Updated: Sep 15, 2020
In this post, we are going to show you some of the best techniques that you can use to measure the success of your social media's both organic and paid efforts. We will look at some awesome social media metrics, Advanced segments for social media traffic, and many more.
So let's do this.
A. Measuring the organic social media efforts -
1. Four standard metrics to measure Social network engagement and effectiveness -
1. Conversation Rate -
Conversation Rate is the ratio of comments per post( or video or tweet or pin etc) to overall followers(or page likes).
It tells you whether or not you are having a meaningful conversation with your customers. And to achieve higher conversation rate, every business first need to figure out who are their targetted customers? what are they most interested in? or what is important for them? It forces companies to stop pushing their agenda and become more customer-centric.
2. Amplification Rate -
Amplification rate is the ratio of shares(or retweets or repins etc) per post to overall followers(or page likes).
It helps you to measure what pieces of content and types causing people to share it with their connection. Is what you are saying is so valuable that they care about sharing with others.
3. Applause Rate -
Applause Rate is the ratio of Likes( or favorites or +1 etc.) per post to overall followers(or page likes).
It tells you about the things you are saying is even little valuable and relevant to the customers that they bother to like it or favorite it.
4. Economic Value -
Economic value helps you to measure, as a result of all your social media efforts in understanding your customers, creating gorgeous pictures and videos, spending time with your customers to reply them back, How much value is added to your business? What is the outcome of all these efforts?
Economic Value = Sum of short and long-term revenue and cost savings.
Learn more about it in the Post below.
Important Note -
Always tag all your organic and paid tweets, posts etc. links with UTM campaign parameters that you want your visitors to click and come back to your website because most contents are now consumed on mobile and apps and they don't send the referral data to your web analytics tools( any tools you use). Tagging a link help you to measure your referral data correctly.
Example of it -
2. Brand Exposure ( New customers introduced to the brand) -
The purpose of measuring it is to understand how many new customers visited your website because of your Branding Campaigns.
If you look at the above report, you can see that there is 10 % percent decrease in new visitors, Which means that the social media campaigns during oct are performing worse than the previous period. The returning visitors number is also dropped by nearly the same amount. So the company is neither attracting new customers and neither able to delight there current customers. So whatever they are doing, it is just not working.
To do the above analysis, you need to keep few things in mind -
1. First, You need to measure the number of new visitors before the campaign, in our case Sep 2017 and during the campaign in Oct 2017 to measure the Percentage change in new visitors to your website, Which you can easily do in Google Analytics by using the compare date range function at the top of the report, you don't have to do it manually. you can find this report in Google Analytics under - Audience > Behavior > New vs Returning
2. Second, you have to remove the All user segments at the top of the report and apply the Campaign segment you wish to measure, in our case organic social media traffic.
Here is how the social media segment will look like.
Click this link to download this Social media segment in your Google Analytics.
After downloading it, change the source name based on your Google Analytics report. You can find Which social media channels sending traffic to your website in GA under Acquisition > Channel > Social. Just include the high volume traffic channels, you don't have to include channels that are sending very few visitors.
3. Likelihood to recommend/Brand Lift -
As it is obvious, it helps you to measure what was the overall experience of the people once they landed on your website via any traffic sources and whether or not they are delighted by your business so much that they wish to recommend it to their friends and families. Did you able to make an impression on your customers that they would love to go on a second or third date with you?
4. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) -
Acquiring new customers isn't cheap. To attract more customers, You need to pay more money for impressions and clicks on Advertising networks. Even if you don't do any paid advertising, still you need to invest your employee's lots of time and efforts to create contents and share it with your customers, pay money to your social media team as well as various paid tools you use to create and manage your contents, all these require money. Which is in microeconomics call the opportunity cost or the alternative cost. There isn't any free lunch in life. And even after going through all these troubles, if you are getting very low qualified traffic then you are creating more problems then solving it for your company.
Customer Lifetime value helps you to understand, which channels, campaigns etc. are adding more long-term value to your business and which are not. So that you can shift your marketing money and time towards the ones that are more profitable for your company. By measuring Customers Lifetime value, you solve tomorrow's problems today.
Previously it was very hard to measure Customers Lifetime value but now you can do it very easily with Google Analytics.
Just Go to Audience > Lifetime Value.
The above data shows that Social media is one of the worst performing channels for Google merchandise store. If your data look like this, then you definitely need to make some tough choices. Use the above strategies to measure the Value of your organic social media efforts, if it isn't performing well then try to learn from others who are doing well, it doesn't have to be in your own industry, and make changes according to your needs and if you still didn't see any value, then kill your all social media activities. Don't waste your time and money on something that isn't delivering a significant amount of value to your business. Still not convinced why do you need to do this, then read this post by Avinash Kaushik, why do you need to stop you all organic social media marketing?
B. How to Measure Success of Paid Social media advertising -
1. Visitors Loyalty (Frequency) and Recency - Visitors Loyalty(Frequency) -
Visitors Loyalty or Frequency tells you how often users visit your website during a given time period.
From the above data, we can see that that GMS's customers aren't too much loyal. During this time period, near about 80,000 customers visited the website only once and never again out of 85,000 visitors. Totally pathetic. What GMS or you want is the greater distribution at the bottom of this report. The more people will be at the bottom, more awesomeness and money will be for you.
At this moment, as we are most interested in measuring the Visitors loyalty for our social media traffic, all you need to do is just apply the Social media segment that we discussed before or click here to get it .
Again, it's totally useless! About 90% of the customers who came from Social media, never again returned to the website during this time period. With these insights you don't need to guess or believe in your gut feeling, you have real data with real insights, to make right decisions.
Few things you should also do with this report is comparing the visitor loyalty between two segments of users or compare visitors loyalty over two time period, a great way to dive deeper and understand customers behavior on your website. Also look at the Average session number per user(1.31) on the first picture denoted by an arrow, you can see how averages can screw your analysis? Always keep an eye on it.
Visitors recency -
Visitor Recency tells you how long it has been since a visitor last visited your website or what is the gap between two visits from the same person to your website.
From the above data, we can see that 70% of the Returning visitors, visited the website in less than 7 days, which is a great thing if you are selling anything or writing and publishing fresh contents every day or posting contents on social media regularly, then you want your customers to visit your website as often as possible.
Let's look at the Social media recency distribution -
Here also the social media visitor recency is good. In the recency report, the more people will be at the upper part of the distribution, better it will be for you.
If you have noticed, you can see that I have made a slight change in the social media visitor segment at the top of the report, it containing returning All social media visitors and also in the first picture in the recency. By default, the recency report includes all visit, that means the new visits also( people who have never been to your site) added to the "0 Days ago" bucket. And to get the correct calculation, we need to remove the new visits in this report as we did in the first report by including only returning users.That's why we also made changes to our social media segment to reflect the same thing.
Click the link to download this Returning social media visitors segment. Use this segment in the recency report or where you need only returning social media visitors, otherwise, use the one you have downloaded above in the post or click this link to download it- Ak - All social media segment.
Conclusion - Though the gap between two visits(Recency) numbers is good for GMS, but there is a huge problem with visitors loyalty for all traffic sources as well as the social media channel. GMS need to fix it at any cost. You not only want the Gap between two visits to be shorter but you also want frequency ( number of times someone visited your website) to be higher. One measure the time(recency) and another measure the times(Loyalty or frequency).
2. Task Completion rate -
As you know that the average conversion rate on the web is only 2% for most of the industry. Customers come to your website for a various reason, not only to buy products and services from you. Some came to do a price comparison, some came to know more about you or to find a job opening in your companies or contact with you regarding their purchase etc. Every customer has different needs at different times, the task completion rate helps you to understand this primary purpose, Why someone visited your website and whether they are able to complete the task or not. And if not then why? It helps you to understand what really stinks on your website, whether customers are able to find the products or information they are looking for or if there are any navigational issues with your website, or certain tools or functions are working correctly as they expected etc. It helps you to understand what site design and services changes you need to make to give your customers a better experience on your website.
And the best part of it, you only need to ask only 3 questions to your customers to get the complete picture.
1. What is the purpose of your visit to our website today?
2. Were you able to complete your task today?
3. If you were not able to complete your task today, Why not?
That's it. Simple but very insightful information about your customers. One thing to keep in mind that you at least have enough survey data to make the right decision.
3. Assisted conversions -
Assisted conversion helps you to measure the real impact of a channel delivered to your business. By Default, Google analytics gives the credit for a sale or conversion to the channel who is involved in closing the sale. But in reality, this is not the case. Sometimes, mat be customers came to know about your business from an organic search result, then they may be later clicked on any of your retargeting display ads on any news website or blog to visit your website, then again later, maybe they clicked on one of your link on social media before making the final purchase. So we can't just give all the credit for the sale to only the social media or any other channel that involved in the last stage. We have to also consider, other channels that helped your customers to find you, did all the heavy lifting of convincing your customers that you are the right choice for them before the final purchase.
The assisted conversion helps you to understand this phenomenon and helps you to find out how much additional value every channel contributed to your business.
In the above report, you can see that social media not only helped GMS to generate $749 in revenue but it also assisted in generating additional $5431 in revenue to the GMS.
Also look at the last column of the report. The higher ratio value indicates that the channel helped more in assisting sales than closing the sale and lower value indicate that the channel is mostly helping in closing the sale in the last step and a value equal to 1 means the channel is helping in assisting and closing the sale equally. Look for the channels which have highest values in this column, those are the underdogs of your business and you should definitely shower them with Love and affection.
Click the link to learn, how to use the assisted conversion report in Google analytics in more detail at the end of the post.
4. Economic value -
One of the most important concepts you need to understand if you really want to win on the web is Economic Value.
Measuring Economic value not only helps you to focus on the Macro conversions( buying something from your website or signup for premium membership etc.) but also the Micro conversions( signup for an email newsletter, created a wish list or write reviews of the product on your website etc).
It forces you to not only focus on 2%( average conversion rate in the most industry) of your customers but also the remaining 98% of the customers. A true measure of success. Because not all of visitors to your website is going to buy from you on their first visit. So when you also measure the value of micro goals, you truly get the complete picture of overall value delivered to your business.
Economic Value = Macro + Micro
This is how the custom report for social media channels will look like in your Google Analytics.
The Per Session goal value gives you the Economic Value(Macro+Micro goals) delivered by all the users from social media for each source/medium. Here the per session Goal value is $0.00 for all the Source/medium. The reason for this is that Goal values are not added to the Goal setting in the Google Merchandise Google Analytics account. If you add it to your Google Analytics account, you can perfectly able to see the values.
Always measure the Economic value delivered to your website by all channels. Look at the below picture, to get a sense, why you should measure, love and adore Economic value it.
I hope this above visual helps you to realize why do you need Economic value. Most people only measure the first step or the second but not the third one. But this is exactly what you need to do to help your company become more successful.
Read this article to learn how to identify and calculate the Economic value of your website.
To Download this above custom report, click on this link - LWD - Social media Macro+Micro performance analysis.
C. Things to keep in mind -
1. Use the strategies described above to measure the true impact of your social channels. Use both organic and paid social media strategies. If your organic efforts aren't delivering the desired result then kill you organic efforts( Why you should kill it?) and shift your focus to paid social media. Don't waste your companies limited resources on something that isn't working. There are lots of amazing ways on the web to get more value at a cheaper cost.
2. Don't put social media in one bucket and every other channel( Display, PPC, SEO etc.) in another bucket when measuring their value. Treat them equally( Don't be a Racist :) ) and compare them to each other. Do more what is working for you, not what other people say what you should be doing?
3. Always use UTM campaign parameters with all your organic and paid links as described above.