Facebook just recently hit the 2 billion user milestone. That’s nearly one-third of the entire planet’s population!

With numbers like this, there is no longer any question that social media is an absolute must in today’s marketing mix. However, gaining significant traction requires a well-informed approach. We live in a time when big data has a significant influence over business decisions. Social media is no exception.

Analytical data can seem like an overwhelming amount of numbers and figures if you don’t know what to look for. While most, if not all of the data is important, there are some key metrics to focus on when you are evaluating social media. Let’s discuss.

Growing Your Audience

When it comes to social media, followers are everything. But there is more to audience size the sheer number of followers; what is truly important is the size of an engaged audience that likes, comments, and shares your content. Audience engagement establishes the success of a social media page. In fact, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all base the placement of most posts in a user’s newsfeed or timeline on post engagement and relevancy, so the quality of content is more important than the quantity.

The foundation to building an engaged audience is understanding what content that audience wants. For this reason, using social media monitoring sites is crucial. Tools like Klout enable you measure your social influence and see what is buzzing within your industry. Additionally, it shows trending topics and articles so you can see what is the most relevant content to include in your next post.     

Taking a look into your audience’s demographics helps create a picture of what they engage with, what other related content they like, or what their interests are. Facebook Audience Insights reveals great information on your fans, like age, location, and even consumer buying behavior.

Another way to create an engaged audience is by engaging with them first. Asking questions and posting content that invites conversation makes it more natural for followers to engage organically. Ask your audience to share their opinions, questions, suggestions, or stories in your posts.

The beauty of social media is that it allows instant interaction with your customers and followers, so be sure to respond to comments and questions. Interaction creates a sense of community, leading to a more engaged audience.

Follower engagement will lead to follower growth. Building an audience that is engaging with your content is much more important than just building volume, so be sure to evaluate your audience and track engagement results.

Capturing Intent with Keywords

Taking a lesson from SEO and incorporating keywords in your social media posts is a great way to both increase your audience reach and also ensure that your results are trackable. It is very important that your content is searchable so that it can reach users beyond your audience. Before posting any content, it’s best to do a little research and see what hashtags are trending and of real interest to people in your industry.

The easiest way to navigate through the analytical data is to compile the information into a single platform. Cyfe, for example, gives you an all-in-one dashboard where you can keep tabs on all of this information.

From here, you can track the social media metrics that are key performance indicators of your campaign. You can find which channels or platforms are getting you the most engaged audience, if your content is really engaging your audience, and what tactics are helping you make the most sales. Analyzing your audience’s social media usage patterns and preferences helps you gauge their intent and plan future content.

You can also dig out strategies that are getting results for other sites, especially your competitors, and determine whether you want to incorporate those strategies in your own campaigns.

Increasing Reach and Click Rates

Measuring and comparing the reach metric of social media posts shows not only how many followers saw a post, but also how many people outside of your current audience found the content through shares or searches.

Facebook and Twitter include tabs that display total reach or impressions for each post. Monitoring reach data also gives insight into which social media platform has the highest interaction or performs best with your audience. The same tabs on Facebook and Twitter also collect information based on how many times the content was shared, which increases reach to outside audiences.


Click rates for links included in posts is another way to track engagement and reach. These clicks may be to draw more traffic to a website – especially if you back that up with sponsored posts and social media advertising.

Keeping track of click rates indicates how many followers are genuinely interested in the content and wanted to learn more or purchase. Again, most social media sites offer this information, and using a centralized dashboard or spreadsheet to assemble all the metrics into one place helps you clearly understand what links, posts, and sites are drawing the most interaction.

In Conclusion

The ultimate goal of social media campaigns is to increase brand awareness leading to more customers and higher sales. Focusing on key areas that relate directly to growth and engagement while also keeping track of posts, likes, and comments can seem like a daunting task, especially when multiple platforms are involved, but combining all the analytical data into one easy to read dashboard helps to simplify the process.

About the Author: Avinash Nair is a digital marketer at E2M, India’s premium content marketing agency. He specializes in Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing Marketing. You can find him on Twitter: @AviNair52.