It’s funny. I’ve realized that the older I get, the more I don’t know.
The same goes true with social media.
I started blogging at SchneiderB.com as a way to test ideas and document my journey with inbound marketing and social media at Sewickley Academy. I was initially drawn to inbound marketing because it was SO MUCH easier to measure certain types of marketing efforts from clicks to web traffic to blog post visits, the list goes on and on.
My hope was that I would finally be able to measure my marketing efforts and then have a better way to determine my return on investment (ROI).
As I’ve spent more and more time with inbound marketing and social media, I’ve come to realize that measuring these internet marketing efforts and then determining a return on investment is still really hard. It’s not impossible, which it still seems like with traditional marketing efforts, but it’s difficult.
Where Do We Go From Here
Let me translate…
I suggest that you use Google’s Campaign URL Builder to generate links that will allow you to much more easily see where your web traffic is coming from.
To explain this technique let me set-up a scenario. You have a newsletter that you send to prospective families, and you want to see if the link you share in the newsletter is driving traffic to your website.
Follow these steps to start tracking links from social media.
- Navigate to Google’s Campaign URL builder
- You need the piece of content you want to promote. In this case, I’ll use a blog post from our school blog: Six Tips For Parenting Your Pre-K or Kindergarten Student.
- Enter the URL for the blog post above into the “Website URL” box.
- Enter a “Campaign Source.” For this example enter Newsletter
- [Optional] Enter a “Campaign Medium.” For this example enter Email.
- [Optional] Enter a “Campaign Name.” For this example enter Blog.
- Scroll down to the “Share the generated campaign URL” and copy the long URL in the box by clicking the box call “Copy URL.”
- Use that link in your newsletter when you share that particular blog post.
How Do I Measure The Link
Once you create and use your link, you’ll want to measure your efforts. In order to do that it’s pretty simple using Google Analytics.
- Navigate to your Google Analytics account.
- Click on Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals.
- Check if anyone is using your link.
I realize the above example isn’t technically measuring social media, but I hope you’ll see the endless possibilities for determining the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Good luck!