Social Media Metrics: What to Look For and Why

Figuring out social media so it feels less like a butt. Maybe it will be butt goals, even.

Kitfox Games
Feb 24 · 6 min read

By Victoria Tran, Commnications Director at Kitfox Games, an indie studio in Montreal. Currently working on Boyfriend Dungeon, Lucifer Within Us and publishing Mondo Museum and Dwarf Fortress.


Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Discord, Reddit, TikTok, whatever.

We’ve all heard we should be on social media because it’s good for ~game marketing~ but… Do you actually know why? What are you looking for? Are we suffering on these hellsites with no purpose? Is life meaningless? WHY DO — okay sorry.

We’re going to talk a little about basic metrics you should look out for on social media. But! Don’t get caught up in JUST measuring metrics all the time. They’ll detract from your work if you become engulfed in them and/or give you a lot of anxiety if you just focus on numbers. And remember, numbers aren’t everything.

They’re for reference, not law.

Alright, let’s go!

1. Engagement 💍

What it is

Likes, Reactions, Upvotes, Retweets, Comments, etc.

But also, it’s the people talking ABOUT you and conversing with you. The more “energy” the engagement takes (e.g. A Retweet is worth more than a Like, a Reply is worth more than a Retweet), the stronger the sentiment is.

Why it matters

More engagement doesn’t guarantee success, but it helps manage expectations on how excited (or not) your community is for something. It’s hard to say what a GOOD engagement rate is as I haven’t personally seen any video game specific stats, but you can always compare it to your own past performances to measure what does well or not.

2019 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report

For example, when we first announced Boyfriend Dungeon in 2017, it was a bit of a market test to gauge how well people would receive it. (At the time, the dating sim “boom” hadn’t quite yet occurred so we were nervous about such a left field concept.)

Original tweet here

The engagement on Twitter FAR surpassed anything we ever had for any of our other game announcements so… it was a hit! So we decided to invest more of our budget into it. Of course, the social media response wasn’t the ONLY reasoning for working on the game further, but it certainly was a confidence booster.

2. Sentiment 💕

What it is

What your community likes/dislikes about your game, but also where they might be confused about a certain concept.

A reaction to our Lucifer Within Us announcement, which might indicate we need to clarify the game’s core gameplay loop in future trailers.

Why it matters

Social media is especially good at helping you gain context on specific aspects on your game.

If there’s a bug or frustrating feature in your game, you can figure out certain things about it depending on how many people mention it on social. How big is the impact? How big is it in relation to other issues? How strong is the feeling? Where are people talking about it? Who is affected? Remember not everyone is going to tag your account specifically, so make sure you’re tracking casual mentions of the game too.

3: Influencers 🗣️

What it is

Not just *actual* influencers, but people who are your biggest fans!

Why it matters

Identifying your biggest fans, no matter what their “follower” size is, incredibly useful for any game studio. Word of mouth is incredibly valuable, and social helps you find them and stay in touch. What are they excited about? What got them excited about your game? Where have they seen your game being talked about? But even outside of that, you’ll be able to make your community a better place if you can identify people you can trust in it. Whether that’s for beta testing, spreading the word, moderation, or even fun meet ups during conventions.

4: Triage 🚑

What it is

Quickly identifying, responding, and mitigating a problem from a disgruntled player, if needed.

Why it matters

Issues that could potentially blow up into a big deal can be mitigated by proactively being on social. Speedily dealing with issues well keeps people happy and they super appreciate it! This also causes a nice effect where they’ll feel even more positive about the studio if the interaction was particularly helpful/good. Sometimes triage can even reveal things that people don’t write about in more traditional bug reports (e.g. a complaint about text being too small to read).

5: Best Content ⭐️

What it is

What messages and content attracts the most engagement and where.

Why it matters

Finding what the public latches onto — or doesn’t — can influence how you market your game and it’s messaging too! Maybe you think the coolest thing about your game arethe precise shooting mechanics, but what really attracts people to it initially are the 100 different types of bows & arrows there are. Or maybe, you realize people on Twitter don’t really care about seeing video content of your game, but people on Instagram do! So it wouldn’t make sense to put ALL the time and effort into videos if it’s not working.

Play around with your content, test what attracts who, see which social media platforms like what content. Refine your message overtime when you see what sticks.

6: Best Channels 📺

What it is

Measuring conversion rates on each social media channel to see which one is worth spending time on. (Also known as ROI if you wanna get professional about it.)

Kitfox’s focus

Why it matters

Look, just having lots of eyeballs isn’t enough. You also need it to make an impact on your game! See which social channel converts the most people into actually clicking your link or buying your game. Focus your efforts where it matters — we have limited time! In general, a good social media conversion rate is 2–5%, but this isn’t a game specific stat. So compare it with your own benchmarks!

7: Location 🌏

What it is

Checking geography stats to see where your content is reaching and performing best in.

Why it matters

Knowing where your game is popular or has a good reach in helps you figure out where you should start branching out next. Popular in Japan? Time to localize! Reach out to more regional outlets! Maybe go to a convention there! Maximize those PROFIT$!

Conclusion 📘

Basically social strategies go beyond just “trying to go viral”. A good social media marketer is able to identify the metrics that matter, actually make sense of the mess of numbers they can be, and do something with them. It’s not just a side job you relegate to an intern because they know the latest meeeeemeeeees.

Social isn’t the be-all and end-all of your marketing strategy (and in fact, conversion can be quite low), BUT you should know what to look out for! Especially if you have limited time. And even if you don’t have the bandwidth to track all these things regularly, even just keeping these metrics in mind are beneficial in learning more about your game and its marketing.

Hope this helped.

Kitfox Games

Written by

Games with dangerous, intriguing worlds to explore. Currently: Boyfriend Dungeon, Lucifer Within Us, Dwarf Fortress, Mondo Museum • kitfoxgames.com

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