Demystifying social media analytics for influencer marketing campaigns.
If you’ve questioned whether you’ve really understood the entire impact of your influencer marketing campaign, you’re not alone. In one survey Reelio put out last year, nearly 50% of responders said that their biggest pain point with influencer marketing was ROI.
Influencer campaigns have a lot to offer brands, more than just bottom-line purchases. For example, if brand lift and brand sentiment are growing positively, they’re still contributing to those conversions you’re striving for.
In order to see the magnitude of the lasting impact, not only do you want to start with clearly outlining the short-term marketing goals, you’ll also want to pull back and look at some of the long-term goals your team is working toward.
“It goes back to the question, what does success mean?” Reelio’s VP of Marketing and Sales, Mark Borum said encouraging marketers to look at the bigger picture. “It’s also not about just gaining followers, but how do you gain followers that continue to stay with you?”
While marketers are increasing their budgets for influencer marketing, seeing ROI and understanding what’s behind it are two different things. So, we’re going to treat this murky pool of analytics with some chlorine to help provide a clearer perspective, and - ideally - a more comprehensive influencer marketing experience.
To do so, we’ll take a look at social media analytics by platform, (so you can make the best choice about the platforms your brand should use), followed by what you need to know about each KPI, (designed to help you prioritize a few important ones), and finally, a look at some tools that can help you better determine your influencer marketing campaign analytics (designed to help you set up tracking to better understand the ROI you’re getting).
Social Media Analytics By Platform
Understanding the return of your influencer campaign all starts with outlining the metrics that you want to have; and not all platforms have every metric.
Does the social media platform you want to use measure impressions or just “viewed impressions?” Does it measure shares? To help you best plan your influencer campaign, we built a table of today’s popular social platforms and the metrics each one offers.
Social Media Metrics by Platform
|impressions||X (paid)||X (known as 'reach')||X|
X (video only)
Now that we’ve broken down analytics by platform, let’s take a closer look at the nuances of each metric.
Social Media Analytics Glossary
Before you outline your most important KPIs, you’re going to want to understand the nuances of your priority metrics. We’ve done the research for you below, so you can go into your campaign understanding which platforms to put them on. (Learn which metrics are important to various marketing goals).
Impressions: Impressions represent the number of screens your content has shown up (impressions v. viewed impressions below).
Platforms: Facebook Posts, Twitter Posts, Instagram Posts
What you should know about impressions:
- Viewed impressions v. not-viewed impressions: Some platforms count impressions on social posts even if they are not being recognized by human eyes. To make sure your impressions are actually being viewed by people, make sure that you’re tracking viewable impressions.
YouTube does not have impressions, but it does count views (see the view section).
Instagram provides impressions, but are only available to the user through an Instagram business account, as seen in the photo.
Facebook provides viewed impressions (this is as opposed to non-viewed, see above) for business accounts and paid advertising services, but refers to them as “reach”.
Twitter provides impressions in the Twitter analytics dashboard. Twitter defines impressions as “the number of times a user is served a Tweet in timeline or search results”.
Snapchat does not provide impressions, but it has views (as talked about in the next section).
Here's a screenshot of Instagram's analytics from a business account.
Views: Views are generally counted as three seconds or more on multiple platforms, and views don’t necessarily equate to “unique” sets of eyes.
Platforms: YouTube, Facebook video, Facebook Watch, Instagram video, Instagram story, Twitter video, Snapchat story
What you should know about views:
- A view is a single time a post was seen, not necessarily how many people watched a piece of content.
- What’s considered a “view” may vary from platform to platform.
YouTube shows views under each video which are visible to everybody (who has permission to see it). Something to keep in mind is that the number of views doesn’t represent how many people watched a video, it counts for how many times the video was watched and it’s been speculated that YouTube counts a view as three seconds.
Instagram provides views on stand-alone videos available to all followers, (it does not not show views on videos that are in slideshow posts). A view is counted at 3 seconds or more according to Instagram and loops do not count as views. Additionally, views from a desktop or embedded post are not counted in view counts, views are only recorded from those that take place on Instagram’s app.
Facebook shows the number of views on videos to followers or targeted users on sponsored and organic content. Video views are not counted until the video has been playing for at least 3 seconds, according to Recode.
Snapchat views and “view-through rates” are only available to the user. Views are counted as soon as the video starts, according to Recode.
Likes: Likes are an engagement action that signifies a user agreeing or appreciating something related to the content.
Platforms: YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook
What you should know about likes:
- Likes generally represent a positive affinity of something about the content, but it might not be the content alone that someone “likes”.
- Likes can be used to get a “like/dislike” ratio when paired against dislikes.
- Likes are a stronger form of engagement (vs. a passive metric, like a view)
YouTube likes are visible to everybody on public channels.
Instagram “hearts” act as “likes” and are visible on photo Instagram posts to followers, (not on organic video posts).
Facebook likes can be seen publicly to followers and targeted audiences on both videos and photos.
Twitter likes are displayed in the form of “hearts,” and can be seen by followers.
Snapchat does not have “likes”.
Dislikes: Dislikes are an engagement action that signifies a user disagreed or didn’t prefer with something about the content.
What you should know about dislikes:
- Similar to likes, dislikes generally represent a negative affinity for something about the content, but it might not be the content alone that someone “dislikes”.
- Dislikes are factored into total engagements and engagement rate.
YouTube dislikes are visible to everybody on public channels.
Instagram does not have dislikes (maybe part of Instagram’s CEO’s interest in “cleaning up the internet”?).
Facebook does not have dislikes, but it does have an angry-face emoji which could act similar to a dislike.
Twitter does not have dislikes.
Snapchat does not have dislikes.
Engagements: Engagements are specific only to Snapchat users and tell users when someone has taken a screen-shot of their content.
Platforms: Instagram, Snapchat
What you should know about engagements:
- In February 2018, Snapchat released more audience demographic data to creators.
Instagram provides an engagement number that counts the number of likes and comments on your post.
Snapchat provides engagements, which are recordings of screenshots of snaps. This data is sent to the user who’s content was screenshotted.
Here's a screenshot of Instagram's analytics for impressions, reach and engagement.
Shares: Shares are the action of a user sharing the original piece of content with their followers.
Platforms: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat
What you should know about shares:
- Arguably the strongest form of engagement.
- Shares can mean that the piece of content or headline represents a person’s opinions or helps define themselves to their audience.
YouTube shares are not visible to everybody, but you can see them by downloading the free vidIQ chrome extension.
Instagram does not allow shares to be accessed publicly or privately.
Facebook shares can be seen publicly.
Twitter shares are known as “retweets” and can be seen publicly.
Snapchat doesn’t track shares, but it does track screenshots.
Comments: Comments are a user’s recorded thoughts placed in the comments section of a piece of content, and often counted as a strong form of engagement.
Platforms: YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook
What you should know about comments:
- Comments can be negative, positive or neutral responses to a piece of content.
- Comments can be deleted on or edited on certain platforms.
YouTube comments are available publicly on public channels.
Instagram comments are available to followers on newsfeed posts.
Facebook comments are available to followers, and publicly if on a public or sponsored post.
Twitter comments or direct replies in a Twitter chain are available publicly if the person has a public account.
Snapchat comments are not available publicly. A snapchat comment goes directly to another Snapchat account, so only that person can see the comment.
If you’re looking to drive conversions, comments and shares with your brand should not be overlooked. They are contributing to users moving down the funnel and can be a great sign of success in an influencer campaign.
“There’s two separate ways of measuring against brand consideration or intent. One is: what are the social conversations happening around me? The other is: what are the social conversations I’m driving? And then, how are those two things growing, not just growing in follower reach but actual engagement with that audience across platforms.”
- Mark Borum, VP of Sales and Marketing at Reelio
|Clicks: The term “clicks” refers to when a user clicks into a link associated with a piece of content. This form of engagement action is often the most desired by marketers.|
Platforms: YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat
What you should know about clicks:
- They’re generally are a representation of the strongest form of interest.
- They are considered the most bottom-of-the-funnel engagement you can get on a social post.
- Used to determine CTR, total engagement and engagement rate.
- Generally it’s only the users themselves who can see how many times a link was clicked on.
YouTube clicks on links can only be seen by the user.
Instagram only allows you to see the link clicks if you added a link to the story (which you can only do if you have 10k followers currently). You could track clicks by using a unique URL or bit.ly. You can track the clicks on stickers.
Facebook allows the user to see the number of clicks a paid or public page post received in its analytics. It does not tell private users how many clicks were generated from their posts.
Twitter allows private users to see the number of clicks, but not on specific posts, you can track this by using a unique URL.
Snapchat clicks cannot be seen on a link in a story, but in February 2018 Snapchat rolled out analytics for the first time to its creators and we expect more to come.
To understand which metrics are the best for various goals, check out our infographic.
Influencer Analytics Formulas
There’s a few more statistics you can generate using the analytics available to you with formulas. Let’s review those real quick.
CTR: Clicks alone can’t tell you much without comparison. Click-through-rate does that by weighing the number of clicks by the views, it’s often associated with driving web traffic. It’s usually an indicator as to how engaging the content was.
Formula: Total clicks / impressions or views.
Total Engagement: Total engagements is most often used in measuring engagement rate. It often can’t tell you much though unless you’re comparing total engagements from one post to another.
Formula: sum of clicks + likes + dislikes + comments + shares (or whichever are applicable).
Engagement Rate: Engagement rate is usually an incredibly important metric for both marketers and creators. It demonstrates how captivating your content was to those who saw it.
Formula: Total engagements / impressions (or views).
Tools for Influencer Analytics
Working with an influencer through an influencer platform (like Reelio) earns you most of the analytics listed above, but here are some additional tools that can help paint a bigger picture of the journey the user took.
- HYPR: Real-time social analytics for every influencer in the world
- Buffer: Use the social media management platform to understand how people are interacting with your posts and to track customized short links.
- Google Analytics: Use Google Analytics to see traffic referrals related to your campaigns.
- VidIQ: Use the Chrome extension to see how well YouTube videos are performing.
- eMarketer: use eMarketer to see other influencer marketing campaign benchmarks.
- Reelio’s Platform: See influencer demographics and campaign report data.
We know how important ROI is for marketers, here's a few other helpful tips we have about measuring a campaign.
- To ensure you’re understanding the full impact of your campaign make sure you’re measuring each influencer individually.
- Use multi-attribution models to get more information on your buyers’ journey.
- To track acquisitions, implement coupon codes, surveys, trackable links or Convertro.
- If you’re product is an app, check out Tune for mobile apps
Success with an influencer can look a lot of different ways. Defining the objective of the campaign and outlining the metrics that will signify success is the first step in planning your influencer campaign.
Utilize tools and platforms that can help clarify the results of your influencer campaign to capture as much data as possible. And we’re happy to help! To understand what influencer marketing can do for your brand, get in touch with us.