2 Social Media Metrics You Need to Be Tracking

Clint Rogers


Clint Rogers


November 26, 2021

2 Social Media Metrics You Need to Be Tracking

Social media has completely changed the way we make an impact in the church and nonprofit world.

While there was once a time that word of mouth and print-based marketing sufficed to get our name out there, these methods no longer hold a candle to the influence of digital media.

Social media is an intuitive tool. It makes communication simple and allows us to reach people we could never have reached with traditional media. The biggest perk? It’s completely free unless you want to utilize some “a la carte” items such as paid advertising or hiring a professional social media manager.

With every means of marketing, though, it is important to evaluate which methods are working for you. Certain social channels are not meant to be used by every organization, but you never know which ones work for you if you don’t at least try them out!

An important part of the process when tracking success is diving into your social media analytics. In layman’s terms, this process is simply analyzing your social media data to track online engagement. There are many different metrics you can analyze to get a good idea of the impact of your content. Here are some that are specific to the social media platform Instagram:

  • Like
  • Comment
  • Shares
  • Saves
  • Profile visits

These metrics all give you an idea of the quality of your online content. However, each metric varies in its value and tells a story about your content. 

For example, likes used to be the “golden star” of the Instagram world, but their value just isn’t the same as they used to be.

A “like” is passive. Liking a photo is a mindless process; for Instagram, it’s just a double tap of your finger. It is an engagement metric that doesn’t take a lot of time or care on the user’s part. It may just be a byproduct of them scrolling endlessly through their feed.

Comments are beginning to fall under a similar category of passivity. While some accounts are excellent at engaging their audience through conversation in the comments, even this metric is not a top priority to measure. However, keeping up in your comment section has innumerable benefits and does keep your audience engaged quite well!

But there are two other social media metrics, specifically on Instagram, that are important for you to be tracking: shares and saves.

Shares – Scattering the Seed

If getting a “like” on an Instagram post is a gold star, someone sharing your content is the gold medal!

The act of sharing, first and foremost, speaks something very important: someone found your content interesting or captivating enough to share it with their followers. You succeeded in sharing compelling design, which is the very first level of digital engagement! Kudos to you.

Shares are valuable because they take content (that once only reached your direct followers) and places it in front of the eyes of an entirely new audience. Sharing can be done in a variety of different ways, each of unique value:

  • Direct messages
  • Instagram Story 
  • Text message
  • Outside apps and platforms (Facebook, Pinterest, etc.)

When you add in the option to share content outside of Instagram directly, it opens up the possibility of engagement with an even broader audience.

With the ever-changing Instagram algorithm, people aren’t seeing your content as much as they once were. But when people share your content, it plays well with the algorithm and places it at a higher priority.

Shares get your content out there to endless new audiences and increase the likelihood of other types of engagement such as likes, comments, and the second vital social media metric: saves.

Saves – Intentionally remembering

In the grand scheme of Instagram’s lifetime, saves are a relatively new feature. This feature allows you to bookmark particular videos and photos on Instagram for you to refer to at a later date. So instead of screenshotting a great post and losing it in the sea of photos on your camera roll, you can easily save it to your account.

Within the saves feature, you can also collate the content into organized folders and categories. This feature is similar to the primary feature of Pinterest: the Pinterest board. 

Why should you be measuring the number of saves on your Instagram posts? 

Let’s go back to the algorithm. At the writing of this blog, saves are currently the #1 most important metric in the Instagram algorithm. Saves increase the likelihood of your post appearing to more people and increases the chances of it being featured on the explore page.

Aside from the quantifiable benefits, saves speak loudly to the value of your content similarly to how shares do. They show that someone was engaged enough by your content to decide to remember it for later. They were so captivated that they wanted to make sure they could look at/read your content later.

The types of content people save can vary from person to person, but educational or inspirational content is often the type of content that is likely to be saved. This is why it is important to be great with design and intentional about the copy you utilize in your posts, videos, and captions.

Listen, we aren’t saying that if you increase your number of shares and saves, you’re going to be the next big thing on Instagram. But there is immense (and quantifiable) value to increasing these two types of engagement.

Your organization and the message it carries matter. Getting your content out there is helpful for your overall growth, but it is also vitally important to spread the message of hope to a hopeless world. In addition, it opens up the possibility of dedicated advocates of your mission who want to partner with you to do good in the world.

If you want to learn more about increasing engagement, we highly recommend reading our blog Understanding The 5 Levels Of Digital Engagement and the five blogs explaining each level that follow.

We also would love to speak to you about how to ignite growth and set your engagement on fire! Our design and social teams have all the necessary tools to get your feed looking fire and boosting your influence online. Contact us today to get started!

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