Social Networking Metrics and Social Media
Social Networking using Google’s Event Goals and/or the Klout System
For marketing purposes social media can no longer be ignored. It is an excellent method of engaging with an audience. Although the use of social media has now taken on the role of a legitimate business marketing tool, it has to be treated the same way as one would a blog or website – it must be carefully set up and data must be collected and analyzed. It may be a “free” platform but if your business spends hundreds of man-hours participating on social media, spends money on third party applications and doesn’t see a profitable return on investment, then there’s either something wrong or it’s not a suitable platform for your business. Using the two tools we mention below can help you to adjust your social media campaigns after identifying problems.
One of the best free tools to use to analyze and gather data is Google Analytics with which you can analyze and monitor social networking metrics so you can quantify returns. Even if you only use Google Analytics, it’s time to start figuring out whether the time and effort you have invested into your social media presence is worth the large investment of time.
Where is your Traffic coming from?
If you participate on Twitter and Facebook or any other social platform, you can get traffic information from the Referring Sites section under Traffic Sources of Google Analytics.
This will tell you how many visitors you’ve had within a set period, how many pages they visited on average, an average of how long was spent on your site, how many new visitors your site attracted and the “Bounce Rate” (how long they stayed before they left). You’ll see how many visits you got from each social networking site. If the number coming from Facebook is significantly greater than another, then that’s an indication you should concentrate more on the referring site that is sending fewer visitors.
But what if you’re getting 500 visitors a day from Facebook and only 100 visitors a day from Twitter BUT you think the Twitter traffic may be converting much better?
You can get an idea of conversion rates by using Google Analytics “Event Goals” which is an extremely helpful new feature Google recently added.
This feature, combined with Google’s advanced segment tools can help you determine whether your social network visitors are following your CTA. This will take some study and understanding by a new user, but is well worth the effort.
First you must set up your goals. A goal can be anything from downloading a free ebook, visiting a set number of pages, or a visitor spending a predetermined number of minutes on your site without leaving.
You will be able to see when a visitor:
- Makes a purchase.
- Clicks on an affiliate link.
- Subscribes to your newsletter.
- Downloads a digital product, free or not.
- Subscribes via RSS.
- Follows a button through to a social media site.
Google gives plenty of instructions how to set this up.
Initiate an Event Goal
Decide what you want to track. If it’s sales coming from social networking sites, all you have to enter is the URL of the landing page that the buyer sees after completing a purchase.
Create a Custom Segment
You can set up a custom segment to analyze the social networking metrics for each site you use. That way you can compare conversion rates from Twitter, Facebook and all the other social sites to determine which has the best return on investment and which ones need improvement.
In the Goals Overview screen (under Conversions-Goals-Overview) you will be able to quickly identify which social networking site is converting best.
Set the period you wish to monitor and the Overview section will give you:
- The number of goals completed
- The total value of those goals
- Conversion Rate
Beneath that will be a breakdown of the URLs you specified, how many completions were achieved via that URL, and the conversion percentage.
The Klout Factor
If your overall goal on social media is simply to gain brand recognition, then the new Google Analytics feature won’t be relevant to you. But how can you determine if you actually are building brand awareness?
The Klout system gets around this rather intangible problem, by allowing business owners to lump their social networking metrics together. It assigns a score calculated on spheres of influence. It measures how much your brand influences visitors, how many people have been influenced and how influential those people are. The Klout system’s scores are on a scale of 1-100.
It’s not as complicated as it sounds; it’s a remarkable tool for seeing where to concentrate your efforts. If for example under the section “how influential they are”, if your score is low, it means you’re not connecting with other experts in your field. Easy enough to remedy and monitor using the Klout system.
The key is having a plan and knowing exactly why you’re running social media campaigns. The reason should not be “because everyone else is”. If your aim is increased sales, use Google’s Event Goals, brand awareness use Klout. Using Google or Klout to evaluate social networking metrics will be an excellent business decision.