How to Measure Social Media Marketing Success

social media success

The number of people who follow your pages isn’t the only metric that can tell you how your social media marketing is performing. In fact, it can actually be a highly inaccurate way of determining social media marketing success.

I’m not saying it isn’t important. Large followings tend to be good for brand image. Often, we tend to associate value with the number of people who like something. If 10,000 other people like this, there must be something worth checking out, right?

That’s not always the case. I’ve seen tons of pages with thousands of followers, but those followers weren’t engaged in any way. Many of them were likely robot accounts, which means they’ll probably be deleted at some point, which is fine because they offer zero value anyway.

My advice is to grow your following, but focus on several other key metrics to truly measure your social media marketing success. Focus on these metrics, and you’ll be much better off.


Having less than a hundred followers who share, like, comment on and otherwise engage with your posts is far better than having 10,000 followers who never act. If your followers aren’t acting, they either don’t like the message you’re pushing out, or they aren’t seeing your posts. Either way, you lose.

Get to know your audience and find out what they want to see. Then post that type of content. Ask questions and add calls-to-action asking your followers to take the next step and click through to the post on your website or maybe share it to their followers. Keep testing tactics like these and then repeat those that cause engagement to rise.


More of your followers will engage with your content if your followers are actually in your target market. Crazy, I know!

The thing is, certain types of people have preferences for your products or services. Your target audience should never be ‘everyone.’ That just isn’t the case for any company.

For this reason, it’s important that you take steps to analyze who is following you and make sure they fall within the demographic you’re actually targeting with your product or service.

Website Traffic

One of your main goals for your social media marketing should be to send your followers back to your website to consume more content. Cat memes won’t accomplish this, so you’ll need to post high quality content that connects with your audience and links back to your site.

Once you get them there, you’ll want to measure the number of landings on your site, what pages they consume, how long they stick around and a number of other critical metrics. These metrics will help you determine whether your social media followers are turning into fans and engaging with your brand.


Fans who are engaged with your brand will talk about you on social media without even visiting your pages. They’ll post your content in their own feeds, and it’s important that you find out where they’re talking about you and what they’re saying.

Knowing the where part allows you to join the conversation. And knowing what they’re saying allows you to join in and offer links to additional content that might be helpful, or even interject into a negative conversation and offer help. Your followers won’t always seek you out, so it’s important that you seek them.


Conversions aren’t always the easiest thing to measure, but it’s critical that you measure them. You need to find a way to determine whether your social media marketing is impacting the bottom-line.

For a retail company selling products online, this is fairly simple. Just track traffic from social media and see whether they made a purchase. For other industries, however, it’s more difficult.

To track this in more difficult industries, you need to get a bit more creative. For example, you could set up a form on your website for a particular product or service page and collect contact info. Then track the follow up from your sales team and attribute value to each lead from social media and track it through the funnel.

While tracking conversions from social media may be more difficult for some industries, it’s still very possible. So get your best and brightest together and develop a plan to make it happen.

Without metrics to measure your social media success, you risk wasting lots of time and money on fruitless ventures. The most important metrics for you in particular will depend on a lot of things. Not every business has the same goals, so make sure you’re measuring things that are important to your business or industry specifically.

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