Is Social Media Working?
It is key to know whether your social media activities are working to be able to further develop your online marketing strategy. It is perhaps not always immediately obvious that these types of activities are working, even though social media is supposedly all about engagement. Most people will read posts but not necessarily respond back with comments (although hopefully you are at least getting a few good comments back on the social media platforms you are using). The good news is that there are a number of tools available to help you really understand whether you are engaging with your online audience.
This blog post introduces you to one tool that we highly recommend – Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is one of the many free tools that you can sign up to via Google. It may be best to work with your website developer to be able to access it and to enable the analytics code that is required to be configured on your website. Once enabled, Google Analytics tracks website visits on a continuous basis. This allows you to see where visitors are coming from and approximately how long they are spending on your website.
One of the key indicators is bounce rate; this quickly gives you an indication as to whether your website is engaging visitors online. When someone visits a website and leaves it, it is technically known as bouncing off the site. For example if a visitor to a site then quickly leaves it, this will lead to a high bounce rate, as they are quickly bouncing off the site. This is not a good indication of engaging them (although there is one other factor to consider that we will come on to). If a visitor to a site stays on the site for a few minutes and browses a few pages, this will lead to a low bounce rate. This is a good indication that you are engaging your online audience (30% to 40% is really good).
Thus for social media you can quickly tell whether you are engaging your online followers. From the example below you can tell from the Facebook and Twitter bounce rate stats, 32% & 35% respectively that at least 65% of the audience visiting the website from Facebook or Twitter posts are engaging with the content. Then from there, you can see they are visiting 4 to 6 pages and on average spending 3 to 4 mins on the site. From this we could presume that they are reading more than just about the particular service or product that drew them across to the website. It would seem that they are also intrigued about the business itself in wanting to know what else they offer.
There are exceptions to the bounce rate rule, for example blog postings where a regular visitor to the website would perhaps not visit other pages. As they have been a previous visitor to the site, they would be likely to just read the latest article and then leave the website, which could lead to a high bounce rate. There is another key indicator that can help here, % New Visits.
We would say for social media, once up and running, you are looking for a high amount of recurring visitors; this would indicate you would want to see a lower percentage for the % New Visits stat. From the Facebook and Twitter % New Visits stats above, 24% and 33% respectively, we can tell that this business is definitely engaging their online followers with high amount of recurring visitors and that the content they are posting via these platforms is working.
If you wanted to take it one step further you can with the help of your website developer enable tracking of a particular page, like an enquiries page or for an ecommerce site the basket and checkout pages and sales transactions. This is in terms of conversion rate (these are referral visits from other websites like Twitter that lead indirectly to the page being tracked) and if ecommerce, the value of the transaction that the referral visit generated.
Chris Wood - digital marketing specialist