Track the Right Organic Social Metrics for Success

A group of young adults sits on a bench, each one holding a smartphone.

Remember the days when the only social media metrics people cared about were follower count and impressions? Considering Facebook and Linkedin are both more than 20 years old, perhaps it ages me a bit to admit my familiarity with the infancy of social media. But then again, social media marketers are well-acquainted with navigating the ever-changing tides of the industry. And with a couple decades of ebbs and flows, social platforms — and how we measure our organic performance on them — have matured significantly. 

Social media is undeniably a valuable tool as you work toward achieving your business goals. Think of these organic metrics not as the winds that drive your brand forward, but as a compass to strategically guide your path.

Chart a Course Toward ...

Engagement Rate

Engagement with your social posts can include likes, shares, clicks, comments, and conversion rates. While you can track each of these actions on their own, the best way to measure the overall involvement of your audience is through engagement rate. 

This metric measures the total number of interactions on your posts divided by your total number of followers, multiplied by 100 to convert to a percentage. For example, 500 monthly interactions on an account with 7,000 followers would have around a 7% engagement rate.

Once you have a sense of your current engagement rate, start to research and experiment with new ways to boost interactions. Remember that engagement is often a two-way street: Pay attention to what resonates with your audience and use their direct feedback to help shape your social strategy. Do they prefer humor or informational content? Does a conversational tone perform better than a formal voice? 

Study a competitor’s engagement (or, better yet, compare your engagement rate to industry averages) to get insight and help you set your own benchmarks. How many likes or comments does your biggest competition get on its posts? What types of interactions does the brand receive? This analysis can help you establish realistic benchmarks. 

Microsoft frequently engages with users on TikTok when they're mentioned or tagged, establishing a fresh
and youthful brand presence — and the Excel pun isn’t lost on us.


Your company most likely strives to improve awareness through social media, but this can be a particularly difficult goal to achieve.  One way to determine how many people actually look at your social media content is to monitor your reach, which measures how many unique users have seen your posts. You can boost your account’s reach using paid social promotion, or try more organic methods like cross-promoting your profiles on different platforms and posting evergreen content that people can keep sharing.

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Follower Count

Social media works best when it’s, well, social. Your amplification rate is a measure of the amount of times your posts are shared among users. It’s calculated by dividing your number of total post shares by your follower count and multiplying by 100 to convert to a percentage.

Your amplification rate can demonstrate whether your audience has enough enthusiasm about your brand to actually pass your content along to other people. The downside? It could also represent outrage or displeasure with your posts. 

By monitoring amplification rate, you can observe spikes in sharing and investigate why your audience is talking about your content.

Social Sentiment

Not every metric of success on social media comes down to numbers. Be mindful of your audience’s feelings toward your business. Some social media management tools, like Hootsuite and Sprout Social, will allow you to conduct an analysis of the current social sentiment toward your brand by tracking specific words in your comments and reviews. 

Your actions on social media can help to foster positive sentiment. If your goal is to become a trusted voice in your industry, for example, create a community by interacting with people who mention you to show that your brand is attentive, active, and responsive.  Or, if you unfortunately receive negative comments, they can be an opportunity to demonstrate your customer service capabilities. (However, you may need a different approach if the negativity is bordering on a boycott.)

Brands strive for engagement on social media, but paying attention to negative comments can be just as informative as
reading positive feedback. After reformulating one of their products, beauty brand Glossier regularly receives demands
they return to the original formula. 

Video Completion Rate

Video content is likely an important part of your social strategy. Considering the emphasis many platforms place on video, adding to your content mix can be an effective strategy when working toward higher brand awareness. The best way to measure how your video content is performing is with video completion rate — the number of viewers who watch an entire video, divided by the total number of viewers, multiplied by 100. A higher video completion rate means you’re creating quality content that your followers are excited to watch. If you find your completion rates are low, consider shorter video content.

Steer Clear of ...

Follower Count

At a certain point, follower count becomes a vanity metric, especially when you take into account engagement and reach. Not every one of your followers is an engaged user, and you’re likely reaching people outside of your following. A small, passionate audience is often better for your brand than a large, disconnected one.


Impressions are the total number of times users see your post in their feed, whether those views come from organic or paid social promotion. But impressions are a notoriously unclear metric, and many platforms define them differently. Some platforms count if your content is shown on a user’s screen while others only tally it if the user stopped scrolling for a certain amount of time.

Smooth Social Sailing

Tracking your brand’s social media performance should be informative, not confusing. To avoid getting lost in a sea of numbers, focus on the metrics that have strategic value and not just those that look great on the surface.

Want to boost your brand’s social performance? We can help.

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