How to Measure Social Media Marketing Success

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How do you measure social media marketing success? Before we get into what you should measure, let me say this — if your focus is on follower count then you’re focused on the wrong thing.

Measuring success based on how many people follow your social media account is “a vanity metric.”

Instead of focusing on how many people are following your social media accounts, you should focus on WHO is following them. You should also focus on if your followers are engaging with your content, subscribing to newsletters or lead magnets, reaching out to learn more or buying from you.

Let me also say, I understand that it’s easy to see how people might get distracted at the prospect of “gaining thousands of followers overnight.” However, for the most part, these “thousands” of promised followers are bots. Bots are not real people and they are definitely not real people who are actually interested in what you have to say or what you have to sell.

For example, if you have 150,000 followers on Instagram, if 149,000 of them are bots, you might as well not bother posting anything on Instagram because, well, it’s like screaming into the void. There is no one there to see what it is you have to offer.

⁣So, instead of focusing on follower count (which, by the way, will grow organically with quality content), here are 5 ways to measure social media marketing success:

Saves and Shares

Are people sharing your posts to their pages, profiles and various other social media accounts? Are they saving them for future reference because they find them useful, want to learn more or share later?

Keeping track of what posts your audience is saving and sharing will not only tell you what people like to see from you but will also help generate more relevant content.


Are people clicking on your social media posts? Are they clicking on the image, video or post AND are they clicking on any posted URLs to visit your website or landing pages? Tracking this will tell you what content is performing well, what you may want to create more of, and what you might want to reshare.

Similarly, if you have a large social media following on Instagram you will also want to measure “Swipe Ups.” This is the number of times your Instagram Story has had a swipe up to view more information on an external webpage.

If you’re not sure where you can find the numbers for saves, shares, clicks (as well as other useful social media statistics), you can find more information here:

Facebook Page Insights
Instagram Account Insights
Twitter Analytics
LinkedIn Page Analytics
Google Analytics (to monitor what social media platforms are driving the most traffic to your website)

Emails or DMs

Is your audience reaching out to you? Are they sending you direct messages (DMs) based on your call-to-action (CTAs) to learn more? Are they emailing you telling you they found you on social media and would like to have a conversation? If so, then your social media marketing is working! If no one is reaching out, then it might be time to re-evaluate your CTAs.


This is the most important metric for social media marketing success. Whether you are fundraising, selling products or selling services, are you meeting your financial goals? Are you making sales through your social media efforts? If not, then it may be time to tweak your marketing so it is clear what you have to offer people and so you can find the right people, who will buy or donate.

One other thing to note is that building a quality following on social media does not happen overnight. You need to post consistent, quality content that reflects what your business or organization is.

If you need help building your social media following, contact us. Social media marketing and management for non-profit organizations and small businesses is something we do on a daily basis.