Using Google Analyitcs to Track Results

Dec 2012

Its tough to pin point the exact ROI of social media.  When you make other investments, its generally clear upfront the kind of return you will see on your initial investment.  Usually the number is as clear as an 8% ROI.  With social media is not as cut and dry.  Your ROI comes in many forms, some are easy to notice and some are a little bit more obscure.  Some happen immediately while others take time.  Just because you can’t see your ROI or it doesn’t happen instantaneously, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

It takes a little more understanding and comprehension to realize the power of social media and how it’s benefiting you.  One of the best ways to measure your results is to track what you do.  In order to really compare whether or not your business does better with social media is to compare how it performed without.  To have that comparison you need to track and analyze what your business does.

Social media is a tool and depending how you use it, will ultimately affect the results you see.  For all you vegans out there, social media is a lot like tofu.  Tofu as you know, by itself it has no flavor and is quite bland.  However when you cook it with something else it assumes the flavors and taste properties of that food.  Social media, depending on what you do with it, can boost your presence.  The point is, it up to you to do something.  By itself it won’t do a whole lot for you.  But with innovative ideas and a clear strategy, social media will transform into a powerful marketing tool for your business.  So to really measure your ROI you must first have a clear cut list of realistic expectations that you hope social media will achieve.  Once you have those, you can start tracking the results.

A very popular way to track what you do is through Google Analytics.

You can use what’s called Google Analytics for your website.  This program will allow you to see which sites are driving the most referral traffic to your website.  With this powerful program you can see if your social media campaigns are indeed leading people back to your website.  If they are then you know sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. are doing their job.  If they are not, you know your problem lies with your social media strategies.  A more in depth feature from Google Analytics is custom campaigns.  These offer a wide variety of tracking tools to measure the effectiveness of specific links and specific sites.  The comprehensive tool can really help narrow down what is most effective.  For a guide on how to use custom campaigns, and what you need to start, you can read here.  You can install Google Analytics directly to your site and you can even install it as an app on your WordPress blog.

With such a tool you can start seeing the benefit social media has to your business.  Better yet, you can really see what works and what doesn’t.  By tracking your results, Google will provide you with detailed information as to the activity certain sites generate for your website.  Now you have will have more tool to help you justify why you continue on with your social media strategy.

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