Social Media Metrics 101

Basic terms:

Impressions: The number of times your content is displayed, whether it is clicked or not.

Engagement: Measurement of comments, likes, views, clicks, and shares

Reach: The number of unique people who see your content.

Click Through Rate (CTR): The number of clicks your content receives divided by the number of times your content is shown (impressions)

Followers: Unique users who have subscribed to your content

Why is this important?

When it comes to interpreting social media metrics, think about your goals for each platform. These will help guide you. For example: is your goal to grow your audience and reach more people? Compare your follower count from this year to last and look at your reach and impressions. Are you focused on an internal audience to let them know about upcoming events? Engagement and CTR are good metrics to check. Social media accounts looking to grow should look for increases in numbers. Accounts for small, niche audiences might determine their success through consistent numbers. Decreasing numbers is usually a sign that something isn’t working: consider what might be the root cause of a decline and think about solutions.

Often, you have both peaks and valleys in these numbers over the course of the year. Look for patterns in the numbers: do you see spikes of engagement, CTR, and followers after certain types of posts or at specific times of year? What about for drops in those numbers? Consider adding more of the content that does well and pulling back on the content that doesn’t. And remember that we’re all working within the academic cycles: times in which students and faculty aren’t on campus might be slower and show more dips in the numbers than during peak time periods like the beginning of the semester.

Social media metrics are only a part of the overall marketing and communications story. If your end goal is more applicants, more people in your classes, more event attendees, etc., then you need to think about your social media metrics in context of application numbers, course enrollments, and event attendance.

Where to find analytics: 


Hootsuite analytics dashboard 1Hootsuite analytics dashboard 2


Instagram analytics dashboard 1Instagram analytics dashboard 1


Twitter analytics dashboard 1Twitter analytics dashboard 1


Facebook analytics dashboard 1Facebook analytics dashboard 2Facebook analytics dashboard 3Facebook analytics dashboard 4