Measuring Social’s Impact To Your Website


So you’ve secured your social channels, you’ve branded them, and your content strategy is ready to go. You’ve spent a lot of time developing your social campaign, but how do you measure its success?

Social is a notoriously fickle medium, but measuring the return on your investment in social media is becoming increasingly essential for marketers to achieve, especially if they are hoping to access the right investment required to succeed.

What is social?

Social is all about connecting.

It is about having a conversation - making friends; social is being talked about, having your content shared, growing your community, and achieving engagement with that community; but business is business and any activity that you do has to reap a reward of some sort to become a viable cog in a business model.

It may seem wrong to measure the monetary success of friendship (let’s face it, that what social is) but ‘social’ is playing an increasingly important role in digital marketing, and in 2013, social success will be a key performance indicator for every business.

Why should you measure it?

Because you can!

By its very nature online activity is measurable; web analytics can measure almost any element of interactivity that you want it to and that includes the path to purchase through a variety of mediums.

This has overcome the challenge for measuring return on social investment. Previously the incredibly early stages in the buying process where users demonstrate an interest by following, liking, commenting, and sharing were impossible to identify as a key aspect in the purchase process. Social success was regarded as (and measured by) important indicators of brand strength, community building, and the impact this type of activity has on SERPs.

This was because these activities do not necessarily have a direct return, but by measuring the interaction in the right way it is possible to see the impact social channels could be having on your bottom line.

How do you measure it?

Simple - Assisted Conversions.

Assisted Conversions in GA is a simple metric, but one that will show how well and in tune you are with your audience. In the report you can see what proportion of your traffic interacted with your social media during the purchase path, even if they later converted from a different medium.

You can see that over 200 of our conversions involved a social interaction, but weren’t directly attributed to the conversion. If these social interactions hadn’t happened we might have missed out on over £1,000 worth of revenue. This helps us put a value on social and calculate ROI on the time spent on the social media campaign.

What do you do with it once you have measured it?

You find out if it is worth it.

This is difficult when it comes to social, because it is a little like measuring the value of friends based on the number of presents they bring round at Christmas. It is meant to be about a bond, a shared interest, about having a conversation. As nice as that all is – let’s face it  - we are talking about business, so  whatever you do needs to return some value on your investment. Cost Per Acquisition is what it is really about. So take the cost of the time spent sending tweets and interacting with people on Facebook, and divide that by the number of conversions from the Assisted Conversions report, and you have yourself a CPA. You could also use the Revenue from those conversions to work out the ROI using the formula… (Revenue – Cost) / Cost

Some industries and offerings are more suited to social sharing, but if yours is not one of them, then you need to find a way of getting your name out there with content that people will want to share.

How are you measuring return from social in 2013? As always we would love to hear from you!


One thought on “Measuring Social’s Impact To Your Website

  1. Hi, good stuff here :-)

    Not necessarily all about CPA though, at least not directly. For example, there could be a scenario where’s there’s lots of ‘bad mouth’ about you on the forums, and the job is really to turn this around. There’s no way you are going to directly measure the CPA on that … this is a long term job to transform the negative sentiment around your brand into positive sentiment. This type of this will obviously have a impact on the CPA’s of all your sources, as it goes to the heart of the credibility of your brand, as it is discussed out in the wild. But primarily the KPI’s would most likely be around ratio of positive to negative posts on the forum, or similar.

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