CASE STUDY: 3 Metrics to Measure Year-End Social Media Results, Version 2.0
As we approach year-end, do you need to show measurable results for your online marketing?
I'm about to make it stupidly simple . . .
. . . by using the 80/20 rule: 20% of your effort generates 80% of your business.
You'll measure the top 20% of your promotional tactics to see what drove 80% of the results.
Here are the three key metrics to measure to discover your most powerful marketing tactics of the year. (If you want to dig deeper, keep reading: I offer additional resources for goals & campaigns.)
1. How Much Traffic Did Online Marketing Drive to My Website?
One of the biggest questions you need to answer is this: what impact did online marketing have in driving customers to my website? Whether your business is online or local, you need a simple way to analyze where they came from.
This is easy if you've integrated Google Analytics (GA) into your website. My instructions for adding GA are here. Google tells you how many of your website visitors are coming from social media. From the GA screen, select Acquisition>>Social>>Network Referrals:
My own numbers tell me that my top social networks driving traffic to my site are Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
When I look at how long each visitor stays on my site (Avg. Session Duration in GA-speak), again, Facebook tops the list, with Slideshare & Twitter close behind.
Finally, I want to see how many pages each visitor looked at (Pages/Session). After all, the longer someone stays on my site, the more interested they are. Google+ tops the list, with SlideShare and Facebook not far behind.
Here are the top 3 social networks by those three critical measurements: number of visitors sent, how long they stayed and how many pages they visited:
My Traffic Data from Google Analytics
How long do visitors stay?
How many pages do people visit?
How many visitor sent?
Notice Facebook, Twitter and SlideShare appear as winners in multiple categories? Those were big successes for my brand this year, and I need to focus on those next year.
Because Pinterest content lasts longer than that of any other social network, and it's a big driver of traffic to my website, I'll focus there too.
Google+ visitors did looked at the most pages on my site, so I need to give them more comprehensive guides in 2017.
Those are definitely where my primary focus should be in 2017.
2. What Were Your Best-Performing Posts?
Once you've discovered which social networks are the most powerful generators of traffic to your website, next you need to identify what you did to motivate them to visit you. Which posts stopped people from enjoying Facebook photo albums & Pinterest recipes to click-through to your website?
For Facebook & YouTube, review the Insights they provide (see my Facebook Insights post here; for more detailed help, refer to Lesson 20 of Facebook 101; YouTube Insights help in Lesson 19 of YouTube 101. For the social networks that don't provide measurement data, you can still return to trusty GA to see what's working for you (you can also use it to review any network results).
From the GA screen in #1 (Acquisition>>Social>>Network Referrals), select your top social network, and you'll see the pages those visitors came to on your website:
GA displays the pages here visited most by people coming from Facebook. I want to focus on those top pages: what were they? Those are the blog posts or website pages I need to do more of in the coming year.
Also notice that big spike in Facebook traffic on April 25? I need to identify what post did that.
Which post was it? Take a look:
This was an ad I ran offering a free infographic download. It teaches you how to create a blog tour to launch a product. This ad drove that April 25 traffic spike.
Again, this is definitely a tactic I should use in 2017. It drove the most visitors to my website of any post I did on any social network.
Now repeat this process for each of your top social networks. I would look at the top pages for Pinterest, Twitter, and SlideShare.
3. Measure Sales & Compare with Traffic: Is There a Correlation?
The simplest way to measure the sales you receive from your online marketing efforts it to track your sales over the course of the year, and compare them to the chart you see in step 2. Did that spike in April traffic also correlate with higher sales?
This method offers a correlation between sales and online marketing. If you need to scientifically accurate data, you'll need to set up goals in GA for product sales, phone calls, newsletter sign-ups, or other actions you want visitors to take from your website.
Goal setup is a more complex process covered in our Facebook 103 class. Since we're keeping this simple, let's leave it at the correlation. That's good enough to see if your online marketing is having a positive impact on your sales.
What we see from this revenue chart is that sales were low in April. That traffic spike did not result in a significant revenue increase that month. Why? Likely because that infographic is complex, and it takes a while to digest everything it takes to create a blog tour.
What I do see from my revenue chart is that August & September were significant revenue months. So I need to go back to Google Analytics and see what social networks were driving that traffic and the pages they landed on.
EXTRA CREDIT: If you need more than sales correlation data, you can get it with GA. You need to setup goals and campaigns that identify what drove traffic to your website, who became leads, and those who eventually purchased from you. The GA report below shows what campaigns drove that August/Sept revenue spike and how much:
Your Action Items
Now it's your turn: measure these three simple metrics for your own business using this step-by-step lesson. You need to identify:
- Your top social networks
- Your best-performing posts
- If sales correlated with your high-results posts
- Extra Credit: measure which marketing campaigns drove the most leads & sales in Facebook 103 class
Share your results in the comments below!