Since the surge of social media in the past year, it has become an essential element in marketing for businesses. I’ve seen a lot of posts lately saying that social media doesn’t generate a return on investment. I would like to combat those naysayers.

So, you set up Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and hoards of other social media profiles for your business; now the burning question is, am I gaining any value for all the time and effort spent Tweeting and sharing?

Considering that social media focuses on whether your followers engage on your profile or not, it is a little trickier to track and report. Even with the number of visits to your site from social channels, how do you know if your visitors are actually converting? And what percentages of those conversions were from social media? Well, you’ve come to the right place to find out!

social media meme

 

Social Reporting in Google Analytics

Considering Google rules the world, I’ll begin with the Google Analytics social report. Now if you don’t have Google Analytics for your business, you are way behind the times and need far more help than this post will provide you. That being said, those of you that do have Analytics, read on.

Under the social tab you will be able to view from each social network how many visitors visited your Google Analytics Social Reportsite, the number of conversions, which pages they are visiting and the flow of site navigation that they are following.  All of these metrics can be used to find out if the people directed to your site via social networks, are actually converting and producing revenue for your business.

I would begin looking at the network referrals section. This will break down each social network and how many visits are coming from them. You can also see how many pages they viewed and how long they were on your site. This can help determine if the visitors coming from social networks are serious visitors and if the content you are posting is engaging enough to make them want to explore your site further.

 

 

 

 

 

Next I would move to the conversions tab, which will break down how many site conversions can be credited to social. The revenue that you are making per conversion is also listed in this section. If you are concerned with the “numbers” of social, i.e. how much money is social bringing to my business; look at the conversions coming from social and the revenue being generated by those conversions. The social tool in analytics is a valuable one, so use it!

As great as revenue and conversions data is, social media is more about engagement and brand awareness.  One of your followers might see a really cool post you put up on Facebook, and then one month later when they are looking to buy a blue widget, they think “Hey, didn’t that company that posted that cool video sell blue widgets? I’m going to check them out.” Which leads me into my next social reporting tool.

 

Facebook Insights

Facebook came out with a fantastic tool for businesses called Facebook insights, and if you are a business and you have Facebook, I would recommend you set it up. Insights assists you in reporting on the engagement of your Facebook fans. Bottom line, if people aren’t engaging on your profile, it’s doing your business no good.

 

On the admin panel, go to the Insights section and click “See All”.

 

This will break down when you posted, the amount of people you reached and the number of people that engaged with that particular content. To break it down even further, Facebook gives you a detailed list paired with metrics of all of your posts.  But wait, I’m not done yet, take a look at the Likes tab and this breaks down metrics by demographic and location.  This applies to “Reach Tab” and “Talking About This” tabs as well. Fancy stuff huh?

Facebook Insights

To create a nice compact report for your client, you can export all of this information into an excel file with a custom date range. One other report format that I would like to mention is the Raven Social report. I’m not going to delve into this too much since Raven pulls the data from the sources that I have already touched on, however it does create a nice visual report in PDF format that compiles all of the above information.

 

The Long and the Short of It

Isn’t this exciting stuff guys?! Not only can you track the conversions and visits to your site from your social networks, but you can see exactly what content your followers are engaging with and how many people you are reaching! So to all the negative Nancy’s that are convinced you cannot measure the value of social media, I’m calling your bluff and telling you exactly how you can! So if you haven’t already, jump on the bandwagon and start tweeting and sharing and make sure to monitor how your profiles are performing for you!