Harry Potter Page on Facebook

6 Metrics All Social Media Marketers Should Be Familiar With

There are so many social media metrics and such little time. The Facebook download of page insights alone has over 1700 columns of data, ranging from daily Likes of your brand page to video plays in the last 28 days.

More data doesn’t necessarily equate to better data, but it does lend to more options, and it’s better to have too much than not enough. The key is being able to line up your metrics to your social objectives. Here are six metrics that you should know:


While it sounds like more of a medical term, this acronym stands for “People Talking About This” or the number of unique people who have created a story about a page, such as Liking it, sharing a post or commenting on a post.

What I love about the PTAT stat is that it places a number on how many people are chatting up a page. You can watch it over time to see how it fluctuates and glean insights. In addition, weekly PTAT info is found publicly on brand pages so you can keep track of the competition. To get a more apples-to-apples comparison, take the PTAT and compare it to the number of fans for several pages to get a rate.

Harry Potter Page on Facebook

Post Virality

Post virality is the number of stories created from a post divided by the number of unique people that post reached. To illustrate, let’s say your post reached 1,000 people, 10 people Liked it, 15 different people commented and 7 different people shared it. The post virality in this case is 3.2% (32/1,000 x 100).

What is great about virality is that you can compare separate posts and analyze their performance to discover which factors create high and low virality. Then, you can tailor your posts for optimal performance.


PinSome people refer to Pinterest as a virtual bulletin board, but I like to think of it as a virtual jean jacket (like one you may have worn in the 80s).

The more pins, the better. I have these pins on my jacket, and if someone goes out and buys the same cool Michael Jackson pin, it’s a repin. I want repins because it shows the popularity of my MJ pin.

Images are an essential element to most brands when it comes to their respective social networks, and Pinterest is an important player in the image game. When a Pinner repins a pin to his or her board, they are using an image to express brand advocacy. Images that are getting high numbers of repins offer valuable insight, not only into content performance, but also into consumer preferences.



Many people are familiar with a Klout score, but Kred is another good source when gauging Twitter influence. Kred gives two scores: one for influence and the other for outreach level. The influence score is based on a high score of 1,000, and the outreach level is based on a high score of 12.

What’s cool is that the influencer score is broken down categorically. According to Kred, they have profiles for more than 130 million people (and growing) in their database. This information can be really helpful in identifying existing and potential key influencers for brands.


The majority of monitoring tools offer measurements of sentiment, or attitude. Most often, this stat is broken into categories of positive, negative and neutral.

Sentiment is frequently automated based on keywords. So in many cases, it’s not accurate at a granular level. In some cases, human scoring is added for increased precision. It’s important not only to look at sentiment as a snapshot but also to track it over time and address shifts.


Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is a nice way to measure whether a site provides what a user wants once they land there. In a nutshell, bounce rate measures the percentage of people who come to your website and leave “instantly.”

For example, a bounce rate of 95% means that only 5% of users came to your site and continued on to another page – not good. Like in golf, the lower the number, the better. One exception to this rule can be a blog, as it can be argued that the visitor came to read the content only and then exited the site. In this case, if the bounce rate were high (75-80% + ), the user still could have been satisfied with the content they were seeking on that page alone.


These are not the only metrics that are important. In fact, they may not hold any relevance to you at all. It’s all based on what the social objectives of your campaign are. These are just a few staple metrics that are great to have in your toolbox. Like everything that is social, they can change on a dime.

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  • MCatherine Lunsford
    Posted at 10:41h, 03 April

    The more there is to know, the more my eyes cross!

  • Dave Thompson
    Posted at 10:54h, 03 April

    Very well written post. Every admin comes across these features daily but do not know what importance they carry and how can these be used in understanding the page’s audience. These features give you the insights which can help you to gain and reach a wider number of audience without putting much effort.

  • gnir
    Posted at 16:16h, 03 April

    I am having an issue with post virality. If I am understanding Facebook correctly, it seems like the more “Shares” you have, the worst your virality. Here’s why .. try to follow me here … We tailor posts for our fans who are of a particular demo, marital status, etc. So, if that person shares our post, we are likely to not get a Like, Comment, etc. if some of those she shares with are not our target audience. YET those friends she shares with are included in the post’s reach. Here are two scenarios: Reach is 70,678 [37,923 organic and 33,107 viral). Talking About This is 2,969. (OK some of the 2,969 may be from the shared post but likely it wasn’t many). So, 2,969/70,678 is a virality of 4.2% but when just the organic reach is used, the virality is 2,969/37,923 … 7.8%. I’m not sure what to make of this … I’d love to hear your take on this. Thanks!

  • misimcclelland
    Posted at 12:05h, 04 April

    I understand your predicament. You get shares that are great in terms of engagement and get the benefit of more reach but that lowers your virality score because the additional reach doesn’t necessary equate to more actions. You might want to track two virality scores if the variance in the numbers is significant. Similarly, when paid efforts enter the picture and paid reach is included in the score, virality likey decreases. For that reason, having two distinct scores (virality, non-paid virality) is an option if the paid influence creates a noticeable difference. With virality, you might end up having several “types” of virality metrics.

  • Daniel Kushner
    Posted at 08:07h, 07 April

    Very interesting and well written post. I come from the B2B social media marketing side and in my opinion we should have these discussions when it’s clear if we’re talking about B2B or B2C, since these are very different species.

    On the B2B side, there is one ultimate goal that is critical to measure the effectiveness of in social media marketing – how many leads are being generated. While many marketers hate measuring themselves with values that can be directly tied into business values (or revenue), it’s extremely important to understand which efforts are generating not only leads by qualified leads.

  • gnir
    Posted at 17:25h, 08 April

    Thanks so much for your insight. I had tried to explain this to our Facebook reps and honestly, they didn’t “get it” at all. We don’t do a lot of paid posts and when we do we track the results in Google Analytics so the virality isn’t as “important” for paid posts. But for our daily posts I was using Insights and now realize that it isn’t really accurate when there are a lot of “shares”.

  • prerna singh
    Posted at 23:26h, 20 April

    Something of substance! This post is insightful and will make me rethink about the metrics that I consider.

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