The three social media metrics you need to know about

You’ve established your social media strategy and are regularly publishing interesting and engaging content, now it’s time to track your performance using social media metrics.

Firstly, you’ll need to consider your social media goals.

Ask yourself what do you want to achieve with your social media? Are you interested in raising brand awareness and growing your audience? Do you want to generate audience engagement? Or do you want to spread a message?

Whatever your goals, there will be a metric allowing you to chart your success. 

Here are three key social media metrics you need to be aware of. 


Engagement measures how audiences are responding to your content through likes, views, comments or shares. Tracking your engagement gives you an idea of how audiences are interacting with your content. Higher engagement means your content has been well received by your followers. 

An easy way to track a post’s engagement rate is to add up its total likes, comments and shares, divide by your number of followers and multiply by 100 to establish your engagement percentage.

Here are some ideas to help you build your engagement: 

  • Q&As – Monthly or weekly Q&As where you encourage your followers to ask you questions are a great way to foster a more personal connection with your audience.  
  • Polls – A fun way to encourage engagement and connect with your audience, polls can be used to test the reaction to new product launches and to ask your audience what they want to see from you. This or that or would you rather are good topics for polls. 
  • Customer spotlights – Showcase client testimonials
  • Personal posts – Audiences love to connect with real people, be authentic 
  • Stay on trend – Join in conversations on trends and current events, it’s a great way to engage your audience. 

Brand awareness 

Tracking your brand awareness gives you a good idea of both your current and potential audiences. Awareness can be tracked by two metrics; your content’s reach and the number of impressions it’s getting.

On the surface these data points seem very similar, however, they measure different things. Reach shows the number of potential unique viewers a post could have, while impressions let you know how many people your content has been shown to, a user doesn’t have to engage with a post for it count as an impression. 

Hashtags can boost a post’s reach and engagement as they make content searchable on social media platforms, however, it’s important to know the best way to use hashtags to optimise a post’s reach. 

Here are some hashtag basics: 

  • Keep hashtags short and concise – The best hashtags are short and easy to remember. 
  • Use relevant and specific hashtags – Using obscure hashtags can limit your post’s reach as it will be hard to find and likely not used by other social media users.  
  • Limit the number of hashtags – Instagram allows for 30 hashtags per post, however, more isn’t always better and too many hashtags can make a post look like spam.  
  • Don’t use oversaturated hashtags like #ThrowbackThursday. This type of hashtag has millions of posts and will actually limit your post’s reach, and as the hashtags are constantly in use your post can easily get lost. 

Audience growth

Audience growth is essentially the number of social followers you have gained or lost in a set period of time. There are several factors to consider when tracking your audience growth. First is time, how quickly is your audience growing? The second is numbers, how many net new followers do you have? The third thing to pay attention to is audience demographic, are you attracting followers from your target market?  

It’s also important to track your followers across multiple social media sites, this will give you an idea of which sites are generating the most growth and how this success can be replicated across other platforms. 

Audience growth is an important metric to keep track of, however, it’s not necessarily the most important, as a smaller but engaged audience are more likely to purchase from your business than a larger following who aren’t actively interacting with your content.  

The ideal situation is to be consistently gaining followers, however, having an audience that is genuinely interested and actively engaged while not losing the followers you have is just as important. 

Crucially, you should never buy followers as this can actually do more damage than good. Find out why here.

Metrics can be really overwhelming, especially if you don’t know the best way to organise this data. That’s where Charlie Puffin Digital can help. 

Our digital dashboards track your monthly metrics, show you the results you’re achieving and help you plan for the results you want in an uncomplicated and easy-to-digest format. 

Drop us an email at or call 01462 558537 to book your FREE discovery call today.

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