There are three social media metrics that Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist deems essential, which I also find pretty crucial. Namely, the conversation rate, amplification rate, applause rate and lastly, the economic value. In my previous blog article titled “How to track and calculate the social media conversation rate”, I discussed the conversation rate in detail.
Since the metrics discussed in this article are related to the conversation rate, let me give you a bit of context about the conversation rate. The person who coined this metric, Avinash Kaushik explains that it is a ratio of comments per post (or video or tweet or pin etc.) to overall Followers (or Page Likes).
What makes the conversation rate great is that it helps uncover how much of your followers find it necessary to add their voice to the content you post, which gives you a view of how many of your followers are aware of the content you share on social media.
Some people tend to confuse the conversation rate with the conversion rate, which is totally different and doesn’t even fall under awareness metrics but rather the conversion metrics. Where-else on the one hand, the conversation rate focuses on conversations on social media and comparing those to overall followers, the conversion rate, on the other hand, is mainly focused on, well, you guessed it, “conversions” basically how your social media followers convert to prospects, leads or actual customers.
The conversion rate measures the number of followers who, after being aware of your content on social media, engage with it and then click on a link (CTA) in your post and take action on a page on your website – this act of taking action is called converting and the conversion can either be any of the following, newsletter subscription, content download, webinar registrations etc. depending on your marketing objectives. And then, to get the conversion rate, the followers who visit your page and take action are divided against that page’s total visitors. A high conversion rate means your content is valuable and compelling to the target audience.
Besides the conversion rate, other conversion metrics are pretty crucial for any digital marketing and social media professional. In my previous article titled “How to track and calculate the 7 most crucial conversion metrics”, I go in-depth in discussing these metrics and offer ways to track and calculate them for easy reporting.
In this article, I will be discussing metrics that are as important as the conversation rate and relate to it quite easily, and these metrics are the applause rate and amplification rate.
What is the social media applause rate?
The applause rate measures the percentage of your followers that applaud your brand or the content you post, which is calculated by looking at the number of approval actions (e.g., likes) a post receives relative to your total number of followers.
When a follower likes, loves or favours the content you post, they acknowledge that it’s valuable and applaud your brand for sharing valuable content. Viewing the percentage of your audience that finds your content useful should motivate the content you post moving forward.
If you are wondering, how does one then calculate this applause rate? Since, in the writing of this post, there aren’t a lot of social media management tools that measure and calculate the applause rate; But do not worry because I’ve got you.
How to track the social media applause rate?
STEP 1: Add up the total approval actions a post received throughout a reporting period.
STEP 2: Divide that number by your total followers and multiply by 100 to get your applause rate percentage.
It’s really, that simple and straightforward.
The formula for calculating the social media applause rate
What is the social media amplification rate?
The amplification rate is the rate at which your followers take your content and share it through their networks with their followers. Basically, the ratio of shares per post to the number of overall followers.
Avinash Kaushik, illustrates the amplification rate in the following manner, if a brand has 57k followers on Twitter, they are limited to those followers. Even if every person who follows the brand reads every tweet, the brand can only reach 57k people on Twitter.
But the size of the brand’s second level network (the unique people who follow the people who follow the brand) might be 1.5 mils. Then the brand’s potential “reach” turns not to be 57k, but 1.5 mil!
Amplification rate helps measure the rate followers take your content and share it through their network, thus amplifying your brand’s reach beyond its followers.
Eddie Shleyner, notes that the higher your amplification rate means that your followers are willing to associate with your brand, hence sharing your content with their audience.
How to track the social media amplification rate?
STEP 1: Add up the number of times a post is shared (e.g., retweeted, repined, regrammed) during a reporting period.
STEP 2: Divide that number by your total number of followers and multiply by 100 to get your amplification rate percentage.
The formula for calculating the social media amplification rate
Who is Avinash Kaushik?
The metrics discussed in this article and my other article focused on the conversation rate were introduced by Avinash Kaushik. Who is Avinash, you ask? He is the co-Founder of Market Motive Inc and is well known for his role as Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google. His prior professional experience includes key roles at Intuit, DirecTV, Silicon Graphics in the US & DHL in Saudi Arabia.
Through his blog, Occam’s Razor, and his best selling books, Web Analytics: An Hour A Day and Web Analytics 2.0, Avinash has become recognised as an authoritative voice on how marketers, executives teams and industry leaders can leverage data to reinvent their digital existence fundamentally.
His motive behind the conversation rate, amplification rate and applause rate were to propose a framework we as digital marketing and social media professionals can use to measure success using metrics that matter for one simple reason: “They actually measure if you are participating in the channel in an optimal fashion.”
Because the ultimate goal of a brand being on social media is to answer the following questions for your brand;
- Did you grab attention?
- Did you deliver delight?
- Did you cause people to want to share?
- Did you initiate a discussion?
- Did you cause people to take action?
- Did your participation deliver economic value?
Because what matters is everything that happens after you post.
Avinash goes on to stress that “unlike all others, this channel (social media) has the word social in it! Social as in talk and listen and discuss.” Because the purpose of a brand to participate in social media shouldn’t only be to drive business outcomes.
Conversation Rate, Amplification Rate, and Applause Rate are three simple measures that get you to focus on the right thing from a social media participation perspective, help you understand how well you are doing, and quantify the business impact.