Can a social networking site like Facebook really convert leads? Does social media really lead to sales? While it’s nearly impossible to track every factor that converts a lead into a customer, social media analytics can certainly offer more data than you’re currently collecting. But how?
If you understand how to use social media posts for business then you already know the two main ways they generate leads are by increasing brand awareness and driving website traffic. But how do you know for sure that your social media posts are growing your brand and web traffic?
1. How Social Media Tracks Brand Awareness
Let’s start with brand. In order to make sure social posts are increasing your brand awareness, you need to know that they identify your brand and reach a relevant audience with a relevant message. And once those are confirmed, you need to make sure your number of “audience reached” is going up.
a. Name, Logo & Message
How can social media analytics track brand identity? It’s actually really easy to get your brand in front of people on social media. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc, all allow a business account to:
- distribute social posts (which should contain a industry-relevant message)
- that feature a profile picture (which should be your logo)
- with a clickable account name (which should be your company’s name).
Put simply, you have the opportunity to display your company name, logo, and business message on every single social post you send to your audience.
b. Number of Reach & Impressions
Once your name, logo, and message gets sent to your audience on a regular basis, the only thing left to do is to track how many of the right people are viewing those posts. If you’re familiar with paid vs organic social media posts, then you know you have the ability to target a large amount of your audience with pinpoint accuracy. This is where the fun begins. Social media analytics provide immediate results on the:
- “Reach” – the number of PEOPLE who viewed your social post,
- “Impressions” – the number of VIEWS your post receives (some social channels display a post to the same person multiple times in news feeds due to ongoing engagement / interest).
This data can be used to set monthly/yearly benchmarks to track how social media effectively influenced your brand awareness.
2. How Social Media Tracks Web Traffic
Next up is web traffic. In order to make sure social media posts are driving traffic to your website you first need to make sure your social media accounts include backlinks to your website. There are several ways to include website backlinks on your social media channels. For example, you should include a backlink in the:
- About section of your account profile
- text of your social posts
- CTA section of your page or social ads
Please note that your backlink shouldn’t lead audiences to a random page on your website. Make sure the link leads to a landing page that is relevant to the message in the post and the audience you are targeting. Relevant backlinks will drive qualified web traffic. Qualified web traffic means leads who are eager to stay on your website longer or with purpose – which (depending on the state of your website) will funnel those leads into buyers.
b. Insights & Google Analytics
Once backlinks are inserted into your social media accounts, you can use many tools to track which channels and which posts are bringing traffic to your website – which can help to refine your effectiveness. You can also measure the exact amount of traffic from any period of time and compare that number to a previous date for benchmark purposes.
The analytics we use to report to our clients on a monthly basis include insights collected by each social channel and Google Analytics. Insights record exactly how many link clicks each individual social post received, and Google Analytics display how many website sessions each social channel is responsible for in any given period of time. It also tracks the percentage of total web visits you’ve received from social media among every other possible acquisition (e.g., organic search through a search engine; direct visit by someone typing in your web address; referral from another website). These percentages offer a bird’s-eye view of every single way your digital or online presence is converting leads.
Start Tracking Business Results with Social Media Analytics
If you’re still struggling to find the value of social media for your company, we hope that you’ll contact us to learn more about social media analytics and how these data-rich platforms can drive real business results.