Tracking is one thing that businesses often over look with their social media strategy. And they shouldn't because if you are in charge of social media you want to show what your doing adds value (meaning put some hard numbers and cash to all your socializing).

0.) (Yep starting at zero b/c you should have already done this) Get a Google Analytics account setup on your website/blog. Go here to do it

1.) Start adding tracking to the end of your URLs before you shorten them.
Here is an example:
I want to tweet about my blog post "The Top 5 People to Follow on Twitter" and here is what the normal URL looks like

Now I am going to add a "?" past the "html". This "?" tells the web browser to ignore everything past it. Then I added 3 pieces of data that I pick.

  1. utm_Source=
  2. utm_Medium=
  3. utm_Campaign=

These 3 data points are tracked in Google Analytics for slicing and dicing.

Source is the referring place so in this case it will be Twitter. Easy enough. This will allow you to create reports showing all conversions from a source in this caseTwitter. So the high level.

is a Tweet but other mediums would be email, facebookstatus, blogpost etc.... This will allow you to create reports showing all conversions from a medium in this case tweets. This level is digging down more.

Lastly Campaign for me is Top5TwittersPost but this could be a sale name or promo code. This level gets us down to the exact thing we posted.

To create the url before shortening it one last thing you must know is that you have to put a "&" between each piece of data which lets Google Analytics see those pieces separately. Here is the end result for my URL.

2.) What the Hell Do I Track and How Do I measure Value?

There are primary goals to track and secondary goals. All have value.

Primary Actions
(the value is easy to see)
  • The visitor buys something - You make $
  • The visitor fills out your lead form - You have hooked a potential customer
  • The visitor signs up for your newletter - You have permission to email a potential customer
  • The visitor signs up to receive your catalog - You have permission to mail them your catalog
  • The visitor starts a chat session with your customer service or uses the "click to call" function. You have a chance to help the visitor buy something.
Secondary Actions (The value not always a hard number but still valuable)
  • The visitor checks out your careers page. HR spends lots of money trying to recruit new employees so if your social media gets someone to apply you saved them $. (Side note use social media to promote job openings)
  • The visitor shares something from your site on a social network. Integrating social media share features allows your visitors to distribute your content to their network. This is like a personal recommendation by that visitor. Huge! People trust recommendations from their friends a ton. I know not a hard number but huge value.
  • The visitor spends more than X minutes on your site so there is a Y% chance they will come back and buy something. You will have to dig your own figures up in analytics but figure out when people spend more than X minutes on your site they eventually purchase something Y% of the time.
  • New visitors. Bringing new people to your site is big. This means you are extending your reach beyond your core.
  • Do you have more things to track leave them in the comments.
Tracking these actions can be done in Google Analytics via the goal tracking and ecommerce tracking. Go here to learn about setting up goal tracking and here for ecommerce. Some of this may already be setup which makes it that much easier.

3.)Setup Automated Reports
This is a the biggest time saver. Within Google Analytics you can have any report emailed to you on a regular basis. Here is a quick tutorial

On top of every report there is an email button. If you click that you are given options on scheduling reports. Not sue why this is buried in
Here is what that screen looks like. So I recommend a weekly and/or monthly report at a minimum showing the goals you have met via social media. Show some value to what you are doing then ask for more resources and maybe even a raise!! And if you need help setting these up ask around the office or do some research online.

Dig Deeper
- Twitter Integration into Omniture
- Anlytics Guru for Google (read this to blow your mind on analytics)


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