Social Media has reshaped marketing, and the rules of social media are constantly changing. Business should be prepared to track the health of their social media investments, and must constantly evaluate and reevaluate the right indicators to measure.


Social media goal setting may not initially seem as complex as other areas of business, but there is often less clear guidance and direction, paired with constant change. Harvard Business School is currently studying “deep indicators” of business model success, since indicators aren’t always obvious, easy to identify, or easy to track. This is one aspect of social media complexity as well, with constant change as an added complexity.

Meaningful Goal-Specific Indicators

You can easily misjudge social media site health if your goals are unclear. A simplified breakdown of common goal categories are those associated with:

  1. Increasing web traffic or increasing sales, and
  2. Brand awareness and expanding online presence.

Not all data are meaningful indicators. Likes, followers, and views may indicate success toward #1, but although they may be a component of a more complex set of indicators for #2, they are less likely to be independently meaningful. The second group represents an increasingly important but more complicated realm, possibly requiring ‘deeper’ indicators. These include indices of user interactions and engagement, using data pertaining to re-posts or re-tweets.

Using your properly identified goals and indicators, and awareness of change, ensure that you are using the right tools to meet your goals. Your assessment is most useful if you are applying your strategy in the right setting. Considerations should include:

  • Best venue or platform for your goals
  • Familiarity with site-specific analysis tools
  • Current KPI trends and interpretation