The four best metrics for social media

In the previous posts, we demonstrated that, in order to use social media successfully, brands should make sure that they share good social media content and encourage all types of users to engage with this content. However, contrary to the common belief, using social media is not free. Brands must hire people to run the different platforms efficiently and invest in software and equipment (to make and edit videos for instance). This requires an important budget. Consequently, digital marketers must prove to top managers that using these platforms will create value for the company.

To do so, Avinash Kaushik identified the four best metrics marketers can use to prove the benefits of investing in social media.


  1. Conversation Rate

This first metric measures the number of comments or replies from the audience per post. It helps businesses assess their success in engaging in conversation with their customers. If social media users participate to the discussion online, it indicates that the brand successfully delivered additional value to them.

Users who comment or reply to brands’ posts on social media tend to have strong relationships with these brands, which can lead to brand loyalty. As a result, brands should aim to increase their conversation rate and track this metric.


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  1. Amplification Rate

The amplification rate reflects the number of shares per post on social media platforms. Similarly to the conversation rate, this metric evaluates customer engagement. In addition, it also indicates the word of mouth created by social media users.

Indeed, when users retweet, share or repost content from brands, they are not only engaging with them but also introducing them to other users who may not know about these brands. As a result, brands gain exposure to new potential customers and enhance their brand awareness.


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  1. Applause Rate

This metric looks at the number of likes per post. The information communicated through this metric is very useful for brands. It enables them to understand the type of content their followers / friends enjoy. Once they have established the kind of content users want to see on social media, they can make sure that their future posts will resonate with their followers and promote active engagement.

Facebook “Reactions” gives even more information about how social media users react to the content posted on the platform. Brands can know the type of content that users like, love or laugh at. In addition, clicking on a “reaction” rather than a “like” tends to show a higher involvement from the users.



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These three metrics are applicable to all social media platforms and many media tools, such as True Social Metrics, are available to calculate them.


  1. Economic Value

The first three metrics help marketers demonstrate to top managers the benefits of social media by proving its impact on customer engagement, eWOM and brand awareness. But to truly convince a CEO to invest in social media, marketers should quantify the economic value it creates for the business.

The last metric, the economic value, is the sum of the short term and long term revenue and cost savings. If it seems much more complicated to calculate than the previous metrics, marketers can use Google Analytics, Omniture or even Webtrends to measure the economic value.

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Thanks to these four metrics, brands can appraise their performance on social media platforms. Moreover, as they can quantify the impact of using social media on brand awareness, eWOM, customer engagement and even the economic value of the business, they can convince top managers to allocate part of the annual budget to digital marketing.

Do you agree with the list above? Do you know any other metric(s) that you would add to the list? Let me know in the comment section below!




4 Comments Add yours

  1. Nice read Magaly! I learnt something new today – that Facebook’s smileys could be a metric tool. I never thought about it that way. As Avinash Kaushik said, these are indeed the four best metrics and it’s pretty hard to come up with better ones. But if I had to add one more to the list, I would go with geo-location metrics/analysis. It can be used to find out where people who view your content are from and you could then tailor content for that audience. Cheers!
    – Wei

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Wei,

      Thank you for your comment. I agree, collecting information about the geographic location of a brand’s audience would enable this brand to provide better content for them!

      I also think it could help companies determine whether they are only known in the area they operate in or if eWOM is helping them build a reputation on a larger scale. This way, businesses that want to expand would be able to identify the potential target segments they could most successfully target.


      Liked by 1 person

  2. ytzhu3 says:

    Dear Lapausedigitale, thanks for your post and I really benefit a lot. I agree that conversation rate, amplification rate, applause rate and economic value are metrics that the marketers can be made use of to prove the benefits of making investments in the social media to do the brand and products marketing. However, I do not think that the four metrics are the best ones. For insance, as for the first metric of conversation rate, the author argues that if the social media users start to participate in more discussions, it means that the brand has successfully delivered additional values to them. However, it should be noted that if the contents that those social media users talk about are about the negative aspects about a brand, it will do harms to the brand. In this way, the conversation rate can not be utilized to prove the benefits of investing in the social media. I argee with you that the economic values are of great significance for proving the beneifts of investing in the social media. Compared with the traditional marketing means, the social media seems to be much less expensive.
    As far as I a concerned, there are some metrics that should be used to prove thebenefits of investing in the social media. The first metric is the audience growth rate. If on the social media, the number of audiences of a certain brand has grown rapid, it means that the brand has been communicated to more customers, which is very significant for increasing the consumer groups of the brand. The second significant metric, I think, is the visitor frequency rate. It can been checked to optimize the targeting of new and returing visitors of a certain brand, which can contribute to the success of a brand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your interesting comment! It is very thought-provoking.

      I agree that the conversation rate does not indicate whether the interactions between users and brands are positive or negative and that it is a limitation of its benefits. To me, it does not reduce the usefulness of this metric, but it does prove that marketers cannot exclusively rely on metrics to assess their success on social media platforms. From what you pointed out, it is obvious that, in addition to marketing metrics, marketers should be very active on social media in order to be aware of the nature of the content shared by users. Metrics are powerful quantitative tools to assess the success of brands online, but in order to collect valuable qualitative data about social media users, brands should look at the content they created (comments, posts etc.).

      I think the audience growth rate is useful because it indicates that more people have been exposed to the content brands shared. But can we really assume that users are aware of a brand’s offering, like this brand or even purchase items from this brand simply because they followed its Facebook or Instagram account on social media? I am sceptical. As users, we are exposed to so many content online that we cannot remember everything we saw. Plus, it takes seconds to press a button and like a page on social media. Users may decide to follow a page after visiting it and liking the content, but forget about the brand on the long term. I personally follow some brands on Instagram and Facebook that I do not engage with or purchase. I do not have a special interest in them anymore and keep scrolling when they appear on my news feed. But I cannot be bothered unfollowing them. I think a lot of users follow brands “impulsively” but then forget about them. If brands only consider their audience growth rate, they may interpret a growing rate as a sign that they are increasingly popular and get a lot of exposure while in reality many followers do not notice or care about the brand anymore.

      Finally, I agree that visitor frequency rate is a crucial metric for websites. However I am not entirely sure if it is very useful in the case of social media. When we follow a brand on social media, we do not need to go on the page again because all its posts now appear in our home page. Customers can notice the posts and engage with the brand (by commenting or sharing for instance) without visiting the page ever again. Contrary to the previous metric, which could overestimate the success of the brand on social media, I think this one would underestimate the impact of social media on brand awareness and customer engagement.

      I would be interested to read more about the behaviour of users on social media, as my opinion about audience growth rate and visitor frequency rate are only based on my own impressions. Do you only follow brands you are interested in on social media? Do you visit the pages you follow often?



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