Critical Social Media Marketing KPIs You Need to Track

Social media marketing can be an excellent way for your business to get in front of new customers on an ongoing basis. However, if you’re not tracking the right key performance indicators (KPIs), then it might as well be a waste of time and resources.

Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

Obtaining all the necessary knowledge and learning how to monitor your performance is crucial for social media success. There are several key performance indicators (KPIs) that you need to be aware of.

But before we discuss the KPIs, let’s understand how tracking KPIs can help your business.

Why Track KPIs for Social Media Marketing?

Setting and tracking business goals are an essential part of managing your online marketing campaign. After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you ever get there?

Tracking key performance indicators will help you understand how far-reaching your content is and what users react to most. Once you know where the traction is, you can strategize ways to optimize your posts for maximum engagement in those areas.

When you track KPIs, it becomes easy to understand the ROI for each channel or campaign by comparing them with others. But that’s not all; every KPI will vary depending on the business objectives. For example, if you want to focus on increasing an online conversion rate, then clicks might be one of your KPIs, while impressions won’t matter as much.

That takes us to the most crucial part: Understanding the right KPIs to track.

6 Crucial Key Performance Indicators to Track for Social Media Marketing Campaigns

Let’s dig deeper into understanding some important KPIs that all businesses should track when using social media to market their products or services.

1. Social Engagement Rate

Social engagement rate measures how often people are engaging with your posts on social media, from liking them to commenting on them, versus just scrolling past without any interaction at all.

It can also include shares or retweets if you want to be specific about what constitutes engagement. This is an excellent indicator of whether people find your content compelling enough or not.

Here’s the formula to calculate the engagement rate:

Engagement Rate = (Total engagement / Total followers) x 100

For example, you got 100 likes for a post on a social media channel with 2000 followers. The engagement rate is:

(100 / 2000) x100= 5%

Let’s say another post gets a higher engagement rate. You can figure out that your audiences like certain subjects or topics more than others. Tracking social engagement rate helps you crack the code on what works and what doesn’t. Using it, you can make campaigns tailored for your audience and increase engagement.

What are the typical engagement rates on the different social media platforms?

Twitter and Facebook have an average engagement rate of 0.5-1%, while Instagram is between 3-6%. Instagram has one of the highest engagement rates.

How do you know if your engagement rate is low or high?

Based on a study, here are the ranges for Social Engagement Rate:

  • Low: 0% and 1.64%
  • Good: 1.64% and 3.48%
  • High: 3.48% and 6.67%
  • Very high: 6.67% and 10%

Your engagement rate will vary depending on the content you publish on social media. You can even choose to curate content on your social media if your audience prefers that. For example, Cleverism, a blog on career tips shares most famous quotes from entrepreneurs around the world on their Instagram. As their audience consists of founders and entrepreneurs looking for career advice, the content format brings them lots of engagements.

2. Revenue Generated from Social Media Marketing Efforts

Your social media efforts aren’t just related to engagement, if you work on your social media with conversion-focused strategies, you can drive your followers to your blog, or your e-commerce store.

It is not always obvious how much revenue is generated from social media because visitors go from social media platforms to an online store or website. Only a percentage of them convert into sales. Owing to this, many people do not relate social media efforts with direct revenue generation.

But if you start analyzing your social media efforts in terms of direct revenue generation of your brand, you get a highly relevant KPI to look out for.

Therefore, even if you cannot measure revenue directly from work done on social media, it is still a massive contributor to the overall income.

In some instances, it is possible to generate direct sales from social media. For example, creating a shop on Instagram, where people can click directly on the product they want and be directed to an online store to buy it. Or one can create a Facebook shop where it is possible to click on products to buy them directly. This is a great alternative for people who don’t own a shop yet on Shopify or Amazon.

In this case, the revenue generated from social media is direct, and it is possible to measure it right away.

3. Conversions: What Percentage of Followers Take Action After Seeing Your Posts?

Conversion happens when a visitor or follower clicks on a post link or takes the action you asked for. The action can be anything from buying a product to leaving their email address.

The social media KPI for the conversion is the following:

(Conversion / clicks) x 100 = Convention rate percentage

For example:

  • 180 conversions for a post
  • The call-to-action was clicked 1000 times
  • (180 conversions divided by 1000 clicks) * 100 = 18% conversion rate

Tracking conversions is one of the most important social media KPIs you should track as it shows how relevant your audience is and how much they know about your product. Unlike the engagement rate, a conversion rate is directly related to the sales you generate or the leads you collect.

So, if you have a good enough conversion rate from social media, you’re on the right track.

Conversion rates across social media platforms can range between 2-10%. Here are the average conversions rates by platforms:

  • Facebook – 9.21%
  • Instagram – 3%
  • Twitter – 0.9%
  • Pinterest – 2.9%

4. Cost per engagement (CPE)

The cost for each interaction on social media is calculated by dividing the total ad spend by the number of engagements. Practically, it is how much you are paying for each engagement.

The engagement rate is one of the most relevant metrics for social media at this time. Advertisers and marketers are more concerned with how much an audience is engaged than the number of followers.

The cost per engagement (CPE) formula is:

CPE= Total amount spent / Total measured engagements

Tracking the CPE can be beneficial because one can adjust the marketing efforts to engage more viewers by improving the campaign’s effectiveness. Staying up to date with current social media trends will help you make the most of your social media efforts.

Here is the average cost per engagement according to social media platform:

  • Facebook: between $0.06 – $0.07
  • Instagram: between $0.20 – $2
  • Twitter: average $1.35

5. Cost per follower (CPF)

The CPF (cost per follower) is the average amount you’re spending to get new followers, calculated by dividing total ad spend by the number of new followers gained in a specific duration of your campaign.

Having an engaged share of social media followers directly contributes to future income and expansion. Ultimately, CPF will tell if you are getting a return on investment through your ads by adding followers and future customers; or if your CPF is high, you might have to change your marketing strategy.

Typical cost per followers varies from $2.50 per follower up to $4.00.

Keep in mind that follower count is not the ultimate measure of your brand’s success on social media. So, it’s important to have quality followers.

For example, brands like FounderJar who run an online blog might not have too many followers on social media, but they have targeted followers on social media platforms like Pinterest and through them, they’re getting close to 1,000 views a month on their pins.

6. Return on investment (ROI)

When you’re making money online, measuring the ROI becomes essential. Social media ROI stands for the return on investment from your social media activity.

All social media actions should generate value; measuring the ROI helps you quantify your efforts in relation to the value it is generating. This value is divided by the investment made (money, time, resources). The result will tell the ROI.

A simple formula to calculate ROI is:

Value / investment (people hours, ad budget, etc.) X 100 = social media ROI (as a percentage)

The value can be sales, but can also be other metrics that you decide are important for your brand, such as:

  • Reach
  • Audience engagement
  • Site traffic
  • Leads
  • Sign-ups
  • Revenue

For example:

You spent $50 on a marketing tool to schedule posts across your social media. By doing this, you got 10,000 visitors to your websites within a month. Considering your website runs ads and from ads alone, you were able to monetize this traffic earning $300 for that month.

The ROI would be: ($50 / $300) x 100 = 16%

A good ROI is considered to be 5:1, which means you spend one dollar and get five back. Results may vary greatly across social media platforms and across different industries and audiences.


Knowing critical metrics like engagement rates, ROI, cost per follower, and conversion rates enable better social media management. One can understand if marketing efforts are effective and in case they are not, change it before spending more resources on it.

There are many metrics one can track, but one must start following the most important ones to be successful. Beginning to track and take actions based on the metrics listed above will give you a roadmap to boost your social media efforts.

About the Author

Martin Luenendonk

Martin Luenendonk is a 3x serial entrepreneur with a deep passion in digital business models and marketing innovations. He is the Founder at Cleverism and FounderJar.

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