Once you've developed a solid social media marketing strategy and put it into play, you need to start tracking your growth and engagement.
This lets you see what content is performing well, what you can improve upon, and even gives you a way to prove results to your clients and stakeholders.
But what engagements should you track? After all, there are a ton of different metrics you could track, but which are worth your time?
Well, you're in the right place. In this article, we'll show you all of the social media engagements you should track in 2019. We'll show you what these are, how to track them, and what you can learn from said engagements.
Ready to learn? Let's get started!
Likes per post show that your audience is engaged
One of the most important social media engagements to track is how many people like your posts. This will show that people are looking at your content, and that they actually enjoy what they see.
Sure, some people may aimlessly scroll past your post after liking it, but it still gives you a good baseline as to how your content is performing and resonating with your audience.
We recommend looking at big picture post likes. So instead of looking at each individual post, look at your total likes per week or month.
Then from there, drill down and look at what types of content are getting the most likes (and which are getting the least). Use this to guide your future social media posts and find what does and doesn't work.
How to track likes per post
Tracking likes per click manually can be tough. You need to go through everyone of your social media posts at the end of every month, find how many likes it received, and track it in a spreadsheet.
Once you've added all of your posts—across all networks—you can add up your total number of likes per network—what a tedious task!
Social Report to the rescue!
But don't worry: there's an easier way to track your likes. Just use Social Report, and we'll automatically track the likes on all of your posts across all social networks—even the obscure ones.
You can view your likes per network by going into each network's single-channel report and looking for the the Likes (Reactions for Facebook; Favorites for Twitter) metric in the right-hand metrics pane.
We report on the last 30 days by default, but you can use the calendar at the top right-hand corner of the screen to report on any time period you'd like.
Link clicks per post show that your audience is interested in your content
Whether it's to a blog post or a new product, the reason you share content to social media is—usually—for the clicks. So why not track them?
Some social networks let you track your clicks natively. For example, Facebook will let you track clicks in Business Manager and Twitter will show this data in the Activity Dashboard.
Further, you can also track your social media traffic in Google Analytics.
Just log in to your account and go Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals. Here, you'll see a breakdown of all the social networks sending you traffic—just note that third-party shares will also be included here.
Use your click data to learn more about what you're posting. You're doing something right if you get a lot of clicks, and may need to polish up you copy or otherwise make changes to your posts.
Click tracking is even easier with Social Report
The only thing better than seeing this data natively is seeing it in Social Report. After all, we'll show you all of your click data—across all social networks—in one place.
Sounds awesome, right?
It is, and here's how to view it: just go Reports > Cross-Channel > Profiles. From here, you can view your click data (and other engagements) on all of your social networks in one place.
Conversions per post prove your ROI
The only thing better than tracking click data? Tracking conversions.
Conversion tracking is when you track how many people click on a social media link and then become a customer. And while most social networks don't provide this data out of the box, you can do it with Social Report.
Simply create a Content Group and take the Conversion Tracking script at the bottom of your page and put it on your checkout page, contact us, or other page you want to track conversions to.
Then, whenever someone clicks on a link on social media from a post within that content group, it will register as a conversion. Then, you can compare conversions by content groups, network, and profile in the Content Performance pane.
Shares per post lets you see your virality
If an audience member really likes your content, they may choose to share it with their audience too.
Tracking this social media engagement is similar to tracking likes: you can track each post manually in a spreadsheet, use a native business tool like Facebook Business Manager, or use Social Report to track your shares automatically.
Just go to the single-channel report for the network you want to see shares for and find the Shares label on the right-hand metrics pane.
Or alternatively, go Reports > Cross-Channel > Profiles and you can view shares on all networks side-by-side. Here, you can view all of your social media engagements side-by-side.
Dark social shares per post let you see all of your social media shares
Don't worry: dark social isn't as scary as it sounds.
In short, dark social shares are when your post is shared privately via text message, Messenger, email, or any other form of private messaging.
These shares happen all the time. Think about it: how many times have you sent an article or video you found on social media to a friend over a private message? Quite a few times, we'd assume.
But don't take our word for it. A study out of RadiumOne shows that a whopping 84% of all social shares happen on dark social—and just 16% come from public shares on Facebook or other public networks.
While it's hard to track these shares, it sure isn't impossible. If you're armed with the right tools (hint: Social Report), it's actually quite easy.
How to track dark social shares with Social Report's link shortener
There are two ways to track dark social shares with Social Report: via the link shortener and using UTM codes.
The ladder is easy. Whenever you share a link using Social Report, it is shortened with our link shortener.
We track whenever someone clicks on your shortened links—so if they share the shortened link, it will be recorded as a click in Social Report.
Track with UTM codes for even more accuracy
While this method works well if people are sharing your shortened link, what about if they share the un-shortened link or share directly from your website?
No worries: just setup sharing buttons with UTM codes on your website and then add said UTM codes to Social Report.
This will let your users more easily share content with their friends direct from your site. And since each button will have its own code, you can track exactly how it was shared right from our dashboard.
Here's a quick guide on how to set it up. It just takes a few minutes but will give you a ton of valuable insights into how well your social media is performing.
Bonus metric: total post reach
While total post reach may not be a social media engagement in the traditional sense, it's an important metric to track.
In short, post reach is how many people have seen your content within a specific time period. You want as large of a post reach as possible—after all, the more people that see your content, the better.
You want to see your post reach go up over time. This means your content is being actively shared and seen by new eyes.
It's important to note that there are two types of post reach: paid and organic. Paid reach is reach from running paid ads, and organic reach is acquired through post shares, likes, and other interactions.
Track your post reach with Social Report
Like the other metrics on this list, you can track post reach with Social Report too. This puts your post reach for multiple networks in one place, so you can skip going out to each network manually.
Unfortunately not all social networks are supported (due to API restrictions), but you can track post reach with Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter—three of the largest social networks with organic reach.
In this article we discussed what social media engagements you should track in 2019. Remember, using a tool like Social Report to track these metrics will make it a lot easier to stay on top of your social media strategy—no manual math or data scraping required.
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