How To Use Social ROI Data for Conversion

Track and monetize social media efforts with Google Analytic Social Reports.

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before – CMO’s want more customers. And since social media is a part of the marketing toolkit now, they want social media to convert fans into buyers – and as soon as possible. That outcome is called “Social ROI”, and it’s one of the most buzzed-about terms in online marketing today. If you’re not familiar with Social ROI, bring yourself up to date with our Social Media and ROI series.

Some 63% of CMO’s report that increasing Social ROI is a priority – but most are unable to produce actual numbers. A lack of measurement tools is one of the most cited reasons why brands really have no idea how much they are getting in return for all of their time and money spent on social.

Now Google has added a section specifically for measuring bottom-line social marketing, Google Analytics Social Reports: a free tool for any website configured with Google Analytics. Social Reports integrate web and social data to provide a holistic view of your content and community.

The key to using Google Analytics Social Reports successfully is understanding how to set up Goals properly, and making sense of the data. The following is not a a “how to” on getting started, but how to approach social analytics and fit it into your marketing plan.

1. Establish Goals
Assign a dollar value to each Goal as a Conversion. This puts a monetary value on social impact and eliminates the doubt over which social channels and strategies are or are not working.

2. Re-think Your KPIs
With Google Analytics Social Reports, KPIs and Goals are one in the same. A Goal can be identified by URL Destination, Visit Duration, Page/Visit or Event. All of your standard KPI’s, like purchases, email opt-ins, demo requests, shares, downloads, or time spent on the website are measurable as conversions.

3. Make Informed Decisions
Google Analytics Social Reports not only show which social networks drive the most traffic and result in conversion, but the exact navigation of your visitors from social site to check out. Knowing this, you can make more informed decisions about your future investment in each social channel (or if none are delivering, utilize new social platforms or change your strategy on existing platforms), and see where your website and SEO efforts can be improved to reduce the number of steps it takes your customers to complete your Goals.

4. Consider Social Relationships
Not only can you track the conversion of an existing social fan, you can see how effective they are as referral sources. This is a valuable data point for justifying long-term investment in social media.

What’s interesting about Google Social Reports is that even though the focus is on conversion, a keen marketer still has to know how to read the data while anticipating rapid changes to the social landscape, and has to account for the fact that content must evolve to keep existing and new customers engaged. Don’t neglect the content for the data.