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Gaining followers, measuring performance, and getting to know the analytical suites

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By Daria
Project manager at Rocketbank.

In Social Media Marketing Introduction Part I we’ve briefly explained what social media marketing is, how it can help your business thrive, and how to put together a content schedule. In Part II we’ll focus on gaining followers with social media business tools, on measuring social media campaign performance, and on getting to know the analytical suites and common mistakes marketing managers make while analyzing.

How to gain followers

Even if you publish quality content regularly, there’s high chance you won’t be satisfied with audience growth if you opt to rely on organic traffic. In Part I we’ve already talked about how a typical news feed of a social media user is a waterfall of information, and how algorithmic feeds, such as one of Facebook, make it even worse. One of the ways to make your content more visible is sponsoring it with social networks’ business tools.

Sponsored post on Facebook
Sponsored post on Facebook

What you pay for in business managers:

  • Reach or Impressions: how many people will see a sponsored post or a banner;
  • Clicks: how many people will interact with a link in your post or with a banner.
    Post boosting options on Facebook
    Post boosting options on Facebook

Each promotional tool on social media allows you to create a targeting list—the parameters that will define who will see the sponsored content. Basically, you’ll want to make this list look as much like your product or service’s supposed target audience as possible. It’s best to have from 50 to 100 thousand users in a list. Less than 50 can be too narrow for an ad, more than a 100 can be too wide (but probably alright if you have enough budget).

As for the initial spend on an ad, about $100 is enough for a test.

Instagram Business Tools
Instagram Business Tools

In most business managers you can also choose the platforms your content will be promoted on. You can target the ads on desktop, on mobile platforms, or both.

Measuring social media performance

You can measure impressions, engagement rate, and audience growth, but the metric that should be the most important on your social media management agenda is the conversion rate.

Conversion is an event or an action that has occured on your website or offline. What can be a conversion:

  • Purchase;
  • Website signup;
  • Newsletter subscription;
  • Number of pages viewed;
  • Time spent on website.

Types of conversions

Last click (single channel) conversion. The user interacts with one marketing channel, performs the target action (i.e. makes a purchase or signs up on a website) and leaves.

This type of conversion occurs mostly with context ads or search engine traffic.

Assisted (multi-channel) conversion. The user interacts with more than one marketing channel. For example, they can see an ad on Facebook and Instagram, have it shown to them on Google and Quora, and perform the target action after looking the company up on Google. In this case, the report will show the search engine as the last click source, and the other channels as the assistance.

Social media works mostly for assisted conversions, so if you don’t see many first click conversions in the report, try looking through the multi-channel report—most likely, that’s where they are.

How to track social media conversions

Promo codes. Make special discount or gift codes for every social media campaign. Check how many times a particular code is used—that would be the best performing channel.

Questionnaires and direct questions. Your clients probably won’t mind filling a simple questionnaire or answering a question. Ask them how they found your business.

Analytics suites. There’s a number of analytics suites on the market. One of the most popular ones, and also the one we use, is Google Analytics. Here’s what so great about it:

  • Google Analytics has a lot of useful guides and manuals you need to get started;
  • You can set any Goals (conversions) you need to track your marketing channels performance. Almost any conversion can be a Goal;
  • Google Analytics measures all the marketing channels simultaneously: social media, banner ads, newsletters, blogs. If you have all the channels gathered in one place it’s easier to keep track of which ones are effective and which are not.

    Analytics Tips

    1. Don’t worry if different analytical suites show different figures. For example, you can see different campaign results in Google Analytics and in Facebook Business Manager. The solution here is to look into both sources and decide which one you trust the most;
    2. Set up UTM tags on social media sharing buttons. That will help avoid a lot of deep social traffic from appearing in your reports.

      What are UTM Tags and how to use them

    3. Put UTM tags in all the links you post. And shorten the links so they look pretty without all the tags sticking out. Most shorteners also have their own click counters.

Measuring overall performance

The easiest way to measure overall social media campaign performance is calculating your ROI, or the return on investment.

Here’s the basic formula you can use:

The rate you receive should be above 100%. Don’t worry if you’re just getting started on social media and have less than a hundred. You’ll get there, eventually. But if the number is drifting towards a zero, try to look at your content plan and figure out what feels wrong about it. Ask the same thing about your social media goals.


  1. Social media marketing is a means of marketing that uses various social networks and their free and paid tools;
  2. To survive on social media as a business you’ll need to post quality content every day and use paid tools to extend your reach;
  3. Define your goals before starting a social media campaign. The best option is to define these goals in figures;
  4. Remember about each social network’s peculiarity and content consuming habits when putting together a content schedule;
  5. Always remember that the most important part of social media marketing is getting conversions, not likes or large audience.

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