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How To Grow Your Digital Audience By Tracking Social Media Metrics


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Written by Ashlie Jones
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Using social media to promote your business is one of the most effective marketing strategies of the last 50 years, and will continue to be as long as digital marketing remains at the forefront of engagement strategies. However, it's vital to understand how people are engaging with your brand on social media by following certain metrics. Otherwise, you may not be getting the most out of your social media presence.


These Are The Top Social Media Metrics You Must Be Aware Of

As of 2021, there are approximately 4.48 billion people actively using social media around the world. With multiple platforms to choose from, there are several different metrics that you must track depending on where you've focused your engagement efforts. Let's start with general metrics that need to be measured across every network.


ReachPhoto showing reach on Instagram app

Social media reach may be one of the most important metrics. It lets you know how many people have seen your content since it was posted to social media. This number can give you an idea of the size of your audience, what your audience likes to engage with, and how often they will engage.  

Engagement by reach can be calculated by dividing engagement numbers (likes, retweets, shares, etc.) with the potential size of your audience, then multiplying the result by 100 to calculate how many people are engaging with a single post. To calculate the average reach across multiple posts, add the results from each individual post, then divide by the number of posts. 

Using these methods, you can come up with a percentage that represents how much of your content people are engaging with. In this way, reach helps to contextualize other social media metrics you may be tracking.



Impressions are the number of times your content has been displayed in front of your audience. These can be organic, meaning that your content simply pops up naturally on someone's timeline, or they can be paid for, meaning you've bought guaranteed ad space on social media.


Reach Vs. Impressions

While both metrics may seem similar, there is a distinction. Reach tells you how many people have seen your content, while impressions tell you how many times your content has been displayed. A person can see your content displayed in two separate places on their social media feed. That would equal a reach of one with two impressions.


Engagement Metrics

Engagement metrics measure the level of interaction between your audience and your posts. It tracks how many people are engaging with your content, when they engage, and how often they engage. With this information, you can have a better understanding of how responsive your audience is, as well as awareness of your brand and how well it connects with your audience.

You can break engagement metrics down into further categories at the granular level.

Photo of phone showing Instagram likes




You can measure the number of 'likes', 'favorites', or other approval actions taken on your posts. Typically, people like posts that interest them, whether it's because they are amused, entertained, informed, or appreciative of your brand. By measuring the number of likes on your posts, you can figure out the value of your posts to your audience. The more approval actions that are taken, the greater the value that your audience perceives your content to have.



Tracking comments is the easiest way to measure audience impressions of your brand. Commenting on a post gives people the ability to communicate exactly how they feel about the post and the brand behind the post. There are many valuable discussions to be had in comment chains which can lead to knowing which of your marketing strategies are working and which ones need fine-tuning.



Sharing content is the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth advertising. It's how one user displays their approval of a brand to others around them, hopefully converting those others to new customers. The more something gets shared, the more popular, or 'viral', it becomes. Viral marketing content can be viewed by millions in a matter of minutes, generating an ROI that most forms of marketing could only dream of achieving if done properly.



Mentions are different from shares in that sharing content is how people bring the conversation to others, while mentions are a method of bringing your brand into a conversation. By tracking mentions, you can know where your brand is mentioned most often, getting a better idea of who your audience consists of and the conversations surrounding your brand.


Vanity Metrics

There is a debate on the value of vanity metrics. For some, they are good to quote, but they have less value in terms of figuring out how effective your social media marketing strategy has been. For others, they are recognized as the currency of social media, which gives them their own level of importance among your audience.



It can feel good to have someone follow your page or subscribe to your channel. However, it's important to dig deeper than the number of people who are following you. After all, it's hard to tell whether you've gained followers due to increased user engagement or an influx of bots. And even if your followers aren't bots, you have to ask whether they are following/subscribing because they see value in your content or whether they are trying to increase their own sphere of influence on social media.


Page Views

It may seem helpful to measure how many people visit your page to view your content. However, you have to take into account that some of those views may have come from people who landed on a page on your site, then quickly navigated away without engaging with your content. Views are empty without engagement.


Key Takeaways

  • Tracking social media metrics is an important method for measuring the effectiveness of your social media marketing campaign.
  • Social media metrics can tell you how many people are engaging with your content, how they are engaging, and whether that engagement is leading to a high conversation rate.
  • Some metrics are more valuable to measure than others depending on your business goals and industry.

If you are using social media to grow your business, Eternal Works can help you. As an inbound marketing agency, we can bring your entire marketing funnel together, and improve your social media engagement metrics while providing a ROI. Schedule a call with us today.

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