Social Media Metrics You Need To Track

Social Media Metrics You Need To Track

Social Media Metrics You Need To Track

When we think of social media metrics we think of the obvious “vanity” or engagement metrics like the amount of followers we have, the likes we get and the number of shares a post or piece of content gets.  But the world of social media metrics is soooo much more than just that.

In fact, with the most popular social media platforms for CBD companies like Instagram now actively reducing organic reach, those types of metrics might even give you a skewed image of what is going on.  Or worse, leave you feeling despondent because you feel like you’re not getting anywhere.

So, what should you be tracking?  What social media metrics should you be looking at in 2020 for your CBD brand’s social media profiles. 

In this article we’ll go through the only social media metrics you should be paying attention to based on your particular goals.  And although the names of key metrics are different from platform to platform, I’ll go over the core measurements that can be generalised between each of your social media channels.


The only way to know whether or not any kind of strategy is working, is by measuring the outcomes and successes of your goals. And this means metrics. 

Metrics help you keep up with your general social profile, brand awareness, and brand health.  But more importantly, it will also help you tweak your content and strategy for maximum impact while also tell you if your time and money is being spent well.

So, for example, you’ve decided that your three main goals with your social media is to:

  1. Build brand awareness around your medical cannabis or CBD business
  2. Get your products or services in front of more people
  3. Increase visits to your online CBD web shop

What you want to do is to measure how successful you are at doing this by, for instance, tracking your impressions, reach and click-through rates. These numbers will then give you an indication of how successful your social media marketing strategy is at helping you achieve these goals.

But one thing that is very important to remember is that, what might work for someone else, might not necessarily work for you. And someone else’s “successful” numbers might not look the same as yours.

That is why it’s important to start monitoring and documenting your metrics right off the bat and do so consistently.  That way you can look back at the metrics and measure how well YOU are doing based on YOUR numbers.



Followers, likes, comments, shares + clicks

Engagement is all about how much your audience are interacting with you and how often. Every social media platform has some sort of engagement metric that comprises a bunch of other, smaller actions/metrics. For Twitter these include things like likes, comments and retweets, while for Instagram it is likes, comments and saves.

The metrics you should look at in this category are:

Followers Growth:
In my opinion the most obsessed over metric – especially when it comes to Instagram – is the amount of followers gained. Good for measuring the overall success of engagement tactics, content and social media strategy.

Profile Visits:
The number of visits to your page or profile. Again, good for measuring the overall success of engagement tactics, content and social media strategy.

Engagement on individual posts. Good for measuring the success of different types of posts and content, or call to action success.

Comments & Shares:
Action taken on individual posts. Good for measuring the success of a call to action / promotion.

Post Engagement Rate:
Number of engagements divided by impressions and/or reach. Good for measuring comparing different posts and content types.

Account Mentions:
Organic mentions that are not part of a reply or tagging. Good for measuring Brand awareness.

This is a big category to track, but an important one to help you keep an eye on the big picture. Engagement rates can tell you how healthy and responsive your audience is and how many real, engaged followers you have. It can also help you hone your content creation efforts by showing which posts and content types your audience likes the most.

Check out our article on Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms for your CBD | Cannabis Business


Impressions + Reach

This is an often neglected and underrated metric that can really tell you a lot about your brand awareness and perception. But it’s also easy to confuse impressions with reach confused, so it’s important to understand the differences between each of these and what they mean.

In a nutshell:

Total amount they display the post, i.e., the amount of times a post shows up in someone’s feed/timeline. Good for telling you about the potential that post has to be seen on its own.

Total amount of times people may have seen a post, i.e., the amount of times your post has the potential to be seen and usually includes your follower count plus accounts that shared the post’s follower counts. Good for seeing how many unique accounts might see it.

Impressions and reach are good for telling you how interesting people found your post. For instance, if one of your posts has a high impression count or high reach but very little engagement, it probably means that people didn’t find it very interesting. 

Return on investment (ROI)

Referrals + Conversions

If your goals are to generate revenue from your social media profiles, this is probably the most important of all the social media metrics you need to track. Referral and conversions are especially important for CBD brands who have web shops and sell their products online.

To summarise:

How a user lands on your website – in this case from social media. Good for seeing which accounts generate the most web traffic as well as click-through rates.

When a purchase has been made from your site with a social conversion meaning they visited via a social media channel and then purchased something in that same visit. Again, good for seeing which accounts generate the most web traffic as well as click-through rates.

Amplification Rate:
The ratio of share per post to the number of followers you have. Add the number of post shares during a specific period and divide by the number of followers. Multiply by 100. The higher your amplification rate, the better.  Good for tracking brand popularity and association.

Bounce Rate:
The percentage of visitors who click the post link but “bounce” (i.e., leave your site again quickly / without taking action. In Google Analytics Acquisition >> Channels >> All Traffic >> Bounce Rate. Compare your social media bounce rate to other sources with lower bounce rates being better.

If you have Shopify or another e-commerce platform, you will probably have all the tools you need built in to track all of these. However, if not, you will probably have to invest in UTM tracking as well as set up a website traffic analytics program like Google Analytics.

take home message

Many people think that they are either doing really well with their social media, or really badly, based solely on the usual things like follower count, likes and shares.   And although engagement metrics are important, they are by far not the whole picture.

Although there are many other metrics to monitor, the ones discussed here are often the most important social media metrics to track.  They are also the easiest to understand and interpret, and will give you a good bird’s-eye view on how well your social media strategy is doing.  These will also tell you if you are spending your time, efforts and money well – something that’s pretty important if you’re a smaller CBD brand and have to do a lot of it yourself. 


Lieze Boshoff (B.Psych, M.Sc (HCN)) is the founder of LBC3 Marketing + LBC3 Academy a leading Cannabis Marketing agency + training academy for the CBD | Cannabis Industry. Additional work experience includes working as an account manager and then a corporate training and development manager in London, and a university lecturer + researcher in Germany and The Netherlands.

Her areas of expertise encompass all aspects of Cannabis Marketing, including Content Creation, Copywriting, Email Marketing, and Lead Generation. As a specialist in her field, she helps small to medium sized CBD | Cannabis businesses with  her work as Cannabis Marketing professional, educator and mentor.

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