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Paid social and organic social KPI basics

Paid social is one of the most effective tools when it comes to advertising a product or a brand. However, companies can sometimes forget to nurture their organic social, which can dampen the effectiveness of the paid social efforts. This report will cover the measurable KPI’s of paid social and organic social, and how to most effectively target consumers at every stage of the marketing funnel.

What is paid social 

Paid social is essentially any type of social media advertising which costs money. This type of advertising is used by companies that pay a social media platform a pre-arranged sum of money, to promote their adverts beyond their followers. The most common type of paid social advertising is cost-per-click (CPC). This is where a company will agree an upfront amount with a social media platform, such as Facebook, to present the adverts to potential target customers. The company will only pay Facebook based on the number of times the advert was clicked on.

KPIs for paid social media

KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator, and these are metrics used to measure the success of a campaign. A singular metric, or KPI, on its own will not tell a company how a campaign is performing. Instead, it’s best to work with multiple KPIs to measure success and see if targets are being met. The most common KPI’s for paid social include conversion rate, cost per click, post reach and page visits.

Conversion rate

Conversion rate is how often a consumer completes a goal. Measurable goals could be signing up for the newsletter or purchasing a product, for example. The higher the conversion rate, the more often consumers are following through to complete that goal. Conversion rate can be calculated by total impressions divided by the number of goal completions

Cost-per-click (CPC)

Cost-per-click is when an advertiser agrees on a pre-set fee with a social media platform provider which is to be paid based on the number of times a consumer clicks on their ad. Tracking CPC allows companies to forecast their marketing budget and can be calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the total ad spend.

Post reach 

Post reach is a measurement of how many times an ad has been viewed. By measuring reach, companies can understand more about their target audiences – how many people are seeing the social channels and how wide the further targetable market is. If reach is low, companies must reassess their audience targeting. Whereas if reach is high, it shows that the ads are resonating with the target audience and should be analysed for future campaign success.

Page visits

Page visits are how many consumers are clicking a link though a social media ad to be redirected to a that company’s website. By tracking the page visits through specific links, companies can see how well content is performing, and will give indications on the sales funnel as to how to shorten the consumer purchasing journey.

Organic social KPIs

There are differences between paid social and organic social KPI’s. There are subcategories within organic social media KPIs that fall under reach and engagement.

Reach KPIs for social media

Reach is an umbrella term for how many people the business’s social media accounts are put in front of. The potential market reach can also be measured within this KPI.

Follower count

Follower count is arguably the easiest metric to track, as it is simply the number of followers a social media channel has. The number of followers is a great metric as it gives marketers an idea of how many people are invested in the brand and its content/


Impressions tell marketers how often a post or social media profile has been seen by consumers. However, it’s not necessarily the most accurate metric to measure if you’re looking to further your audience reach. For example, one user can see your ad three times on different occasions, and this would be measured as three impressions. Another thing to be mindful of is that the impression metric doesn’t measure whether a user engaged or even saw your content. Instead, it will just give you an idea of how many times your ad was served which can be really useful for understanding more about how good your ad content is.

Post Reach

Post reach indicates the number of individual accounts who saw a post or profile. In comparison to impressions, if one account saw a post three times, it would only equal one reach as opposed to three impressions. Therefore, post reach is a lower value than the impressions value. Reach can usually be calculated by dividing the number of followers by the number of impressions.

Web traffic

Web traffic is a measure of how many times a consumer clicked from the social media page on to the website. This metric is good for measuring how well a campaign is performing and how well posts directing consumers to the website are performing. The benefits of tracking web traffic include tracking blog success on social media, the success of social media sales, and campaign success.

Share of voice

This is the measure of how visible a company is compared to its competitors. This is measured by keyword and hashtag performance. Tools such as BOSCO™ can be used to analyse how many times a company appears when relevant keywords and hashtags are searched for compared to their competitors.

Engagement KPIs for social media

Engagement on social media is extremely important to measure. It is the measure of how many times a post is shared, liked, clicked or commented on. If social media posts are getting no engagements, it’s a sure-fire sign that the content isn’t good enough and isn’t reaching the right people at the right time.


Clicks are the number of times the social media post was clicked on. For example, on Twitter, it could be as simple as clicking on the tweet to see the attached photos. On an Instagram post, it could be the number of times a post was clicked on to see further links and tags.


The number of likes a post gets is a valuable metric to track and is also one of the easiest. The number of likes a company’s post gets is a good indicator of how followers and a wider catchment of consumers feel towards the post. If they liked the post and are interested in the content, the likelihood of them engaging in the future is pretty high.


The number of shares a social media post or profile receives is a great indicator of the engagement levels of consumers. Shares tend to mean that the content was of value to the consumer, so much so that they decided to share it to their platforms and networks. Typically, the higher the share count, the higher the chance of the post going viral.


Comments are a good way of measuring engagement and is a perfect opportunity for brands to interact directly with their audience. Comments can provide great indication of how consumers feel about the post and can be valuable sources of feedback. Comments can be measured per post or as a total sum, and if companies regularly reply to comments, this will further boost engagement from the consumer.


This is how many times the company page is mentioned by another account, be that in a story, post or comment. The more mentions a company receives, the higher the engagement is.

Profile visits

Measuring profile visits will give an idea of how many times the social media platforms are accessed by consumers and give companies a reminder to keep social channels up to date.

Making a paid social funnel

A marketing funnel is a descriptive term to visualise the consumer purchasing decision journey. As paid social can be confusing, creating a marketing funnel can be a useful tool for helping marketers understand what content to send out to consumers, depending on where in the funnel they are.

Awareness level

At this part of the paid social funnel, a marketer’s focus is to drive awareness of the products and pages. This requires an understanding of the target market and what content will attract the right audiences. Here, marketers should be assessing the marketing budget and producing adverts and content that can be published on a PPC basis, to make consumers aware of the brand.

The use of social media stories to drive awareness has proven to be a highly valuable tool. Due to the low cost-per-view rate, a high target audience can be reached. However, marketers need to ensure that the advert is optimised to hit these audiences effectively. Studies have shown that consumers will decide within the first five seconds of seeing an advert whether they are interested, meaning that if company name and the relevant problems and needs aren’t included, a significant portion of target audience could be lost.

The relevant KPIs to measure success of awareness driven content include site visits and views.

Engagement level

The next stage of the funnel that consumers enter is engagement. Often the marketer’s goal here is to increase website traffic and engagement via social channels. If marketers truly understand their target audience, they can release content that will drive engagement amongst potential consumers, for example shares, tags and comments. Increasing the audience network comes with the prospect of increasing website traffic at a lower cost-per-click.

Conversion level

The final part of the funnel is encouraging consumers to convert into a purchase. To do this, marketers must gather all the data they have on the consumers to target them appropriately. By using PPC adverts that offer perceived added value to the consumer, for example, a deal, could encourage them to convert. By using platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, consumers that are already interested in the product or similar products will be targeted, creating a stronger chance for consumers to convert. Producing advertising content that provides a clear call to action, a photo of the product, the price and a description, will leave consumers feeling informed and should boost conversions.



Phoebe Scholtens - Modo25
Phoebe Scholtens
Phoebe Scholtens - Modo25
Phoebe Scholtens

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