Adam Singer: Four Ideas For Getting Started With Social Media Measurement

Guest Post by Adam Singer. Adam is Product Marketing Manager at Google Analytics and host of our Intro to Social Media Measurement webinar on Wednesday.

Although the social space has matured rapidly over the last decade, social media measurement is still new territory for some. That’s because measurement is not always a native skill to those at the forefront of communication on the web.

However, it is vital to success.

Metrics let you share your success with your team and get stakeholders excited. They let you make decisions that are grounded in reality instead of simply acting on “gut feel.”

In preparation for our upcoming introduction to social measurement webinar, we wanted to share four ideas for getting started with social media measurement you should keep in mind.

1. Show the entire digital customer journey – not just last-click.

Modern web analytics tools go beyond last-click attribution and show the entire journey a customer takes before they convert.

For instance, at Google Analytics we’re finding that on average customers interact with a brand 4.3 times over a two-day period before they finally make a purchase. Social may account for an earlier interaction as it is often an upper-funnel player in the buyer journey.

What this means is social may not receive the full credit it deserves for those only looking at last-click attribution.

2. Make your own site your social hub; it provides the most robust measurement.

In order to measure social media effectiveness and realize its full potential, you can’t rely on platform metrics alone.

That’s because they aren’t (yet) optimized for purchases and conversions for brands. They’re optimized for engagement and conversations. Further, platforms lack the ability to conduct experiments and tests on layout in a way that’s totally customized.

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.

3. Set up conversion goals (macro and micro) and assign value to them.

Go beyond key performance indicators (KPIs) like followers and visitors, and even beyond macro conversions such as revenue and leads generated: assign a mix of macro and micro conversions that are aligned with favorable outcomes.

For example, you’re likely measuring leads generated, but are you also looking at new sign-ups to that high-conversion newsletter? That might be a good micro conversion to measure, and you might discover it is a higher converting outcome from social for your brand than revenue.

Once you know this, you could focus efforts on achieving new sign-ups to your newsletter instead of always trying to achieve direct purchases, which might not work as well in social.

4. Measure social interaction on your site.

Measuring the social actions users take on your own site is powerful, and can act as a strong indicator of the shareability of your content in social channels.

Take the time to set up analytics for every social interaction on your site: from gaining a new follower on Twitter to a new +1 of your content on Google+. Monitoring social engagement on your own site lets you combine web and social metrics as well as create useful segments to understand specific visitors and channels better.

No matter your objectives, take the time to tame the social measurement beast.

While there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to digital measurement on any channel, social is an animal that you can tame by using the tools and technologies available and taking a best-practices approach to conversions.

Measuring social as part of a formalized process will provide insight into your results and help you make data-driven decisions. Don’t obsess over fluffy metrics. Do track what’s possible and analyze outcomes to refine what you do.

Learn more in our upcoming webinar which will go into detail on the above points and more.

For more ideas on social measurement, follow Adam on Google+ and Twitter.

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