As a school marketer, you know how important it is to demonstrate the bottom-line impact of your efforts. Social media metrics reports are your opportunity to show the results of your work on social media and the effect of the decisions you’ve made.
The right data will assure your management team that investment in marketing is paying off. It will also help you continue to make smarter, more data-driven decisions moving forward.
Here are the social media metrics that really matter to school marketers and why they’re important.
Awareness metrics demonstrate the awareness your target audience has for your school, as well as the potential reach your school could realistically have. Here are the awareness metrics that really matter.
Brand Awareness Rate
This is the attention your school gets across all social media during a specific time period. Awareness can be tracked through a variety of social media metrics, such as:
To get your brand awareness rate, add up all the mentions, shares, click-throughs or impressions your content receives in a reporting period. Compare this number with your brand awareness goal to see how well your social media content performed.
Audience Growth Rate
Audience growth rate measures the rate of growth your school gains on social media. This number indicates how fast you gained new followers in the given time period, not how many followers.
The way to measure your audience growth rate is to count the number of new followers on all social media channels and divide by your total audience. Multiply by 100 to get your percentage.
The reach of a post measures how many people saw your post since it was published. #Pro tip: use Facebook insights to determine the optimal time to post. You can use this data to increase your reach.
Here’s how to calculate it: divide the total reach of any given post by your total number of followers. Multiply this by 100 to get your percentage rate.
Potential reach measures the number of people who could potentially see a post during your reporting period. This is an important metric, because, as a school marketer, you should always be working to expand your reach. Knowing your potential helps you gauge your progress.
To calculate this number, use a brand monitoring tool to track the total number of times someone mentions your school.
The potential reach of a post is 2 to 5 percent of your theoretical reach.
Your theoretical reach is the number of people who saw each mention (i.e. the audience of the account that mentioned you). Multiply the number of mentions by the number of people who saw your mentions. This gives you your theoretical reach.
Engagement metrics show how many people are interacting with your school, including the content you’re publishing.
Your applause rate is the number of times someone engages in an approval action, such as Likes, Hearts or Favorites. When a follower likes or favorites something on your social channel, they’re indicating that it’s valuable to them. Knowing what percentage of your followers find value in what you’re publishing helps you know what types of content you should continue to publish moving forward.
Add up the approval actions received for each post over the course of a reporting period. Divide the number of approval actions by your total followers and multiply by 100 to get your applause rate percentage. Use a social impact tool (like Hootsuite) to make the process easier to track.
Average Engagement Rate
The average engagement rate is the number of engagement actions (such as likes, shares, comments, etc.) that your post receives divided by your total number of followers. This is an important metric because it shows which posts are performing better and are resonating with a larger audience. Keep in mind that engagement rates on Instagram will typically be higher than on Facebook or Twitter.
The amplification rate is the ratio of shares a post receives relative to the overall number of followers on that social channel. This is the rate at which your followers share your content with their networks. The higher your amplification rate, the more willing your followers are to associate themselves with your school. To calculate your amplification rate, divide the number of time a post was shared (shared, retweeted, repinned, regrammed) by the number of followers on the channel. Multiply this number by 100 to find your amplification rate percentage.
Conversation rate is the ratio of comments to the overall number of followers you have. This is a very helpful engagement metric because it takes into account the number of followers you have. Afterall, getting 10 comments is much more impressive if you only have 20 followers as opposed to 200.
Your social scheduler (i.e. Buffer, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, etc.) should be able to report the number of comments you received during a reporting cycle. Divide that number by your total number of followers and multiply by 100 to get your conversation rate percentage.
Virality (or Amplification) Rate
Virality rate (also called your amplification rate) measures the number of people who shared your post in relation to the number of views or impressions it had during the reporting period.
This is an important metric to measure because it goes beneath the surface. You can have a post that receives a lot of impressions (views) but if you have one that receives as many impressions but a higher rate of shares, you know the second post is a better post. To find the virality rate of a post, divide the number of shares it received (across all social channels) by the number of impressions. Multiply that number by 100 to get the virality rate percentage.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
This is a commonly-tracked metric that demonstrates how many people clicked on a link through to your content. Your CTR is a good measure of how compelling people found your marketing efforts and decided to click on your link. The easiest way to track this is to use a social media scheduler like Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social or one of the many other scheduling services available. Or, you can use a URL shortener that will track your click-throughs like Bit.ly.
Social Media Conversion Rate
Your social media conversion rate is the total number of conversions that came from a social media channel. This metric is used when you have an offer, which can be as simple as an email sign-up. Understanding this metric will help you know how well your offer resonates with your target audience. Again, the easiest way to track this metric is to use a social scheduler or URL shortener that will automatically track your social media conversions (see tools under #10. Click-Through Rate).
We all know the power of testimonials from parents, students, alumni or other stakeholders. A customer testimonial is any type of customer review, such as a positive comment, endorsement or interview that relates to your school. Customer testimonials show the world that people love your school – and why. They will make a tremendous difference in new inquiries and enrollments.
Want more positive testimonials? Ask your parents, students and alumni to leave a review. Never compensate them as that would undermine your credibility. Run a social media campaign that encourages people to send in pictures with a comment or submit reviews about your school. Be sure to link to the landing page where you want them to submit (i.e. Facebook, Google, Yelp, etc.)
Customer Satisfaction Score
Customer satisfaction uses a simple survey to find out how happy people are with your school. Use Survey Monkey or another simple survey tool. Look for opportunities to send out a simple survey that asks them to rate your school on a simple scale, such as Poor, Fair, Good, Great or Excellent. Keep it easy, clear and easy to administer, especially on social media. To measure, add up all the scores and divide by the number of respondents to get your customer satisfaction score.
Social media channels as marketing tools continue to evolve at an incredible pace. It’s easy to get caught up in tracking all kinds of metrics that you really don’t need or use. Understanding the most important metrics for your school marketing reports will help you measure long-term success and incentivize your management team to continue to budget for your efforts.
What social media metrics do you use for your school marketing? What metrics do you think should have been included in this list that aren’t? Please weigh in for the rest of the school marketing community by commenting below. We’d love to hear from you!