Social Media Metrics Across the Buyer Journey

Gone are the days of counting “likes” on your social media pages and calling it a day. Nowadays, measuring the performance of your brand means looking at several key indicators. It also requires an understanding of the unique buyer journey on social media and the metrics to analyze along the way.

In this Social Media Metrics article, we’re going to look at the different stages of the social media buyer journey as well as the key performance indicators (KPIs) aligned with each stage. You might be surprised at how KPIs change throughout the timeline. But most importantly, you’ll be more prepared to develop a strategy that meets your target audience and helps you satisfy important objectives.

The Social Media Buyer’s Journey

The common misconception about social media is that it’s only useful for brand awareness on the organic side or lead generation on the paid side. The truth is buyers may go through five different stages of the journey on social media, from awareness through advocacy, and there are helpful social media metrics we can use to track the performance of our goals during each of these. 

5-stages

Already you may be able to see how social media provides multiple opportunities to establish relationships with your target audience and nurture them even past conversion. Let’s see how that translates to metrics at each stage.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the Buyer Journey on Social Media 

Social media certainly has its own set of metrics apart from other channels. Some you may already be familiar with at this point, but others may be new to you. Either way, there’s a good chance all of them can be helpful for measuring the performance of both organic and paid strategies. 

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Awareness KPIs

Since this is the very first stage of the buyer journey, you’ll be looking at a few different social media metrics to determine your reach to new consumers. 

On the organic side, this includes:

  • Likes
  • Impressions
  • Audience size
  • Share of voice
  • Video views
  • Autoplay video views
  • Photo or video post view clicks

On the paid social side, this includes:

  • Clicks
  • Video views
  • Cost per video view (CPV)
  • Cost per thousand impressions (CPM)

Consideration KPIs

The second stage of the journey is where you want to generate demand from consumers. Here, you’ll likely be trying to show your audience the problems your brand or products solve, so the metrics are going to look a bit different.

On the organic side, this includes:

  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Saves
  • Engagement rate
  • Link clicks
  • Website clicks
  • Clickthrough rate (CTR)
  • Video thru-plays
  • Replay video views

On the paid side, this includes:

  • Clickthrough rate (CTR)
  • Cost per click (CPC)
  • Cost per video view (CPV)
  • Cost per lead (CPL)

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Decision KPIs

By the decision stage, your primary goal is to drive conversions. You may be introducing brand offers and sales. There are a few different metrics to help you measure how well you’re doing.

On the organic side, this includes:

  • Link clicks
  • Page actions
  • Social traffic
  • Social conversions

On the paid side, this includes:

  • Conversion rate
  • Web conversions
  • Return on Ad Spend (RoAS)

Adoption KPIs

During the fourth stage, you’ll likely be educating customers with the goal of increasing engagement with your products and services. Again, there are unique metrics for this point in the social media buyer journey.

On the organic side, this includes:

  • Brand mentions
  • Average engagement
  • Brand or product sentiment
  • Reply rate
  • Reply time

On the paid side, this includes:

  • Conversion rate
  • Web conversions
  • Return on Ad Spend (RoAS)

Advocacy KPIs

Even though this is the final stage of the journey, this is where you’re actually trying to leverage happy customers to reach even more consumers by turning your biggest fans into sellers — or advocates. You can look at various social media metrics to measure this performance as well.

On the organic side, this includes:

  • Post engagement rate
  • Amount of user-generated content (UGC)
  • Percentage of impressions from advocates

On the paid side, this includes:

  • Cost per thousand impressions (CPM)
  • Cost per video view (CPV)
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Mapping Content to the Buyer Journey

If you’re wondering what types of social media content you should consider during each stage of this journey, be sure to check out ways to build content around your buyer personas. Then, apply the metrics in this article to gauge how well your content is performing for your audience. For a deep dive on content and how to align it with customers, you can read about Content Marketing Certification Training

About the Author

Rob SandersRob Sanders

Rob Sanders is a digital marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience. During that time, Rob has helped a wide range of companies utilize new and emerging technologies to increase sales and profitability. As founder of RSO Consulting, Rob helps clients maximize their digital marketing efforts via SEO, SEM, SMO, and Web Analytics. He is responsible for many facets of the web analytics value chain, from identifying business goals and objectives to developing strategies and translating those into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Rob also teaches digital marketing and analytics classes throughout the U.S. and abroad. As a contributor for Simplilearn, Rob creates expert thought leadership content on a variety of digital marketing and analytics topics.

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