query the data or make custom requests, and platforms can change what’s shared any time.

To get full access to your follower data, consider a custom content platform. Interacting through your own branded app grants you full ownership of follower data, which offers many more options for evaluating your performance.