How I Measure Social Media

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When I started a new job nearly a year ago, one of my first tasks was to inject some life into the nearly non-existant social media program.

Once I realized the huge potential for growth in social media, I was excited to get started.

I knew I would need a way to justify the investment in social media to the executive team. So I set out to create a method that would A) show our team the value of our social media marketing efforts and B) help me visualize our growth and analyze patterns to tweak my strategy.

I decided to measure the social media metrics that made the most sense for us as an E-commerce company: visits, conversions, revenue, per visit value and more.

My three measurement and reporting tools of choice are: Google Analytics Custom Dashboards, Google Analytics Custom Reports and Excel Spreadsheets. Used together, these three powerhouses can take you from analysis to insights to reporting.

Here’s how I measure social media using all three.

Google Analytics social media dashboard

Our first stop is Google Analytics. I love Google Analytics Dashboards because they provide a quick overview of the metrics that matter most to you, without having to drill down into analytics.

In fact, my custom social media dashboard is usually my first stop on the Internet when I get to work in the morning.

It consists of the following metrics:

  • Total Social Visits
  • Total Social Revenue
  • Average Order Value
  • Facebook Revenue
  • Pinterest Revenue
  • Google + Revenue
  • Twitter Revenue
  • Revenue & Per Visit Value by Social Network
  • Social Network Conversion Rates
  • Social Visits from Mobile

This is one of my favorite ways to see if our marketing efforts are producing results. It can also help to quickly spot new networks that are generating revenue for our company.

And since Google allows you to share custom dashboards, my custom social media dashboard can be yours, too. If you’ve already got Google Analytics authorized, you can download it here and it’ll add the dashboard template right into your profile where you can make changes to fit your brand.

Google Analytics custom reports

Another great feature of Google Analytics is the ability to create custom reports. Google Analytics Custom Reports are what I use to report our social media marketing efforts to the executive team on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis.

My social media custom report consists of the following metrics:

  • Visits
  • Revenue
  • Average Order Value
  • Ecommerce Conversion Rate
  • Per Visit Value

The first day of every month I do a year-over-year comparison of the reporting period. Then I export the reports for all three sites to show our current social media growth rates.

Similar to custom dashboards, you can also share custom reports within Google Analytics. Grab mine here to get a blueprint you can customize to create your own specialized social media report.

Custom Excel spreadsheet

Finally, my custom Excel spreadsheet is where it all comes together. This is where I track year-over-year growth in traffic, revenue, new emails subscribers and fans, to come up with a true total for growth.

My social media Excel spreadsheet consists of the following metrics:

  • Total Visits
  • Total Revenue
  • YOY Growth
  • Fan Growth
  • New Email Subscribers


If you’re looking for a way to justify your social media marketing to your team, try combining these three powerful tools to help prove your case. Feel free to use my dashboard or report to assist you in measuring your efforts.

I hope this post will help you gain some insights into how to start tracking your own social media marketing. Social media is here to stay – and the sooner you can start proving its value to your company, the better.

Do you have any tips or suggestions on how you track social media? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Editor’s Note: This is the first in what we hope will be an ongoing series of “How I Measure” marketing posts. If you’ve got a great strategy for measuring social media ROI, the value of SEO, email marketing’s staying power or any other marketing tactic, tell us about it.

  • Lisa Hosman

    I think these are great ideas, especially for companies that are new to the Social Media game. All free solutions – no need for expensive tracking services…simply using tools like Google Analytics in the most effective way. Just out of curiosity, what social media platform gives your company the best results?

    • Chris

      Thank you for the comment Lisa!

      It really depends on the “results” that you are looking for. For us, the best traffic results come from Facebook, but the best revenue results come from Pinterest.


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