This way you can see for yourself, for free, if your social media marketing strategy is working. Why is social media analytics so important? I recommend trying a few different attribution report models to see where and how social media is showing up. Dark social media traffic reporting If you share a link through social media, such as on your Facebook profile page and a consumer clicks it, that interaction gets attributed to social media. Now drill down into “Audience” and “Overview.” The next thing you’ll want to do is select “Add Segments,” followed by “New Segment.” You need to create a new segment of traffic for people who are currently being reported as Direct but are actually likely dark. Social Media Custom Reports The largest social media platforms are now offering their own free analytics reports. The first one you should be reporting on is conversions. For example, the Ads Manager allows you to track tons of different conversion-style metrics: You want to focus on conversion metrics that tell you end-goal results. Ad frequency reporting If you have a daily Facebook Ad spend of $50 or more, this metric is definitely one you should track. Track where people are coming from to your site, understand what’s driving your real conversions, and what your click-through-rates and cost-per results are.
Social media is a huge opportunity for growing your business.
The problem is that even when you follow all the steps to create profitable campaigns, how do you really know they’re working?
Only 43% of B2C marketers measure their ROI.
The main reason given is that it’s just too hard. They say they need an easier way.
You could pay for a social media tool or service to do it for you.
Or you can use these 12 different hidden reports I’m about to show you.
This way you can see for yourself, for free, if your social media marketing strategy is working.
But first, let me ask you a question.
Why is social media analytics so important?
More than 3 billion people are using social media and close to 3 billion use mobile social media.
This means that roughly 2 out of every 5 people on this planet have an active social media account, and most of them use it on their phone.
Not only are we online, and on social media, but we’re on it a lot.
The average amount of time spent on the Internet every day is 6 hours and 30 minutes just here in the US.
Out of that, close to a third is spent on social media.
It’s not just one social media platform either.
73% of US adults now watch YouTube and 68% are on Facebook.
If your target audience is teenagers, your social media analytics are even more important.
94% of teens are on YouTube, 80% are on Facebook, and 78% are on SnapChat.
People are using social media platforms multiple times a day.
With such widespread use, social media presents an incredible marketing opportunity.
If you’re not succeeding at social media marketing, you’re going to lose in the long run.
But how do you know if you’re succeeding?
Only 6% of B2C marketers feel that the metrics that they’re using are an excellent way to measure their progress towards their goals.
Add this to marketers who feel their metrics are at least good, and you still only have 53% of people.
That means almost half of respondents are not properly and successfully measuring their success.
If you can’t tell if your latest Facebook Ad is tanking or knocking it out of the park, how do you adjust?
You can’t improve your business if you can’t measure your results.
85% of marketers are already using analytics tools. But almost half still have no idea if their strategy is working.
This is why not just any analytics tool will do.
The following are the 12 reports you should be using to make sure your social strategy is succeeding.
Google Analytics Custom Reports
Google Analytics offers a ton of ways to monitor how your social media efforts are paying off.
Unfortunately, the default dashboard on your homepage doesn’t give you a lot of valuable information.
It can tell you how much traffic is coming from social media.
However, the more valuable information can only be gathered through custom reporting.
Here are the top 5 Google Analytics custom reports I recommend using in 2018:
1. Attribution Monitoring Report
One of the first things you’re going to want to understand is exactly how customers are arriving at your website.
If you want to understand how your social strategy is working, you need to isolate the traffic coming from social media.
The default way Google Analytics tracks conversions can be very misleading.
Currently, it defaults to the Last Interaction Model.
Here’s an example of how this Attribution Model works:
- John is researching affordable sedans and finds your website via Google Search. He browses around and likes some of the cars you sell, but he’s not ready to buy yet.
- John clicks to “Like” your company’s Facebook profile and then leaves your site.
- Your company writes a blog about how happy one of your customers is with their new affordable sedan purchase. You post a link to your Facebook page. John clicks on the link and reads the article on your site. Then he once again leaves.
- John’s back researching on Google and this time he sees a pay-per-click (PPC) ad for your website. He clicks on it and buys a sedan.
The last interaction model would attribute the sale entirely to the PPC ad.
You can see how this is a bit misleading when it comes to the success of each marketing channel.
John twice interacted with your company through social media. This report wouldn’t let you see that your social strategy was in fact working.
Thankfully, there are other options.
Here’s a look at the other available attribution models:
In the example above, the First Interaction Model would look like this:
It gives the first interaction with the customer all of the credit.
This is useful if you want to know which channels are driving awareness.
For more information about different types of attribution models, read this.
The Last and First Interaction Models are fairly straightforward.
Time Decay is a model that gives more attribution to recent interactions and less to those further in the past.
Be aware that analytics aren’t perfect.
This particular report also only looks back 90 days. If your customer’s first interaction was more than three months ago, the report won’t catch it.
I recommend trying a few different attribution report models to see where and how social media is showing up.
Which one you find most useful will depend on your goals.
If you primarily use social media to target CTAs at consumers who are ready to buy, then the last interaction model might suit your purposes.
2. Dark social media traffic reporting
If you share a link through social media, such as on your Facebook profile page and a consumer clicks it, that interaction gets attributed to social media.
Let’s say that consumer then visits your page and reads something they think is awesome.
Instead of using your social share buttons on your site, they copy the URL and paste it into a Messenger conversation with their friends.
Any friends who click that link won’t be attributed to social media by the default Google Analytics reports.
They’re “dark social traffic” since GA can’t tell where they’re coming from.
Being able to track this type of traffic is more important than ever in 2018.
Social messaging is now more popular than social media. More and more people will choose to share info through messaging apps over social platform sites.
In fact, if you’re adopting the use of chatbots, you’ll be increasing the volume of dark social traffic.
To identify dark social traffic, you need to create a new segment inside Google Analytics to isolate it.
Now drill down into “Audience” and “Overview.” The next thing you’ll want to do is select “Add Segments,” followed by “New Segment.”
You need to create a new segment of traffic for people who are currently being reported as Direct but are actually likely dark.
The first thing you need to do is identify all of your visitors that Google currently believes are Direct traffic.
In Google Analytics, on the left-hand side, select Traffic Sources.
Then under ‘Source’ select contains (direct).
Now filter out the ones who may actually be typing in your URL directly.
Start by ruling out your homepage.
Since your homepage is generally your shortest and most well-known URL, it is the most likely one to actually have direct traffic.
To exclude it from this dark traffic report choose ‘Conditions’ on the left, under the advanced section.
Then go to the ‘Landing Page’ filter and select “is not one of” or “doesn’t contain” and then add a forward slash “/.”
Now you can save this segment, and you will be able to track all traffic that is likely “dark.”
3. Social media performance analysis reporting
You can download this report here, rather than building it yourself.
The report has three tabs: summary, content analysis, and device analysis.
The summary will tell you where social media traffic is coming from, how often, if they find what they’re looking for, and if they purchase.
The content analysis report…