Is social media activity measurable? You bet it is. And it’s easier than you might think to gain insight from your efforts, whether you are highly active or are just starting out.
Using web analytics data to evaluate social media will allow you to discover new opportunities, and focus on sites that have the highest impact. Here are two key actions to implement right away.
Segment Referred Visitors
Most social media activity happens off your site. You’re already tracking which sites refer visitors, but you can get even more from your analysis by segmenting the referred social visitors into two groups:
1. those that can be credited to your actions
2. those that are not a result of your efforts
Analyze the second group of referral sites for quality – the page rank value, for one, and the kind of visitor it delivers (engaged, or not – read this article to help you identify those "hand raisers").
From here, you can decide whether to add it to the list of sites where you are active.
Add Campaign Tracking
To properly measure what activity is working, and on which social sites, you need to add custom campaign tracking to ANY and ALL links you distribute through social media.
Every web analytics solution does custom campaign tracking a little differently, but the idea is the same – adding code to the end of the URL to track the performance of that campaign.
If you’re creating a post for Twitter, for instance, be sure to add the tracking code to the end of the URL before you shorten it. Get in the habit of adding the tracking for any links you post, on Facebook, Flickr, etc.
Though tedious at first, trust that you’ll have a much better picture of which efforts/campaigns are driving visitors to your site, and their level of conversion. Again, be diligent about adding it to every link, for the most accurate picture.
Implement these tips, and you’ll have social media data that can help you measure your current campaigns, and find quality social media sites that you can test in future.