28 June 2023

Social media KPIs: which metrics to track to measure how your content is performing


1. Which KPIs to measure on social media
2. Engagement Rate
3. Reach
4. Impressions
5. Follower Count
6. Link Taps
7. Reels Views
8. Average viewing time of reels
9. How to present your data in a report
10. Tools to help you out

Experts will often tell you that to perform well on Instagram, you need to post great content, consistently. This of course helps you to stand out from the competition and raise brand awareness but also helps you to be favoured by Instagram's algorithm helping get as many eyes on your content as possible.

But how do you know if your content is resonating with your target market? If it has performed well? If it is worth repurposing at a later stage? To find out all this information, you simply need to measure the effectiveness & performance of your content!

To do this you need to analyse several metrics aka social media KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

Sound straightforward so far? It is! But only if you know what metrics to measure. If you’re not sure which are the most important, don’t worry! In this article, we are break down the most important metrics to analyse for your socials. We also look at how you can present your data in a report for clients or your team, and some tools that can help you achieve this. Are you with us? Let’s dive in! 

Which KPIs to analyse on social media

It may seem obvious, but the first thing to do when you want to analyse your performance is to define what it is you want to measure, making sure it relates back to your social media goals. 

Your data and figures will tell you a lot, but to make sense of them to help you understand how your content is performing, you need to know how to read them properly. 

For example, are you analsing:

  • How your posts are performing?
  • How fast your account is growing?
  • A particular period e.g., a new launch, a redesign of your branding, or a sales campaign...?

Clearly defining your focus will help you to you understand which criteria to analyse.

The metric you hear about the most: Engagement Rate ❤

Having a good engagement rate is something of the holy grail for social media managers & business owners managing their socials. It's a key indicator in telling you whether your content is resonating with people, as it shows all the interactions stemming from a post or your page and is shown as a percentage. Engagement rate is calculated as the total number of interactions your content receives divided by your total number of followers, multiplied by 100%. Let’s look at what your results mean:

  • 0 to 2%: a rethink is needed! This could be a one-off flop due to the content subject matter or posting at the wrong time for example but could also mean that you need to review your strategy as your content isn't of interest to your current audience.
  • 2 to 6%: your content is generating interaction and performing well – keep it up!
  • Over 6%: even better! You're smashing it and you know exactly how to attract your audience 🎉 !

Note: as your number of followers increases, your engagement rate will decrease. This is completely normal! It's much easier to have an 80% engagement rate when you only have 10 followers 😉

The KPI that tells you how many people have seen your posts: Reach 👀

Reach is the total number of unique people a post has reached.

On Instagram, not only can you analyse exactly how many people you have reached but also whether they are followers or non-followers. It's important to be seen by your current followers as they are already warm leads and interested in what you have to say meaning they are therefore more likely to interact with your content (in the form of likes, comments, shares, DMs, follows and saves). The higher your engagement is on your posts, the more reach you will get (thank you algorithm!). 

It's just as important however to be seen by non-followers, to help you attract new eyes, followers, and hopefully customers, to your account. This is the type of organic growth we all strive for on our social platforms! 

The metric that measures your visibility: Impressions

Impressions are the number of times your post has been displayed.

Unlike reach, which measures each person who sees your content, impressions count the number of times your publication has been displayed, which could be multiple times. Impressions are counted even if the same person has seen your content several times in different places. For example, if someone sees your post on their feed and then again when someone else shares it, this counts as two impressions.

Impressions, alongside with your reach, measures the popularity of your content. To analyse it, compare the impressions of your latest content with previous content the aim is to of course, increase the number of people seeing your posts!

Note: impressions vary according to which format you are analysing (carousel, reel, story, etc.). Compare the impressions of your content with one or more pieces of content in the same format.

As you know, millions of posts are posted on social media every minute of the day. So, if you want to stand out from the crowd & stop the scroll you need to be able to make content that pops and speaks to your target market on a deeper level! Be original and always add value.

For example, to get your audience to spend more time on your posts, think about creating carousels and videos, and of course use a strong caption, hook and call-to-action. To do this, use rapidely where our Artificial Intelligence can write you personalised and engaging captions and even the slides for your carousels, all completely tailored to your business.

The metric that measures interest: Follower Count

One of the more obvious metrics you should be tracking is your follower count! Of course, if it's increasing, it shows there is growing interest in your account, but if it's decreasing, it may indicate something is not right and something needs adjusted. You’re maybe not posting regularly enough, or your strategy is no longer in line with your audience’s needs.

You can also use follower count to analyse the impact of a campaign you have launched on your social platforms by noting the number of followers you have had at a launch and then comparing it with the result at the end of the campaign.

Sometimes, Instagram's mysterious algorithm can cause your follower growth to stagnate, or even fall, even if your strategy is aligned with your target market's needs and wants. Even with an Instagram account of over 28k followers, this still happens to us so don’t worry if this is the case for you at times! Sometimes you just have to be patient and stay motivated! The most important thing to do is not to let it get you down & to keep creating content for your loyal audience – community is key!

A social media account is not an end game for businesses. It's often part of a larger marketing funnel used to drive traffic to your website or elsewhere further down your funnel with the end goal to end up with a sale! The goal of redirecting traffic from your social networks to another external source (e.g., your website, mailing list, booking page, your YouTube channel or podcast…) is key to generating sales! 

It is therefore a great idea to track the number of people who are visiting your external links / website after being directed there from your socials. There are several ways of doing this:

  • Analysing the number of people who click on the links in your stories
  • How many people click on the link in your bio
  • Using UTM parameters in your links to track their origin directly from Google Analytics

To successfully drive people to your external link from your Instagram, don't forget to add strong calls to action in your captions, stories & bio.

The number of views on your reels

On Instagram and Facebook, you can see the number of views your reels have generated. Analysing this metric is great as it’s one of the key signals that the algorithm uses to decide if it’s going to push your reel to more people.

There isn't necessarily an ideal number of views you should be aiming for. A good number of views is subjective and depends on your follower count and niche. Start by comparing your latest reel performance with past figures: did your reel perform better? Or has been a flop? Remember that reels have a much longer lifespan than regular posts though so even if you’re reel hasn’t got many views within the first couple of days of posting, it doesn’t mean it won’t pick up traction at a later stage. 

To maximise your chances of your reel being seen, try using an early trending audio to ride the wave of the trend (look for the little up arrow next to the audio name!). Don't forget that on rapidely we share the latest trending audios on Instagram, along with ideas for how to use them for your business.

Average viewing time of your reels

Instagram is rolling out the ability to see the average viewing time of a reel. If you can’t see it already, it will be coming soon as they are currently rolling this feature out and it isn’t available in all countries just yet. This metric is calculated by dividing the total viewing time by the number of plays.

It's also a key signal used by the algorithm to decide whether to show your reel to more people so is an important one to keep track of. It's one thing to know whether your reel has been seen, but it's even more interesting to know the average time people have spent on your reel before scrolling to the next! This information will tell you whether you've managed to hold your audience's attention right to the end of the video or whether they quickly scrolled on to the next. This metric is currently being rolled out by Instagram so you might not see it just yet (we can’t see it yet but hopefully will be able to soon!).

There you go! Some important metrics to measure to analyse how your content is performing and converting. This list of metrics is not exhaustive however! It's up to you to decide which social media KPIs are important to your business and goals. 

How do you present your social media KPIs in a report?

So, you've noted all your KPI figures, you know what they mean and how it is going to help you going forward and now you need to consolidate this information into a report that you can refer back to, share with clients, or present to your team. Here’s our advice & some tips on the best way to present your social media KPIs:

Use your business or client's brand identity 

Select the tool you're most comfortable using to present your report e.g., InDesign, PowerPoint, Word (although we think it's a bit old-fashioned) or Canva (our favourite of course!). Make sure to use your business or clients' branding and logo (and even your own too if appropriate). 

In the example above, you can see the cover page of the monthly report we produce for rapidely. We've added the name of the account, the logo of the social platform we're analysing, the person in charge (hey Mo!), and the time period of the analysis. We recommend asking your client to review and approve your report style first to make sure that it works for them.

Tip: when you start working with a new client, why not ask them if they already have a report template that they use? This is quite often the case and then all you have to do is fill it in!

Add your data

Now it's time to build your report! You could start with an introductory page showing the elements of your strategy and your social media objectives & goals. Next, add the various figures you have analysed. Remember to include figures from previous periods to analyse how they're changing. Using diagrams, charts & graphs will make it more visually pleasing and easier to read. 

A personalised conclusion

Conclude your report with a summary of your analysis: this is a run-through of your conclusions and how you are going to use the information going forward. For example, you could explain that a sharp increase in followers month is the result of a great collaboration. Remember to always be honest in your report. Not every month or campaign will show an increase in your stats – growth is never linear! If your figures aren’t showing growth, it's not necessarily your fault; the key is to be able to understand what’s going wrong so that you can put things right. For example, lower reach might be because you haven’t shared many reels or you’re not encouraging people to take action on your posts. But it can also be because that particular social platform’s algorithm is changing which can take time to adjust! Bear in mind that sometimes not everything can be explained, and a decrease in figures can also be explained by what is happening around you. Holiday periods are notoriously quiet (especially in the summer, when we get our heads out of our phones 😉 ) and big world events can deflect away from other content. 

And now for the grand finale: your recommendations! Use the information from your results to suggest actions. This could be creating more posts, trying a new strategy, repurposing a post that worked well or trying new formats to test on your audience.

What tools can help analyse your social media KPIs?


If you’re a rapidely user, you'll soon have access to a reporting tool that does all the hard work for you. Simply connect your social network platforms and ask the tool to generate a summary of all your social media metrics and KPIs. It will include all the major KPI metrics, such as your follower count, reach and engagement rate, as well as the chance to see which post/reel/story from a given period performed best. What’s even better is that you’ll be able to download this information into a report to send to clients!

Social networks

Your social media platforms themselves offer great insights into your KPIs. Facebook & Instagram Insights or Twitter Analytics provide lots of data on the engagement and reach of your content. These are viewed in a private space on your account where you can find loads of data on the performance of your content and who your audience is (location, gender, age etc). On LinkedIn, you can even download an Excel file with a summary of these figures!

Other free tools

Other free tools include:

  • Google Analytics - allows you to track social media traffic to your website.
  • Hootsuite - lets you manage your social media accounts and track certain metrics (paid-for version available).

These free tools generally have limited functionality however, and don't always give you a complete picture of your performance on your social platforms. That's why it might be worth investing in paid tools to obtain more precise and in-depth data.

Paid-for tools

Paid-for tools to analyse your social media KPIs include Sprout Social, Agorapulse and Brandwatch Analytics.

These platforms offer a wider range of tools & features for tracking KPIs across your social media accounts, such as conversion tracking or competitor monitoring. They can also provide customised reports to help you better understand your performance allowing you to make strategic decisions.

Ultimately, the choice between a free or paid-for tool will depend on the level of reporting required and the specific needs of each company or individual. Remember to carefully evaluate the features offered by each tool before committing to one to ensure you’ll get the results you want.

Monitoring KPIs on social your social media platforms is essential to measure the effectiveness of your content and improving your overall social & marketing strategy. By tracking the various performance indicators we have talked about in this article, you will get an overall view of the performance of your content or a one-off campaign. By using the appropriate tools and producing a quality report, you’ll be able to consolidate your data and make conclusions based on your findings to help you make informed decisions about your strategy going forward. Don't forget to monitor your performance regularly (we do it monthly!), so that you can adapt to changes in the market and stay ahead of your competitors.

For help with creating content, strategy, ideas and keeping track of your social media data, use rapidely! Our tool helps you create engaging content tailored to your business and target market, all powered by Artificial Intelligence. What's more, it's easy to try it out because signing up is completely free!

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