One of the most critical and stress-inducing questions asked, no, demanded, of social media managers everywhere, is to prove social media ROI.
What’s the return on investment for social media activity?
What’s the business impact of the time and resources that are being spent on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and elsewhere?
They’re fair questions for a business, particularly when they’re coming from executives like the CEO or CMO who are working to insure the company’s pipeline and revenue forecasts are growing. But it’s also an existential question for you, isn’t it.
Is our business getting a return on our investment in you, our social media manager?
The good news is, you’re not alone. Social media managers and marketing agency owners around the world have been struggling with this dilemma for years. Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner and the premier industry event, Social Media Marketing World, has reported every year that their surveys show an inability to measure social media ROI to be the #1 issue, resoundingly, among their readers and podcast listeners.
The better news is, Agorapulse has been listening.
In a stunning announcement from the keynote stage of this year’s SMMW, Agorapulse CEO Emeric Ernoult revealed that they’ve been working on a new Social Media ROI feature that, once and for all, will empower social media managers to demonstrate the real impact their activity has on the business bottom line.
Marketing agencies will be able to provide their clients with in-depth reports illustrating exactly how much revenue and business activity their work on social channels on behalf of their clients occurred.
Enterprise and eCommerce brands will have unparalleled insight into the channels, formats and products that actually perform the best on social networks and in private network conversations.
The Struggle To Prove Social Media ROI
In his presentation, Emeric shared the story of a social media manager who asked that very direct question. Her boss wanted to know why they were spending money on an outsourced social media team, and they were getting out of that expense.
And the social media manager didn’t have an answer. They hadn’t been making an effort to tie any of their social media activity to actual business results. They could see within Google Analytics how much traffic was coming to their web property from various social channels overall, but as you likely know already, all of that data is aggregated. Google Analytics tells you all of the traffic coming in from Twitter. Not just from your channel, and not in any way discerning from one post to the next.
There was absolutely no insight into whether or not it was even the brand’s channels driving any of the web traffic or conversions.
Which was a situation Agorapulse surfaced within their own data.
As a social media management tool used by tens of thousands of managers around the world, Agorapulse has tremendous amounts of data available. They looked at the 10.6 million posts created by their users last year alone, and noted that 32% of those posts contained a link – but only 1.8% of those links used a trackable link.
You see, that social media manager who’d been questioned to justify her monthly budget was determined to prove that her team was generating real social media ROI. She had her team start using a spreadsheet to track every link that was shared and at the same time, they started using UTM tracking parameters.
With UTM parameters, you can pass information to Google Analytics information about a particular link, when it’s clicked by someone, such as what campaign they’re coming from, what social network, even which profile. You can learn more about how to set up tracking links, spreadsheets, and analysis of Google Analytics, in this free workshop being offered by Chris Penn and Agorapulse.
The thing is, building links with UTM parameters is tedious, manual work, which is why most businesses don’t do it.
98.2% of links have no tracking parameters and therefore no way to measure the ROI.
The Social Media ROI Solution
Agorapulse’s innovative solution to helping you measure and prove social media ROI is to first connect your Google Analytics data to Agorapulse, then automatically add UTM parameters to every link shared through the system, even links in replies and direct messages – and those are often the most important and lucrative links. It’s usually in comments or direct messages where a business’s audience is asking for specific links to products or solutions.
Which means that now, with Agorapulse, every link that a social media team publishes is immediately tracked.
What makes the solution so elegant is that it also leverages UTM parameters that are seldom used to add unique identifying code to each and every link. Once the Google Analytics data is paired, Agorapulse is able to match up traffic and conversions from specific posts, and reveal far more insights than ever possible before.
Imagine being able to see, not only how much revenue your business generated from LinkedIn last month, but also how your video content compared to your image posts. Or even how much revenue each team member’s activities garnered.
These are the kinds of actionable insights and social business intelligence that social media managers and agency owners will have at their fingertips.
Automated UTMs and easy-to-read reports make it easy to share a cohesive social media success story to stakeholders without being a Google Analytics expert. Add these valuable metrics to your resume, client pitches, and QBRs to leverage a better position, bigger budgets, new team members, and a seat at the table when strategic business plans are being made.
And never struggle to justify your budget, or your role, again.
Learn more about Agorapulse’s new social ROI feature and measure the business impact of campaigns in minutes.