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I recently had the pleasure of presenting at the Social Media Success Summit on the topic of advanced Google Analytics. One of the questions that came up was around social media KPIs.

Recall that my definition of a KPI is that if the number goes to worst case, you are fired. If your job is sales, number of leads is a KPI; worst case is zero leads, no leads means no sales, and you are fired.

So what numbers for social media marketing fall in this category? While every business is unique in some way, I suggest starting with these four KPIs for social media marketing, all found in Google Analytics. These KPIs are predicated on proper goals and goal values already set up.

  • socially sourced new users
  • socially sourced returning users
  • socially sourced assisted conversions
  • socially sourced last interaction conversions

Let’s examine each of these.

Socially Sourced New Users

Why it’s important: New users to our digital owned properties indicates we are reaching net new people, expanding our reach. Identifying which users come from social networks lets us know how well we’re doing with reach via social media.

Where to find it: In Google Analytics, you’ll need to set up a custom segment with source/medium configured to the various social networks, and a user type of New User.

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Socially Sourced Returning Users

Why it’s important: Returning users to our digital owned properties indicates we are nurturing and engaging our community. If people never come back to us, they’re not interested in us.

Where to find it: As with the previous metric, set up a custom segment with source/medium configured to the various social networks, and a user type of Returning User.

Socially Sourced Assisted Conversions

Why it’s important: Assisted conversions are conversions in which the designated channel – in this case social media – is not the last thing someone did before converting. We want to know whether social media is helping sales to happen in some fashion, and assisted conversions should show us that our message is helping to usher customers through their journey.

Where to find it: In Conversions, under Multi-Channel Funnels, look for Assisted Conversions, then look at the purple Social line. The first two columns of data are assisted conversion data. If you see only zeroes or nothing at all, chances are you do not have goals and goal values configured properly.

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Socially Sourced Last Interaction Conversions

Why it’s important: Last interaction conversions indicate someone bought from that channel; that channel was the last thing they did before converting. While our social media feeds shouldn’t be full of “buy now!” messaging, an occasional pitch is not unwarranted. We should see the results of those occasional pitches in Last Interaction Conversions.

Where to find it: The same as above, only the third and fourth columns.

Start with KPIs!

While social media gives us plenty of data to analyze, we must start with the most important metrics first; these social KPIs are a great starting point. Be sure to add KPIs per our definition above to measure the most important parts of your social media marketing.


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