This post is contributed by Olu Bunmi.


Social media managers must master and monitor certain essential key performance indicators (KPIs) for more effective social media management, which encompasses the process of strategizing, creating, and managing content and interactions across social networks.

Doing this per network can be time-consuming and confusing without measurable KPIs, and given several such indicators, social media managers must decide which ones align most with their business goals. This would inform what strategy, approach, and platforms will be most effective.

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In this post, we’ll be highlighting seven (7) such social media KPIs that should inform your social media marketing strategy and help you improve productivity, results, and ROI for your business ASAP, but first

What is Social Media KPIs?

Social media KPIs are social media metrics that measure the performance of your social media activities. Some of these are vanity metrics that do not really impact your bottom line but are measured simply because they’re measurable.

Recently, Instagram announced it will be hiding the number of likes from the public in selected countries as a test case. The aim is to get users to focus more on engagement than the number of likes. If your entire Instagram marketing revolves around a number of likes, for instance, you may need to start considering other ways to get more Instagram followers to grow your business for social commerce purposes.

This brings us to

The Evolution of Social Commerce

In the early 90’s, retail websites were like mere online product brochures with limited accessibiility and functionality, cahracterized by poor UI and UX. The term ‘Social Commerce’ was coined in 2005.

These days, social commerce has evolved and improved and  differs from social media marketing. As a social media manager, understanding this difference will most likely be the difference between just promoting brand visibility and actually making sales.

Creating online brand awareness with the aim of creating visibility and driving traffic to your social media page is social media marketing. This does not guarantee sales, even though it promotes sales. Direct sales resulting from social media marketing is social commerce because at this point, you can measure ROI.

Social Media Marketing by the Numbers

Statista reports that social media global penetration rate is now 45%. Meaning nearly half the world’s population or 3.48billion people are on social media, growing the worldwide total by 288 million (9%) since this time last year.

  • As of Q4 2018, Facebook had 2.32 billion monthly active users.
  • As at April 2019, Instagram had over 1billion monthly active users.
  • Youtube currently has 1.9 billion monthly logged in users

This shows how social media is shrinking global space and creating opportunities for large scale commerce for businesses.


  • 95% of young adults between the ages of 18-34 are most likely to follow a brand on social media
  • Currently, there are over 60 million businesses using Facebook Pages
  • 6 million of these businesses use Facebook Ads.
  • 78% of people who complain to a brand via Twitter always expect and receive a response within an hour.
  • On Instagram, top brands get to see a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21% which is 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter.
  • 90% of Instagram users are less than 35 years old, making it the best social media platform to target millenials, etc

Why Businesses Need a Social Media Strategy in Place

Without a social media strategy in place you’d be beating about the social media bush. As more businesses go online, your competition increases as evident in the foregoing statistics. To stay ahead of the game, you will need an effective social media marketing strategy that will boost visibility, sales and customer satisfaction.

To implement your social media strategy, you’ll need a platform.

Here’s how to pick the right social network for your kind of business:

  • Identify your audience and their favorite social networks with the highest engagement. You can identify your targeted audience by studying their demography, which includes their age range, gender, income and social trends that interest them.
  • Identify the resources needed for a successful social marketing plan, bearing in mind that each social media platform is unique. This will ensure that your business goals and network align.

Next step is to find a good social media manager who can help coordinate and implement your social media strategy.

Following are seven (7) key areas to judge your social media manager’s performance

7 Essential KPIs For Savvy Social Media Managers

Measurable metrics generally vary per network, some are similar. Following are 7 key social media KPIs you should watch:

  1. Audience Growth Rate

This indicates how fast your brand is growing. This can be tracked by identifying the number of new followers for the month divided by the number of your total audience. If you’re currently focusing on Instagram, here’re smart ways to get more Instagram followers.

  1. Click Through Rate

The number of clicks on links you post show how eye catching the title and images in your posts are. This typically shows if it got the attention of your audience. You can calculate this by dividing the number of link clicks you have by the number of people who have seen the post.


This also shows how interesting your content was, and it helps in favoring your page visibility for platform algorithms. Instagram is currently experimenting with hiding likes from the public to encourage more engagement.


Shares indicate that your posts are interesting enough to warrant recommendation, and this can be used to measure your virality rate by dividing the number of people who shared your post by the number of people who saw it. This also shows your amplification rate. Also note the number of mentions you get, for virality.


Note that relevant content sparks conversations and engagement is one of the top areas you should pay attention to on social media. Engagement is often evident in the comment section. Authentic engagement means you’re doing a lot of things right.

  1. Reviews/Feedbacks

Customer testimonials help to build trust and credibility for your brand. You can also measure this by creating a survey to evaluate customer satisfaction with your products or services.

  1. Impressions/Profile Visits

Although not every social network displays the number of new people who visit your profile, most do, and this will tell you how well all other factors above have influenced people who heard of, or came across your brand to check it out. It shows you your reach.


As a social media manager, the success or failure of your social media strategy or campaigns largely depend on you. Knowing what to and how to measure this success or failure rate (progress) is key. Let us know which social media metrics or KPI matter most to you.


Author Bio:

Olu Bunmi is a freelance writer who loves to write business, ecommerce, entrepreneurship and social media content.

Posted by Steven

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