John Maher: Hi. I’m John Maher, and this is “Digital Marketing Madness.” This podcast is brought to you by McDougall Interactive. We’re an Internet marketing agency in Danvers, Massachusetts. Today my guest is Meghan Williams. Welcome, Meghan.
Meghan Williams: Hi, John.
How To Know If Your Social Media Is Effective
John: Today our topic is, “Is Your Social Media Marketing Working?” Meghan, how do you know if your social media campaigns are effective?
Meghan: As with anything, you know they’re effective if they’re achieving the goals that you set for them. The way I break down social media marketing goals is there are two buckets. You could have a high‑level brand awareness goal, or you could have a goal to use social media to drive conversions on your website.
Depending on which goal is more important to you, you might have a different strategy, and you might have different measures to see if you’re being effective.
John: If you’re just going after branding, you’re not necessarily worried about whether or not it’s contributing to sales in the short term. On the other hand, if you’re trying to get sales out of it, and nobody’s buying anything, then that’s a problem.
Meghan: Right. For brand awareness, your social media strategy would be about increasing engagement on your social networks. You want people commenting, retweeting, sharing your content.
If your goals are conversions, then ultimately you want to be tracking how much traffic to your website comes from your social channels, and then ultimately, the behavior that that traffic has. Did they flow to the right pages? Did they eventually convert? Those are the kinds of metrics you’d want to be tracking to see if your social media campaigns are effective.
John: Any other specific metrics that you should be tracking to determine if your social media marketing is working?
Metrics and Tool for Tracking Brand Awareness
Meghan: Specific metrics for a brand awareness goal would be like what we were just saying ‑‑ likes, retweets, comments, your social reach, how many, because that’s just not your audience, but who they’ve shared it with. The way different social media networks’ algorithms work, their content floats to the top the more engagement it has, and the broader your base.
There’s a complicated formula in there. Each of these networks determine what your reach is. That’s something you want to be keeping track of to expand your exposure and get more people following you and sharing your content.
Social media tools like Hootsuite, which is what we use, can provide aggregated reporting. That doesn’t come with the free version. You can get some basic reporting from Hootsuite for free, and then if you increase your rate with them, you can get some pretty intense aggregated reporting across all your channels, and it’s really helpful.
Each of the main channels has pretty solid analytics for themselves that are free. Facebook in particular, is pretty good. LinkedIn is also great. Twitter, I think, is new on their own analytics, but they have a decent dashboard as well.
I would log in every week and check just how things are going. What tweets got retweeted, what got shared, and keep an eye on those numbers. I definitely do recommend going in every week.
I think most of the dashboards that I just mentioned, Facebook and LinkedIn, kind of refresh every week. It’s hard to get historical data a month at a time, so if you go in every week and keep an eye on it, you can extract data on a regular basis and build out your own bigger reports, longer‑term reports.
Those free dashboards that the networks offer are pretty robust, they’re helpful, and they give you a good idea of how engaged your audience is.
Metrics and Tools for Tracking Social Media Sales
John: What about for your tracking sales?
Meghan: For that one, you’re going to want Google Analytics on your site, Goals set up, and be able to tell traffic that gets referred from social media networks. A couple weeks ago, I talked about setting up a custom Google Analytics dashboard. You can do that for social media metrics.
There are so many dashboards out there that have already been created by people that you can just download for free and apply to your Google Analytics view. I’ll include some recommendations in the transcription, or the links to those.
You can download those widgets. You can upload them to your Google Analytics view. You can customize them however you want, and then you can have an email automatically sent to you tracking things like how much traffic you got from each social network in a given time frame, what those people did.
Did they read an article on your site? And then, how many pages did they view on your site, and did they ultimately get to a form and convert on that form? You can have Google Analytics consolidate that in the dashboard, and email your report every week.
That’s actually a cool thing I just learned how to do. In your dashboard, there’s a little button at the top that says, “Email.” You just click that and you can schedule an email right there to send to whoever you want, as often as you want. It’s great.
John: That’s really good information, Meghan. I appreciate you speaking with me today.
Meghan: Thank you very much.
John: For more information about digital marketing visit mcdougallinteractive.com, and subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks for listening. I’m John Maher. See you next time on Digital Marketing Madness.