Building a Kick-Ass Social Media Dashboard


Posted: January 28, 2013 | B2B Marketing, Social Media

If you are tasked with building a social media dashboard to track your efforts, look no further than this post. I have built many dashboards over the years and as a personal resolution to making my job easier, I decided to cut to the chase and get to the metrics that matter most. That means cutting out the everyday metrics that litter and cloud up the social media manager’s real success story.

Now I am not saying that tracking  followers, fans, sentiment, etc. is not important, but those are the vanity metrics that tend to give social media a bad name. These type of metrics are great indicators but they don’t really tie back to your business bottom line: driving revenue.

With that being said here are the top metrics that I measure here at Marketo on a weekly basis.

Referring Traffic from Social

Google Analytics is a fantastic way to measure how much traffic is being referred to your website from the various social channels. Set up goals based on the actions you want your visitors to complete such as form fill outs, demo requests and free trials. As you boost your social efforts and refine your strategy, you should start to see more referring traffic if your content is resonating.

Conversions from Social

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Set up conversions as goals inside Google Analytics and simply measure the source of your conversions. Is the referral traffic that comes from social converting? If not, then adjust your content strategy, as your content may not be referring folks who meet your buyer profile.

People Talking About Us

Facebook may not have the greatest reporting with insights, but they do give you one wonderful metric that is an easy measure for success. The goal of this number is to track conversations happening around specific pages. This number is pulled from a variety of interactions that can occur on Facebook over a seven day period. It’s basically a current barometer of how much conversation is being generated by a Page on Facebook.

Here’s the exact description from Facebook: Talking About This:

The number of unique people who have created a story about your Page during your selected date range. A story is created when someone:

  • Likes your Page

  • Likes, comments on, or shares your Page post

  • Answers a question you’ve asked

  • Responds to your event

  • Mentions your Page

  • Tags your Page in a photo

  • Checks into or recommends your Place

Share of Voice

In social media, share of voice refers to the number of conversations about your company vs. your competitors/market. The value of online customer and prospect interaction can be tied to the share of voice metric, which I like to call “The Big Picture Show”. The formula for calculating SOV is simple: divide the number of conversations or mentions of your brand by total number of conversations or mentions about other brands in your market.

Share of Voice = Your Mentions / (Total Mentions for Brand+ Competitive Companies/Brands)

Segment brand mentions by social channel to uncover opportunities for improvement. You may find that your efforts in one particular channel are going unnoticed, but excelling in another.

Share of Conversation

Very similar to the Share of Voice metric but instead of total mentions of your brand vs competitors, this focuses more on specific topical conversations. For example, it’s very useful for me to understand how much of the marketing automation conversations taking place online are mentioning Marketo.

The social metrics used to determine success are going to be the ones that make sense for your business and that you can tie back to your marketing bottom line. Building a simple dashboard is an easy way to track and update these metrics on a weekly or monthly basis. You can then monitor trends and set goals for growth based on what’s working. If your metrics are not moving in the right direction or seem to be stalled, try mixing up your messaging and experimenting with different posting times and frequency.

Don’t forget the most important thing about your beautiful new dashboard; do something with the data. Tracking these social metrics is a complete waste of time if you come away without any actionable data or insights to enhance your overall strategy. But that’s another post altogether, so stay tuned.

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  • Donna Duncan

    Hi Jason.

    THanks for sharing this.

    Where would one find “Total Mentions for Competitive Companies/Brands” in order to calculate Share of Voice? Can you give us an example?

  • Joe Chernov

    Good post, valuable insights. Really helpful stuff. I only bring up competition because you essentially name them here. But why do you include LoopFuse and not HubSpot?

  • Kurt Weisenberger

    Thanks Jason. The key takeaway, and I paraphrase, is “Doing something with the data.” Tracking social marketing metrics leads to making data driven strategic decisions. This way we can move forward with deft agility to crush the competition and deliver more Closed Won opps in month, in quarter, and the next, in perpetuity.

  • Jason Miller

    Thanks Joe! This is just a sample board for the blog post.

  • Jason Miller

    Sure thing. You can find those mentions using a free tool such as Social Mention and then calculate SOV and SOC manually or use a more sophisticated tool like Radian 6 (which I used in the above example) which has a widget that does it for you. Jay Baer has a great blog post that explains another way to do it as well:

    Thanks for the comment, hope this helps.

  • Jason Miller

    Well said Kurt! So many people are busy tracking that they forget to take action. In the end, it’s essential to use this data for a competitive edge as you mention. Thanks for the comment!

  • Rob Rohena

    Great post! Thanks for share your knowledge.

  • Bill Van Eron

    Hi Jason, This was a very helpful example. My group will need to build a dashboard that has a couple of dimensions – one external like this example shows and one internal – progress to milestones and stuff several parties enter data on. Is this something you do? If so love to talk.
    Or is there a solution you would suggest? Thanks, Bill

  • Robert Greene

    Very helpful. Thx forsharing.

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  • Valerie Hoecke

    Thanks for the tips. One note: the People Talking About This metric is VERY heavily impacted by your ad spend, since all sponsored stories count as a conversation about the brand as do any unique stories showing up to friends of fnas. I’ve found that the metric can actually obscure organic / fan conversations as a result.

  • Marty Thompson

    Hi Jason,
    You may want to include your mentions in the denominator when calculating SOV.
    Share of Voice = Your Mentions / Total Mentions (Competitive Companies/Brands + Your Mentions).

  • Jason Miller

    Thanks for catching that Marty! You are absolutely correct. Just updated the SOV formula.

  • Jason Miller

    Very good point Valerie. I tend to agree with you, but with the limited metrics that Facebook provides, I trust this one to be the best indicator of engagement. Let’s hope this evolves. Thanks for the comment, very much appreciated.

  • Jason Miller

    Thanks for the comment Robert!

  • Jason Miller

    Hi Bill, this is a dashboard that I build specifically to track our own progress. Marketo plays a much bigger role as it manages all of our campaigns, measures success, and ties it all back to a revenue model. It essentially ties everything together in one platform. If you would be interested in seeing a quick demo or have any additional questions feel free to email me directly at Thanks for the comment.

  • Jason Miller

    Thanks Rob! Appreciate the comment.

  • Timm Elrod

    Thank you for a very informative post. I really appreciate tying these metrics together and a common understanding of their meaning. By the comments, it seems these are “accepted” measures, correct?

  • Jason Miller

    I would say so. I have been building these dashboards for a few years now. These are the metrics that do indeed move the needle. Thanks for the comment.

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  • Casey Carey

    Spot on post Jason.

    We use ViralHeat for SOV, works well and is a little more affordable than R6. A couple of other thoughts/refinements:

    * From a data visualization standpoint, pie charts don’t work well beyond two values. Try using a bar chart ranked from most to least for better understanding by readers.

    * Consider looking at Social Referral as a % of total traffic rather than an absolute number. True you have it shown with total traffic to provide visual context, but as a ratio, it puts it into a more concrete perspective.

    * We also track Engagement Rate which is Total Social Reach / Total Social Interactions. Although is has to be done manually by aggregating data across social sites, this gives us an overview of how effective our social content and programs are being received by the audience.


  • Jason Miller

    Hey Casey! Thanks for chiming in. Great insights for refining the data/ dashboard even more, much appreciated. Big fan of Viral Heat, they have a fantastic product.

  • Mark Twain

    I’ve been using socialbakers, hootsuite and socialkik to increase my followers and fans.

Jason Miller is Senior Manager of Content Marketing at LinkedIn. Previously, Jason was Senior Manager of Social Media at Marketo and focused on optimizing social for lead generation and driving revenue. He is a regular contributor to leading marketing blogs such as Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, and Marketing Profs.

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