How to Measure Your Results on Social Media

How to Measure Your Results on Social Media

Social Media Marketing

What data should you focus on to track your progress on social media? What numbers indicate that you’re getting a solid return on your investment?

Social media is constantly moving, and while it can be a tremendous marketing tool for your brand, it can also be a cluttered and noisy space. If you sell directly online or solicit direct sign ups, you can measure the direct activity that your social media is helping to generate, but direct selling should not be your primary focus on social platforms. What’s much more important is your overall branding; your presence, visibility, recognition, and relationship-building are paramount on social.

The 3 Keys to Social Media Success

1. Get to know your followers. Connect with them to understand them, and give them a chance to get to know you.

2. Use the social relationship to build trust with your audience. By engaging with them, you embed yourself in their     consciousness.

3. Ultimately, make more indirect sales because your customers will remember you as a result of the ongoing, trusting relationship that you’ve established.

Building your brand on social media is the key to business growth, but it’s more of a slow burn than it is the instant gratification of an immediate sale. Branding success can be challenging to measure.

At Barker Social Marketing, we collect a variety of data from all of our social media campaigns. While many people are caught up in the number of followers that they collect, we don’t feel that this is the most valuable data to measure. Especially not lately, with the influx of fake accounts and purchased followers. No, what we’re most interested in is the quality of the followers and the relationship between what we post (both the content and the volume) and how that relates to the brand reach and the response in the form of clicks and engagement.

Think about it as a formula:

Content + Volume vs. Reach + Engagement

Website Analytics

It’s essential to install Google Analytics on your website and to measure the activity on your website against the data that you collect from each social media platform. Google offers many different numbers and these are the ones we find most useful.

Avg. Session
Bounce Rate
New Sessions
Returning Visitors
New Visitors

The sessions show how much traffic your website is getting overall. The users tells you how many individual visitors you’re getting each month contrasted with repeat visits from the total number of sessions.

Pageviews, pages, bounce rate, and the average session are all very telling because they’ll give you information about how engaged people feel with your website once they get there. Your goal is to have a low bounce rate. A high bounce rate means that people are getting to your site and leaving immediately because it’s neither interesting to them or engaging them. Then, if they stay, how many pages are they visiting and how long are the spending? Are people sticking around to browse?

It’s always interesting to see how many brand new visitors you’re getting to your website each month, and how many people are loyal repeats.

Once you spend some time looking at this overview data, take a look at the Acquisition. How are people finding you?

Website Acquisition

Paid Search

Of course, the number of people clicking from your site directly from social media is great to know:

Social Media Acquisition

Stack Exchange

The other acquisition channels are also interesting because you’ll find that the overall branding push that you do on social media will also lead to more people remembering your name and your content and looking you up in other ways. How often have you seen something on social media that you haven’t clicked on right away but then you’ve looked it up later in a search engine? Social media builds your brand over time and will help you to grow more overall website traffic in addition to direct clicks.

Social Media Analytics from Each Platform

We also pull data every month from each social media platform:

Twitter Analytics

New Tweets
Total Tweets
Tweet Impressions
Impressions per Day
Profile Visits
Likes (status)
Tweets Linking to You
New Followers
Total Followers
Engagement Rate

Facebook Analytics

New Posts
Actions on Page
Video Views
Likes (status)
Page Views
New Page Likes
Total Page Likes

Instagram Analytics

New Posts
Total Posts
Image Likes/Views
New Followers
Total Followers

LinkedIn Analytics

Page Likes
New Posts

Pinterest Analytics

New Posts
Avg. Daily Impressions
Avg. Daily Viewers
Avg. Daily Saves
Avg. Daily People saving
Avg. Daily Clicks
Avg. Daily Visitors
Avg. Monthly Viewers
Avg. Monthly Engaged

Google+ Analytics

New Posts

We track all of these statistics month over month to look at ongoing business growth and trends that we can use alongside the website data.

Online Advertising

Let’s not forget paid social media advertising. Facebook advertising can be particularly fruitful for many brands, as can Twitter advertising, LinkedIn advertising, etc. We always track the results from each ad, both individually and month over month.

Campaign Description
Cost (CPC)
Total Spent

We would also record any results from Google Adwords which tie into the Google website analytics.

Making the Data Useful

At Barker Social, we’re keenly interested in analytics. We’ve created proprietary reporting that will help us not only to understand the return on investments that have already been made, but also leading up to help with business projections and forecasting.

Since writing this article, we’ve also developed two new and very important ROI metrics. Also be sure to check out this article:

The Two Most Important ROI Metrics for Social Media Marketing

If you’re trying to make heads or tails of your marketing efforts and are unable to measure your ROI, we advise that you reset and take stock of your existing processes. Ensure that Google Analytics is set up. Create a spreadsheet where you can store your month over month data. Track data both by running individual reports from each platform and also by recording data manually in your spreadsheet so that you have enough information to investigate how your content is truly performing.

If you need help understanding your social media reporting, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, most business owners and marketers throw too much money, time, and energy into their campaigns without taking stock of what’s actually working and what isn’t. If you’d like a professional opinion about your social media ROI, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to give you a free consultation and to help you get a handle on your social media results.

Mandi Gould

Mandi is a social media marketer, copywriter, and project manager for Barker Social™. She's a results-driven planner with an unstoppable ability to churn out quality marketing content. Her creative spirit, project management skills, and copywriting ability make her a marketing dynamo. She is also a bird lover, health foodie, jazz enthusiast, and swing dancer.



Wow! This post is really detailed. I was uncertain about which analytics were more important for reporting but now I can use this information to guide me while doing the reports for my clients. Thanks!


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