Drowning in Data: How to avoid Analysis Paralysis in social media measurement

Source: Pexels.com

I was inspired this week to take a deeper dive into the world of social media measurement and to try to sort through the noise on what metrics really matter.

With all of the data available from each of the native platforms, not to mention the data available from other paid solutions, you can easily drown in data and get nowhere with your analysis.

In a recent meeting with our digital team, I asked them, “What metrics do you consider the most important for our organization as a whole?”

Their answer was engagement, specifically the percentage of engagement from our total followers. As I probed further, they defined engagement as impressions, due to the passive nature of a lot of the content we’re posting. Engagement is more commonly measured by looking at likes, comments, retweets, shares, and clicks.

So what should I measure?

Source: Pexels.com

What it really boils down to is you need to look at your goals and find the metrics that match them best. Are you trying to sell products in an e-commerce shop? Perhaps link clicks or conversions are your best metric. Are you looking to provide really great customer service? Response rate and time are key for you. If you’re looking for brand awareness, try monitoring all mentions of your brand across the web and your share of voice.

There are really four categories that the most popular metrics fall into:

  • Awareness
  • Engagement
  • Conversion
  • Customer

Here are a couple really great resources to get you started in choosing the right metrics:

The most important social media metrics to track (Sprout Social)

19 Social Media Metrics That Really Matter—And How to Track Them (Hootsuite)

5 tips to avoiding Analysis Paralysis

Here are a few quick tips on choosing the right metrics:

  1. Understand your audience. Make sure you are measuring demographic and audience information to make sure you understand who you’re talking to and what they’re interested in. This can even include breaking down the best time to post to get their attention.
  2. Choose metrics that address your goals. Before you can start measuring, you have to really understand what you’re hoping to get out of social media. Look at your strategy and define your business goals clearly, then choose the metrics that will best help you achieve them.
  3. Choose a few metrics that are most important and stick with them. Trying to measure everything will drive you crazy, so choose five or less and stick to them. Create a report template you can update on a regular basis with these metrics and circulate. This makes sure you’re comparing apples to apples each month.
  4. Avoid relying solely on vanity metrics like followers. Yes, this tells you how many people are potentially seeing your posts (though impressions is a better measure of that with the current algorithms), but it doesn’t give you a picture of how engaged your audience is.
  5. Try to create content that is actionable and measurable. Adding a quick UTM tracking link, a unique coupon code, asking a question to start a conversation and inspire engagement, or sending them to a custom landing page is a great way to track the success of a post.

Social media posts

Tired of drowning in social media data? Don’t miss these tips to choosing the right metrics for your organization. http://bit.ly/38HOJwr

To choose the right social media metrics, you first need to really understand your goals. If you’re not careful, the sheer amount of data available can overwhelm you and you may miss important insights. Don’t miss these tips for choosing the RIGHT metrics: http://bit.ly/38HOJwr


Chen, Jenn. (10 Jan 2020). The most important social media metrics to track [Blog Post]. Sprout Social. Retrieved from: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-metrics/

Shleyner, Eddie. (8 Nov 2019). 19 Social Media Metrics That Really Matter – And How to Track Them [Blog Post]. Hootsuite. Retrieved from: https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-metrics/

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