Social media marketing can be a powerful way to connect directly with your audience, amplify your brand awareness, and boost conversions. However, measuring social media success to understand how your efforts are truly moving the needle can be daunting for many marketing teams.

Demonstrating the value of social by showing a return on investment (ROI) is one of the biggest challenges for social media teams, according to the Sprout Social Index. Social media best practices constantly evolve, and marketers need adaptable metrics to gauge success.

Measuring social media success is about so much more than “likes.” It involves tracking, gathering, and analyzing data to:

  • assess engagement and performance,
  • inform marketing campaign planning decisions, and
  • understand the relationship between effort, expenditure, and returns.

Keep reading for some proven strategies for tracking the ROI of your social campaigns and the key metrics to track when measuring social media success.

Why social media measurement matters

You may have heard this Peter Drucker quote on marketing: “What gets measured gets managed.” This famous line is a concise way of saying that when you measure how something is performing, you get the data points you need to make better business decisions and meaningful strategy adjustments. This advice is especially true when executing a strategic social media plan.

Measuring social media success gives you valuable insights that can help you make smart changes to your strategy and tactics to optimize your efforts. It also allows you to showcase the tangible impact of your social media campaigns and highlight how those efforts are helping your team achieve goals.

Start with your marketing goals in mind

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all metric for social media performance. What you choose to track should be a blend of metrics tailored to your brand, business goals, and marketing strategy.

Before diving into the metrics, align your measurement efforts with your goals for social media. Consider what you hope to achieve and which social channels are most relevant to those goals. Measuring your social activities and engagement will help you see where your strategy is succeeding and where improvement is needed so you can refine your efforts.

Paid vs. organic social media

An effective social media strategy strikes the right balance between paid and organic social content. Whether or not you currently run paid campaigns, it’s essential to understand the differences between the two.

Organic social posts are meant to enhance audience engagement through authentic connections and genuine interactions with your brand. You don’t typically spend any money on these posts other than paying for your team’s time and additional resources used for content production.

Paid content, on the other hand, starts with a designated budget and is strategically planned for more targeted reach. Marketers leverage paid ads for specific promotions aimed at specific target audiences in the social platform’s user base.

For example, a LinkedIn ad for accounting software might target people who work as accountants or bookkeepers.

Paid ads are typically more sales-oriented in purpose and tone (though they don’t necessarily have to be). At the same time, organic content tends to be less sales-focused and more educational or value-adding for a wider audience.

14 social media metrics to track

Once you set your social media goals, you can choose the right metrics to gauge performance toward those goals. Consider tracking some or all of the following 14 metrics for measuring social media success.


Click-through rate (CTR)

CTR measures the effectiveness of your post and its call to action by comparing clicks to total views. It helps assess a piece of content’s immediate impact and relevance to your target audience.


Engagement rate

Engagement rate calculates active audience participation through likes, comments, shares, and saves. A higher engagement rate indicates a more active and interested audience, providing insights into the resonance of your content.


Amplification rate

Amplification rate gauges how followers expand your reach by sharing your content with their networks. A higher amplification rate signals that your audience is actively promoting and extending the reach of your content.


Share of voice (SOV)

SOV compares your brand’s market presence to your competitors. By analyzing real conversations, SOV helps you understand when customers recommend your brand in the market, providing a competitive benchmark.



Impressions reflect the total number of times your content is displayed, providing insight into potential visibility. While impressions alone don’t guarantee engagement, a high impression count indicates a broader reach.


Lead generation

Lead generation is the act of tracking potential customer conversions from social media interactions. You can track presales activities by monitoring prospects’ journeys from initial interactions to ultimate conversions into paying customers.



Reach quantifies the number of people who see your content, distinguishing between followers and non-followers. Analyzing reach helps you understand the overall visibility of your brand and the effectiveness of your content distribution.


Audience growth rate

Audience growth rate measures the percentage increase in followers over time. As your audience grows, this metric provides insights into the effectiveness of your content in attracting and retaining followers.


Cost-per-click (CPC)

CPC determines the cost of each click on a social ad. Understanding CPC can help you optimize your ad spend for maximum ROI.


Cost per thousand impressions (CPM)

CPM calculates the cost per thousand impressions of a social media ad. CPM focuses on views rather than actions, providing insights into the cost-effectiveness of your ad campaigns.


Return on ad spend

Return on ad spend measures revenue generated compared to advertising expenses. A ratio higher than 1 indicates a positive return on investment.


Conversion rate

Conversion rate examines how often social content leads to conversion events. This metric directly ties social media efforts to business outcomes, showcasing the value of your content in driving desired actions.


Referral traffic

Tracking website visits directly from social media links is called referral traffic. By using UTM tracking, you can precisely measure the impact of your social media channels on driving traffic to your website.


Customer sentiment

Customer sentiment is gathered by analyzing comments and mentions to gauge audience members’ feelings about your brand. Positive sentiment indicates a strong brand connection, while negative sentiment may indicate a problem that needs addressing.

Social media management tools

Most social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, provide some metrics for measuring social media success. For deeper or more intuitive tracking and data analysis, many marketers like to use a third-party social media monitoring tool.

Depending on your preferences, you can also use a combination of different tools. A few of the top tools for measuring social media success based on usage and user ratings include:

Many social media monitoring tools work in real-time, so if you can plan and set up tracking beforMany social media monitoring tools work in real-time, so if you can plan and set up tracking before your campaign begins, it will be much easier to access the data you need latere your campaign begins, it will be much easier to access the data you need later.

Measuring social media success requires a strategic yet flexible approach. By aligning social metrics with your business goals, regularly tracking key indicators, and utilizing social analytics tools, you can continuously adjust and improve your social campaigns to make a measurable impact.

Expert guidance for your social strategy

Your social media strategy should align with your business goals and must be able to adapt to market changes. At TBH Creative, we develop and execute strategic social media plans to help partners expand their brand awareness and businesses.