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What are Social Metrics and What Do They Mean for Your Business?

Likes

Often considered the holy grail of what matters for businesses on social media – how many likes your page has. Likes are predominantly Facebook orientated metrics; however, the terminology and approval action have spread across most other platforms, even though they may have another term linked to them.

Back in the good old days, having a lot of likes was great for businesses; it meant lots of people saw your posts and looked positive for your trust profile. However, after many years of algorithm changes, Facebook has changed how its platform works. Facebook prioritises the posts of actual profiles from real people, sharing real stories, much more than the posts of pages, which is down to visibility of around 2% of your entire page follower count. So if you want your posts to reach more people, you need to start cashing out with social ads and boosted posts – and don't think you can just create a personal profile to promote your business. The Facebook bot will recognise a fake name and brand orientated posts and push you right to the bottom of their algorithm.

It is still good to have followers on your page, but you can't expect to go viral or have enquiries and conversions with only 100 likes. A healthy number of followers is a surplus of 1000, which helps potential buyers gain trust in your product or services. It's a social expectation that a business these days has some form of social account, and a potential customer not being able to find one certainly raises alarm bells.

Reach

This refers to the number of people who have seen your post, so if 100 people have seen it, then your reach is 100. Facebook defines reach as "The number of people who saw your post at least once" and considers them through organic, paid, and viral. Viral is the style of posts that people see because their friends interacted with it, which is rarer now as algorithms change and security is updated to allow for increased privacy.

While reach may seem like a universal metric on social media, not all platforms track it, so it is impossible to report back on. Reach is only worth considering if you are prepared to fully outline the goals of your post and strategy, as its purpose is to outline issues in your design and allow you to correct them. Reach could highlight issues as granular as the layout or images used in a post not being attractive enough to the correct target audience. Having a considerable reach is worthless if you have no set goal in mind, a call to action, or conversion you want to achieve with all these people.

Engagements

An engagement is anything a viewer does to interact with a post, such as like, comment or react and share. A good engagement rate is 1-2% of your overall follower count, so be sure to align your goals with this data. Expecting hundreds of interactions when you have a follower count of 1000 is not only ambitious but also likely not possible unless you start considering the possibility of social ads.

However, let's keep things organic for now and focus on the importance of having a healthy engagement rate. Engagements can be considered the modern "like" or follower count. Having a strong engagement rate provides proof of business and tells visitors that you are popular with a happy customer base, making them more likely to interact themselves, use your service, or purchase your product. You can look to increase your engagement rate by supplying the right kind of posts, asking questions, showing attractive media, and sharing stories people care about. You might think social media is the place for you to show off, but always ask yourself, do people care about this content enough to engage. Do they care enough to enter a transaction and "pay" you with their valuable social interaction?

Comments

Comments are one of the best social media metrics you can get in reporting. They offer insight into more than just vanity. The words of your followers are valuable and shouldn't be ignored. Their comments can provide you with qualitative data, a conversation and can attract the attention of other viewers and encourage them to also get involved. Comments outrank all the other metrics in terms of strength – there is no purpose in having thousands of followers if not one of them is commenting on your posts, weighing in on a conversation, contributing to a community. That is why it is so important to correctly target your audience with clear goals in mind.

Not Sure What to Do?

If you're a bit confused as to where to go next or what to do with this information, maybe you could benefit from a phone call with a social media expert, agency, or freelancer. We highly recommend knowing your annual goals for social media and your business before expecting results. No one can deliver results without first knowing what they are trying to win! Once you have worked out your goals for social media and how they refer to your company values and goals, start looking into who your target audience is and where they might hang out online. There is little point in setting yourself up on Facebook if your target audience is a demographic that mainly uses TikTok.