Beyond Cookie Cutter Social Media Metrics

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It’s an old saw in business: you can’t manage what you don’t measure, but it bears repeating, especially when it comes to social media analytics. It’s just too easy to get caught up in the social aspect of online networking and forget the marketing and measurement side of the equation.

At the bare minimum, you want to establish benchmarks so you can measure change over time, either up or down. That way, you can modify tactics based on meaningful metrics you and your team have identified as having value. Exactly what that value proposition is may vary depending on your client or industry.

There are no cookie-cutter social media benchmarks, but there are five important areas within the social media sales process.

  1. Activity
  2. Reach
  3. Engagement
  4. Acquisition
  5. Conversion

Taken as a whole, these social media metrics offer a clear picture of what you’re doing in social media channels and how these actions are growing your brand’s audience, improving its reputation, engaging new fans and bringing in new business.

The good news is with our new Google Analytics integration, monitoring, measuring and reporting your social media is easier than ever.

Reporting Social Media Metrics in Raven

Your first stop should be to the Campaign > Google Analytics tool. Here’s a brief video on exactly how to navigate through the Social reporting section within Google Analytics.

When you navigate to the Conversions section, the table displays both Goal Value and Goal Conversion Rate. (If you don’t have Goals set up directly in your Google Analytics account, this information will not show up. You first need to define your Goals and Goal Values in Google Analytics.)

Your second stop should be at the Social module. Here you’ll find all the granular metrics for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. For example, I wanted to report the Twitter reach of our recent New Reports and Dashboards launch.

Twitter Metrics

The spike in traffic is obvious. It’s easy to make the case that a much anticipated new product launch would receive a lot of online attention. But, do all those positive metrics translate into conversions?

To find out, you’ll want to navigate back to Google Analytics > Social > Network Referrals. Then choose your Goal Conversions from the drop down menu above the table. Also, change the date range to the day you want to analyze.

Google Analytics - Twitter Conversions

In the example above, we narrowed the range to September 24, 2014 — the day of the launch. While all Twitter metrics for Acquisition, Behavior and Conversions are up (Yay!), do these numbers tell a complete story?

Measuring for Assisted Conversions in GA

When a visitor comes to your website, he or she may have taken a circuitous route. Today’s savvy consumer may travel many paths to achieve a final outcome. There are numerous marketing channels to consider: newsletter, organic search, paid advertising, social media, partner links and so on.

Google Analytics uses cookies, which essentially data stamps a person’s visit and tracks a specific IP address. When that visitor returns to your website, Google recognizes this as a second visit (or third) and understands their point of origin, e.g. a Google search.

But what if that person first heard about your product through a newsletter but wasn’t ready to buy? When they find your site again via Google and do buy, your email marketing “assisted” the conversion, even though it didn’t get credit for the final sale. This is known as an assisted conversion.

To identify the original attribution, you’ll need to go to Google Analytics. (I don’t like sending you away from Raven, but in the interests of completeness, I will.)

In Google Analytics, select Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Assisted Conversions.

Twitter Assisted Conversions Pie Chart

We received dozens of assisted conversions from all social channels that day, but Twitter referrals (14) represented the largest percentage at 28.6%. The last click percentage (not shown) was 0.67. This value indicates, according to Google, that this channel was as frequently the first interaction on the conversion path as it was the final conversion interaction.

In other words, social media promotion helped convert visitors to trial users.

When you combine Raven’s easy reporting and at-a-glance metrics with advanced analytical reporting, you’ll be able to provide clients real-world data that proves your value not only as a savvy online marketer, but also as a data analyst.

And that combination is hard to find.