Which Social Media Metrics Are Marketers Tracking? [New Research]

Social media metrics are imperative to social strategy. They give you an inside look at your channels’ performance and how your target audience perceives you. They can also provide you with ways to improve upon your strategy.

But what metrics should marketers track to ensure success or boost their strategy? To keep you from getting bogged down by all the numbers, we’ve made a list of the essential social media metrics to track.

These metrics will give you insight into customers, how to track ROI, improve your brand presence online, and walk away with happier customers.

Marketers can set their brand’s strategy up for growth and improvement by tracking and measuring social media metrics.

How to Measure Social Media Marketing Performance

There are several ways marketers can measure the performance of their social media marketing strategy. The most common methods are analyzing web traffic, impressions, engagement, and lead generation.

Let’s explore these different aspects of performance and more metrics marketers should track to ensure the success of their social media marketing efforts.

1. Web Traffic

Increasing traffic to your website should be a top priority depending on the nature of your business and the social media platforms your company focuses on. 27% of marketers surveyed by the HubSpot Blog listed traffic to their website as a high-priority metric for measuring the success of organic social media campaigns.

30% said the same for paid social media campaigns. If your company relies on web traffic as part of its business strategy, you’ll want to measure how many of your page views come directly from social media.

Key platforms for this focus include Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can use a web traffic tool such as Google Analytics to measure how much your traffic comes from organic social media.

2. Social Media Impressions

Social media impressions measure how many users were exposed to your content, and it’s a metric worth tracking.

Understanding your social media impressions is important because this data can provide valuable insight into how far your ad spend can go and can help inform future paid ad spending so you can maximize your budget.

However, even if paid ads aren’t a part of your strategy, you may still want to look into how many impressions your social media content is gathering over time. This data can tell you how different types of content resonate with your audience across platforms.

It’s also worth noting that each social media platform measures impressions differently. For example, on Twitter, each user that sees a tweet is considered an impression.

On Facebook, each time a paid ad is seen on screen, it is considered an impression. Instagram counts an impression each time a user views a piece of content (such as a static post, story, or Reel)).

On TikTok, no “impressions” measurement is in the app’s analytics section; however, you could consider each video view an impression for your own data.

3. Lead Generation

Lead generation means attracting prospects to your business and increasing their interest through nurturing, all with the end goal of converting them into customers. Marketers can generate leads through social media by creating compelling content that attracts and delights audiences.

To measure your social media’s success in generating leads, measure other metrics like web traffic, lead quality, and conversion rates from your social media channels.

For example, a significant amount of website traffic from Twitter can indicate your Twitter is a good source for lead generation.

4. Likes/Comments

Having a large following isn’t helpful if the audience isn’t regularly interacting with your content. Hence, measuring how often audiences like and comment on your social media is essential. Almost a quarter of the marketers we surveyed listed likes/comments as a crucial social media metric to track.

Likes show your audience viewed and enjoyed your content, while comments give insight into your audience’s reaction. Do they like your social media content? Do they have questions? What about your content resonated with them?

Likes and comments also fall under your brand’s overall social media engagement.

To measure the overall engagement rate of a social media account, you can use the following formula:

5. Overall Sales/Revenue

Is your social media campaign directly resulting in revenue and sales? What has your ROI been? Overall sales and revenue metrics are important in measuring the success of your campaign.

Many Social media platforms that offer monetization are transparent in how much marketers and creators can earn from their platforms, making it easy to track how your activity correlates to sales and revenue.

Now that you know what metrics marketers are tracking according to our survey — here are some tools you can use to make tracking easier.

1. Google Analytics

Price: Free

Why it’s great: Tracks web traffic analytics and provides business insights

The latest edition of Google Analytics collects website and app data to better understand the customer journey. The tool also includes privacy controls such as cookieless measurement as well as behavioral and conversion modeling.

2. HubSpot

Price: Start for Free, $800 – $3,600/mo for the Marketing Hub

Why it’s great: Monitors social media bran mentions and web traffic

HubSpot’s analytics software and dashboard tracks the complete customer lifecycle. We also help marketers monitor brand mentions, track engagements automatically, and make scheduling social posts a breeze.

3. NetBase Quid

Price: $300-$1,000/month

Why it’s great: Global insights and tracking

NetBase Quid provides analytics on conversations happening with your brand worldwide. They provide real-time analytics and give you insights that’ll help you track ROI. NetBase Quid provides data about how your campaigns carry weight with customers.

Users can also identify emerging trends to inform decisions and scope out the main drivers of conversation on social media.

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4. quintly

Price: $345/mo

Why it’s great: See competitor performance

When using quintly, you can not only track your social media performance but gain insight into the performance of your competitors. This will help you see what you can do to improve your campaigns and what your competitors are doing that works. This photo is an example of the insights the software provides.

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Quintly is also great for agencies with multiple clients. They can use it to manage their clients’ accounts and track their social media pages. Quintly also has reporting and benchmark data to measure campaigns.

There are so many numbers to keep track of when monitoring the success of your campaign, but getting bogged down by the wrong numbers can result in wasted time. Now that you know the metrics marketers are tracking, you can cut through the clutter and focus on the numbers that matter.


How These 3 Content Creators Turned a Side Hustle Into a Full-Time Gig

Content creator is a job title that didn’t exist a decade ago. Now, 50 million people consider themselves creators, following their passion in a billion-dollar industry.

Thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever to create, share, and monetize content — flipping the “starving artist” trope on its head. And with massive demand for original and engaging content, there’s never been a better time to jump in.

Of course, turning a side hustle into a full-time gig is no easy feat. After all, creating content is just one small part of the equation. You also need to engage in community building, social media promotion, audience research, and networking.

And while the business of content creation seems simple enough — create content, build an audience, then make money — these things take a lot of time. In other words, the dream of recording a video, hitting “upload,” and making millions is exactly that — a dream.

Despite the challenges, there are people who’ve succeeded in becoming full-time content creators. Here, I spoke with three creators to learn their biggest tips for quitting your 9-to-5 and becoming a full-time creator. Let’s dive in.

1. Craft an exit strategy.

“Sometimes, it’s not about knowing exactly what you want. Instead, it’s about uncovering what it is you don’t want any longer,” says Jenna Kutcher, author and host of the Goal Digger Podcast.

Kutcher’s revelation drove her to entrepreneurship, but it didn’t happen overnight. She knew she had to be strategic to get there.

As she puts it, “One day my corporate boss handed me my five-year plan. It felt like my entire life was being planned out for me, without me. While I wanted to put in my two weeks’ notice right there on the spot, I had bills to pay, student loans to get rid of, and a wedding to fund. I had to figure out a way to plan my exit, even if it couldn’t be immediate.”

It’s never easy to leave the security of a steady paycheck, but Kutcher argues that you don’t have to. Instead, you can craft an exit strategy that provides enough security for the transition.

For Kutcher, her exit strategy started with a $300 camera from Craigslist and endless weekends spent building a clientele. In her own words: “Nights and weekends were devoted to starting my photography business, and my 9-to-5 was funding this new dream of mine.”

A year later, Kutcher had booked enough gigs to feel confident leaving her corporate job. “In hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t just abandon my job to go after what I wanted. Instead, I leveraged where I was at to get to where I wanted to go,” she told me.

Everyone’s exit strategy looks different. For instance, one person might keep their 9-to-5 and work on the weekends. Another person might freelance part-time and create content the rest of the week.

Remember that entrepreneurship is a journey, and it takes time and effort to build a successful business. With the right exit strategy, you can take calculated risks and leverage your current situation to reach the next step in the journey.

2. Make consistency your golden rule.

Are you more likely to follow a creator who posts once a year or once a week? Chances are, you’re following the creator who gives you more value on a regular basis.

Jay Clouse, founder of Creator Science, knows this all too well. When he started as a content creator in 2017, he wrote an email newsletter every day for a year. That’s hundreds of opportunities to connect with an audience and build their trust. No shortcuts, no quick schemes.

He told me, “Every day, you should be creating helpful content that attracts an audience. You’ll quickly find that you need to be disciplined with how you spend your time so that you can create consistently.”

Consistency is the golden rule for content creators, but it’s often the hardest part of the job. Life can get in the way, or you may run into a creative rut. As Clouse points out, “This is a long game. You need to be remarkably consistent while also being incredibly patient.”

To keep pace, many creators commit to a posting schedule. If you’re just starting out, be realistic about how much content you can pump out each week. This might be twice a week or every day. Then, leverage a content calendar to help you organize your ideas, plan content in advance, and avoid missing deadlines.

Above all, content creation is an exercise in determination. Try to challenge yourself here, but know your limits to avoid burnout.

3. Approach content creation as a science.

Content creation is both an art and a science. Most content creators enjoy the art-side of the equation. It’s exciting to brainstorm new ideas, create content, and share it with the world. But that alone isn’t enough.

Content creation is also a science, which requires experimentation, testing, and analysis — which isn’t always glamorous, but is just as necessary.

For instance, if you’re posting the same type of content but getting zero engagement, it’s time to experiment with different types of content, platforms, and topics.

Nicaila Matthews Okome, host of the podcast Side Hustle Pro, also recommends looking at your competitors.

“Perform competitive analysis of people who make similar content. Don’t do this to copy, but to assess what your audience resonates with and the best way to present the information so they’ll interact with your content,” she told me.

As you look at your competitors, pay close attention to what topics they’re covering, what formats they’re using, how frequently they post, and how they’re engaging with their audience.

For example, you may find that your competitor only posts on a specific day — or gets the most engagement from a specific topic. As Okome mentioned above, the goal isn’t to copy your competitors but to identify any tactics that can elevate your own strategy.

4. Diversify your revenue streams.

Remember the phrase, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”? This is especially true for content creators.

For instance, if you rely on revenue from a single platform — and that platform undergoes a major algorithm change — it could affect your entire income model.

For Okome, the key to income stability is diversifying your revenue streams. That way, your income doesn’t rely on a single platform, partnership, or season.

She says, “Write down what you want to do and how you plan to make money from it. Then research different ways to monetize your content, whether it’s with sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, or selling your own products or merchandise.”

As a content creator in 2023, you have more avenues to create and monetize content than ever before. However, not all revenue streams are created equal. Some require more work on the backend, while others are easy to get off the ground but need upkeep (i.e. an email newsletter).

This isn’t about choosing the most lucrative option, but the one you can realistically handle right now. For example, a YouTube vlogger might supplement their income with a membership program on Patreon where they offer bonus videos and exclusive content — rather than a merch store with high start-up costs.

When diversifying your revenue, Okome recommends aiming for two additional streams. “As a content creator, your revenue can be unpredictable due to factors out of your control. Make sure you have at least two revenue streams so if one isn’t reliable, you can still pay your bills.”

5. Invest in yourself and your skills.

At the beginning of her career, Kutcher had to learn how to code her own website from scratch. This is a familiar scene for new content creators — one that involves learning a new skill on the fly with little help.

However, this is a challenge for veteran content creators, too. After all, it’s impossible to “master” content creation when the landscape is always changing. Trends come and go, platforms evolve, and new tools and technologies emerge all the time.

To future-proof yourself, don’t run from learning — embrace it. Okome underlines this point, telling me, “Invest in yourself, take classes, attend conferences, and learn from people who are further ahead of you on this path.”

Whether you join a workshop to improve your video editing skills or attend a networking event, prioritize learning and treat it as another part of the job.

Back to You

Many people assume content creation is an easy job that can turn you into a millionaire overnight. The reality is much different. However, with enough patience, determination, and these tips, you’re well on your way to turning your creative side hustle into a full-time gig.

4 AI Controversies Marketers and Brands Should Avoid

Artificial intelligence is a hot topic, and a recent study shows over 61% of marketers have used AI in their marketing activities. By now, you’ve probably heard all the ways AI can assist you in crafting and executing your marketing strategy, but are there any drawbacks?

To help you avoid missteps as you explore the world of AI, here are four cons of AI that marketers and brands should keep in mind.

The Pros of AI in Marketing

Before we get into AI’s drawbacks in marketing, we must look at the positives.

One helpful aspect of AI is that it can automate repetitive parts of the marketing process, such as task automation, data analysis, and campaign personalization.

Automating the above tasks allows marketers to spend more time crafting their strategy, brainstorming content, and finding new ways to connect with consumers.

AI can also significantly reduce errors made in the marketing process by avoiding missed deadlines, spelling and grammar mistakes, and incorrect math or data entry.

Speaking of data, AI can also analyze large sets of data 24/7 without needing rest or getting burnt out.Ultimately, AI is a great tool that can be used to carry out tasks that would otherwise be difficult or impossible for humans to do.

4 Cons of AI in Marketing

While there are many benefits to integrating AI into marketing, it does come with some disadvantages marketers should know.

1. Machines can’t replace human connection.

While AI can personalize marketing campaigns using up-to-date data, this doesn’t remove human connections’ importance. For example, chatbots are a common form of AI used in marketing to automate customer communication and troubleshooting.

In fact, 89% of consumers appreciate customer service chatbots for their quick responses. However, unlike humans, chatbots cannot display emotion and are unlikely to respond to a customer’s inquiry with empathy like a human agent.

Chatbots also have limited responses and may not have the data necessary to answer every customer’s question.

If customers feel like their concerns aren’t taken seriously or aren’t getting the answer they need, they could become frustrated, and their relationship with your brand can sour.

According to a recent study, 53% of consumers have cut spending after a single bad experience with a company.

Quality customer service is integral to retaining customers, so you shouldn’t over-rely on AI when communicating or connecting with your consumers.

2. AI predictions and analyses can sometimes be wrong.

“Reliable sentiment analysis (i.e. figuring out if a sentence is happy, sad, or sarcastic) is really hard for artificial intelligence, along with reliable sentence parsing,” said Pawan Deshpande of Scale AI.

“Visually recognizing a teacup reliably is challenging for current machine vision algorithms,” he said.

In other words, AI doesn’t possess the human intuition to understand and carry out specific tasks — such as analyzing feelings and intentions. An AI can get something wrong without the guidance of human experience and perception.

“The human intuitions underlying what data to look for and what questions to ask are some of the biggest limits now,” Deshpande said.

3. They require huge sets of data and human intervention.

Speaking of data, an AI is only as capable as the data it’s given, and it needs massive data sets. So, you may need to hire someone who understands AI well enough to train and upload these large data sets.

Or, your current team will need to train and expand their skills to work with AI.

If the process seems too tedious and costly for your brand, consider if and how you want to integrate AI into your strategy.

4. AI lacks human creativity.

AI tools can be used in customer segmentation, recommendations, and other parts of the marketing process. However, humans are still needed to brainstorm creative and innovative content strategies that will reach audiences.

For instance, regarding social media marketing strategies, consumers gravitate to content that shows the brand’s values and how it aligns with their own. Funny, trendy, and relatable content is also popular among audiences.

Only a human marketer can spearhead touching, relevant content that fosters connection.

A content strategy that is too reliant on AI-generated content and algorithms may come as dull or disconnected.Consumers want to know a person behind the brand empathizes with their concerns.

Ultimately, AI can be an excellent tool to automate and streamline aspects of the marketing process, but companies should be aware that AI shouldn’t replace the human element.