How to Measure Success on Social Media

The only way to know if your time and effort on social media is worthwhile is to set goals and measure success. That’s easy to understand, but deciding what to measure to get meaningful insight can be a struggle.

The effort is worthwhile. Metrics let you show the impact of your efforts, allocate resources, track progress, and optimize for continued success.

Defining the right metrics starts with having a digital strategy. There, you define your goals. The right metrics measure progress toward your goals.  There are three general types of metrics to consider.

Business-Level Metrics

Business-level metrics are measures that speak to the goals of your organization.  Here you show how your digital efforts are contributing to the big-picture goals of your brand. Generally, business-level metrics are data that show financial returns: profit and savings.

Examples: Market share, revenue, brand equity, brand awareness, share of voice, customer lifetime value, and brand affinity

Performance Metrics

Performance metrics, also called key performance indicators (KPIs), measure performance against the goals in your digital strategy. This data provides direct measures against the defined goal(s). These metrics generally have set time frames.


Examples: Sales, reach, engagement, engaged users, clicks, traffic, quality traffic, audience growth, leads, mentions, earned impressions, and conversions

Optimization Metrics

Optimization metrics provide insights on how to improve your social media and other digital efforts.  This data is collected to show what’s working and what’s not so that you can fine-tune your online activities.


Examples: Clickthrough rate, cost per click, conversion rate, engagement rate, engagement per post, reach per post, retention rate, and growth rate