Top 5 Social Media Metrics to Focus on in 2021

Al-ameen Abolare

Noise. Noise everywhere.

That will be a perfect tagline to describe what social media has turned into.

With about half of the entire human race and an astonishing amount of activity, social media has truly become an extension of our existence.

But there’s a problem. Businesses are losing sense of the true significance of social media.

As more and more businesses jump on the social media train, the true value and use of social media in business is becoming obscure.

Many businesses have lost touch with the true metrics that measure success on social media. We are in 2021 but are still focusing on the same metrics as in 2004.

What am I driving at? It’s simple: the era of likes and follows is over, it’s time to focus on a new set of metrics.

This article explores the top 5 social media metrics you should be paying attention to in 2021. But before we go into that, …

Start with the end in mind

Regardless of the activity, it is best that you start with a vision, goal, or desired destination.

Social media is no different. Your presence on social media must be guided by a clear sense of purpose.

What do you want to achieve by being here? What goals do you have that social media can help you achieve? Is it brand recognition? Improved sales? Or community building?

Figure out what your goals are before you invest more time and money on social media.

Recommended: Rethinking Marketing: What exactly are you on social media for?

When you know your goals, it would be easy for you to decide the right metrics to focus on.

Top 5 Metrics and How to Improve Them

1. Unique post reach

This is the number of people who are not following you but saw your post. It is a very important metric because it shows you how well you are performing and what your growth potential looks like.

If the only people who see your post are your followers, it will be difficult for you to expand your reach to new people.

If your goal is to grow your audience on social media and reach more (and new) customers, your actions should be aimed at improving your unique post reach.

How to improve your unique post reach

  • The easiest and most popular way to improve your unique post reach is to make good use of hashtags. Hashtags allow you to easily accessing millions of other people who are not following you. With the right hashtags, more people will get to see your post and maybe follow you.
  • Share your posts to groups: Groups also provide the opportunity to reach new sets of people. Join certain groups and share your posts to these groups (if that’s allowed).
  • Get active in the right places: Discover where your potential audience is and get active there. Where do they normally engage? Which posts or communities are they usually present? Find these and make them yours.

2. Comments & Shares

Liking a post is easy. All you have to do is double-tap on Instagram and LinkedIn, or just press a button on Facebook. So, likes are very weak metrics.

Comments & shares, however, require a lot more effort and time (scarce commodities!) from the audience. When a person shares your post or comments on it, that’s a big deal because it took a lot from them. (By the way, that’s more reason why you should try replying to comments on your post)

The number of comments & shares you get on your post shows how impactful your post was. People only comment on and share things they find valuable.

How to get more comments & shares

  • Share content that your audience actually wants.
  • Spend time to make your designs as captivating as possible. Usually, your graphic is the bait that draws people to your post.
  • Use action prompts on your posts. Ask people to comment and share your post.
  • Change your tone of communication: If you communicate in the tone of a university lecturer, be sure to know that people will simply scroll past your post without commenting. However, if you communicate in the tone of a friend who is also learning, people feel safe to comment on your post.

That said, getting comments and shares on your post can be very hard, especially if you’re just growing your account. This shouldn’t make you feel as if your posts are not helping at all.

If you are making scroll-stopping content with great designs and optimized strategies, then know that those comments will eventually come.

3. Post Clicks/Actions Taken

This is especially important if your goal is to get your audience to take a particular action e.g. purchase a product, click a link, visit your bio, etc.

This metric shows how much activity your post was able to drive towards your end goal.

Apart from making a sale, this metric is also important in showing the kinds of posts that are driving traffic to your page. Some of these actions are profile visits, link clicks and follows.

How to get more actions on your posts

  • Use clear and straightforward action prompts: Do you want people to click the link in your bio? State it in your post. Do you want them to visit your profile? State it in your post.
  • Make your buttons visible: If you want people to click a button on your post, ensure the button is visible.
  • Post scroll-stopping content: Whatever you post, someone somewhere already knows it. The only way to stand out is to post content that are uniquely crafted. Spend a little more time with your graphic, spend a little more time making your caption more beautiful. That’s how you get people to take action.

4. Mentions and tags

This is not the last, but it is definitely one of the most important social media metrics you should pay attention to.

How frequently people tag you in their post is a very healthy indicator of your performance on social media. It is a step above comments & shares because inyour audience are now including you in their individual posts – that’s a big deal.

Although you can’t totally control this metric – it’s usually random and rare – you can align your social media activity towards it. People will only post about brands that they truly care about; it may be in the comments of another person’s post or even a personal post.

Mentions are important because it shows that people are talking about you and sharing the word to their own followers. It’s word-of-mouth 2.0.

Not all tags & mentions are random though, you can create certain content that will make your followers tag you in their own posts or mention you in their stories.

How to get more tags & mentions

  • Host challenges or giveaways
  • Ask people to share stories relating to your brand and tag you.
  • Keep posting content that truly helps.

There is no quick fix to getting organic mentions or tags. You must be willing to spend time doing things that are very valuable and of high quality. When people love what you do, they will talk about you.

5. Saves

Saves are less popular, but they are fast becoming very important social media metrics to focus on.

Not all types of contents are “save-worthy.” There are many factors that contribute to whether a post will get saves or not, but the main factor is the amount of value a reader can get.

When something is very valuable, we don’t want to lose it; hence, we save it. The same thing applies to social media posts. If a post addresses a pain that you have, you are most likely going to save it so that you can return to it next time.

The number of saves is an important metric because it shows you how much value your readers are getting from your content. Contents that educate readers on certain topics are most likely going to get saves because they provide useful information.

How to improve this metric

  • Post “save-worthy” content. Share content that you would save if you see it.
  • Share posts that address pain points of your audience.
  • Ask people to save. As weird as it may sound, many people are unaware of – or at least unfarmiliar with – the “save” function. Asking people to save would remind them that about it.

What is important?

Athough these five are the top social media metrics you should pay attention to, there are other metrics that may be important to you and your brand goal.

The point is to avoid focusing on the wrong (and popular) metrics because this may hurt your efforts online.

Growth takes time. Keep doing the work.


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