Using social media to drive traffic and product for a brand is the ultimate goal that many companies keep at the forefront of their business plans. This cannot be done, however, unless the Return On Investment or ROI is measured accurately so that you will be able to see just how much value your social media engagement has. As of recently, Google Analytics has released a set of Social reports that greatly help with this challenge. This new lead in measuring social media via Google Analytics legitimizes the idea that social media does indeed have a strong effect on ROI. This along with other strategic tactics can be used to best measure your ROI and lead to the most success for your company if done correctly.
Measuring the value that comes from social media both on and offline has always been a difficult task. Google Analytics, however, has fixed this problem with its newly released Social reports that will measure social media and combine both business metrics and social metrics. The Social reports will give you an analysis of the conversion value that your social networks produce and the monetary value that they bring to your business. When you publish content to social media outlets, Google Analytics will be able to tell you which articles are receiving the most engagement and the most buzz. According to, Phil Mui, the Group Product Manager for Google Analytics, these new Social reports will help businesses to do the following:
▪ Identify the full value of traffic coming from social sites and measure how they lead to direct conversions or assist in future conversions
▪ Understand social activities happening both on and off of your site to help you optimize user engagement and increase social key performance indicators (KPIs)
▪ Make better, more efficient data-driven decisions in your social media marketing programs
Along with the groundbreaking Social reports from Google Analytics, there are also other techniques to bolster your ROI measuring in terms of social media. Hal Thomas, a content manager at BFG Communications, reveals a few approaches of measuring ROI that will help take your social media value to the next level. His first approach is to consider social media a vehicle not the destination. Social Media should be used as a way of getting to success. Marketers need to capitalize on customers via social media and they need “to take their fans and turn them from passive fans to transacting customers,” Thomas advises. This way, the ROI can be measured based on specific activities within social media, not just by the general use of it.
The next approach Thomas discusses is to apply what you can learn from each segment of your social media outlet. Sometimes, according to Thomas, comparing interaction levels can work better than comparing straight numbers. Look to see which types of posts followers respond to the most positively and in the highest volumes. Categorize these types of posts and increase them as necessary.
His third approach is to measure metrics of all media venues. When measuring the success of social media, first figure out exactly how social media is being used within the company and then measure the success from particular metrics that are relevant to whichever social media outlet your organization is using. For example, Koka Sexton, Director of Social Strategy at InsideView, uses these Twitter metrics to easily track the successful performance of a company’s Twitter use. After tracking the information correctly, these analytics will better help you understand how to optimize your social media use:
▪ Clicks: How many times are your updates getting clicked through.
▪ Updates made: How many updates are you sharing.
▪ Retweets/shares on Facebook: How many times has your content been shared online.
▪ Unique mentions: How many NEW people have mentioned you online.
▪ Influential mentions: How many people of influence have shared your content to their networks.
The point of measuring ROI in terms of social media, according to Eric Wheeler, CEO at 33Across Inc., is ”about understanding the social influence of your own loyal consumers. What are these people interested in, what are they actually buying, and how can they be turned into a word-of-mouth marketing powerhouse?” If your company is already using some form of social media then the next step is to utilize the Social reports from Google Analytics. It is only a little bit of an extra effort to utilize the right tools to measure success and inevitably bring about more success.