As our latest social report shows, 94% of digital consumers aged 16-64 now have an account on at least one social platform, while 98% have visited/used one within the last month.

As social media usage continues to grow, these platforms are increasingly influencing revenue and sales, playing a more important role than ever in every stage of the consumer journey.

But which metrics really matter, and how can brands optimize their approach to each?

1. Reach

Reach measures how far a message or conversation has spread. This metric gives you a good idea of potential audience size by measuring how far your content is disseminating and among which people.

On Facebook, for example, reach can be measured in terms of how many people follow your brand and therefore have the potential to see your posts. On Twitter, it may be the number of impressions or how many times a conversation has been viewed.

Understanding more about your target audience’s online behaviors can help you expand this reach among the right people.  

How Chevrolet Used Insight to Improve their Reach

Paying close attention to the growing trend of video taking over social media, Chevrolet decided to tap into this insight for the launch of its new product in 2016. The US car manufacturer used Facebook Live to stream the unveiling of its new electric 2017 Bolt EV model at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Becoming the first automaker to use the social network’s recently launched feature, the 25-minute clip earned over 58,000 views. This shows how simple trends can help you identify where to focus your efforts to boost your reach.

Reminder: Stay on top of the latest consumer trends to ensure you’re investing in the right platforms and content.

2. Engagement

While reach is the first consideration for brands, engagement goes beyond this, measuring how people are actually interacting with your brand. On Twitter, this might be the number of people retweeting your content, while on Facebook it could be the number of people liking or commenting on your post. These metrics reveal how many people have been prompted to act in some way by your content.

Having high reach but low engagement shows you’re doing something wrong – people aren’t listening / what you’re saying isn’t resonating.

The good news is that audience profiling solutions now give you the tools to shape an impactful message around the people you’re targeting.

Why Tiffany Invested in Snapchat

Our research shows 40% of 16-24 year-olds are Snapchat users. Luxury brands often struggle to tap into younger audiences, but last July, Tiffany became the first jeweller to create its own sponsored ‘lens’ templates on Snapchat messages.

It was part of the jewellery brand’s #LoveNotLike campaign, promoting its entry-level ‘Return to Tiffany Love’ collection. The lens was available for 24 hours and invited users in the US, Italy and Australia to layer ‘filters’ – such as animated white and Tiffany-blue hearts – over their pictures and videos and share them with friends.

Tiffany reported that millions of users played with the filters for more than 20 seconds, demonstrating strong engagement with the brand.

Accessing data like this that shows how each platform’s latest features are being received by your target audience can help you fuel more engagement.

Reminder: Creating a message that moves means profiling your audience with in-depth insights revealing the truths that hit home.

3. Conversion

Depending on your goals, social media conversion can mean a number of different things. It might mean driving leads, conversations or brand mentions, or it might mean making a sale.

Brands can measure their social media success by setting conversion points throughout the acquisition funnel, for example, moving people from viewing content to following a page, to engaging with that content and finally signing up for a free trial of the product or service.

Using data to understand what the target customer needs at each stage of the consumer journey – whether it’s inspiration, advice or product information, for example – enables brands to deliver the right solution, at the right time.

Why Nike Took to Instagram

Nike is a good example of a brand that’s clearly drawing on the latest research to boost conversions. Our statistics show that four out of 10 Instagrammers are Nike-buying millennials – one of the sportswear company’s target audiences.

Such findings have prompted Nike to announce that it will start selling some of its products via Instagram, in an effort to convert the younger buyers it knows hang out on the platform and have a strong intent to buy.

Reminder: Be where your consumers are and make it easy to convert.

Know Who You’re Targeting & Why

Knowing exactly who you’re targeting and why is the key to getting social right. As our data shows, different platforms appeal to different audiences, and these audiences and trends continually shift, as does the way they interact in each space.

Audience profiling means getting to the root of who these people are, going far beyond demographics to reveal the unique qualities, interests, attitudes and perceptions that your advertising can tap into.

Identifying the metrics that match your objectives, and using detailed insight to supercharge your results, there’s simply no telling what you can achieve.

You’ve read our blog, now see our platform

Every business has questions about its audiences, GWI has answers. Powered by consistent, global research, our platform is an on-demand window into their world.