Editor’s note: This is a cross-post from our friends at EveryAction who were nice enough to host us for a webinar on social media metrics recently. You can see the original post here, and be sure to follow them on Twitter at @EveryActionHQ. Enjoy!

By Marcella Vitulli

Last week, I sat down with Amy Peyrot, Senior Consultant, Social Media Specialist, and resident mathlete at M+R, to discuss all things social media metrics.

Through her work with clients like the Wildlife Conservation Society and her love of (math) problem solving, Amy has picked up a lot of wisdom + I wanted to better understand her process for approaching a social media campaign and measuring its efficacy.

I also tried out a lot of math jokes on her – check out the video to see how they landed, or read on for the highlights of our conversation.

Sidenote: if you weren’t able to join us for this month’s webinar, make sure to follow EveryAction on Twitter + keep up with our virtual and in-person events to join us next time!

“How did it do at what?”

First things first, Amy shared an important piece of advice: before you ask about how a social post performed, be sure qualify what you’re asking for.

To truly understand the value of a tweet or Facebook post, you have to determine ahead of time exactly what sort of action you hope someone will take when they see it – click, share, sign up, donate, retweet, etc. It’s not enough to measure “likes” for every post and assume the ones with more had the most impact.

Once you know what qualifies as success, Amy suggests setting your goals based on benchmarks you’ve established for your organization, although this is a good place to start.

Here are some of Amy’s thoughts on these common social media metrics and how to achieve them.

Goal: Engagement
Metric: Overall Engagement Rate

If your goal is to engage + build relationships with your audience (hopefully it is!), Amy recommends setting metrics around the responses a post receives.

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram now report on engagement rates right within their native analytics so be sure to figure out how these numbers are represented.

To help boost engagement rates, Amy suggests using rich media like graphics and video, asking questions, and creating content that’s just begging to be shared.

Goal: Awareness
Metric: Total Reach/Impressions

When talking about growing awareness, remember that what you’re actually trying to achieve is getting eyes on your content, aka a high total reach or total number of impressions.

Since only about 10% of your followers will get exposed to any given post, you’re banking on their amplification of that post (shares, likes, comments) to reach others outside of your fan base.

Amy recommends testing different types of posts (a bold graphical image with copy vs a link with preview image + short description, for example) to determine which ones resonate most with your audience and produce the results you’re hoping for.

Goal: Website traffic
Metrics: Clickthrough Rate, Visits

Depending on the mission of your organization, you may be tasked with increasing visitor traffic to your organization’s website.

If that’s the case, you have the added advantage of getting to discover the types of content that are most appealing to your audience + testing what gets them to click. Experiment with different tacts when writing headlines + preview language to determine what draws your social audience to click.

Amy cautions, however, while you may find that more “clickbaity” titles achieve the clickthrough rate you’re hoping for, visitors may not do much else once they’re on your site.

Goal: Conversions
Metric: Response Rate, Total Responses

Conversion amounts to gaining some sort of response from an audience – responding to an advocacy call-to-action, offering a donation, signing up for your newsletter, completing a quiz or survey, etc.

Amy notes that response rates will be different for different asks, so when analyzing your results, be sure to compare comparable asks – fundraising vs fundraising, advocacy vs advocacy, and so on.

Some tactics from Amy to help with conversion: employ big, highly-clickable links, craft a clear call-to-action, create a sense of urgency, use storytelling to show how one small act on social media can result in enormous impact IRL.

Ready to start posting? Make sure to check out the all-new Social Media Content Generator from M+R + our lists of fab nonprofits to follow on Twitter to get you going.

everyactionMarcella Vitulli works in Community & Creative at EveryAction. She writes about trends in nonprofit technology, marketing, fundraising, and more on the EveryAction blog