Let’s face it: social media – whether you use Facebook and Twitter or branch into the likes of Pinterest, Snap Chat, an Instagram — is changing the way we market our businesses, drive traffic to our websites, and engage with our customers.
Less than a decade ago, social media was just beginning to take hold among consumers and businesses alike. Once businesses saw the benefits of using social media, the duty was usually placed on the “tech-savvy” entry-level employee or intern.
Oh, how things have changed!
With the rise of social media marketing comes a unique challenge – validating social media’s ROI.
For example, I once grew a Facebook page from 15 followers to 10,000 followers over the course of about 15 months. I presented my results in an annual company meeting, and everything sounded great.
I can’t tell you how sweaty my palms suddenly became as the company’s president asked me how many of the people clicking on our social media posts were staying on our site for more than 3 minutes or whether Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram had the most engaged audience within the site.
What was probably just 30 seconds felt more like 30 minutes. I had no answer and could only speculate. Google Analytics only showed me so much.
The Solution: Conversion Optimization
Conversion optimization is traditionally associated more with learning why visitors aren’t turning into customers and ensuring that a user’s journey from homepage to checkout is effortless. It also can be a huge asset to validating social media campaigns and reporting a ROI.
If you face a situation like I once faced in validating social media efforts, conversion optimization can not only provide valuable insight but also WOW your boss and client. I would have been impressing all the right people had I been able to pull out a dynamic heatmap showing how different social media traffic interacted differently or show a user recording of where someone from Facebook is clicking.
In reality, there are only seven steps you need to take to start diving into your social media ROI:
1. Add a conversion optimization tool to your website.
Obviously we would suggest Lucky Orange, but at the very least you should find a tool that includes all features, such as dynamic heatmaps, user recordings, form analytics, conversion funnels, live chat, polls, and a dashboard. Having an all-in-one tool means one payment, one system to learn, and a 100% guarantee that everything will work seamlessly together.
2. Set your social media goals & objectives.
You’re preparing to better understand your social media efforts, but you also need to know what your goals are. Identify your goals and stick with them. ROI isn’t solely about metrics; it’s about meeting what your company expects and needs from social media. Things to consider may be changes in customer behavior, technology, business priorities, and key performance indicators (KPIs).
3. Create a UTM code for each link you use on social media.
A UTM code is a simple code added to a link for identification and tracking purposes. If you don’t know where to start, Google has a great tool to help.
For example, let’s say I want to share a link to LuckyOrange.com on Facebook as part of a campaign featuring super heroes. My link may look something like this: http://www.luckyorange.com/?utm_source=FacebookOffer&utm_campaign=SuperHeroAd.
This link would tell me that I’m linking to our homepage for a Facebook Offer using a Superhero Ad.
4. Don’t forget about social media analytics.
Both Facebook and Twitter have an incredible amount of information to gain from their in-system insights.
These insights don’t tell the full story, but getting used to these analytics can give you a basis to grow and learn when you add in conversion optimization tools. Basically, if you aren’t using Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics on a daily basis already, start using them on a daily basis. If traffic suddenly spikes, you will be able to dive into your conversion optimization tools to find out why, where they were clicking, and if they converted.
5. Set up behavior tags. Behavior tags are by far one of the most underutilized aspects of Lucky Orange. To access, go into your settings and select “behavior tags.” Here is an example we use to identify Twitter traffic:
Once you’re ready, select <Save Changes>. It’s important to set behavior tags prior to running a campaign to ensure you aren’t missing any recordings.
6. Utilize Lucky Orange recordings. This is where your UTM codes come into play. Yes, you can also use UTM codes within Google Analytics. However, Google Analytics won’t be able to show you something like this:
To access recordings, either go into live visitors or recordings and search by your UTM terms. For example, I searched for FacebookOffer to find users coming from just that link. You can also select your Facebook behavior tag and see how it compares to other Facebook traffic as well.
7. Compare via dynamic heatmaps. Recordings are just one part of the equation. With recordings, you can see how visitors from social media are using your website, but dynamic heatmaps take it one step further. Dynamic heatmaps collect data in an overlay that lets you navigate your website and then isolate behavior tags to compare and contrast behavior.
For example, you may be able to find differences in how mobile traffic from Facebook utilize your site differently than desktop traffic from Facebook. Is traffic from Twitter or Facebook more likely to convert?
Here’s the real trick: check your ROI often if you can and be prepared to evolve your strategies, update campaigns and re-analyze your goals.
Social media, much like conversion optimization, isn’t a black and white, set-it-and-forget-it strategy. It will evolve just as quickly as your website. Combining conversion optimization tools with social media will give you winning insight you need to recreate and validate the successes and re-strategize and understand the failures.