When it comes to using social media, event managers have a slew of metrics at their disposal. These engagement, awareness, and conversion metrics take the guesswork out of event management before, during, and after the event. They allow you to evaluate the effectiveness of your events and make improvements in future events.
While they’re relatively simple once you understand how to use them, the metrics provided by social media platforms can be confusing.
In this guide, we’ll highlight which metrics are most important for event managers, what they mean, and how to use them to get the most out of your events.
The first set of metrics that you need to be aware of and track are engagement metrics.
Engagement metrics refer to any aspect of interaction on social media — sharing, commenting, liking, clicking on links, etc. Keeping track of these metrics is the best way to measure the success of an event and its marketing before and after it takes place.
Think about how you learn about concerts in your city. Event managers are pushing their event pages — which often include details and links to ticketing sites — toward users in the area.
These event managers are likely using engagement metrics to learn more about who will attend, how many people might go, and how those metrics compare to the actual attendance of the concert.
And while convincing users to attend an online event is a lot easier than convincing them to buy tickets to an in-person concert, engagement metrics are still essential for success.
Audiences that are engaged with events on social media are more likely to attend the events themselves. More comments, likes, clicks, and shares usually translate into more people actually attending.
Sharing metrics measure the relationships between shares per post, impressions, and reach.
There are plenty of ways to measure sharing depending on which social platform you’re using. Ask yourself these questions:
These metrics are easy to find and analyze using the basic analytics trackers available to every social media user. It’s important to compare these simple numbers, like how many people shared the announcement post, to your other metrics.
For example, divide the number of shares (before, after, or during) by your impressions or reach. This will give you the rate of impressions that actually engaged with the event through sharing. You can apply this simple equation to many sharing and engagement metrics.
As you learn about your event’s sharing metrics, be sure to pay attention to whether the numbers changed before, during, and after your event. For instance, if your announcement post has a much higher percentage of shares compared to the post-broadcast link, you may want to consider the effectiveness of the event itself.
Or, if your initial announcement didn’t generate a significant number of shares but the replay did, it suggests that the event is effective but the way you promoted it probably wasn’t.
Likes, clicks, comments, and favorites are all examples of applause. It’s called this for a reason — when users engage in this way, they implicitly say that they approve of the content.
It’s important to measure the applause rate (by dividing approval actions by impressions, reach, or followers) to understand how your content is performing.
Compare this engagement metric to content about your other events, or different content about the same event. For example, you may notice that giveaways that promote online events have very high applause rates, but event announcements are lacking. This may point to problems with the event topic itself, or maybe it means the giveaway was valuable to a wider audience than would realistically attend one of your events — or that you should always do giveaways in conjunction with event announcements!
Awareness metrics are measurements of your audience at various points in time, including the potential future audience.
This awareness metric measures how quickly your social media following is increasing. It’s easy to look at your number of followers and see that you’ve gained them steadily, but it’s better to measure how quickly you’ve gained them and see if growth correlates with events.
This is imperative for event managers because they can measure audience growth rate in relation to events, like right before or after a broadcast. Measure how many new followers you’ve gained over a certain period of time, then divide that number by your total number of followers to get your growth rate.
Impressions are the number of times that a post appears to a user. Impressions should always be compared to engagement metrics in order to understand the effectiveness of your online marketing.
For example, low impressions and low engagement suggest that you may need to work on increasing your reach. Low impressions and high engagement suggest that your event is interesting and worthwhile, but you probably need to get the event in front of more people.
Although impressions and reach are often used in tandem, it’s important to remember that they are different. Reach measures the number of potential individual viewers on a post. If a follower shares your event, your reach increases by the number of their followers who could potentially see the post.
To increase reach, you either need to increase the size of your audience, create content that your followers are going to share with their friends, or invest some advertising dollars in promoting your event.
Social share of voice measures how often your brand is mentioned compared to your competitors. Essentially, it’s how often you’re talked about compared to others in your industry.
When it comes to measuring social share of voice — a.k.a., mentions — there’s no better tool than mention.com. Yes, you can check your mentions manually using the notifications tab, but as your following grows, it gets cumbersome to look at each individual mention let alone measure it. Plus, not all mentions are tags, and indirect mentions are just as important.
Social share of voice is important for event managers because it gives insight into the visibility and awareness of your brand and event. If your social share of voice is relatively low, it means that your brand and related events aren’t generating much buzz. If this is the case, you need to rethink your event and promotional strategies. It’s also helpful to look at this metric for competitors and similar brands or events.
Conversion metrics are measurements of how effective your social media events are in comparison to engagement and awareness. These metrics are the bread and butter of digital strategy.
Conversion rate is the number of users who take action after engaging with a social media post. For event managers, the most relevant example is registration — how many people signed up for your broadcast after sharing, liking, commenting, or simply viewing a post?
If you have a lot of engagement and awareness, but very few conversions, it could signal that there are issues with your event registration page. Or it could be that there is a mismatch between your social posts and what people actually encounter on your registration page.
Keep in mind that the more worthwhile and interesting your posts are, the more likely users are to convert that action into registration, attendance, and shares.
This metric refers to the rate at which users click on a link in a post, specifically to other content like your website or event registration page.
A low click-through rate suggests that your social posts promoting events aren’t particularly effective or engaging. When people see them in their social feeds, they simply aren’t interested enough to click.
Two simple ways to improve your CTR are:
Bounce rate is the percentage of users who click on a link, visit a single page, and then leave. If 100 people land on your event page, but only 20 register (which would take them to another page), your bounce rate is 80%.
Obviously, you’re aiming for the lowest bounce rate you can possibly get. A high bounce rate means people don’t really like what they see on your page.
Bounce rate is especially important because it directly relates to conversion rate. You’ve already achieved the click-through, and your goal is to turn the click into a conversion. If your bounce rate is high, it could mean that your post doesn’t accurately reflect the event you’re linking to, or even just that your registration page is too confusing or displeasing to use.
With all the other metrics to watch, don’t forget to pay attention to the actual number of sign-ups for your event. Imagine how much more effective your event management could be if you compared sign-ups to impressions and reach, or put them in context with your conversion rate. If your click-through rate is high but your event sign-ups are low, what does that say about your event? A great event manager will ask these hard questions and use the slew of metrics available to back up their answers.
The old adage that you can’t manage what you don’t measure is particularly relevant when it comes to social media metrics. If you’re an event manager, you need to closely pay attention to social media metrics and then make relevant adjustments based on the data.
The formula is simple: Promote > Measure > Adjust > Repeat.
The more you follow this simple formula, the more effective you’ll become at creating and promoting events that resonate with your audience.