4 Ways Your Company Can Effectively Measure the Effects of Social Media

Social media is rapidly growing from one day to the next, yet measuring the impact of social media remains a mystery for most.  According to a recent article by Adam Singer, a Product Marketing Manager for Google Analytics, two main factors cloud the social media climate further.

First and foremost, when we observe social media platforms, we tend to disregard the simultaneous off-site social activity that occurs.  Off site-social activity can include anything from a product recommendation from a friend, to a motivation to further inquire about a company after seeing their print or television ad.  This is mainly due to the fact that off-site social activity is much harder to measure, and thereby commonly overlooked.   The second factor that effects the measurement of social media platforms is that despite social media itself not being incredibly new; it’s still an emerging (and fragmented) marketing channel, which frequently lacks clear objectives and conversion goals from brands.

With all of that said, measurement is still very possible, and the mystery behind social media’s return on investment (ROI) has been proven for brands that have enabled an effective measurement process.  By establishing clear and focused objectives, your brand could successfully track and measure its social media marketing impact as well.

To help get you started, keep reading to discover four ways Executionists can assist you to improve your social media measurement:

1. We examine the entire digital customer journey – not just the last-click. By using Google Analytics, Executionists can determine the number of times a customer interacts with social media platforms before making a purchase. Social media is an upper-funnel player in the buyer’s journey.  An active social media presence will increase the likelihood of potential customers visiting your website and becoming conversions.  Strategically “tweaking” your social media can send more customers down the funnel.

2. We turn your own site into your social hub because it provides the most robust measurement. If accurate, robust measurement is a concern and you want to drive results in a high-conversion environment, form a strategy around your own site.   Since most social media platforms are currently only optimized to measure engagement and conversations they often lack the ability to effectively infer consumer interaction into relevant metrics. Executionists understand that in order to drive traffic to your social media platforms, your website should be the hub of your online marketing efforts.

3. We set conversion goals and assign value to them. We investigate beyond key performance indicators (KPIs) like followers and visitors, and even beyond macro conversions such as revenue and leads generated and assign a mix of macro and micro conversions that are aligned with favorable outcomes. For example, most brands will opt to only measure leads generated, however they ignore new sign-ups to that high-conversion newsletter or downloads of a white paper. These might be good micro conversions to measure, and you may discover it carries a higher converting outcome. Once you know this, you could focus efforts on achieving new sign-ups to your newsletter or downloads of articles instead of focusing on direct purchases, which might not work as well in social media.

4. We measure the social interaction on your site. Measuring the social actions users take on your website is significant, and can act as a strong indicator of the shareability of your content in social channels. At Executionists, we take the time to set up analytics for social interactions on your site: from gaining a new follower on Twitter to a new +1 of your content on Google+. Monitoring social engagement on your website allows you to combine web and social metrics as well as create useful segments to understand specific visitors and channels better.

No matter your objectives, the team at Executionists will take the time to tame and manage your company’s social measurement beast.  While we fully believe there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to digital measurement on any channel, social media can be optimized using the tools and technologies available and taking a best-practices approach to conversions. Measuring social media as part of a formalized process will provide insight into your results and help you make data-driven decisions.  Contact Executionists today to begin tracking users interaction with your social media platforms.

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Posted: August 13, 2012