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When it comes to social media marketing, many companies are left scratching their heads, wondering where to even begin their ROI calculation. Figuring out how to track clicks and data across social channels and align it all with sales data and lead generation may sound like a big headache, but with the help of Google Analytics, it can be done.

When it comes to social media marketing, many companies are left scratching their heads, wondering where to even begin their ROI calculation. Figuring out how to track clicks and data across social channels and align it all with sales data and lead generation may sound like a big headache, but with the help of Google Analytics, it can be done.

Now, if you’re unfamiliar with Google Analytics, all of the data, numbers and graphs can be a bit overwhelming so we’ve put together this short list of steps to get you started in following your customer from the introduction of your message all the way through to the final purchase.

Step 1: Identify The Actions You Want To Track

More than just a pretty face, your website should serve to drive some sort of action. A website without a goal is like an Arby’s billboard that doesn’t tell you what exit to take. Sure it’ll make the customer’s mouth water, but it’s still going to leave them hungry.

To begin determining ROI, you have to start by defining what primary actions you want your customer to take on your site. These actions should be directly tied to revenue impact. This could be making a purchase, picking up the phone, filling out a form, etc. This is not, watching a video, staying on the website for more than two minutes, commenting on a blog article. Those are events. We’re talking strict revenue generation.

Step 2: Configure Goals

Once identified, the next step is to define these goals within your Analytics account. Defining goals with the Goals feature of Google Analytics is essential for measuring important information,  including your site’s number of conversions and conversion rate. Without configuring your goals, your will not be able to evaluate the effectiveness of your online campaigns.

Step 3: Use Custom Links

Use Google’s URL builder create custom links that allow you to track the source of each click. For example, let’s say that you publish a Tweet promoting your latest blog post. You could just post the link to the blog post on Twitter or, you could create a custom URL where the source is Twitter, the medium is Tweet and the campaign name is the date the Tweet was posted. Spoiler alert: choose option two! It allows you to see the direct impact of your Tweet on goal conversion.

Every piece of 1st party content (content that is created by your company and housed on your site), should now be shared using custom links. In fact, when possible, every link to your site on a social platform should be a custom link.

Pro Tip: Be consistent. As far as Google Analytics is concerned Facebook, facebook and FACEBOOK are three different things. As an easy rule of thumb and to avoid confusion, we recommend always using lowercase letters.

Now that you’ve identified and configured the most important goals for your website, and designed custom links for your posts, you can directly follow your consumers’ traffic from the source to the conversion. In completing these first three steps we’ve laid out for you, you’re well on your way to mastering the Social Media ROI calculation and being able to accurately track the effectiveness and reach of all your digital marketing efforts.

If we’ve sparked your interest and you want to learn more, keep an eye out for our more comprehensive guide on Social Media ROI calculation coming out at the end of the month. And, as always, feel free to contact us at 855.62.TOAST to talk to one of our ROI experts and see what SocialToaster can do for you!