For a PR girl like me, numbers can be a little intimidating. In my line of work, I find myself immersed in writing and creative thinking much more than I do math problems. For that, I am grateful. When it comes to measuring the success of communications strategies, though, numbers are essential. If you’ve ever peeked at the back-end of a business’s social media page, you know there are quite a few stats to note. So, which ones matter most and what do they mean?
In the social media world, there are two types of reach – page reach and post reach. For both metrics, reach represents the total number of unique viewers who visited your page or saw your post. If one of your goals is to increase brand awareness, reach is important. You want as many people as possible to visit your page and see your posts. Looking for a simple way to increase reach? Tag another business or group in a post. This will increase the likelihood of the tagged social media account sharing your content, which in turn, exposes it to a larger audience. More viewers = more reach.
Likes, comments, shares and clicks all fall under the engagement umbrella. Reach is a great measurement to note when you’re trying to grow brand awareness, but engagement can tell you if those who see your content care about it. Are they liking the posts? Sharing so their following can see? Clicking the link to make a purchase or learn more? If not, you know it is time to revamp your content to create something your followers will like enough to, well, “like” it.
This measurement is often confused with reach. Remember, reach is the number of unique users who saw your content. Impressions represent the total views content receives, which includes repeat views. For example, if I see a recipe on Instagram that I want to make later in the week, I will revisit the post several times before it hits my plate. Once when it is shared, another time before I make my grocery list and several times as I prepare the dish. Each of those visits represents an impression – as you can see, impressions can quickly add up! Similar to engagement, impressions speak to how much your audience cares about what you post.
Easy peasy, huh? All those scary charts, graphs and figures seem intimidating to this wordsmith at first glance, but they’re really quite simple to decipher and are crucial to creating impactful strategies for clients. Happy posting!