Metrics That Matter – Part II


Social Media Analytics

In part one of “Metrics That Matter,” we took a deeper dive into Google Analytics and helped clarify some of the more relevant, yet often overlooked, audience and behavior metrics available through the ubiquitous search platform. This knowledge will enable you to more effectively track website engagement and conversions.

Now it’s time to turn our attention to another valuable measurement tool that every marketing and communications professional should be taking advantage of: social media analytics.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll dive into two of the most popular social platforms for businesses – Facebook and Twitter – and share some fundamental insights that should help you better understand how your social media pages are performing.


Page Views

Much like with Google AnalyticsPage Views are quite possibly the most important baseline metric on which to focus. Page Views are defined as the number of times a Page’s profile has been viewed by visitors that log in or out. This metric is obviously a good indication of how engaging your posts are or how interested visitors are in your page. It can help you better understand who is looking at your page and, equally important, how they’re looking at it. The metric even goes as far as showing you specifically what Sections users viewed, such as your About, Homepage, or Photos.


Reach is the number of people who had any posts from your Page, whether promoted or organic, enter their screen. If you’re putting money into Facebook advertising, your page’s reach is probably significantly higher than one not being supported through advertising. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s producing correspondingly higher numbers of leads or followers. Investing money in Facebook advertising allows you to reach large numbers of individuals without exceeding a set price, but that doesn’t guarantee any return – regardless of what extrapolated financial projections you may find. Your objective here is still primarily focused on visibility. Engagement and conversion are separate outcomes. Also noted under Reach is the number of times your page has been recommended in posts or comments – a helpful indication of how well your message resonated with your audience, enough to have them recommend your business to their peers.

Post Engagements

Post Engagements are the number of times people have engaged with your posts through likes, comments, shares and more. In terms of importance, this metric should always rank near the top, as it helps you better understand what is causing people to click, like, comment, etc. on your posts.

Actions on Page

The Actions on Page metric is a bit specific and is the number of clicks on your Page’s contact info and call-to-action button. This includes the ‘Get Directions’ tab, as well as the website and phone number tabs – but, that’s it. The name of this metric can be misleading, as many believe this can include virtually any click, scroll-over, etc. on your page. But, it’s important to remember that it’s simply an indication of how many individuals want to learn more after viewing your page – and can be useful in determining how many people visit your profile before making that initial call.


Number of Tweets

Probably the most self-explanatory of the measurement tools for this platform, Number of Tweets refers to the total number of tweets posted per month. Coupling this number with another metric can help you to decipher how people are interacting (Engagement) or simply have the opportunity to view (Impressions) your Tweets.


A potential Impression means a tweet has been delivered to a Twitter account’s timeline. However, as you may already know, this doesn’t mean that anyone read or engaged with your Tweet. Knowing this, the metric strictly pertains to reach. It’s real value is unlocked when coupled with other data points – like Engagements (which we’ll cover next) or Profile Visits. Profile Visits are defined as the total number of people who opened your Twitter account at least once.


Engagements are defined as the total number of times a user interacted with a Tweet. This includes all clicks anywhere on the Tweet (including hashtags, links, avatar, username, and Tweet expansion), retweets, replies, follows, and likes. Engagements are shown alongside Impressions (see above) on the Twitter Analytics dashboard, as well as Engagement %, which is the number of engagements divided by the total number of impressions.

New Followers

Easily understood, New Followers the number of new followers gained in a month. For obvious reasons, this metric is important to gauge the growth of your page – but, the reasoning behind that movement can certainly vary. Did you have a drastic increase in the Number of Tweets? Were you retweeted by someone with a high following? Why? Understanding New the trendlines can help to zero-in on the concepts that are yielding the best overall results.

Social media analytics provide marketers with the tools needed to gain proper insight into the effectiveness of their posts and overall platforms. Interpreting their metrics is critical to optimizing your strategy for increasing both the effectiveness and efficiency with your campaigns.

Read Part I – Google Analytics

Michael Shepherd

Michael serves as Managing Partner of The Shepherd Group, a brand and communications firm with offices in Seattle and Newport Beach. A former journalist, he specializes in building narratives through discovery, design, and development of branded editorial and visual content.