Mar/12

20

Google Analytics Releasing Social Media Performance Reports

by: Kevin Fleming

The main questions we hear with any social media campaign reporting are,”What is the value?” and “Was it profitable?”.  Since attribution analytics are still evolving and the number of visits prior to a conversion is increasing, providing a concrete value for any social media campaign becomes more important.

The PPC advantage to Social Media Marketing:

In the CPC model we can see exactly what the cost of a visit is and the end value of the cumulative visits are.  We can definitively say that there is a minimum ROI of x percent and this is (or in some cases is not) profitable.  There are a few visitors who’s conversions may not be tracked accurately due to a few factors:

1. Call in sales (if call tracking isn’t utilized)

2. Purchase from a separate IP address

3.  Return customers that experienced a sales cycle which is longer than the duration of the PPC cookie.

4. Wrongful attribution.  Attributing a conversion that started with a sponsored click, to a different “last click” referrer.

Aside from these, there are not many questions in regards to where a PPC conversion came from.  Call Tracking is a solution for this first issue and some analytics software such as Yahoo web analytics (was Index tools) can show the behavior of past visits leading up to the final click and can answer many questions about keyword and referrer attribution.

However, in the case of social media a different set of questions go unanswered.  The main issues that exist in tracking social media efforts are:

1. What is the value of a visit driven by any social media source? This does not mean visitors or mentions.  It means actual value.

2. How do my visitor’s interact with my site, movie’s, apps or events?  Does this interaction correlate to conversions and sales?

3. Is my social media marketing driving direct sales or is it even assisting future sales?

4. What social media channel’s drive’s sales?

5. Are the behaviors of visitors from different channels unique?

6. What content works and what content fails?  How do we determine success and failure?

7. How are visitors reacting to this content away from the site?

Google Analytics is taking a shot to assist marketers in answering these questions by rolling out a Social Reporting platform.  With this platform you will be able to compare social behavior and it’s correlation to conversions to make inferences on the effect on the bottom line.  You will also be able to use a referrer string to find whether there are direct sales and assisted sales coming from your social media efforts.  The key to this reporting is the social report referral code from a particular social media channel, event tracking and the value of the conversion which is associated with the given goal.

While this report will not be available to everyone for another few weeks in Google’s estimation, you can get a head start by making sure all of your event tracking codes, social interaction analytics codes, goals and goal values are set up. It’s also important to recognize that this will not provide a complete detailed view of profit generated but should bring Social Media one step closer to having detailed profit and analytic reporting.  It’s no wonder that this was rolled out after Google+ has had a chance to grow a bit and we expect it to increase the ability for marketers to place a value on Social efforts.

Have you been placing a value on your social media efforts and results?  If so how did you determine success and failure of a given campaign?

Please let us know with your comments and give us a like, +1, RT or follow to help us test the new reports!

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