When it comes to digital media, understanding social media analytics is important in keeping up with trends in your industry and knowing what resonates best with your audience. This can benefit content planning in the future, and it will help ensure that your audience stays engaged with all your posts.
In this article, we are going to define and give examples of the following social media metrics: fans and followers, engagement, and impressions. We'll also describe how each term is different from one another.
Fans and Followers
When we talk about fans and followers, we are speaking about the number of people who follow your social media platform. Although your total follower number may vary in location depending on the social media platform, it is generally pretty easy to find when looking at your account page’s details.
The types of followers you accumulate can range greatly, as some of them may be customers or clients, whereas other times they may be people who are simply interested in your content.
Followers can vary across different platforms for a variety of reasons. For example, you may have more followers on Instagram than your Facebook page. This could be due to how active your account is, how engaging your posts are, or how updated your account is on one platform versus another. Ideally, you should be curating content to fit your followers’ needs from your service or business. This is why it is important to understand your audience and consider what they would like to see from your platform.
In this example, you can see that Sarah Best Strategy has 1,316 followers on Facebook. These are people who choose to see the company’s content, activity, and posts. Activity from the company will show up on the followers’ feeds, which will allow them to more easily interact with Sarah Best Strategy content.
On social media, engagement means the number of people who have interacted with your content by liking, sharing a post, commenting, or any other type of interaction. When it comes to tracking, you should observe how many people have interacted with content across all of your social media accounts.
Looking at this metric is important in understanding what content on your page generates the most excitement. People generally will not engage with content that they don’t find interesting, so a higher engagement number is a good sign.
Understanding engagement is important in content planning because it gives you an idea of what posts your audience finds most interesting. By crafting new content that aligns with high engagement from past posts, you likely will grow your social media following and platforms.
In this example, you can see the total number of likes, comments, and shares that each post generated. Each of these factors plays a role in making up the total engagement number, and you can compare the numbers from post to post in order to see what content typically performs best for your social media accounts.
When referring to impressions on social media, it means how many times your content has been seen. People don’t need to interact or engage with the content in order to make an impression; they simply need to view the content.
It’s worth noting that impressions are different than reach because reach more specifically looks at the number of people who viewed the content instead of the number of times it was viewed. Therefore, the impressions of your content will be higher than the reach of your content, since the same person can view your content multiple times.
There’s benefit in some repetition: The way that awareness works is based on how well you can remember something. Seeing something more than once can reinforce the message that you’re hoping to communicate.
Impressions can be either organic or paid, meaning that some people will see unpaid content on their feed because of the platform’s algorithm, whereas other times people will see paid content that is being promoted. Therefore, companies have multiple ways in which they can generate more impressions. Tracking impressions is important when you want your content to be seen many times by either your current audience or targeted audience.
Impressions are also a universal marketing metric. No matter what type of marketing or communications work you are doing—such as print or digital advertising, social media, or public relations—you will likely have access to an impressions metric. Many marketers also compare the cost per thousand impressions, also known as CPM, to understand which efforts are most cost effective in driving results.
From this example, you can see that the paid impressions produced higher numbers than paid reach.
By understanding these metrics, you will be able to craft content that your audience finds captivating. This is vital because social media often reminds customers of the important services or products that your company offers, and creative content can lead both current customers and potential customers to your company.
Now that you have a better sense of the difference between followers, engagements, and impressions - how well is your social media performing? If you're not sure or just want a second pair of eyes on your metrics, we can help with social media audits, social media management, SEO services, and more.