Nowadays, there’s an abundance of data and information at our fingertips, designed to tell us if our marketing is “working.” For those of you who are just learning about the business side of social media, how can you pick out the metrics that matter? These are some of the most important metrics that your business should be monitoring.

Audience Growth Rate

Simply put, this is the rate at which you’re gaining followers of your brand. By keeping an eye on your Audience Growth Rate, you are able to measure the change in your organization’s following across social media networks. Tracking the rate of these followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other platforms helps you compare growth over time. Understanding the size (and demographics) of your audience can help you prioritize content, be more strategic in the ways you engage on those platforms, and more.

Average Engagement Rate

Average Engagement Rate is one of the most important metrics of all. We tend to lean on averages and rates because they are more reliable to track progress throughout the year, quarter or lifetime of a social presence. This metric shows just how much your followers (or other users on the platform) are touching your content (likes, comments, clicks, and more). It is not only important to know who your audience is, but to make sure that as your presence grows, your content remains engaging. Average Engagement Rate allows you to understand which types of content resonate with your followers, and how it changes over time.

Conversions from Social Media Referrals

This metric requires you dig into your Google Analytics data. Conversions are desired actions taken on your website (purchase, inquiry, event, etc.). Measuring conversions from Social Media Referrals is a direct way to associate social media data with revenue. To be clear—continuously pushing your product on social media is a way to lose your audience; however, we all want our visitors to convert into customers. Conversions from social media referrals demonstrate the value of your efforts to form trust and influence on social media. This allows you to chart when an action is taken as a result of something you post through social media, with the hopes of helping you better understand what to post in the future.

Reach/Impressions

Both reach and impressions are an indication of how many people are seeing your content. This metric can include views of posts from your company that show up in someone’s newsfeed because they are your followers. They could also be the result of someone liking or sharing your content with their network—including non-followers. These metrics are commonly associated with paid media tactics. Therefore, tracking these figures on social media helps us compare with other mediums and better understand impact and ROI of our tactics, overall.

Like anything, social media metrics should be used based on your goals. Every organization is different in what they hope to achieve from social media marketing. It all comes down to what metrics are helping you make decisions. You should review these metrics on your own platforms, establish benchmarks, and monitor your progress over time.