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The Metrics that Matter to Social Media Marketing in 2015

The Metrics that Matter to Social Media Marketing in 2015

Firstly, it must be said that the metrics that matter can vary greatly depending on your goals for any particular campaign.  But with an increasing number of metrics and measures available, it can be hard to cut through the mountains of data to find the data that shows you how you’re doing. In the following article, I’m going to look at measuring brand awareness in general. 

There are various methods via which you can analyse the impact of your brand across the board and online including surveys, looking at website traffic and looking at search volume data. But by far the most effective way to directly measure social media marketing is by using social listening. Social listening allows you to listen into online, organic conversations about your brand across social media and the web. Listening to these unsolicited opinions allows you to hear consumer’s thoughts as they are naturally expressed.

This also overcomes one of the problems with surveys, response bias, where people may not give natural answers simply because of the format in which they are being asked.

A decent tool will also allow you to write your own refined searches that can overcome the problem of a generic brand name, allowing you to filter out all irrelevant mentions.

Which metrics should you measure?

Volume of mentions

Simply by tallying the number of times your brand has been mentioned online you can discover the number of the conversations involving your brand, and track any changes over time.

Importantly, you can track conversations that do not include @mentions or happen outside the official, owned channels of your brand.

Our analysis shows that up to 96% of conversations are outside these media. If you only use inbuilt analytics platforms (such as Facebook Insights), you can only see the tip of the iceberg. 

Defining a query to track all mentions of your brand, especially if your brand doesn’t have a completely original name, can be tricky (think Sure or Always). Bolean operators can really tighten up a definition and test it robustly to make sure you are only finding relevant mentions of your brand. This can take a bit of practice to get right, but the accuracy of your results pays off. You can then take a look at the volume of mentions by week, day or even by the minute to pinpoint the cause of a spike in mentions and potentially replicate whatever caused it in your marketing efforts.


Reach is the potential number of people that a mention will be seen by. It takes into account the number of followers of each author who mentions you. So if someone with a million followers tweets about your brand it will spread brand awareness much more than a share from somebody who has 100 friends.

This is one of the reasons influencers are often courted during marketing campaigns; their large audience means anything shared by them has the potential to be seen by a lot of eyes. That said, it is obviously important to get the right influencer with the appropriate authority to endorse your business. While Katie Price may have a generous number of followers, her lack of authority in talking about guitars, for example, might not gain you customers, if that’s your business. 

Rather than heading for your celebrity black book, you can utilise a social media monitoring platform to identify the best influencers for your business by putting together a query using keywords and brands that your ideal audience might be talking about and then ranking those using them in order of influence. 


For some, engagement is beyond the remit of awareness – yet it can be important to track as it will provide an indicator of the effectiveness of awareness. The two do not exist independently of each other. You want to know if people are actively digesting your content rather than watching it slip by on their news feed. 

To measure engagement, you can obviously look at a combination of easily visible markers including likes, comments, retweets and replies but this doesn’t necessarily account for the virality of your content. With a robust social intelligence platform, you can also track links in their various guises via a Boolean links operator, giving you more of a measure, particularly for your video campaigns.

What should you be measuring against?


In order to track changes in brand awareness you need to benchmark against your baseline metrics, looking at a long enough time period to spot any natural peaks and troughs, as well as any anomalies. Use historical data so you can easily measure and benchmark awareness over time from your very first login.

Share of voice

Benchmarking your metrics will tell you if your awareness of your brand has increased, but you will not be getting the full picture.The mentions of your brand could be a drop in the ocean compared to your competitors.

You need to establish the proportion of conversations concerning your industry that are centered around your brand. By tracking share of voice and the changes over time you gain context for the data.

The foundation of success

Brand awareness can be the foundation on which to build your marketing strategy, so using the right metrics are key. In the past there was a real challenge in gaining an accurate insight into the level of awareness, but social listening has simplified the process by supplying richer, accurate data on everything from location and demographics to sentiment and the keywords consumers associate with your brand.

Kit Smith

Kit Smith

Content Writer for the Brandwatch marketing team with a focus on SEO

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