Deciphering Your Social Media Metrics

Many people consider marketing to be a creative pursuit, however there are a lot of numbers behind the decisions of a marketer, especially when it comes to social media management.

Understanding data insights is an integral part of managing a business page on social media, which is why you find so many different metrics on your page and ads dashboards. Deciphering them can be a bit tricky if you’re not familiar with the terms and it doesn’t help that the definitions might vary slightly from platform to platform.

If you’ve ever found yourself looking at your business page and feeling confused by the numbers or unsure how to interpret them, then let this be your introductory guide.

Defining Terms

Clicks: This is a record of how many times users have clicked on your ad to take an action (see more details, head to your website, etc).

Impressions: How many times your post or ad has been displayed or seen. A single user can create multiple impressions if they look at the content more than once.

  • In Google Ads, this can mean every time an ad is displayed in search even if a user never scrolls down enough to see it

Reach: How many unique users see your post or ad. This tells you exactly how many people have viewed this content as they are only counted one time in this metric, even if they see the content multiple times.

Engagement: The amount of interactions on a post including likes, comments, shares, and clicks.

Conversions: The action you’re hoping a customer will take. In B2B businesses this might be filling out a form or downloading a brochure. In B2C businesses, this will usually be completing a purchase but may also be signing up for an email list.

Followers: People who opt in to receiving your posts in their social media feeds.

Analysing Your Metrics

Any metric in isolation will probably be misleading, you often need a mix to give you the full picture. Looking at rates can be a bit more helpful for understanding if you’re doing well, some of the more common ones to analyse being:

Engagement Rate: How many people like, comment, or share a post divided by whichever audience figure you feel is most relevant (reach, impressions, or followers).

Reach Rate: How many people have seen a post divided by how many followers you have. This is best used for organic posts, not those that are boosted or advertised and might reach people beyond your usual following.

Click-Through Rate: This measures how many clicks you had in relation to how many impressions you had and will give you an idea of how successful your ad was. Generally this is calculated as the clicks divided by the impressions and then shown as a percentage.

Conversion Rate: This is usually calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the amount of ad interactions or post click throughs.

What metrics should I pay attention to?

If all that data analysis makes you break out in a cold sweat, then just focusing on click-through rate and conversion rate is a good place to start.

These metrics typically show customers taking actions that may place them along the purchase funnel – in other words, you’re able to see more people that are close to becoming customers than you would be when looking at engagement or reach.

Comparing these rates can also help you identify problem points with your campaigns.

If click-through rate is high but your conversion rate is low, you might want to analyse your customer journey and understand what part of the process causes consumers to lose interest. If your click-through rate is low, but your conversion rate is high then your ads may need to be optimised or targeted better


Data got you down? Metrics driving you mad? The Marketing Team at fatBuzz can help.

We provide a range of services to help businesses manage their social media and deliver an effective overall digital marketing strategy.

Get in touch with us on hello@fatbuzz.com or call us on 0141 427 0727 to enquire further.