uberVU via HootSuite's Beginner's Guide to Social Media Metrics

Social media can be an incredibly important tool for your business. But it can also be overwhelming. You’re following what’s being said about your industry and brand, your team is trying to produce and share great content, you’re interacting with customers, finding prospects and you’re trying to make sense of it all. The biggest question you’re most likely trying to answer is if your work in social is helping you achieve real business results. To find out, you need to measure your efforts by tracking the right social media metrics.

Not sure where to start? In this Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Metrics, we’ll break down the social metrics you should be tracking, describe how to measure them, and most importantly, explain how you can use them so you never miss out on important insights.


Engagement measures how much and how often others interact with you and your content in social media. When someone takes the time to like, favorite or comment on something you’ve posted, they’re actively engaging with your content. Engagement metrics showcase audience action, which is important for social media health and growth.

A subset of engagement metrics are sharing metrics, which represent when people amplify your content. All of the major social networks allow users to share content whether it’s a retweet, share, reblog, repin, etc. Engagement metrics are important in highlighting the success of content, but depending on your goals, sharing metrics could be of higher value because they extend your content beyond your own audience, increasing its exposure.

How to Measure Engagement:

Every social network offers different engagement touch points, so each one will be measured differently. Here’s a breakdown of engagement metrics by platform:

Additionally, some networks provide additional engagement metrics, which include:


  • People Engaged: the number of people who have clicked on, liked, commented on, or shared a post.
  • Engagement Rate: the number of people who have clicked on, liked, commented on, or shared a post divided by the post’s reach.
  • Post-specific Scorecard: details the number of likes, comments, shares, and clicks on an individual post.


  • Interactions: the number of times people have liked, commented on, or shared a post.
  • Engagement Rate: the number of interactions, clicks, and followers acquired divided by the number of impressions (followers acquired are only included for sponsored updates).


  • Total Engagement: combines the number of +1′s, shares and comments

How to Use Engagement Metrics:

  • Guide your content strategy. Use engagement to understand what types of content or posts get attention—and more importantly, what types don’t.
  • Target the right demographic. Pay attention to the gender, age or location of the people engaged (Facebook Insights provides this breakdown or you could manually investigate). If the majority of your engagement comes from people outside your target location or demographic, you’ll need to tweak your strategy.
  • Measure the success of product launches, marketing campaigns or other new initiatives. Listen to feedback to inform future projects.
  • Add context to exposure or reach. Tally sharing metrics like retweets or replies and divide them by exposure or reach to calculate an engagement percentage. This will tell you what percentage of your potential audience actively participated in a contest, read a blog post, etc.
  • Measure growth and performance on specific social networks. Track your engagement rate over time to see how you’re improving.
  • Find influencers or brand advocates. If there are people who consistently engage with you in social, consider utilizing them to help gain more exposure for future initiatives.