#Basics: Social Media Measurement

Hand draw social network on black board using chalk

#Basics: Social Media Measurement

#Basics: Social Media Measurement

Impressions. Schmimpressions. Who Cares?

Measurement matters. We get that. In fact, we get that it more than matters. It is absolutely critical to understanding and evaluating success. The key is understanding what you are measuring and why.

Today, we’re tackling a social media measurement topic that has already been tackled many times. And yet, still seems murky.

Impressions. Schimpressions. And engagement.

On Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn you can view detailed analytics and see how your page and content are performing over a set period of time—days, weeks, months. I love the analytics features. I can examine the number of new followers in the last week. I can see what post received the most likes. I can even see how many people have viewed a post.

Post views are considered impressions, or sometimes even reach. Having a high number of impressions sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? A high impression number MUST mean the post was successful.

Unfortunately, that is not the case.

An impression in the social media world is not quite like an impression in the real world. In the real world an impression is an idea, feeling or opinion about something or someone. Usually you want to make a good impression. In the social media world, having a high number of impressions doesn’t mean that your client made a good impression on viewers. Nor does it mean that your client made a bad impression. It doesn’t really mean anything more than possibility.

Facebook will tell you impressions, or reach, is “the number of people your posts were served to.” Okay, so? Great! Wait what? Served to? What does that mean?

Not much.

Served to means, for example, it was in a news feed. It might have been seen. Or it wasn’t. Now, if is appears in a news feed multiple times eventually someone may see it and read the content. They might even engage with the content.

The Real Goal

Engagement… now THAT’S the goal.

Social media is about interaction and engagement. You want people to interact with your client. You want people to become familiar with what your client does. You want people to form a relationship with your client. So what’s engagement? The number of likes, comments and shares a post gets. Engagement can also be how many people clicked on a link you might have shared. Engagement is an action. Not a possibility. That’s what really matters.

The world is full of possibilities. We love that. We’re dreamers. But we’re also rooted in action. So take the impressions and be grateful, but don’t stop there. Make sure you take the measurement one step further and look at engagement. This is where the action happens and this is where your client is going to start seeing more tangible returns.

Want to learn more? Check out this article.

Ryan Black

With a focus on strategy, production and analytics, Ryan creates digital content that inspires, engages and influences. Ryan is creative genius. We know this because he gets defensive about his jeggings and long hair. Prior to joining Levitate, Ryan co-directed the feature-length documentary “One Day in April” and co-produced and co-wrote the short film “All We’ve Built,” which was selected into the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner. Ryan has lived and worked across the country in TV, film, politics, social media and PR. He attended Indiana University.

All stories by:Ryan Black

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