In a recent study by Social Media Examiner, they learned that 40% of online marketers did not know if their efforts were working or not. According to eMarketer, measuring ROI is still the most difficult challenge in social media.

Social media is still a very elusive marketing tool. What I find in working with clients, is that most are not taking some essential steps available to gain key insights into the true impact of their efforts. Here are 3 steps you can take to improve your tracking of social media effectiveness.

  • Know your goals: If you don’t know your goals, you can’t track them. A key difficulty in tracking ROI is due to a lack of goal setting, or at least, the details behind them. Ok, I know your goal is to grow business & make sales, but we need to take down a notch. If you know your goal is the following, you can specifically track it…
    • Leads to your email list.
    • Downloads of a lead magnet or white paper.
    • Scheduled appointments.
    • E-commerce sales driven from social links.
  • Use Free Analytics: Every social channel has some pretty enlightening free analytics available to you. Go beyond the “like” and make sure you are looking at things like:
    • Lead forms submitted.
    • “Book now” actions.
    • Contact requests.
    • Traffic to downloads, appointments and registrations.
    • Advanced tip: Using UTM codes in your URLs allows you to track activity and results from a specific content distribution channel.
  • Just Ask!  Whether you are a service provider or a retail store, there is one old-school method that is oft-forgotten yet very powerful.  ‘How did you hear about us?’ I am amazed at the number business that have a strong social media presence, with a powerful advertising call to action encouraging a phone call or a visit, and yet they fail to ask the question. If your goal is to move from online awareness to an in-person encounter, there is no URL for that. You must ask. You don’t know what you don’t track.

So, start simple to learn more! Get specific, use your social media insights and analytics tools consistently, and communicate with your consumer to find out how they heard of you.

By doing so, you may even inspire them to leave you an online review or recommend you to friends!