When you start as your social media efforts, you had a goal in mind. It's important to check to make sure that your efforts are actually getting you closer to your goal. That's where insights and metrics come in. They can help you evaluate whether you're on track to reach your goal, and they can also point to you to things you can do to improve your efforts. By the end of this video, you'll know what you should look for when evaluating results of your posts, and you'll know which metrics to pay particular attention to. In order to measure how effective your social media efforts are, you're going to track what are called Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs. Tracking a KPI simply means that you're looking at a metric or set of metrics that will show you how you're progressing towards your goal. Basically, you're looking for indicators that really reflect whether you are successful. Depending on your goal, different indicators are going to matter more to you. For instance, if you're working on building awareness, you will want to know whether your follower base is growing. If you're working on engagement, you'll want to learn how many people are interacting with your posts. If it is your goal to sell products, you'll look at a number of people that clicked on your post and bought something. The large social media platforms all come at their own metrics dashboard that gives you insights into how your follower base is growing, and how your individual posts are performing. You'll find that when you go into these dashboards, there are a lot of metrics, some will be immediately meaningful, and some not so much. To be honest, some of them really matter, and some are more of a nice to have. Let me give you an approach you can use to structure your thinking around all things metrics and find the most important ones. Our marketing goals typically fall into three categories; generating awareness for your company or your product. Engagement, or the number or type of interactions you have with your followers. Conversion, or making people take the action you intended, like buying something, for instance. Depending on which category your goal falls into, your KPIs will differ. We can think of the metrics that we should evaluate as falling into this same categorization. The first category is awareness. In order to generate awareness for your brand, you want to get your message to reach as many people as possible. The metrics to look for here are metrics that tell you something about how many people see your messages. The first metric you will want to check is the number of followers you have, or how many accounts clicked a like or follow button to directly receive your content in their social media feed. This gives you a good idea of the size of your audience. The more followers you have, the more people will get to see what you post. Of course, people who follow you are aware of you. Tracking the changes in your followers can give you insight into what strategies are gaining you new followers or losing them. Another important awareness metric is total reach, or how many people are viewing your content. This can include someone viewing your post on their feed, but it can also include friends of that follower viewing the post on their feed if the first follower liked or shared the post. This metric is related to individual posts. Reach gives you a good idea of how many people are getting eyes on your content, and it's a great way to evaluate which posts work well for your audience. Larger reach for a post typically means that more people have shared it or interacted with it, so you may want to create more posts of the same kind. On some platforms, you may find a slightly different awareness metric. Impressions, which is similar to total reach, but instead measures the number of times your posts were shown. Keep in mind that this metric doesn't count individual accounts, just times seen. If one person saw your posts twice, that would count as two impressions. Both reach and impressions are going to help you understand the exposure or lack thereof of your content. Ultimately, the metrics around your awareness are going to give you insights into the extent to which your content is getting out into the world. Having higher total reached numbers may mean that your content is valuable and helpful enough that it's being shared, for instance. If you see the number of followers spike just after you posted a particular piece of content or maybe even launched an advertising campaign, it shows you that that post or that campaign worked. Tracking reached metrics can present you with these kinds of insights into how amplified your content is getting and how broad your audience is. If you're not seeing the reach your desire, you now have the data to back new strategies for growth. The next category of metrics we're going to look at focuses on audience engagement or actions the audience takes to interact with your content. Yes, this is where likes come in as they do tell us something about audience engagement. They're probably one of the simplest metrics to track. A like is tapping a button to show you've read or appreciated the post. This simple action shows that your audience is doing something to respond to your content. So it's worth paying attention to. Of course, I'm talking about likes here, but on most platforms, likes have some nuances. You can love something, show surprise, sadness and so on. Another important sign of engagement is sharing content. So that's our next metric, number of shares. A share means tapping a button to share a piece of content with your own audience. Along with likes and shares, tracking the number of comments is going to be helpful as well. It not only shows that a follower took time and effort to compose the comment, but can also give you some good insights into how your audience thinks about your brand. Posts with more comments means that your audience want to take the time to engage with you. Another signal of engagement is clicks. This means that a follower took the time to click on a link you provided in your post, whether it's to read an article you shared, to go to your website, to read a blog post, or to find out more about one of your products. This tracks who's showing increased interest in learning more about your business or products. Ultimately, the metrics around engagement are going to give you insights into how actively interested your followers are in what you have to say. Here are some of the insights you could get from studying these engagement metrics. If you find that you're getting a lot of likes and shares, but very few comments, then ask a few questions that gets your audience engaged. If you find that you have high engagement but haven't been actively posting calls to action, go ahead. Your audience will probably want to find out more about you and your products. Do you have a large reach but low engagement? You probably aren't providing content that's resonating with your audience. High engagement but low reach, maybe you're a niche brand with a dedicated but small audience. Or it may be time to focus on building your following a bit more. Tracking engagement metrics can give you new insights into how interested your audience is in what you're doing and the content you're posting. If you're not seeing the engagement you want, you can now make a plan for improving the quality of your content. Make sure to use these metrics to decide on what kind of content you should create. If you see posts that have high engagement, create more along those lines. You may have noticed that we've been looking at metrics that move along the marketing funnel. We started looking at awareness, which measures brand exposure, getting your message out, and getting the right audience to follow you. That would be at the top of the funnel. Then we looked at engagement, which is when your audience begins to respond to your content, finds it valuable and takes action, whether it be liking a post, talking about you, or clicking through to your website to find out more. That would be the middle of the funnel. Now let's look at metrics that center around conversion. Conversions happen when people take the action that you want them to take after seeing your post or a series of posts. Often, conversions are sales. You want people to buy your product. Sometimes you just want people to come to your website or download your app. Those are conversions too, because it refers to an action you want people to take after seeing your content. Conversions could also be generating leads. A lead could be an email address, for instance, of a person that seems to have an interest in what you have to offer. Remember, DCB cleaning? Day provide cleaning services for offices. In their case, a sale or subscribing someone to their service mostly happens over the phone. But they use social media to encourage people to contact them, so they can get an initial conversation started. Once that initial contact is made, DCB has a lead that can lead to an actual sale. One thing that's a bit different, with conversion metrics than with awareness and engagement metrics is that most of these conversions won't actually take place within the social media platform. Often, the action you want people to take will actually mean people leave the social platform. You want them to visit your website, download your app, buy your products, etcetera. This means that when you are looking at metrics related to conversions, you'll often have to go to other dashboards and analytics tools that are related to your website or app. What are the metrics that would matter here? Generating traffic to your website from social media is often an important goal, thus tracking website visits from social media can be a good place to start. Are you seeing a large percentage of traffic coming from social media after you posted something new? Then you know that you're doing something right. Or do you have posts that have gotten a ton of likes and shares but you didn't get to traffic you expected? Maybe you have to formulate a better call to action or think about different things you can post to get people interested to check out your site. Another important metric to track is sales, and more specifically, sales that were related to your social media posts. That can be a little trickier though. It can be hard to prove the connection between your post and a sale. After all, people may not buy immediately after they see your post. They may buy later, and sometimes they buy in the store, and not on your website. We'll talk about tracking sales more when we talk about advertising. But for now, I suggest you track the trend in sales and try to understand whether your increased social media activity seems to lead to an upwards trend in sales. Tracking the number of leads, like capturing an email address resulting from your social media account activity, can be another form of tracking conversions. Conversions capture the actions you would like to see people take as a result of your marketing. Those actions could be different things, so different metrics can correspond to conversions, and they may be a bit harder to track within the social media platform itself. While they are, of course, very important, I suggest that you evaluate your organic or free social media efforts primarily by assessing how you are increasing awareness and engagement. Conversions typically follow later, and increasing awareness and engagement will ultimately help you drive conversions as well. Finally, it's important to track these metrics to see how they change over time in response to your efforts so that you can benchmark what's working and what isn't, in your strategy. The goal is to have data-based information to work with, in order to continuously improve your social media reach, engagement and conversions.