We’ve talked in previous posts about how to measure return on investment (ROI) and the concept of return on engagement (ROE), monitoring the tangible effects of social media buzz. But how do you do this? And where do you start?

Every company’s social media goals are different, and the reasons for measuring engagement will be different, too. Even so, here are three metrics you may want to consider when measuring social media engagement for your brand:

1.) Avg. # of comments per update
Whether it’s a blog post or a Facebook status update, consider looking at the number of comments as a way to measure fan interest and engagement. If you’re not getting much response from your posts or status updates and it’s a goal of yours, maybe it’s time to take a look at why. Do you finish off your posts with a question or discussion point? Are your posts challenging, colorful or incisive? What can you do to get the conversation started?

2.) # of retweets per topic
If you’re trying to build engagement on Twitter, you want to have content that is sharable. Retweets aren’t the sole metric of Twitter success, but if you want your brand and message to have reach, than the retweet is key. The more your fans share your message, the more your social media audience grows.

3.)Twitter/Facebook to website clickthrough rate

If you’re using social media as a strategy to build traffic to your website, then looking at your social media clickthrough rate is essential. You can track clicks through using a URL shortener like bit.ly or by using web analytics tools like Clicky or Google Analytics. Just because your fans find your Facebook content engaging doesn’t necessarily mean they are taking the time to visit your website as well. Give your social media fans a reason to visit often by linking to new and updated website content, whether it’s a new blog post from staff or a new product for sale.

For all of these metrics, the best way to get real insight from these numbers is to look at trends, not just isolated daily numbers.

Keep an Excel spreadsheet of your engagement metrics, and then cross-reference that with a calendar of your social media campaign tactics. That way you’ll be able to better track whether it was your cool Facebook contest from last month or your hot viral video from two weeks ago that delivered more buzz or traffic to your website.

How does your company measure engagement via social media?—KEIDRA D. CHANEY