Last updated on September 20th, 2021
Social media marketing is at the top of the marketing agendas of every business today. But, these strategies will be worthless if they don’t deliver maximum return on their investments. Also, marketers and entrepreneurs wish to grow their customer base through consistent engagement. However, it’s not an easy task for most businesses, especially those starting new. Hence, Designhill decided to organize an online event where social media marketing expert Leslie Samuel showed what are the right ways to track the ROI of your social media marketing campaigns. Have a look.
While every business owner wishes to exploit social media platforms in search of customers, not all of them do so successfully. They fail to get the return on the investment made on engaging customers especially on social media. Consequently, their limited and valuable investment goes to waste.
But, what is the professional way to find out if the investment is helping achieve the goals? What could be the best way to know how much customer traffic you are exactly getting from social media?
To discuss the right way to determine the amount of traffic you can get from social media, Designhill conducted a workshop. The leading creative marketplace organized the workshop on how to track the ROI of your social media marketing on 24th November 2020. The social media marketing expert Leslie Samuel gave a few tips on how to track the results of the investment on social platforms.
Agenda Of The Workshop
- How to identify and break down your business goals?
- How to set up goals so that you can actually track ROI?
- How to share your content on social media the right way?
- How to analyze your results to refine your marketing plan?
Leslie Samuel is a social media marketing planner and also the creator of iamlesliesamuel.com and the host of the Leslie Samuel show. He teaches how to build an online business by creating content. He is the head of training for the Social Media Marketing Society that helps social media marketers get the training.
In this post, we’ve shared the event’s video and its transcript in the form of Q/As where you will be learning each and every bit of social media marketing and how to track its ROI. Learn in your more preferred way.
Transcript (Q/A): Here Is How To Track The ROI Of Your Social Media Marketing
Leslie Samuel: So, the question that we are trying to answer today is this. Can you track the ROI of social media? Is this something, you know, a lot of people do their social media marketing? They think, man, I hope I hope it’s working? I am not sure because I can’t see how much you know I am making from these social media efforts or anything of that sort. What I want to show you is that it is possible. All right. So let’s look at what this looks like if we do it.
So, we will jump to Google Analytics. I will give you a preview of what we are going to be looking at today. So, here is a Google Analytics account for one of my clients. You can see a lot of details on the screen. But I will point out a few things for you today from this analytics account. You can see several things that we did on social media, YouTube, and others.
You can see them numbered from one to ten. Here on this screen, you can see that video this month, and another video, an email, a blog post. These videos were posted on social media. All of these are different things that we did as a part of a specific promotion. This is a specific promotion that we did. And here’s what I want you to see from that promotion.
You can see exactly how many transactions came from every one of the campaigns. We did the campaigns on social media, or via email, or a blog post, or a community page. Now, as you can see, we can track exactly what happened as a result of each of these posts.
So, the idea here is to show how you can realize your traffic goals. Do not just say that you are getting traffic from Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest. Rather, you can say that when you made that specific post on social media on that day, you got this result.
Requirements To Meet
Leslie Samuel: Now, I want to tell you what the requirements are, what are you going to have to have, for this to work? Three requirements, you need to have a website, all right, if we are talking about an online business here, and with your online business, you have to have a website.
You Should Be Selling Something
Number two, you need to have something to sell or something to promote. Now, if you don’t have anything to sell, you’ll still be able to use what we are doing today, or what I am showing you today, but you won’t be able to say for examples at that post brought in $52 and 61 sense, you won’t be able to get that specific, but you’ll be able to still see how much traffic came from each of the individual posts that you did on social media.
Have Google Analytics Installed
Number three, you will need Google Analytics and so have it installed. As long as you have these three things, you are going to be able to do what we are talking about today. We are not talking about some fancy and expensive process. Just about everything I am going to show you how to use today is going to be free.
Five Steps Process
Leslie Samuel: Let’s continue now by talking about what are the steps involved. In this process, we have five steps that I am going to walk you through today.
- Identify your goals – Identify and break down your goals.
- Set up your goals – Set up your goals in Google Analytics.
- Create our campaign URLs.
- Share your links on social media.
- Analyze your results
This is the premise of everything that we are going to go through today. I will walk you through those steps right now.
Step 1: Identify and Break Down Your Goals
Leslie Samuel: You should identify and break down your goals more specifically. How do we do that? Well, there are some questions that I want you to answer. Question number one, what is the ultimate goal of your business? Now, I will say for myself that I help creators build businesses. I build business around my clients’ passion to create something.
So, my ultimate goal is to help creators, like you, to build successful businesses around what they want to create. That is my ultimate goal. Now, your ultimate goal might be somewhat different. But the idea is, you want to answer that question, what is your ultimate goal? Maybe you are a realtor, helping working families find their perfect home. Or, you have a platform online where you help pregnant moms look awesome. This you do with your unique maternity fashion brand.
Decide On The Metrics
Leslie Samuel: The second question that you are gonna want to answer is the following. What metrics Can you measure that give you an idea that you are accomplishing that goal? Maybe, you do one-on-one coaching. You are trying to track how many people are signing up for coaching calls and coaching experiences. Or, maybe you have an E-book for sale or have a service that you provide? So, you want to have a metric to give you an indication that you are meeting that goal.
Where will you connect with your audience?
Leslie Samuel: Are you going to be using Facebook to connect with your target audience? Or, are you going to be using Instagram or Pinterest? Are you going to use email to connect with your audience or to connect with your potential audience?
Organize The Platforms
Leslie Samuel: The next thing to do is organize those platforms, the places that you are going to be connecting with people. You will connect with them on two different levels. And the two levels are your campaign name and campaign sources.
Now, we are not going to get too technical about all of the details of this. We will get quite technical. But for right now, what I want you to understand is that these are just two different categories to different levels of the organization. For example, since we are talking about social media, you can have a campaign name, which is social media.
Under that campaign, you can have your sources like Facebook or Instagram, Linked In, Twitter, or even YouTube. I am taking these platforms and organizing them. These are my social media platforms. And then you can take, for example, email marketing, maybe you are going to do an email marketing campaign. For example, I have some resources that I provide to my email list, like my tracking ROI spreadsheet, my content spreadsheet, and my broadcasts, which fit into the category of email marketing.
So, my campaign name is email marketing. And the sources can be tracking ROI, content, spreadsheet, and broadcast. Maybe I do some relationship marketing or podcast interviews. It may be that I do live shows where I am connecting with other influencers and people who create content online. That relationship can result in exposure to what I do here. What I do in my business can go in the campaign name of relationship marketing.
I am taking the platforms that I am using, and I am just organizing them. Here are the social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc, that I am organizing. I organize the platforms to promote two different levels, the main category, and then the little categories under it.
Step 2: Set Up Goals In Google Analytics
Leslie Samuel: If you have Google Analytics installed on your website, I want you to say Google, just type in the word Google. So let’s look at that process. Set up your goals in Google Analytics and what this says is, there’s a certain activity that I want to track because Google Analytics is great in terms of just tracking your traffic and what people are doing and so on. But to get really good data from it, you have to tell Google Analytics, what to measure and what to track.
Tell Google Analytics About Your Goal
So when you have a product that you are selling or a service you are providing, you want to be able to tell Google Analytics about it. This means that my goal –was accomplished. It could be anything from registration to a sign-up to purchase to submitting contact information. Now, we are going to keep it simple today. And we will count a goal as reaching a destination. And let me explain what I mean.
Here’s an example. Let’s say, you have a website, and people are contacting you. You have a contact page, where people can fill out a form and send that information to you. They go to that contact page, and they submit that information. It takes them to the next page, which is the thank you page, which is the destination. So, what we can say is, once someone reaches that destination, the goal was accomplished. All right, once that destination was reached, they get to that thank you page, we have accomplished our goal.
Take another example. Somebody is buying a product on your website. Well, you have a sales page and when they buy the product, they enter their credit card details. They give you the money and they get to a confirmation page. This says that the product was purchased, the destination was reached, which is the confirmation page. We can count that as a sale.
How to tell Google Analytics your goal?
In Google Analytics, first, I go to the admin section and reach the section here with goals. I am going to click on goals. And then I am going to create a new goal.
So, I am going to click on Create a new goal. We are going to set a custom goal and click on continue. And once we do that, we are going to give the goal a name. In this case, let’s say it’s an appointment, we are just going to type a booked appointment. And then I am going to select a destination. Because if they reach that destination, it tells you that they’ve accomplished the goal. And that’s how we are going to set it up today. Alright, so the destination, then we are going to click on Continue.
Give Goal Details
And this is where we are going to give the goal details. If someone reaches that destination, slash confirmation. And that might be different for your site, whatever that destination URL is, that means they’ve accomplished that goal. Now, if they’re buying something, and that goal has value, I can say that it’s a $50 product. And then I can save that goal. Now once I’ve saved that goal, you will see it here booked appointment, now it’s going to start tracking those goals.
Now, this is probably the most technical part of what we are going to be doing today. We are going to be able to use that now to track when these goals were met. Alright, so far we have broken down our goals and set up our goals in Google Analytics.
Step 3: Create Your Campaign URL’s
Leslie Samuel: Now, it is time for us to move on to step number three, which is to create our campaign URLs. So. What is a campaign URL? Well, if you think about a URL, a URL is like www.IamLeslieSamuel.com. That’s my website, I can just share that URL and say, hey, good. I am Leslie samuel.com. And I can put that on social media. But that is not as cool as what I am going to show you right now.
URL is a tracking link
A campaign URL is a tracking link. It’s a tracking link. It’s also called in some places, you might hear it called a UTM. Link. But what it does is, it’s a link that is automatically tracked on Google in Google Analytics. So, someone clicks on a tracking link, as opposed to just a regular link. Then, it will give Google Analytics some additional information. For example, the information that the content was posted on social media. Or, this was that one post that you did about that podcast episode you released. You can add details to these tracking links, also called campaign URLs, also called UTM links.
With this technical stuff, you can see how many people are coming from specific links that you post on social media. We are no longer guessing. You are not saying oh, Facebook is sending me 1000 visits? Instead, now we are saying, when I made that post on Facebook, about this particular topic, it sent me 100 people. Of those hundred people, 15 of them bought my $20 product, I made $300 from that specific link.
How to create your campaign URL’s?
Use Google’s Campaign URL Builder
Leslie Samuel: So, let’s talk about how to create these campaign URLs. Google has created a tool called a campaign URL Builder. And it gives you the ability to specify certain details. And those details are campaign name, source, medium-term, and content. Now, we are not going to get into all of these, I don’t even use all of these, the ones that I use are just these three, the campaign name, the campaign source, and the campaign medium.
I am going to show you how to do this right now. If you just go to Google and search for campaign URL Builder, you will come to this page here to do it. And what we are going to do right now, is a quick demo. So this is my campaign URL Builder.
Here is my Google campaign URL Builder. Now, I show you just for the sake of completeness, I am going to search for a campaign URL Builder. This is the way that I get to it every single time. And you can see right here at the top, there’s the campaign URL Builder, and you can click on that. And that will take you to this page. Now, this is the first way that I am going to show you how to do it when I am finished because this is going to show you how it works.
Okay, so I am on the campaign URL Builder. I don’t want you to be worried about all the details and so on. I am just gonna point out a few things. Let’s say you have a URL that you are sharing. In this case, I am going to go with Leslie Samuel .com, which is my website slash ROI. Now, I want to specify these three things —- the campaign source, the campaign medium, and the campaign name.
I don’t like that they put it in this order, I like to start with the campaign name first. That’s the more general one and then go to the source and medium. And I do this because it makes more sense. When you look in Google Analytics, you can click on the name and then go to the source and medium. So that’s what we are going to do today. Let’s say, I am sharing this link on social media. I am going to call this campaign, my social media campaign.
Let us say I am sharing it on Facebook. And then for the medium, I am going to say something like, I want the medium to be, what’s today’s date, 1124, so November 24. And I will say, ROI promotion. So, what this is telling me is that I did it as part of my social media campaign. I promoted this link on Facebook, specifically, on November 24, as my ROI promotion now is something that I just made up.
Make A Longer URL Automatically
Leslie Samuel: So, it is going to take this URL, and automatically make a long URL. You see, it’s Leslie saml.com. I am lazy, saml.com, slash ROI, question mark, and then a whole bunch of code added at the end. You don’t have to know how it does this, it doesn’t matter. All you got to know is that this campaign URL is that magical URL that’s going to give Google Analytics. All of the information that you need to see is from your social media promotion on Facebook, on November 24, your ROI promotion. And you can put in whatever details you want here, and it will be tracked in Google Analytics.
Remember, we have broken down our goals, organized them, we had our campaign names, and our campaign sources. So, we already planned that out when we broke down our goals. Now, we can just add the specific details here in the campaign medium section. Here is the challenge that I find with doing it this way. If every time you go to share a link, you have to come to this page and enter each link manually, that can get a bit tedious. Not only that, but if you, for example, do social media, and the s and m are capitalized. But the next time you come you don’t capitalize them that is going to show as a completely separate campaign. This is because it is case-sensitive.
Be Precise In What You Do
Leslie Samuel: So, you want to be accurate in what you are doing. And you want to have a better and easier way to track what you are doing. And I am going to show you my better and easier way. This is something I had to do for myself because I just got tired of coming back to the Google Campaign URL Builder.
So I created a spreadsheet. This will allow you to plan it out much better. So for example, in advance, you can say, all right, I have a social media campaign, I have a few social media promotions that I am going to be doing. So it could be Facebook, then Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Leslie Samuel: Now, I will go with tracking ROI. I am setting these up in advance. So whenever I have a new link that I want to promote, I can just come here to change the destination URL. As you see here, I can change that to a new post that I am promoting, or a promotion I do, or a product I am selling. It will automatically update all of the links that I have already pre-populated with the information.
And that way, you don’t have to every single time on different social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Instead, all you do is come in here, you can put the link and then copy all of the links that you need. And that just makes it much easier, in my opinion, to then have to create links every single time.
So, if you would like to get access to that spreadsheet, you can get that by going to I am Leslie Samuel l.com slash ROI. Then, you will be able to download that by clicking on this get Course Resources button.
Step 4: Share Your Links On Social Media
Leslie Samuel: The fourth step is to share your links on social media. Let the world know about this awesome resource you created. Now put it out there. And with everything that you do with every promotion that you do anywhere that you share a link, especially where you are going to be sharing multiple links for multiple reasons.
Don’t just share the regular URL anymore. Because we’ve graduated from that we are on a different level. Now. we are going to share the campaign URLs because that’s going to give us the right answer. information, the information that we are looking for to make decisions. All right, so you are sharing on Facebook, use a campaign URL, get it from your spreadsheet, you are sharing on Pinterest.
Step 5: Analyze Your Results, and Refine Your Plan
Leslie Samuel: Getting this data is great. But it’s only great if you use that information to improve on your marketing. What do I mean by that? Well, let me show you an example. We had one campaign, the first campaign brought in $4,067, and 89 cents in revenue. Okay, that is great. Now, some people would look at the others and be like, Oh, man, these other campaigns were terrible, we failed, I don’t look at it as we failed, because now we have data.
Once you have data, you can make decisions. And that’s exactly what we are trying to do here. So I am going to go on analyzing this one campaign. And, you can see packs, four, six launches, that is the one that brought in all of the revenue during that week or that period. There are several things that we did that worked well. So for example, this first video that we posted on social media brought in $625 and 95 cents, this one here brought in 360, a neck, the email, 369, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. We are seeing what is working. And then as we continue down the list, we see there are several other things that we did that didn’t perform very well.
So it’s a post that we made on the Facebook page on the last day, zero dollars, and a story that we did zero dollars, and, and so on. What is this doing for us, this is putting us in a position where we can say, alright, we did all of these things, what worked, what didn’t work. Then based on what did and did not work, we can make decisions about how to do it better. Next time, we can focus more of our energy and resources on the things that are working. And we can cut off the things that are not working.
Or, at least we can look at some of those things and say, Hey, if I am gonna do, for example, an Instagram story again, for the next promotion, I might have to do it a little differently. I might have to tweak what I am doing. I might have to learn how to do a better Instagram story so that it can be more effective The next time you see what we are doing.
We are eliminating the guesswork. We are saying no, we don’t want to just guess what’s working. And guess that man? I think Facebook and Instagram are great. No, we are posting strategically. We are using campaign URLs. And based on the data that we are getting back, we are making decisions on what to do in our business.
So to conclude, those are our five steps. Step one, identify and break down two goals. Step two, set up goals in Google Analytics. Step three, create campaign URLs. Number four, share your links on social media. And number five analyzed your results and refined your plan. And that’s pretty much it for the webinar and the training. I hope you got a lot of value from that as a reminder, we are going to take questions right now.
Designhill: What is the easiest way to measure social media success?
Use Social Media Analytics
Leslie Samuel: The easiest way to measure social media success is by just looking on the social media platforms at their analytics. The analytics tell you things like engagement and number of clicks, etc. And by doing that, you at least get somewhat of an idea of how your posts and your content. You come to know about how it is resonating with people. Also, find out when you should do certain kinds of posts to get more engagement. And from that, you can make some decisions.
Now, in terms of ROI, the best way to measure ROI is by using a process similar to what I outlined here today. It is by using the campaign URLs. And track your goals and see what is working and what is driving sales. Previously, we would never be able to say that a specific post made us six $652 and 38 cents.But if you do a process like what we outlined today, you are empowering yourself to make those kinds of decisions. So, use the system we discussed today as the easiest way to look at the platform’s analytics and tracking conversions.
Designhill: Can Google Analytics be used only to track social media without the website?
Leslie Samuel: To use Google Analytics, you must have a website because you have to install Google Analytics on your site. And you must have permission to be able to do that. Google Analytics can only track what it has permission to track. And you, for example, can’t say, hey, I need you to track the analytics of my Facebook profile on my Facebook page. Only Facebook can do that.
But, I mentioned a little earlier on those individual platforms. You can look at their insights and get data that way. So, without having a website, to see what is working for you, just use the built-in analytics from that social media platform.
Designhill: What are the beginning goals I should set up?
Leslie Samuel: When it comes to social media, some of the beginning goals that people set are about the growth of likes, followers, and so on. I have no issues in measuring those things. When you are just getting started, those are some of the things that you want to look at. Is my social following growing? Is it staying the same? When I do certain things? Do I get more engagement? Based on that, you can determine whether what you are doing is working or not.
Then, from there, you can use free tools such as Google Analytics. You can look at the individual platforms that tell you whether things are working for you or not.
Designhill: Are there strategies to increase traffic to your campaign?
Focus On One Main Social Platform
Leslie Samuel: This is something that is going to depend on the platform that you are using. I always recommend picking up one primary social media platform to focus on. I am working on an article in a podcast episode about this right now. But pick your primary platform, and maybe a secondary platform.
Follow What Competitors Are Doing
With your primary platform, what I recommend is that you follow other people in your industry and see what they are doing. What are they doing that is getting engagement? Are they posting images? Are they doing videos? Are they doing live video? Are they posting questions or polls, and so on. And by evaluating what other people are doing, you can get some ideas for what you can do.
Another thing that you want to evaluate is some of the things that they are not doing, such as what’s missing? How can you add something that’s just slightly different? So I think when it comes to the individual platforms, it’s about learning what works best on those platforms, and for your audience, and for the kind of content that you can create. And then from there, it’s just kind of ongoing testing and tweaking.
For instance, I want to go on Instagram. Then, take a course on Instagram marketing. There are so many things that you can do in Instagram marketing to grow your audience. For example, you can start using reels. It is a feature that Instagram just rolled out and is similar to what you can do on Tik Tok. Since they have just rolled it out, they are featuring reels at a much higher level than anything else.
So, what we are seeing is people that are using reels are getting 10 times as much exposure, because this is new, and it’s something that Instagram wants to promote. So it is a matter of figuring out what works on the platform of your choice. Then go all-in testing and tweaking.
Designhill: Which section of metrics is important?
Depends On Your Business Type
Leslie Samuel: What metrics are important depends on your business objectives. What are you trying to accomplish in your business? Revenue is always important. For me, for the kind of business, I create content and put it out there. And I care about revenue, I care about email and opt-ins. Those are the primary things that I care about revenue.
This is because revenue drives my business. I opt-ins, email opt-ins because when people opt into my email list, and I get to serve them. Also, I provide them with value, let them know whenever I have new things coming out. I let them know that I have a new podcast episode and a new video. Then, I can interact with these people at a deeper level.
Get People On Your Email List
You want to track the number of visitors. But in most cases, visitors come to your site, and then they leave. You never hear from them again, they never hear from you again. So, I always recommend having a process to get people on your email list. Then you can continue to communicate with them and provide them with value.
I want to be able to let you know when that happens. So, opt-in to your email list, that is something that I am also very big into tracking, revenue, opt-ins, visitors. And that’s an order of priority revenue because that drives your business opt-ins. After all, that ultimately drives your revenue, and visits, because ultimately, that drives your opt-ins, which then drives your revenue. Those are the main things that I would focus on.
Designhill: Does one need to understand ROI for social media marketing?
Know ROI To Improve and Grow
Leslie Samuel: You may be marketing whether it’s on social media, or email, or podcasts, interviews, or whatever you are doing. But the problem is that we have a limited amount of time available. So, make sure that what you are spending your time on is worth it. As far as tracking the return on investment is concerned you say you do, say, four things. Two of them aren’t giving you a return. The other two are a waste of your time. Now I can stop doing the other two and focus the time on the things that are working.
You track ROI because you want to improve, grow, get better, and be more efficient. If you don’t track ROI, you find yourself where you are just doing a whole bunch of stuff. You are unclear and unsure about what’s working. And when you come about it from that perspective, you are wasting a lot of time.
Designhill: What are some websites where I can buy social media advertising, rather than just sharing things by posting on my own social media account?
Facebook and Instagram Ads
Leslie Samuel: When it comes to social media advertising, I generally recommend Facebook ads and Instagram ads. This is because the targeting ability that you have on Facebook and Instagram is amazing. You can purchase ads, and target exactly the people that you are trying to reach. Also, you can get very specific. For instance, you can target women between the ages of 25 and 34, who are interested in gardening.
Now, with that being said, a lot of people hear that Facebook ads are great. So they go and spend money on Facebook ads, and waste a lot of money on Facebook ads. But Facebook ads can be great if you know what you are doing. So if you are getting into advertising on social media, take a course, get some training, or get some professional help.
Designhill: Do you have any advice for me as a new content creator in social media, such as YouTube, Instagram, and especially by using ROI?
Create Quality Content
Leslie Samuel: You should focus on creating good quality content that provides a lot of value. If you do that consistently, people are going to start stumbling onto your content. As they stumble onto your content, they will find value in it. Then they are going to tell their friends about it and share it on their social media profiles. And if you do that, the ROI will follow.
When I started my biology blog, I focused on creating the best quality content that I could create. And because of that, it grew to 100,000 and beyond 134,000 subscribers in a relatively short period. It is because I focused on the quality of the content and serving my audience as deeply as possible. So, if you are just getting started, focus on providing value.
So, these are the tips that you should be following ardently while tracking the ROI of your social media marketing. But have patience as the results will take time to realize. Meanwhile, continue to revisit your marketing strategies and make timely improvements for steady growth in getting more customers and engagement.
However, make sure also that your visual identities such as your brand logo, website, brochure, business cards, and others are impressive designs. People make a perception of your brand based on the impression such visuals leave on them.
So, start your logo design and other design contests with Designhill right away to get many unique design ideas from professional graphic designers. You can shortly have a winning logo, website, etc designs that sync well with your brand personality.
Tracking the ROI of social media marketing is important to know how well your investment and marketing plans are going to benefit your business. The marketing expert Leslie Samuel advises on identifying and setting up the right goals, creating your campaign URLs, sharing your links on social media, and analyzing your results is the right way to track the ROI.