There once was a time when business owners didn’t think social media was worth it.
It was scary.
It was a fad.
Worst of all, it didn’t make any money.
Thankfully, we don’t think that anymore. Every business and their accountant is on social media of some kind - we’re all totally convinced of its value!
Well, we shouldn’t be.
Most businesses couldn’t actually tell me what value their social media efforts bring in. Could you?
Do you even know what to class as value, let alone how to measure it?
You’re about to find out!
What do you value?
The first step to putting value on social media is to decide what “value” means. What actions do you want your followers to take? What will you classify as your Key Performance Indicators of social media?!
The most important thing your social media community can do is to visit your website. Your website is your home. It’s where you control everything and it’s where visitors can take the most important actions of all, like handing over their email address or buying a product. If you’re not “inviting your community home with you” regularly, start doing it now!
Once a visitor has arrived at your website, you need to decide what actions constitute something valuable, something that gets them closer to a sale.
These will be your social KPIs!
A fantastic structure to use to consider “value” at every stage of a visitor’s cycle is:
1. Reach / Awareness / See
How can you track that you’re reaching people and making them aware of you? You might track some of this inside each social network or in a tool like HootSuite or Sendible.
2. Engage / Consider / Think
How can you track whether your social media visitors care about your stuff? How long are they staying on your site or how much do they read? Are they downloading your free resources or signing up for your newsletter?
3. Act / Convert / Do
If you take payments online of any kind, this is an absolute no-brainer: it’s revenue from social media sources.
But if you’re like most of our clients, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Your website is just the “top of the funnel” and your sales happen on the phone, in-store or in person, sometimes days, weeks or months after the first enquiry.
That’s why it’s so important for your website to be a lead generation machine - and every action that takes someone closer to a sale is a conversion.
4. Re-engage / Loyalty / Care
How do you keep customers coming back? Do you have specific offers or services for existing clients? Social media is a fantastic tool for helping people who’ve already bought from you stay in touch.
Make sure it’s measurable
Next, you need to make sure that you can actually measure every one of these KPIs. We’re going to use (yes, you guessed it) Google Analytics.
The default tracking in Google Analytics will tell you a lot, but if any of your KPIs involve a specific action on a specific page, you need to set up some custom tracking. That’s things like completing forms, downloading documents etc. Track these as “events” and “goals”!
Use “events” for actions that don’t involve visiting a web page on your own site. For example: playing a video, downloading a PDF or clicking a link to an external site.
You need to set up a “goal” for any KPIs that count as a “conversion rate”; i.e. what percentage of all visits included this action? These actions can be both visits to a specific page (eg. a form’s “confirmation” page) or an event, like those above.
Setting up a goal doesn’t involve touching any code!
Revenue & dollar values
For buying products and making payments, you can track them as ecommerce revenue or by putting dollar values on goals and events. This type of tracking does normally involve some development, so once you know exactly what you need to track, just ask us to set it up for you.
NOW show me the value of social!
Once you’ve decided on your KPIs and are all set up to measure them, you can finally track the real value of your social media.
Does this look like value?
(Yes, that’s a hard dollar figure against a social network!)
Finding your KPIs to report on
There are many different places in Google Analytics to find the various KPIs you may have decided on.
Start by going to Acquisition > Social
to find all of Google Analytics’s default social reports.
That's a lot of information - can we start smaller?
This has been a very hands on overview of exactly HOW to attribute value to social media.