The 7 Paid Social Metrics You Should Be Tracking

LinkShorteners Published on December 17, 2021

Paid social can feel like a bit of a gimmick sometimes.

How do you assign value to paid social ads, such as Snapchat filters or Twitter ads that target your audience with emojis? How to promote Facebook posts? Your followers may already "like" it, and it may spread on the platform... But what does it mean for your bottom line?

Most marketers report that proving the return on investment is their biggest challenge. Just considering the number of channels and devices to be measured is dizzying. Americans now own an average of four digital devices, and American consumers spend an average of 60 hours a week consuming content on these devices.

When it comes to your paid social strategy, what is the best way to measure success and simplify the analysis of all business channels?

For those who are curious about how to measure the success of social media marketing, we recommend using these even paid social metrics.


1) The Bid

Social platforms, especially newer channels such as Instagram and Snapchat, restrict or plan their ads to avoid disrupting the user experience.

This is why most social channels use a bidding system for their paid advertisements, on which advertisers auction real estate. Advertisers usually bid based on factors such as time, location, and audience-the more popular the ad space, the more expensive the bid. The strategy here is to reach the best point, where you can get the most value without exceeding your budget.

The bidding system operates with two different options: CPM and CPC.

2) CPM: Cost-Per-Thousand Impression

CPM, commonly referred to as cost-per-thousand-impressions, is the cost for every 1,000 unique views your ad receives.

CPM is ideal for brands that want to increase visibility because you pay for coverage and not effectiveness. This bidding model is also very effective for brands with high clickthrough rates. With CPM, you can get more clicks for less money-assuming you pay $1 for 1,000 impressions, whether it’s one-click or all 1,000 clicks, your costs will not increase.

After all, compared with CPC ads, high-volume, high-performance CPM ads can save money but don’t treat impressions as face value.

Great for: If your paid social strategy focuses on building brand awareness around new products, and you just want to show it to as many people as possible, then this is the bidding model for you.

3) CPC: Cost-Per-Click

CPC is the cost per user click on your ad. The CPC model guarantees that you pay for ads that generate results and traffic. If you have a strong sales channel, CPC can also be a reliable way to drive high-quality potential customer conversions.

It’s important to pay attention to the relationship between your cost-per-click and conversions. If you pay for a large number of clicks but don’t see that it changes your bottom line, it may mean that you need to re-evaluate the post-click experience.

Great for: If you’re just getting started with paid social or find that CPM is too expensive for your budget, try the cost-per-click bidding model. CPC is also very suitable for brands with hyper-targeted content.


4) Audience Growth Rate

Another way to track the success of paid social is to pay close attention to the growth of your follower size. A positive growth rate indicates that your content resonates with the audience.

This engagement metric should be tracked along with likes, reposts, and favorites to provide you with insight to measure the success of specific content.

Great for: If your paid social strategy is about building your social community, then this is an indicator you need to pay attention to.

5) Potential Reach

Potential coverage shows the estimated number of users that your post will reach.


This metric can be helpful when setting your target audience and planning your advertising account budget.

Ideal: On LinkedIn, you may want to consider your potential influence when deciding whether to target an e-commerce CMO in New York City or an e-commerce CMO in California. You may find that your audience in California is a bit too large and will exhaust your budget prematurely, in which case you will narrow your targeting.

6) Click-through-rate (CTR)

CTR is the total number of users who clicked on your ad divided by the total number of times the ad was delivered. The higher your clickthrough rate, the more compelling your content and call-to-action.

However, please pay attention to the click-through rate provided by the native analytics dashboard in social platforms. For example, Facebook counts all clicks, not just link clicks. These numbers may make your ads perform better than other social channels that only count link clicks.


7) Conversion

Paid social networking has 25% more conversions than organic social networking because the content is more targeted, timely, and often leads to potential customers landing pages.

Conversion is arguably one of the most important and valuable social media success indicators. A high conversion rate means that your ads are sufficient to attract customers to take action, such as buying a product, filling out a form, or downloading software. Many social channels will provide tracking pixels to add to your website, which helps track the user's journey from the channel to your website. Examples include free tools such as Google Analytics.

Know Your Channels

Ultimately, the way you use these paid social metrics will vary based on your goals and the social channels that work best for you.

Not only does each channel calculate social media metrics slightly differently, but each channel has a different purpose in the conversion funnel.

The key to optimizing paid social strategies is top-down. Before establishing each individual channel, first, understand where your customers are participating and how they pass through the funnel.

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