I’ve been speaking with a lot of entrepreneurs, start-up founders and small business owners lately about the value of data, analytics and measuring what we do. Most people agree that there is tremendous value in data. Many people struggle however, to understand what they should measure, how to measure it and how to translate the data into action.

There are a lot of things that can be measured but what is the right thing? Where do you start? Measuring something may be better than measuring nothing but it is important not to waste your time measuring and collecting data that is meaningless. It is critical that you collect data that can be translated into action that will make a difference to your business.


Marketing Metrics and Social Media

Marketing is a complex area of expertise and measuring results can be even more difficult. I thought I would begin a series of blog posts in an effort to help people understand the issue a little better. This first article will look at basic metrics that you can measure for Twitter, your Facebook Business Page, and your LinkedIn Company Page.

Before measuring anything related to social media and these three channels, it is important to understand what you want to achieve with your social media campaigns. What are your goals? Who is your audience? With this information you can create a strategy. Without a strategy in place, there is no value in measuring anything as you have no goal to measure progress against.


Vanity Metrics

There is a great book on the subject of analytics by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz called ‘Lean Analytics, Use Data To Build a Better Startup Faster’. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about analytics and how to apply it to their own business situation.

One of the concepts that the authors discuss within the first chapter is vanity metrics. They say that:

“Vanity metrics make you feel good, but they don’t change how you act. Actionable metrics change your behavior by helping you pick a course of action.”

They go on to say that:

“If you have a piece of data on which you cannot act, it’s a vanity metric. If all it does is stroke your ego, it won’t help.”

It is important to recognize the difference between vanity metrics and metrics that matter. Vanity metrics are things like registered users, downloads, number of page likes and the number of Twitter followers. They are easily manipulated and do not correspond to what really matters in business: engagement and revenues. Social media is all about engagement and ultimately having people do something that you want them to do. Vanity metrics alone are not enough to measure your social success.


Vanity Metrics vs. Better Metrics

The following table illustrates the difference between a vanity metric and metrics that are more actionable and tied to achieving business results.

Vanity Metric Better Metric
Social Media Number of Retweets and Shares Number of Leads
Number of Fans and Followers Growth Rate of Followers
Number of Posts Engagement rates
Number of Likes Referrals


Basic Metrics for Twitter, Your Facebook Business Page and Your LinkedIn Company Page

There are three basic Twitter metrics you can measure:

  1. Follower growth
  2. Impressions
  3. Engagement


  1. Follower growth

 Follower growth is how many new followers you got during a month compared to the previous month.

  1. Impressions

The number of users that saw your Tweets.

  1. Engagement

The number of users that interacted with your Tweets in the following ways:

  • Retweets
  • @Mentions
  • Replies
  • Likes
  • Follows

Log in to your Twitter account and click on profile and settings. Click on the analytics link and you will see the Twitter Activity dashboard which will tell you the number of Tweets you made, Tweet impressions and engagements as well as information about your audience.

 Facebook Metrics

There are four basic metrics you can measure for your Facebook Business Page:

  2. Reach
  3. Engagement
  4. Negative Feedback



The number of likes is a very basic metric to show volume of interest in your page and to show that your audience is growing. It is meaningless if people are not engaging with your posts.

  1. Reach

Reach tells you how many users your page and posts have reached and at what time of day your posts get the most reach.

  1. Engagement

Engagement is the number of users who liked, reacted to, commented on or shared your update. This metric tells you that people cared enough about the post to do something about it which is the ultimate goal.

  1. Negative Feedback

Negative feedback is the total number of users who unliked your page, reported a post as spam or hid your posts.

All of these metrics can be found within the Facebook Page Insights area.


LinkedIn Company Page Metrics

There are three basic metrics you should be familiar with for your LinkedIn Company Page:

  1. Updates
  3. Visitors


  1. Updates

This section provides information on impressions, clicks, interactions, reach, followers acquired and engagement.


This section provides information on followers, where they are coming from, demographics and trends.

  1. Visitors

This section provides information on page views, unique visitors and demographics.

Go to your LinkedIn company page and click on the “analytics” link at the top centre of the page to view the various sections.


Social Media Metrics Summary

The table below summarizes commonly used metrics for Twitter, a Facebook Business Page and a LinkedIn Company Page. You can use these metrics to help measure success of your social media campaigns.


Twitter Facebook Business Page LinkedIn Company Page
Social Media Metrics ·       Follower growth

·       Impressions

·       Engagement


·       Likes

·       Reach

·       Engagement

·       Negative Feedback


·       Updates

·       Followers

·       Visitors


Where to find them ·       Twitter activity dashboard ·       Facebook Insights on company Page ·       Analytics link on company page


There is much more that can be said on the subject of social media and metrics! Stay tuned for more blog posts that will look at these and other social media channels in more depth.

What do you measure? How do you measure it? What do you do with the information? I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject!


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