Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on February 8th, 2010

Social Web Analytics - Part 1

Social media has reached highly competitive heights and everyone wants to be on the top. It is the new, non-traditional platform for strategic messaging where consumers have the control, picking and choosing what marketing they subject themselves to. Do you feel like you are not in control of your social media efforts?

Recent research efforts have found that an overwhelming 86% of businesses will spend more money in 2010 on social media. Brands and businesses now battle with viral videos, sticky websites, and engaging content for the attention of socially optimistic and cautiously conversion-oriented consumers.

The biggest advantage any business running a social campaign can have this year is good old-fashioned data. Does your company’s CEO need definitive evidence for why he is paying a couple of Millennials to surf the web? Data gives you something to hold on to, and if you can start to control the numbers, its a win for everyone.

In terms of web-years, pageview tracking is no longer up to snuff when it comes to social media metrics. With companies like Facebook and Slide spending tons of their budget surpluses on building internal analytical tools, there are improved and evolving measurements that can help your businesses’ social life grow and improve while you take control.

Measuring Conversion Rates – Funnel Analysis

One of the most satisfying and crunchiest numbers in business today is a conversion rate, which refers to the total numbers of visitors to a site, compared to the number of visitors who did a desired action (i.e. sign up for newsletter, create an account, or purchase an item). Funnel Analysis is a more granular way of measuring conversion rates that looks further than just signups divided by total visitors.

Start by figuring out the different steps it takes to make a conversion on your site, then measure out the individual conversion rates for each step. You may find a steep drop off between certain steps, giving the analysis its shape and name, as illustrated in the statistically-fictional visual I have included in the post.

From the Twitter funnel, you can see that a conversion process can get complicated. In this example, there is a big drop off between the “signup” and “add friends” steps. When you find a drop-off like this, you will want to investigate the cause. It could mean that users are unclear how to continue or grow their account, causing them to leave the site, or they are unwilling to share the information. Only testing will determine the root cause.

Funnel Analysis is an effective way to finding and improving the conversion process on websites that funnel visitors from social media. With continuous analysis of your social profiles, campaigns can be measured and ideas can be tested over time to see what optimizes conversions from your social sites, and is lost in the conversation.

Thank You For Your Attention

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