In the marketing world, acronyms are like emojis, they’re everywhere! KPI, PPC, CTR… we could go on and on. But when it comes to social media reporting what do those terms really mean (and how do you explain them to a client)? Below you will see a list of the most important reporting definitions every business owner running a social media campaign should know. Typically we pull reporting monthly, EOY (end of year) and send small status updates throughout the week. It may seem excessive but if you are spending money on social media, you should know what your results look like and mean.

Published Media: The number of “posts” you have published that time period. Compare to your average or last time periods number for an increase or decrease in percentage.

Reach: The number of individual users (followers or non-followers) who saw your page or post for the tracked time period. Reach differs from impressions because while one person may have viewed your post 3 times, they could only ever have been “reached” once. (This is why your impressions should always be higher than your reach.) These fans may or may not have engaged (like, comment or share) with your media but were served your content.

Impressions: The number of times that users (followers or non-followers) who saw your page or post for the tracked time period. These fans may or may not have engaged (like, comment or share) with your media but it is the number of times your content is displayed, no matter if it was clicked or not.

CTR (click through rate): The number of times users (followers or non-followers) have clicked through on the link in each individual post to your website. This is a great measurement of unique landing pages as well.

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Engagement: Adding together the number of likes + comments + shares for each tracked time period. Likes: how many users “liked” your piece of content on social media
Reactions: how many users reacted to your piece of content on Facebook.
Comments: the number of users who commented on your content (you can count responding comments back to fans as well as commenting back increases your posts reach and measures a genuine customer interaction).
Shares: The number of users who have shared your post (Can be in the form of retweets or regrams on Twitter and Instagram).

Engagement Rate = (likes + comments + shares)/reach. The engagement rate adds up your “engagement” and divides it by your reach. You can do this for multiple posts in a time period, or for single posts. A common mistake for calculating engagement rate is Engagement Rate = (likes + comments + shares)/ followers. This is incorrect because if you have 1,000 followers, your reach (due to algorithms) will almost never be 1,000. It is more accurate to base your engagement rate off of your content’s reach.

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Engagement Per Post: Adding together likes + comments and shares per post. Calculate separately for each individual platform to see which one is receiving the most engagement for your brand.

Engagement Per Follower: The average number in which each individual follower engages with your posts. (Ideally 1.5-2 times per week) This stat is almost impossible to track manually – we recommend using Sprout Social to track this.

Influencer Engagement Rate: Do you work with influencers and need to share metrics? To calculate an influencer’s engagement rate, total the engagements (likes + comments + retweets) across all of the influencers individual posts then divide by the total number of followers and divide that by the number of posts (to get the per post average). Pro tip: choose 3 photos to find an average and save time.

Mentions/Tags: The number of times a follower mentions you on a social media platform. We usually calculate this number once per month and compare MOM (month over month) to see if there has been an increase in outbound engagement. Again, this is very challenging to track manually and recommend a platform like Sprout Social to do this.

All in all, determining your reporting and KPI’s before starting any campaign will help you capitalize on what to look for throughout the life cycle of each post. The examples above can be calculated very specifically to help a client understand the return on investment social media can give to a brand. Other examples to think about as you capitalize on your reporting are:

Using a unique landing page will help you easier correlate the click through to learn more about a particular topic (i.e email subscribers). Or making sure your ad has a coupon code is specifically used on social. This will let the return on investment for the ad shine when presenting the results of the promotion.

Having strict guidelines on measurements will not only prove your success- but will allow reports to be easily built and help that one time client turn into a coveted retainer for years to come. What metrics do you find most helpful in reviewing the growth of your social channels? Share below and let’s get the conversation around reposting conversions started.

CTR, Engagement rates, or anything else reporting related stressing you out? Reach out! We offer 1:1 consulting as well as full reporting with our social media management packages. Contact us here to get scheduled.