It is hard enough running your own business but throw complicated social media metric terms on top of it and you may find yourself a bit overwhelmed! Since social media marketing is an area of expertise here at Dogwood, we thought it might help if we defined some of the metric terms used when looking at marketing analytics. 

What are the Social Media Metric Terms?

When we refer to social media metric terms, we simply mean the lingo on your analytics page. They are a helpful way to understand the demographics, growth or decline, and preferences of your targeted audience. Let’s look at some of the most common social media metric terms.


Impressions in the digital marketing world are simply the number of eyes who saw your content. It could have passed by them as they scrolled their newsfeed when shared by a friend or be part of the natural flow of their scroll. They did not interact at all with the content but did see it. I know you immediately think “Well why did they not interact?” Remember it takes time for your audience to get to know you before they take action. Impressions are great for building brand awareness and getting your business moving. 

Impressions are good for your business because you know your audience has had the potential to get to know you but it is difficult to measure if your goals are met. There is no concrete way to know if someone saw your content and then later on interacted with your business based on that content — well I guess unless they tell you outright!

Social Engagement

Engagement is the metric term for the number of times someone in your audience clicked, liked, commented, or shared your content. In other words, they saw your content and took action. This action could mean clicking a link to your website, liking the content which then shows up in others’ news feeds or commenting on your content (and hopefully you commented back to create meaningful interaction.) More impressions usually lead to more engagement and more engagement then usually leads to more impressions and goals met!

Clicks to Website

Knowing how many users actually clicked on your link is a great measurement of income production. Whenever you click on a link shared on social media or an ad you may see in searching google, that click is recorded. Your website analytics can then tell you what pages were visited and how much time was spent on each page. Knowing that the longer a person spends visiting your website the more likely they are to take an action that makes the click rate a great marketing tool. 


The number of shares of your social media content is simply that- how many times another user re-shared the content that you posted. Shares are important because when a person shares your content, your content is then visible to even more users that you may not have had access to before. For example, when I share a post from Dogwood on my personal profile on Facebook, all of my friends that may or may not like or follow our page have the chance to see our content. 

Comparing Social Media Metric Terms

One thing that is good to track through social media metrics is how your content is performing over time. We deliver reports that compare each month to the previous month for our clients to show whether their impressions and engagement rate are rising, falling, or remaining steady and then adjust accordingly. We can also compare this data over quarters, years, or whatever time frame we have data for.

You do have to place into account what is happening in your audience’s life away from the internet. For example, often in the summer months people are spending more time outside or traveling so they are not online as much as they may be during other months. This could cause a drop in impression and engagement but does not necessarily mean your content is lacking.

During the Covid-19 shutdown, engagement and impressions increased dramatically for that time of year as so many more people were online because of canceled events. All that to say, it is a great thing to monitor your social media metrics, but don’t panic unless you see a steady decline in your numbers. 

The Bottom Line

We know that it does not matter how many people have eyes on your content or click the link you share unless you are reaching your goals. If you are thinking about paying for social media ads or google ads you need to know where to start. No one wants to waste money with no return. When choosing what to spend on digital marketing, think about the end goal. What’s the win for you? These numbers should help in determining how much you invest. Our goal in social media marketing for our clients is to make sure that your ad spends turn into profit for you. 

We create and manage content for many of our clients. We also simply manage the ad setup and monitoring for others. As a business owner, setting up and managing your content may not be high on your priority list or may be too time-consuming. If that’s you, we are here to help! Reach out and let’s start a conversation. 

You might also learn from Lauren’s post “A Social Media Platforms Crash Course.” and Brian shares a great post with a valued Tip on Increasing Your Facebook Likes also.

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