28 Key SMM Metrics: How to Track and Calculate [cheat sheet] #2

Pauline Volovik
8 min readDec 28, 2023

In last week’s article, we talked about what the basic mechanisms are for tracking your chosen social marketing metrics, and in this piece, I’ve struggled to limit myself to the 28 metrics that are most likely to be involved in analyzing your activity on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter (oh, please excuse me, X), TikTok, LinkedIn, and many more.


What: general number of followers of your account or page.

Purpose: shows your brand reach and its popularity (but is not always an engagement rate).

2. Reach

What: number of unique users who saw your content or message. Can be organic (not paid) or paid (with ads).

Purpose: helps to understand how many people could potentially notice your content. This is important for evaluating the impact of your social media presence.

3. Impressions

What: The number of times your content has been shown to users on social media, including repeat views.

Purpose: helps you understand how often your content is seen by users but is not necessarily indicative of engagement with that content.

4. Mentions

What: the number of times your brand or keys were mentioned on social media.

Purpose: helps you monitor the discussion around your brand or topic and react to comments and surveys in particular.

5. Volume

What: general number of mentions of your brand, product, or keywords on social media over some time.

Purpose: shows the scale of discussions, which is useful for gauging the overall popularity of your brand or topic.

6. Share of Voice

What: the percentage of mentions of your brand to the total amount of discussion in your industry or category.

Purpose: Allows you to determine your share of industry discussion, which can be useful for measuring your visibility and positioning.

Formula: (Number of mentions of your brand / Total industry mentions) * 100

7. Engagement

What: user interaction with your content, such as likes, comments, reposts, sharing, and clicks.

Purpose: shows whether your content is interesting and engages audiences.

Formula: ((Likes + Comments + Reposts) / Total followers) * 100

8. Influence

What: the ability of a user or account to influence its audience. Determined based on the number of followers, engagement, and reactions to content.

Purpose: allows you to assess authority — how important an account or user is in its environment and whether it can influence its audience.

Formula for calculating influence can be a sum or combination of factors weighted based on their importance to a specific audience and brand goals.

Example: Impact Index = (Number of subscribers × 0.4) + (Audience engagement × 0.3) + (Content distribution × 0.2) + (Audience response × 0.1)

9. Traffic

What: the number of users* who visit your website or other online resources via social media links.

Purpose: shows you how social media affects attracting visitors to your website and helps you evaluate the effectiveness of your traffic acquisition strategy.

*Traffic in analytics does not always equal users and can work differently in different tools, for example, it can be the number of sessions.

10. Lead Generation

What: the number of new leads or “leads” generated through social media.

Purpose: allows enhancing the effectiveness of the customer engagement strategy and can help with improving this process.

Formula: Number of users who performed a targeted action / Total number of visitors coming from social media.

11. Conversions

What: desired user actions after interacting with your content, such as subscription, purchase, filling out the form, etc.

Purpose: allows for assessing whether your content is successful in transforming users into active customers or followers.

Formula: (Total target actions / Total visitors) * 100

12. Virality Rate

What: the ability of your content to spread from one user to another and become viral.

Purpose: helps measure how much attention your content captures and interests by spreading through users.

Formula: (Number of shares / Total views) * 100

13. Content Quality

What: evaluation of the quality of your content based on audience reactions such as reviews, comments, share rates, and likes.

Purpose: helps understand which content generates the most interest from your audience and determine the best practices for creating content in the future.

Formula for measuring content quality can be subjective and depends on audience assessment (e.g., ratings, reviews, comments, and reactions).

14. Posting Frequency

What: the number of your publications within a certain period.

Purpose: optimal posting frequency can influence your engagement and reach metrics. And remember: quality of content is more important than quantity!

15. CTR (Click-Through Rate)

What: the percentage of users who clicked on your link or advertisement relative to the total number of views.

Purpose: helps measure the effectiveness of your ads or posts in attracting users and their interest.

Formula: (Number of clicks / Number of views) * 100

16. Average Engagement Time

What: the average time users interact with your content.

Purpose: allows assessment of how engaging your content is for the audience and which type of content provides greater engagement time.

Formula: Total engagement time / Number of engaged users

17. Retention Rate

What: the number of customers (subscribers) that the company retains over a specific period.

Purpose: helps understand the lifetime value of a customer, and quantitatively assess the effectiveness of marketing strategy, and customer service programs.

Formula: ((Number of subscribers at the end of the period — Number of new subscribers) / Number of subscribers at the beginning of the period) * 100

18. Audience Growth Rate

What: the percentage change in the number of subscribers over a specific period.

Purpose: allows for assessing the speed of your audience’s growth and the effectiveness of attracting new subscribers.

Formula: ((Number of new subscribers — Number of unsubscribed subscribers) / Initial number of subscribers) * 100

19. Unfollowed

What: the number of users who unfollowed your account or page over a specific period.

Purpose: helps assess how well you retain your current audience and identify factors affecting user churn.

Formula: (Number of unfollowed subscribers / Initial number of subscribers) * 100

20. LR — Likability Rate

What: an assessment reflecting how much your content appealed to the audience or received a positive reaction.

Purpose: helps identify which type of content or topics evoke more positive emotions from your audience and are more interesting to them.

Formula: (Number of positive reactions / Total number of reactions) * 100

21. TR — Talk Rate

What: the level of activity and discussions in your comments and dialogues.

Purpose: allows for assessing audience activity and their willingness to communicate with your brand.

Formula: (Number of comments / Number of posts) * 100

22. AR — Amplification Rate

What: the frequency at which your content is shared by users through reposts or sharing.

Purpose: helps assess how interesting your content is to the audience and its tendency to be shared.

Formula: (Number of shares / Number of views) * 100

23. Organic Followers

What: the number of new followers who came to your account or page through organic traffic, without being attracted by paid advertising campaigns.

Purpose: allows assessment of the impact of organic content on audience growth.

Formula: Number of new followers — (Number of followers attracted through advertising or paid sources)

24. ROI (Return on Investment)

What: the return of investments made in social media (e.g., on advertising) relative to the income received.

Purpose: allows assessing the effectiveness of funds invested in social media and their impact on income.

Formula: (Income from investments — Investment cost) / Investment cost

25. ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend)

What: the ROAS coefficient measures how effectively the advertising budget is used and the revenue it generates.

Purpose: helps assess the effectiveness of an advertising campaign, assists in budgeting decisions, and optimizes advertising campaigns in line with business goals.

Formula: Advertising revenue / Advertising costs

26. CPC — Cost Per Click / CPS — Cost Per Subscriber

What: the cost you pay for each click on your advertisement or for attracting a new subscriber.

Purpose: allows assessment of the effectiveness of your advertising campaign and measures its efficiency relative to costs.

Formula: Advertising campaign cost / Number of clicks (or subscribers)

27. CPS — Cost Per Sale

Cost Per Sale (CPS)

What: the cost you pay for each sale that occurs through social media.

Purpose: helps assess the effectiveness of your sales strategy and measures it relative to advertising costs on social networks.

Formula: Advertising campaign cost / Number of sales

28. CPA — Cost Per Acquisition

What: the cost you pay for each desired conversion or target action you want the user to take (e.g., form fill, registration, purchase).

Purpose: allows assessing the effectiveness of an advertising campaign in relation to the number of conversions achieved. Useful for cost optimization.

Formula: Advertising campaign cost / Number of conversions

Working with Metrics

Let’s suppose you’ve defined a set of metrics that interest you and even chosen an approach to data collection. What’s next? It’s important to determine the frequency and schedule for generating reports. From personal practice, there are at least two parallel approaches: proactive and retrospective.

For proactive responses to sudden changes, it’s advisable to track most metrics on a weekly basis. This allows you to react quickly and make reactive changes to advertising campaigns, content plans, and more. This could be termed as the “pulse” of the project. For instance, if you notice a sudden surge in CPA or intense unsubscribes, it’s easier to react within a week than to face the consequences at the end of the month. This increases the chances of quickly identifying and resolving the issue.

For retrospective work, it’s good to gather monthly reports. Such data should be analyzed more deeply and used for planning the following month. For example, you can make decisions about allocating additional budget or redistributing it between campaigns (scaling what has shown the best results and adjusting what isn’t working), explore the most effective posts, and change themes, approaches, messaging according to the previous period’s results.

Additionally, it makes sense to generate quarterly reports and conduct annual analyses for different planning cycles and adjustments to your social strategy.

However, all of this is impossible without relying on data, so it’s extremely important to understand what and why you are tracking.


Ask yourself:

  • Is your content having the impact you expected?
  • Are you achieving your business goals through social networks?

If you can’t confidently answer “yes” to both questions, it’s time to reconsider your approach to collecting, visualizing, and interpreting data.

Remember, the world of social media is dynamic and constantly changing, and success is not a flash but the result of regular and consistent work. Be creative and patient. Continue to monitor and adjust your strategy based on the data you receive, as they will guide you toward successful campaigns and growth!