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Social Media ROI: Track it!

6 Jul, 2011 McKell Naegle

As a business, you need to track the Effectiveness of your investment in Social Media–both time and money.

So, how do you do that? Lunarpages offers some great content on this . . .

1: Track your Social Media Efforts (Consistently and Accurately)

You’ll want to keep careful track of your various campaigns for accurate reporting results. Google campaign tracking is capable of using 5 different marketing dimensions:

* Source
* Medium
* Term
* Content
* Campaign

It’s important to identify your links so you know where they’re coming from and why you’re getting the results you are!

Once you can see the results of both your direct social media efforts and the results of third parties that backlink to your sites, you’ll be able to replicate and redouble your efforts with a more informed strategy!

2: Consider Last Click Transactions from Social Media Sites

Social media’s value can’t be measured based solely on last click transactions, so you’ll need to complete a couple of more steps to ensure you get great data.

3: Consider Data from Social Media Assisted Transactions

Although its use is currently limited to the beta version, Google Analytics tools for tracking these types of transactions will be invaluable for the entrepreneur attempting to gauge the effectiveness of social media campaigns. This tool allows you to go beyond the last click and determine a referral to your site within the last 30 days.

Now you’ll have two great segments of data to compare: Last click transactions as well as social media assisted transactions from the last month.

This data alone, however, doesn’t take into account the benefits that social media gives to your business, either directly or indirectly. Remember, brand recognition and word of mouth are just as important as page visits when it comes to conversions.

4: Record Social Media Influence That Occurs Off Site

By adding a couple of easy-to-answer questions (such as drop-downs) to your checkout process, you can collect information that can be recorded in Google Analytics and used to analyze social media efforts that may not come in the form of last click or social media assisted transactions.

Ask your customers what most influenced their decision to purchase, or which social media sites influenced their purchasing decisions. Many decisions to purchase can be driven by social media, but not necessarily result in click-throughs to your site. This happens when a customer searches using keywords or your company’s name some time after having heard about you through a social media outlet. Google Analytics allows you to set both transactional and non-transactional goals so you can get a better perspective on what social media marketing is doing for you and your business.

Social media sites are here to stay. But just as ignoring them can be damaging to your business, so can attempting to use social media marketing without properly assessing its effectiveness. Using Google Analytics and following the 4 steps described here will get you on the way to effectively measuring your social media investment.

Check out Fast Company’s article on tracking ROI on social media campaigns HERE.

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