You invest a lot of time to your social media marketing. And we all know that in business when we invest, we expect return. Enter the term ROI (return on investment). But how do you determine the return on a tweet, the worth of a pin? Klout gives you a score of 60, but what exactly does that mean in terms of conversions on your site?
For the investment part of the "R Over I" equation, you need to keep more concrete metrics. How much time are you spending on social media, and how effective is it at influencing fans and followers to visit your page, download your app, or subscribe to your newsletter? Six hours for a blog might be okay if website traffic spikes every time you publish something. But 5 hours a day on Facebook is only worthwhile if it drives more traffic than Google (which, in all likelihood, it doesn’t).
Here are a few quick tips for determining the ROI of your social media presence.
Perhaps the easiest of social media investment tracking, Facebook Insights is automatically available on your page once you reach 30 Likes. It provides data on New Likes, People Talking About This, and Total Reach. From the Insights tab, you can see both how many people saw your post and how many people clicked on it. Check Insights regularly to see which type of content - text, images, videos, etc. - are driving the most clicks. This can help you create the right marketing assets for your Facebook audience. You can run extensive reports, showing every Facebook post for a month or even a year, and each post's reach, impressions, virality, and shareability. (Neither of which are real words, but will be in the social future.)
TweetStats lets you keep track of your efforts on Twitter and reply statistics. With this, you can quickly review what days and times you tweet the most, which hashtags you prefer, and your follower count by day. Are you losing your Twitter audience? Look for which content got the most replies from followers - this is content that moved someone to speak directly to your company. Ignore it at your own risk!
LinkedIn has its own Page Insights app, albeit a bit more rudimentary than Facebook, which is available on Company pages. From here, you can see page views, unique visitors, clicks, and page visitor demographics. You can also see the clicks on your Products and Services page. One quick tip to boosting LinkedIn ROI is to provide detailed descriptions of your products or services, segmented and targeted to your core audiences. Follower Insights tabulates your total followers, clicks, likes, shares, and overall engagement. And you can graph your LinkedIn efforts against similar companies. A little friendly competition never hurt!
Google Analytics Sources
Google Analytics continues to be the king of tracking data. Within the Sources page is a Social drilldown, which will show you the traffic from each of your social media networks. You can track referrals from Facebook posts, Tumblr, Twitter, and even Pinterest. You don't even have to have a Pinterest account (though you probably want one). If someone pins your content onto their board, and another pinner clicks on the image and is directed to your website, it registers as a referrals. Google Analytics lets you identify which social networks are driving the most traffic to your page.
Even if you don't have a Pro account, you can still use the super-helpful Analytics of HootSuite to track your social media efforts. You can schedule your Tumblr, WordPress, Flickr, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profile posts and updates, then use Analytics to track your efforts. There's a Facebook Insights report, an Owl.y Click Summary (for Twitter), and even a Google Analytics Overlay, which graphs a social network's activity against your site's Google Analytics traffic data. Turns out owls really are smart, at least in terms of social media ROI.
Now that you can link conversions to your social media marketing, what do you do if you find those efforts need a little boost? For strategies that will give you a knockout ROI, check out our latest social media playbook.