Understanding the basics of UTM parameters
A practical guide to utm parameters and how to use them effectively for your social media and digital marketing campaigns.
Social media is all the buzz nowadays, and if you aren't tracking your efforts, you may be missing out. With over 57% of the world's population on social media, it's important that you are staying consistent with your social media efforts and doing everything in your power to track your campaigns. You can do so by analyzing your key performance indicators (or KPIs). By keeping tabs on your KPIs, you can seamlessly track what's working and well and what's not. This can lead you to create better content in the future that will lead you closer and closer to your business goals!
So, what exactly should you be measuring? To help you navigate the social media metrics world, we've put together a list of the social media KPIs you need to be measuring (especially if you aren't already). Let’s dive into.
Share of Voice is a metric that shows how popular your social media presence is compared to the competition. This metric is arguably one of the most important metrics to measure because it will give you further details on why other brands may be more popular than yours. Share of Voice can also help you with brand management, campaign tracking, consumer insights, and public relations.
Total reach tells you how many unique people you've reached with your posts in a given period of time. It's a great way to see if your audience has grown or declined.
Something to take note of is the fact that your total reach will fluctuate on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis depending on the type of content you post and when you post it.
While reach doesn't take into account how many of those people actually interact with your content, it's a great way to measure the size of your audience and see how it changes over time. For example, if you're posting between 2-4 AM and only 30 people see your content, that means there's a problem with the timing of your posts. You may want to take a look at your analytics in the backend to choose a more optimal time to post on social media for your target audience.
Here is the formula to follow in order to capture total reach:
Reach = (unique pageviews/valuable impressions) x 100%
For any brand or business, social media is where conversations and engagement take place. It's a great place to listen to what your audience is saying about you and your products — as well as engage with them.
So, what is engagement rate? Engagement rate is the number of times you receive likes, retweets, comments, and mentions divided by total reach. Engagement rate reveals how much engagement each post receives in relation to your overall reach.
For example, let's say you publish a blog post on Facebook that gets 100 impressions (people who see it in their feed). Out of those 100 people, 45 like it, 5 comment on it, and 2 share it on their feed. That means that out of the total reach of 100 people, 52% engaged with your post (45 likes, 5 comments, 2 shares), which translates into an engagement rate of 52%. Not too shabby!
Here is the breakdown of the formula:
Engagement rate: (amount of engagement/total reach) x 100%
The number of followers you have is what we marketers like to call a "vanity metric" (or a metric that looks good on paper but may not be the best indicator of your social media’s health). Your number of followers will populate at the top of your social media account page to show you how many people are following along with your content.
Although follower count is a vanity metric, you shouldn't ignore your follower count completely. There are still some good reasons to keep watch over your followers. For instance, having a following can contribute to an increase in brand awareness and overall sales. You can also analyze your current following to compile essential demographic and psychographic information to make better content to delight your existing follower base for the future.
Have you ever heard of the phrase "sharing is caring"? Well, it really is in the world of marketing. Every time someone on social media shares your content, social media algorithms recognize that share. The algorithm then will continually showcase your content to more and more people online!
Pro tip: Shares can also be an indicator to help you decide what kind of content your audience enjoys the most. You can then tweak that specific piece of content to make more social media posts like it!
Another KPI to track is impressions. Although impressions don’t always translate to direct sales, impressions are still important to look at nonetheless. Impressions are the number of times your post was shown to users. Impressions do not take into account whether the user engaged with the post, but it will show you if the algorithm is starting to showcase your posts more or not. The higher your impressions, the more likely your content will be shown to a person who may have never heard of your brand before. You can view your impressions in free tools like Google Analytics to help you get a holistic view of your campaigns.
Click-through rate (or CTR) is where the money is — quite literally. Click-through rate refers to the number of times a post has been clicked on in comparison to the total number of people who have seen that specific post.
The goal of your social media campaigns should always lead a user back to a certain action like purchasing from a link in your bio, clicking on your landing page, showcasing your brand, or educating viewers on your products or services. The higher your CTR, the more likely that specific user is considering purchasing from your company.
As the name sounds, watch time is a key performance indicator (KPI) for social media that measures the average amount of time an audience member spends watching your content. The total watch time on your social media channels can be a great way to assess the effectiveness of your video marketing strategy and analyze the success of individual videos.
Pro tip: The longer your videos keep people engaged, the more views and shares they are likely to generate.
Cost-per-click (CPC) is an important metric to measure if you are running advertisements on social media platforms. In short, CPC is the amount you pay every time someone clicks on an ad. If you're using TikTok Ads or Facebook Ads, your CPC would be the amount that it costs you every time someone clicks on that specific social ad. The goal of your social media managers would be to lower your CPC while ensuring that your ads are driving revenue.
It's not new news to anyone that social media is a major part of many marketing strategies. It's not enough to just build a Facebook page and wait for customers to come knocking; you have to closely monitor your social media channels to see what content resonates with your audience and how you can better connect with them. One way to better assess the success of your individual posts is to track how many "likes" or "reactions" your post has. When your audience interacts with your content, social media algorithms will be more likely to showcase your post more frequently in your audience's feed.
In the end, it's up to you and your organization to decide which KPIs you need to analyze the most. If you are focusing on gaining traction with short-form video in 2022, watch time may be a critical KPI for your marketing team to analyze as opposed to "retweets." Or, let's say you want to focus on Facebook Groups this upcoming year; you may be more interested in getting engagement on posts within the Facebook group instead of how many likes you are receiving on one post via your regular Facebook page.
All in all, our hope is that you get into the habit of measuring your efforts so you can improve them over time. You may be surprised by what you find!