Measuring the effectiveness of social media

What to measure  

The main social networks provide a wealth of data on your account activity and popularity but try to focus on the things you set out to achieve in your social media plan.  

Basic account metrics  

The main networks let you see the popularity of both your posts and your account overall.  

X (formerly Twitter), for example, will tell you:  

  • How many followers you have and who they are.  
  • How often you have been mentioned in other people’s tweets.  
  • How many times your tweets have been retweeted.  
  • How often your tweets have been marked by someone as a favourite.  

What makes your content popular?

Look at your posts that receive the most retweets or likes. What is it that makes these more popular with your followers?  

Follower analysis  

Your network will provide you with a list of people who follow your account. As a minimum, you should look through your list to see if there’s anyone new that you might want to follow back.  

Most social media management tools will give you reports on your followers, allowing you to search their biographies for keywords. You can also rank your followers in terms of their influence, their likelihood to share your messages and even the time of day when they’re normally active on social networks. This can be very helpful in finding people to target with specific comments or questions.  


The chances are that your objectives are more sophisticated than attracting a certain number of followers, or for lots of people to be talking about you. This is where the impact comes in.  

Your objectives might include some of the following:  

  • Leads generated – ask new patients how they found out about you, or what prompted them to make contact.  
  • Activity on your website – use your website’s visitor statistics to see how many people have arrived at your site via your social media posts. If you aren’t currently receiving statistics, try Google’s free and powerful Analytics service. This will tell you not just how people got to your site, but what they did when they got there.  
  • Useful information gathered – reflect on how much knowledge or how many useful leads you’ve gathered as a result of your social media research.  
  • Customer satisfaction/sentiment – there are online tools that attempt to measure whether people are saying positive or negative things about you across social media. While these can be useful for large corporations receiving thousands of mentions, you may be better off setting up a search for people mentioning you and manually assessing whether they are feeling good about you and your service.  
  • Behaviour change/influence – try to detect changes in the policy or actions of those you are trying to influence.  
  • Time saved – have you managed to reduce the need for face-to-face meetings by getting together virtually?  

Measurement tools  

For more detailed insight, report scheduling, follower analytics and other options, subscribe to a social media management service.

Many of these can help you track conversations, monitor posts on keywords and hashtags, and even post for you at the most effective time for your audience.  

Search for ‘social media management tools’ on the internet to find providers and reviews or ask others what they recommend. 

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