Social Media - are you reaping what you sow?

The Guardian recently dubbed this era as, “…the age of social media analytics.” Social media monitoring should be part your business’s daily routine but who is analysing your efforts and what are they looking for?

Social media is here to stay. This recognition has been punctuated by the number of businesses – of all shapes and sizes – that have flocked to social media platforms in an attempt to engage their customers. However, a strong social presence requires the dedication of time and money and depending on the size of your business a portion of your day, a member of staff or a whole department should be allocated to social media marketing. So, you’re putting the time and hard slog in – but what are the business benefits?

Though ‘retweets,’ ‘shares’ and ‘likes’ are all good news, it’s difficult to exchange these social media currencies into hard cash. Return on investment (ROI) is a critical metric when considering any marketing activity and social media should be no different. The time spent on the management of social media presence needs to be justified. It’s great to have lots of followers on social media sites, but ultimately these platforms are in place for a higher purpose – to drive traffic to your site, increase brand awareness and boost sales.

What are your followers saying?

Many social networking sites offer in-built analytics, such as Facebook Insights and Pinterest Analytics. Although these are useful to see what has been working the best and has resulted in the most engagement, their monetary worth is unclear. They only provide an overview of what happens on your particular page, which is rarely where money is exchanged. Though several platforms have offered tools for analysis, Facebook’s features are by far the most sophisticated when it comes to considering the impact of campaigns run on their site.

facebook ROI

For example, Facebook’s ‘Offers’ function is a measurable way of seeing how useful these campaigns are for driving traffic to your site, and determining the value that it has the potential to create. Facebook ads can also be tailored to drive traffic straight to your site rather than your Facebook page. Facebook also released another tool in 2013 for determining your social impact with a conversion measurement tool. It’s clear that Facebook understand the needs of business users and are trying to supply all the necessary tools to allow them to gauge their online success.

Get it together with Google Analytics

Further attempts towards measuring ROI of social media interactions can be done by Google Analytics. Within Google Analytics, their ‘Social Reports’ tool allows web masters to see which platform the traffic has been directed from – allowing social media marketers to tailor their campaigns accordingly. Not only does it show who came to your site from which platform – but it also measures the important conversion rates for each.

google analytics social media

Referrals from social media sites can also be found under the tabs ‘Social – Network Referrals’ and ‘Sources – All Traffic – Social/Referrals.’ So, though it does require a little hunting around in Google Analytics to determine all of the actions as a result of a campaign, this ensures that each customer action is accounted for. A knowledgeable social media manager will be able to analyse the stats within Google Analytics and estimate their value.

The pursuit of social media success

It’s clear that the quest to determine the effectiveness of your social strategy requires a double-edged approach. First, making sure that your social media campaigns are fresh, relevant and tailored to your audience is vital. If your social interactions are stagnant, this won’t result in any traffic being driven to your site. Social media marketing will not bring in instant commerce, but these platforms do play an assistive role in improving brand awareness and creating a conversation between you and your customers.

Before you allocate time, money and resources into social media for your business it’s vital that you decide how the fruits of your labour will be measured. Being an online business socialite is great, but it’s important not to lose sight of why you are doing this. Mercurytide offer comprehensive social media management and online monitoring services that can take the stress out of online marketing. Our experts know how to grab the attention of your audience, and keep them coming back for more.

Enjoy what you're reading? Then you'll love our blog