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How to measure success on social media

There is no point doing anything on social media if you aren’t looking to get results. Whilst this may sound complicated it’s actually pretty simple. A six-step process is all you need to measure success.


Set goals

If you haven’t yet set goals for your social media strategy, then do it now. Whether you want people to campaign for you, fundraise or volunteer be specific about how social media can help you and how you will measure it. Don’t forget that your goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound (SMART). For more on this read our article on How to develop a social media strategy.


Know how the goals support your organisational strategy

It can be tempting with social media to measure everything, and it is much better to track four to five things which are the acid test of whether your organisation is performing or not. If you need to cherry pick your goals prioritise the ones which will help progress your organisational strategy. 


Choose the right measurement tools

Many of the main social media networks now have their own analytics, including Facebook Insights and Twitter analytics. You should also look at how much traffic is coming to your website via social media and what people are doing as a result. You can set up goals in Google Analytics to track the latter. You may need to measure both on and offline, for example if you promote a free event on social media ask delegates on the day who was motivated to come by social media.


Work with IT

You may find that you need to work closely with colleagues in IT, who might have a different approach to comms and digital. The best way to tackle this is to reach agreement on what you want to achieve together and set goals jointly.


Avoid vanity metrics

With social media it can be very tempting to share the big numbers or the ones that make your team look best. Ask yourself if they are honestly the best way to show how your charity is moving towards its goals. It can be easy to get fixated on follower growth, but if other measures of success (e.g. fundraising) are not progressing as well, something is not working. That is why it is best to measure both on and offline metrics (see above).



Think about how your reporting could encourage your board or management team to support social media. This doesn’t mean just show them the data that makes you look good. Instead, tell them the story. Share what key terms mean, take them through the campaign and be honest about what has and hasn’t worked, and where you can go from here on social media.

Further information

How to get buy-in for social media.

A guide to ROI on social media.


Page last edited Jul 10, 2017 History

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