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How To Measure Social Media Conversion Success

Market Trends - June 20th, 2013 by Natalie Issa.

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When it comes to social, measuring business impact can seem so intangible that it’s nearly impossible. What to measure, how to measure, and where to start are just a few of the perplexing questions marketers face.

To overcome some of these hurdles, we use customer analytics which allows you to tie social referrer information directly to purchase or conversion data. That is, because you tie data to each customer – in this case which channel referred them and what their subsequent conversions were – you can more directly measure and analyze the impact social has on your bottom line.

Is Social Driving Conversions?

One of the most basic questions you need to answer to measure the impact social is having on your bottom line is:

Is it driving conversions?

First of all, what is a conversion to you? Some companies see a conversion as a signup, others as a product purchase, and still others as an upgrade to a paid plan.

However you’re defining conversions, start with that report. That is, if you’re defining conversions as signups, start with your signup report, as shown below.

Signup report

Woopra Pro Tip: Note that you must be tracking signups as a custom event and you need to define the event in your schema.

Now that we have our conversion report, we need to look at conversions that resulted from social media. This is where it gets a little tricky.

Here’s why: You have to define how you want to attribute conversions to different referrers. For example, is it the original referrer (i.e. first touch attribution) because that’s where they first heard about you? Or is it the referrer of the visit where the conversion occurred (i.e. last touch attribution), because that referrer may have somehow convinced them to convert?

You have to deeply understand your business model and campaigns to make these kinds of decisions. Will it give you perfect data? No, of course not. Will there be exceptions? Yes, almost always. But regardless, it will give you an understanding of the impact social is having so that you can make informed future decisions.

While it does vary by business and campaign, here are two quick generalizations that can help simplify the process for you.

First Touch Attribution: Originally Referred by Social

One option is to look at the segment of customers who were originally referred from social media (i.e. first touch attribution). This often works well for companies like SaaS or subscription businesses where there is one main purchase event.

In this situation, you often care most about where the customer first learned about and became interested in your company. Maybe they didn’t convert on that first visit, but it put you on their radar.

Woopra How To: To see your conversions of customers who were originally referred to you via social media, you should segment your report using a “people who did” filter with a visit constraint “original referrer type is social network”, as shown in the screenshot below.

Original Referrer Is Social Network Filter 2

Last Touch Attribution: Conversion Visit Referrer Is Social

Some businesses, such as E-commerce sites, have multiple purchase events rather than one main one. For these companies, it often makes more sense to segment by customers whose visit where they made the purchase was referred by social media (i.e. last touch attribution).

Last touch attribution is also great for measuring social campaigns where you are looking for a direct response. For example, if you are running a Facebook contest that drives people to your website, you will probably want to use last touch attribution to evaluate how effective it was in getting people to participate.

Woopra How To: To see your conversions for the segment described above, you should add a “people who did” filter with the action “purchase” and visit constraint “referrer type is social network”, as shown in the screenshot below.

Purchase Referrer is Social Network

What Type of Conversions Is Social Driving?

Whether or not a customer converted is only part of the story. You may want to also look at how “big” that conversion was, especially if you have a lot of variation in your offerings.

Perhaps social is bringing you a lot of conversions, but they’re all small orders. On the other hand, you may be getting very few – but very big – conversions. It pays to look at how valuable the conversions are to your company.

For example, we’ve segmented a package type report below to understand what types of customers social media is bringing us.

Package Type for SM Segment

Note that we’ve used a filter at the top to segment this report by customers who were originally referred by social media.

Looking at the report, we can clearly see that social media has been referring primarily Business Plus customers and not many Enterprise accounts.

Keep in mind though that you may have more Business Plus accounts (and less Enterprise) across the board, not just being driven by social. The only way to really understand the value of social vs. other referrers is to compare them.

Compare this report with the same report segmented by other referrer types (e.g. search). This will allow us to understand which referrers bring which types of customers relative to others.

Custom Reports

Using custom reports, you can even more directly understand the impact social is having on your business. You can build out a report that gives you the exact stats you’re looking for.

For example, we can create a report that shows us each original referrer type with a column showing the average order value for each. This allows us to quickly compare the kind of customers we’re getting from each type of referrer.

Similarly, you could break this down further from “original referrer type” to each referrer host, as shown in the screenshot below. Getting more granular with your data will help you uncover insights that are easy to miss with a higher level view.

Referrer Host Avg Order Value

How Do You Measure?

How do you currently measure the impact social is having on your business? And what new reports would you most like to see?

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