“Is there anything else to use for social media measurement except for premium social media marketing tools?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions we are getting from young entrepreneurs and small business owners, and today we will address it in this article. It is true that we have discussed various social media marketing tools in the past, some of them free, others based on a freemium model.
In most of the cases, the in-depth social media analysis and breakdown by sources of traffic and return on investment are available for the paid, premium versions of these tools. As cautious and careful business owners, you would like to save as much money as you can – this is totally understandable and laudable.
For this reason, today we will show you how to use Google Analytics to measure your social media performance. We will take you through the entire process of setting up goals and finding the data you need in order to assess how successful you social media marketing strategies are. Let us start then with the beginning:
1. Set Social Media Goals for Your Website
Google Analytics does not measure your social media activity WITHIN each separate platform, but always in relation to your website. In order to have something to measure, you must begin by setting your social media traffic and conversion goals.
What does this mean? It means creating a social media strategy focused on posts which will take your followers from the platform and bring them to your website to complete a call to action of sorts. This call to action could be the purchase of a product, or signing up for your newsletter or downloading a free eBook.
Depending on this goal, you will set up a specific number of monthly tweets, Facebook™, Instagram or Pinterest posts including a link which leads straight to your website.
2. Create the Endpoint for Your Social Media Traffic Funnel
In order to create Google Analytics goals and measure the success of your social media campaigns, you should define an URL which confirms that the person who clicked on the social media link has fully completed your call to action. This could be a Thank You page for signing up or an Order Confirmation page for a purchase.
3. Set Your Goals in Google Analytics
Now it’s time to head to your Google Analytics account and set up the goals you wish to measure for your social media campaigns. The process is quite simple and user friendly:
- Go to the Admin tab, and in the View panel click on Goals then on +New Goal
- In the Goal setup panel select the Custom template
- In the textbox under Goal Description introduce the name of the campaign as you use it in your social media marketing plan
- In the Destination text box type in the name of the endpoint WITHOUT the URL. For instance, if your endpoint is www.mysite.com/thank-you.html, you will type only “thank-you.html” in the Destination text box
- The Value and Funnel options can be left on the Off selection, unless you have clear data on client lifetime value and/or a multi-step conversion process (i.e. multiple page sign-up or purchase form)
- Click on Save and your goal is set.
From this moment on, you can start checking on your goal and see how many conversions you have achieved.
4. Find out Which Platform Brings You More Traffic
Another way in which you can use Google Analytics to measure your social media is by looking at a detailed presentation of where your traffic is coming from (and this does not include only the social media).
In order to do so, in your main Google Analytics panel go to the Acquisition tab. Once you click it, you will see a drop down menu. Select the All Traffic tab and then Channels. Once you’ve clicked on Channels, you will get a detailed view of all traffic on your website from anything from organic searches and social media, to referrals, paid search and email.
As you can see, Google Analytics is quite useful to offer insights into your social media marketing results – and, most importantly, it is free to use. We hope that until your company grows to the level when it can afford complex data analysis tools, you can use this free tool with confidence and ease.