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Marketing 14 MIN READ

Key Social Media Metrics That Matter for Your Online School in 2022

Currently, about 48% of the world’s population uses social media (Statista 2020). This translates to about 3.78 billion people! What a powerful number, right?

Most probably, you already have built a social media presence for your online school. If not, please do re-read the above statistic and rethink it. Your audience -or a big part of it- is definitely spending time on some social media platform, be it Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or even TikTok.

Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or even TikTok

So, the question is not whether you should have a social media presence to promote your online courses or not. It goes without saying that it’s something you need to consider seriously.

The real question and the actual challenge is how you can monitor and measure all the activities -social media posts, ads, interactions, brand mentions, hashtags, and any type of content you create and share- within your business social media profiles?

What data should you incorporate in your marketing strategy and track to have a clear grasp of how your business is performing on each social media platform?

Which of the innumerable metrics matter the most for your online school? Which indicators will give you the proper insights to make clear decisions about how to best interact with your target audiences, build brand awareness, and increase your engagement rate and conversion rate?

So many metrics, so little time!

This blog post will shed some light on how you can handle this social media metric chaos. How you can focus on the most important social media metrics that your online school should monitor to optimize its marketing efforts and social media performance.

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But first, allow us to address a valid question we are sure you have. We were in your shoes when we began our journey into social media management many years ago, so we understand entirely the enigma: What exactly is the difference between a metric and a KPI? The answer is coming right up!

Social Media Metrics vs. Social Media KPIs

Despite their similarity, social media marketing metrics differ from key performance indicators (KPIs).

Social Media KPIs are goals that pertain to specific measurements, such as 50 likes or 30% positive sentiment. They determine the performance of your online school’s social media profile over time. KPIs are always tied to a specific goal concerning your social media marketing strategy, providing you with data to see if your strategy is effective and whether it needs to be adjusted.

On the other hand, social media metrics measure specific detailed data about your social media business profile. For example, you might track Instagram followers as a metric. Still, unless it’s tied to a particular key business objective (e.g., convert Instagram followers into qualified leads and new customers), it’s a metric, not a KPI.

On the other hand, social media metrics measure specific detailed data about your social media business profile. For example, you might track Instagram followers as a metric. Still, unless it’s tied to a particular key business objective (e.g., convert Instagram followers into qualified leads and new customers), it’s a metric, not a KPI.

Example of Social Media Metrics
A simple social media metric example is the exact number of likes and shares a Facebook page receives. These are two post metrics and are available for your Facebook Page immediately after posting. You can see them along with the following metrics in the “Posts” section of Facebook Insights:

Keep in mind that metrics and KPIs on their own cannot convey the whole picture for your online business. You need to search for the right combination of metrics and set your KPIs based on the specific goals you have set for your business. So you have to deep dive into your overall business strategy and marketing strategy and then align your goals with your social media strategy.

To give you a boost in setting up an effective social media strategy, this blog post discusses the essential social media metrics course creators should primarily focus on.

Metrics That Your Online School Can Live Without

Here’s another thing we need to clarify before presenting you with the list of essential metrics that you should monitor for your online school’s social media business profiles.

Some social media marketing metrics seem important, but in reality, you can live without spending time on them. They are often called “vanity metrics” because they are essentially empty metrics that create a false sense of success but do not offer any meaningful insight.

Vanity metrics are numbers that make your online school brand look good on the surface. However, when you look closer, you can see that these figures don’t mean much by themselves. You may think you are taking your social media page to the next level by tracking those metrics, but you’re really not.

Vanity metrics are easy and common to include in social media reports. However, if you want to help your business achieve its goals, think about what really drives growth-and monitor it.

Vanity metrics: the most common examples

The Social Media Marketing Funnel

Together, social media metrics and the marketing funnel can show you where your marketing funnel is performing well and where it’s falling short. There are usually four phases in a typical social media marketing funnel in the buyer journey: Awareness, Engagement, Conversion, and Loyalty.

Awareness
Awareness, also known as the first phase of the funnel, occurs when people learn about your brand for the first time. Among the metrics that measure brand awareness are reach and share of voice.

You can see the reach of your posts in most of the analytics of each platform, but in order to look at the share of voice, you’re going to need to put in some extra work (and budget to go with that), as you’ll need to analyze your competitors as well.

You’ll use awareness metrics to measure your social media strategy’s impact on your potential audience.

Engagement
A middle stage of the funnel, engagement (aka consideration stage), involves people researching solutions to a problem and keeping your brand in mind as they do so. Clicks, shares, retweets, likes, comments, and virality are some engagement metrics.

Your engagement metrics will reveal if (and how) your audience is interacting with your social media content.

Conversion
Conversion occurs toward the bottom of the funnel when a person has decided to make a purchase. Metrics of conversion can include conversion rate, purchase, and return on investment (ROI).

Using conversion metrics, you can figure out whether your content is converting as you would like it to, so you can adjust your social media campaigns accordingly.

Loyalty
This stage is typically found at the bottom of the funnel and is reserved for loyal customers. Loyalty (aka Advocacy) metrics include testimonials, reviews, and ambassadors.

It costs 5x more to get a new customer than to keep an existing one, so knowing how your current customers feel about your brand and the content you’re sharing is vital to maximizing your marketing budget.

Key Social Media Metrics That Matter for Your Online School

To help you make better use of them, we have classified the critical social media metrics you should monitor for your online school social media pages in relation to the social media marketing funnel.

Awareness Metrics

Post Reach Rate

As the name implies, Post Reach Rate shows the number of people who have viewed your content, out of the total number of followers/subscribers you have on a specific platform. Keeping track of this metric gives you a better idea of how many people actually saw your post.

By sharing, liking, and more, you can actually reach more people without them interacting with the post. In any case, even if individuals simply see your post, they will be able to remember your brand in the future.

Post Reach Rate Formula = (Post Reach + Total Followers) x 100

Potential reach

This metric determines how many users have a chance of seeing your content. Social media platforms do not offer this metric by default. You’ll need to use social media management software that can identify potential reach automatically for your page, or you can manually calculate potential reach, as follows:

Brand awareness

Brand awareness is a measure of the amount of conversation about your brand on social media. Social media channels measure brand awareness differently based on the data they have. Your brand awareness score might take into account mentions, shares, or branded hashtags, depending on the channel you’re tracking.

Depending on the native tools you use -or if you use a free social media metrics dashboard- you might need to track each of these data points independently and calculate the total yourself. Alternatively, you can also use brand awareness tactics such as surveys, website traffic, search volume data, and social listening. However, a lot of software management tools automatically track brand awareness.

Audience growth

Any change in the number of your followers is considered audience growth. The metric includes gains, losses, and new fans added. The growth rate of your brand’s audience on social media is measured by the speed at which the number of followers increases. In other words, it is how fast your social audience grows.

This metric is included by default in a robust social media report, allowing you to identify you gained or lost the most fans over time.

However, if you prefer to measure your audience growth yourself, you can benchmark your audience on each social network. Track the growth of those numbers day by day, week by week, month by month, or for another timetable to determine how fast you are gaining new followers.

Depending on your publishing schedule and engagement history, you can determine what contributed to the growth if you find any outliers (e.g., significant gains on certain days, specific types of content that perform better, topics that seem to catch your audience’s attention).

Growth Rate Formula = (Net New Followers in a Specific Period + Total Audience on Platform) x 100

Engagement Metrics

Comments & Shares

Comments and shares can be analyzed together to determine your online school’s Social Share of Voice (SOV). You can use this combination to determine how many people are talking about your company on social media compared to your competitors; how visible your brand is on social media.

Since you won’t be able to track SOV manually, here are a couple of brand mention tracking tools you can look into Awario, BrandMentions, Mention.

Consumers can directly mention your brand by using your handle on social media or indirectly by saying your name without tagging you.

Social Share of Voice Formula = (Number of direct and indirect mentions of your brand + Number of mentions of your competitors) = Total industry mentions * Your own brand’s mentions x 100

Virality rate

Isn’t going viral something everyone wants on social media? When it comes to social media for business, going viral can make a tremendous difference in conversions. That’s why monitoring virality can be so beneficial.

Virality is calculated by tracking the number of people who share your post, and the number of unique impressions received over a given period. Depending on this ratio, you’ll find out what percentage of your visitors are sharing your content with their own network instead of those who just like, comment, or don’t interact at all.

Virality Rate Formula = (Number of Shares ÷ Number of Impressions) x 100

Amplification rate

Like virality, this metric focuses on shares of posts. The amplification rate, however, measures shares against followers rather than impressions.

The amplification rate is essentially the percentage of your followers willing to share your content with their followers. In other words, it represents how willing your followers are to associate themselves with your brand.

The higher the amplification rate, the more people will promote your brand to their followers.

Amplification Rate Formula = (Total Post Shares ÷ Total Followers) x 100

Check out the following blog post on how you can calculate the average engagement rate of your social media business profiles on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and TikTok.

Conversion Metrics

Click-through rate (CTR)

You already know all about click-through rates if you track the right email marketing benchmarks. It’s always important to measure your click-through rate if you have a call to action in your social media post.

The engagement metric measures how someone interacts with your post on the platform; however, the click-through rate (CTR) measures if your audience is willing to venture to another page after reading your post.

This is the number of times people click on the call to action in your emails, and the same goes for your social media content.

Using a link shortener, like rebrandly, can help you track the total number of clicks for each topic.

Click-through rate Formula = (Total Clicks ÷ Total Impressions) x 100

Cost per click (CPC)

Referrals

Bounce rate

Bounce rate is the opposite of conversion rate. Rather than calculating the percentage of people who click through from social media to your website then take the desired action, bounce rate measures the number of people who click through from social media (Facebook posts, Instagram posts, etc.) to your website, but then exit without taking any action.

You should focus your social media efforts on keeping a low bounce rate. A low bounce rate indicates that your social media post is shared with an audience that can relate to your message and that it drives high-value traffic to your audience.

With Google Analytics, it’s easy to measure your social media bounce rate. The bounce rate can be found under Acquisition, where you can choose “all traffic” and then “channels.” On this screen, you will see the similarly titled column “Bounce Rate,” which provides you with information on all traffic sources, including social media.

Conversion rate

Conversion rate refers to the ratio of visitors who click through your social media post to the page linked and take action on that page against the total visitors on that page.

Keep in mind that conversions may mean something totally different for your online school than for another. You may have chosen to count conversions as the number of online courses purchased, but another school may choose to count conversions as the number of subscribers to their newsletter or the number of registrants to an online webinar.

A high conversion rate translates to good content marketing, meaning that what you post on behalf of your online school is interesting and relevant.

You can track conversions for social referrals, channels, or campaigns using Google Analytics. Make your life easier by creating UTM parameters for your social media content to identify the most effective campaigns.

Conversion Rate Formula = (Conversions ÷ Total Clicks) x 100

Advocacy Metrics

Testimonials

Testimonials are essentially any positive or negative reviews, comments, assessments, or endorsements your online school received during a specific time period.

Tracking this metric is really important. Customers who are happy with your online courses and are social media users are likely to share their positive experiences with others in their own social media posts on social platforms. On the other hand, customers who may not be satisfied with your online courses are also highly likely that they will share their reviews and comments, so you need to keep track to handle them.

Most social media analytics tools track testimonials automatically.

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

As the name itself suggests, customer satisfaction measures how satisfied customers are with a certain product or service, in this case, your online courses or online school.

To monitor this metric on social media, you can create a social media poll that asks your social media followers (who are also your customers) to rate their satisfaction with your online courses or their interaction with your online school, on a scale of 0% to 100%.

Customer Satisfaction Rate Formula = Sum of all the social media poll ratings ÷ Number of responses

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The net promoter score measures how likely customers are to recommend your brand, products, and services to their friends.

To track this metric for your social media, you can create a social media poll – these are available on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or on Facebook but only in Groups. On a 0 to 100 scale, ask your customers to rate your online school or your online courses. Group the answers into three categories: detractors (0–60 range), passives (70–80 range), and promoters (90–100 range) and follow the formula below. The higher the net promoter score, the better.

Net Promoter Score Formula = (Total promoters – Total detractors) ÷ Total number of respondents x 100

YouTube Metrics

Did you know that 86% of US viewers said they often use YouTube to learn new things, and up to 7 in 10 people go to YT to find answers to their questions, whether it’s work-related, studying, or hobbies?

Correlate these stats into account with the increased number of edupreneurs sharing their content on YouTube (and booming their online brand). It only made perfect sense to also look into the metrics you’ll evaluate as a course creator sharing content on YouTube.

With over 700,000 video hours uploaded on YouTube daily, you’ll need to put a bit of effort into understanding the metrics behind YouTube’s Analytics.

YouTube Studio will be the perfect place to view your favorite metrics and identify great insights to improve your video strategy.

Watch time

The first metric you’ll want to track is Watch time. This is the total amount of time (hours & minutes) spent by your audience watching your content. You’ll be able to track that per month, weekly, daily, quarterly, yearly, or even evaluate specific time-frames, depending on what you’re looking into.

You’ll find this metric in both the overview section of YouTube Studio analytics, as well as in the engagement panel, with a more in-depth look at the critical moments for audience retention (analyzing intro performance of each video, the top moments, spikes, and dips).

Our recommendation is to check the top videos section, as you’ll easily spot what your audience is more interested in by watching time.

Reach

Just like the other social media platforms, YouTube also tracks reach. You can view your content’s reach over a specific time frame by going into the Reach tab and looking at the number of Unique Viewers.

In the same tab, you’ll also view the number of impressions – but bear in mind that impressions count the number of times your video thumbnails show up on YouTube.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Another metric that’s quite common in the social media world, as is in the course creation world as well. You’ll want to evaluate CTR on a weekly/monthly basis to see how many of your impressions led to views.

Aim to increase your CTR, as this is strong proof that your video topic is valuable and you’ve attracted your audience’s attention.

Source of Traffic

If you’re embedding your YouTube videos on your website, in email marketing campaigns, other social media platforms, or using them in paid YouTube campaigns, you’ll want to check out the source of traffic.

Here’s what you’ll be able to see:

By deep-diving into this analytics section, you’ll easily track the most effective traffic sources and be able to optimize their usage.

Our recommendation: make sure you also look at those peaks and dips in performance based on traffic source.

Final thoughts

Don’t feel compelled to track all of the social media metrics right away if this is your first time tracking them. Identify the social media metrics that are relevant to your social media goals and begin there.

Use historical data to track those metrics over time. Give time to your social media marketing campaigns to reach your audiences so that you will also have adequate information. Remember that you need to make data-driven decisions to greatly improve the effectiveness of your social media campaigns.

We recommend that you break down metrics like engagement or number of followers, by platform and by post and track them per campaign on a week-over-week or month-over-month period. This way, you will be able to clearly see on which social media platforms you perform best or when you should put some extra effort and optimize your content.

Don’t forget to identify your top-performing organic posts (in terms of engagement, clicks, reach, and virality). These can be a great source of insights on what type of content, copy, and CTAs to use in the future, plus you can select those top posts and boost them to engage a bigger audience.

Also, keep an eye on your boosted and non-boosted posts to see how they reach your audience and how they perform in comparison.

Last but certainly not least, have you noticed how most – if not all – of the metrics we’ve shared so far are quantitative? Everything is based on numbers. But don’t forget that at the end of the day, you are dealing with real people.

Look for specific moments in the data you collect that tell a larger story. Numbers are great, but you must also realize that quality is also crucial to maximizing your social media presence. Your social media business profiles can be a powerful marketing tool to boost your online school’s sales.

Include qualitative information as well in your social media reports, such as highlights of reviews, positive and negative, or even fan snapshots showing how your social media followers interacted with a piece of content you uploaded.

Consider investing in modern social media management software that will help you handle most of the above-mentioned invaluable metrics.

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Andreaa Constantin Social Media Manager LearnWorlds
Andreea Constantin

Andreea is our Social Media Manager. With over 13 years of experience ranging across different areas of Communications, from PR to Social Media and Internal Comms, Andreea enjoys highlighting success stories and amazing people stories through social. She loves the wonderful power of words and, in her free time, she enjoys traveling, gardening, and the occasional Netflix & chill.