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How To Read Your Social Media Metrics

by | Dec 27, 2021 | Social Media

There’s nothing more frustrating than working for hours (or even days) on an incredible, engaging social media post, just to see it get a single reaction, like, or click. 

Social media marketing demands creativity and originality, but even with the most captivating graphics and innovative copywriting, your business’s digital marketing success is at the mercy of social media algorithms. Luckily, big-time social media players like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter provide handy, helpful metrics every business owner should add to their digital marketing toolbelt.

Which Metrics to Pay Attention To

Each social media platform has its own diverse set of metrics to watch. Understanding how to decipher their individual data sets will not only allow you to fully optimize your business profiles, but also provide insight into which types of posts to focus on for each platform. Twitter, for example, won’t even show the Instagram photo you’re trying to cross-share – it simply posts a link to the photo. Not very engaging, huh? And it’s almost like when it comes to social media, engagement is the whole point.


If social media metrics were a coffee shop, engagement would be every customer who decided to walk in, visit the drive-thru, share your shop location with a friend, or search for your menu online. Your coffee shop’s marketing efforts were so on point, people took time out of their day to visit your business and engage with your efforts. They see your brand, message, and story and they want to connect, share, and explore further. 

Social media engagement metrics specifically include the number of likes, shares, reactions, and comments your post receives. How are your posts received by your audience? Are they liking (or loving) what you have to say? Are they sharing that incredible image to their Stories? Are they “hearting” your Reel? How well can you capture the attention and reactions of your followers? 

Your post engagement rate is the number of engagements your posts receive divided by the number of people who saw your post. Pro-tip – you want your post engagement rate percentage to be high. It means the people who see your posts like them so much, they are compelled to take precious seconds or minutes from their busy lives to comment, like, share, or react. 


This social media metric is the one that keeps most social media managers up at night. Fueled primarily by mystery-shrouded algorithms, your post visibility includes post impressions and reach. If we apply our coffee shop analogy to social media visibility metrics, impressions count the number of people glancing in the shop window, and reach measures the number of people who drive by your coffee shop each day.

Social media platforms intentionally make it difficult for every one of your followers to see every one of your posts. They want to keep you working hard for your audiences by developing new, unique content every day. You could be as famous as Jay-Z and still struggle to get your posts in front of every single person who follows you. Luckily, there are some strategies we employ here at GreenCup Digital that aid social media visibility efforts significantly. 

But first, the basics: the best way to gauge your social media visibility is by checking out your post impressions and reach. There’s a pretty substantial difference between the two

Impression data captures how many times your post shows up in a timeline. Is there a single person on earth who didn’t see that infamous dress show up on our timelines 400 times in one week? You know the dress – the one asking us to decide if the dress was gold and white or blue and black. The impressions for that post were sky-high – one post, shown on a single timeline hundreds of times, for an extended period of time. 

Reach, comparatively, measures how many people, followers or not, see your content. A simple formula of your account followers + the number of followers for accounts that shared your content = your total post reach. Remember Ellen’s famous Oscar photo? That post had a record-breaking reach with over 3 million retweets. You might not obtain Ellen reach levels with each of your posts, but it never hurts to try. Wording your posts as though millions will see them only sets you up for success when your business does have a post go viral. 

Money Makers

But what good is fame and glory, you may ask? Well…money, for one. Back at the coffee shop, money-making social media metrics best equate to coffee orders, mug purchases, and drive-thru cookie impulse buys. The customers saw the shop sign (visibility), walked or drove in (engagement), and purchased something. Money-making social media metrics like click-through rates, referrals, and conversions all signify how well your social media posts lead to actual sales and revenue.

Click-through rates, or CTRs, analogize social media advertisement clicks against how many times your ad came up on timelines (impressions). Web and ad elements like links, call-to-action buttons, and email sign-up images all entice customers to click and engage with your business, often off and away from social media. These elements each capture your CTR and allow you to determine the success of your ad. Higher click-through rates equate to stronger, more effective ads. 

Referral metrics measure how customers find your website. Most website analytic tools show how your customers arrived, whether via Facebook, Instagram, or Google. A good referral rate from one or more of your social media business accounts indicates a strong social media presence and enticing posts.

Conversions indicate how many times your post led to a direct sale. They track a customer’s movement from your social media post to your business’s website to a completed checkout page. Higher conversion rates are definitely a sign that your social media marketing campaigns are in good health! Conversely, lower conversion rates mean you might need to change up your post format and schedule to get better results. 

Social media metrics are an important part of your digital marketing efforts. Taking the time to learn what each metric means and how you can best tweak your posts to enhance your metrics will reward your business with both dollars and digital success. 

Have you checked your business’s social media metrics lately? How do your posts stack up against the best practices recommended above? If you’re not hitting the numbers you’d like to see, don’t despair! A GreenCup Digital social media audit is the perfect way to get back on track. We here at GreenCup Digital specialize in capturing your target audience through metric-backed social media strategies and revenue-building partnerships. Drop us a line to learn more about our social media services and how with GreenCup Digital’s help, your metrics (and sales!) can soar to viral levels. 

About the Author

Jen Buck

Jen has a way with words. As a copywriting wizard, she uniquely crafts copy to help drive qualified leads and showcase the best your business has to offer.
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