Measure the Cross-Channel Impact of Your Social Media Posts

Andaiye Taylor Director, Content Marketing, Bitly Enterprise

Posted on January 14th 2013

Measure the Cross-Channel Impact of Your Social Media Posts

Did you ever wish you could magically increase the impact and efficiency of your paid social media campaigns? Your ability to do this is closer at hand than you think. Here’s how.

The five-second metrics makeover

Let's recalculate your latest social media campaign's metrics:

  • Step 1: Pull your campaign data
  • Step 2: Quadruple your clicks
  • Step 3: Quarter your cost per engagement
  • Step 4: Pencil down, head up


That’s it. With minimal effort (we hope), you’ve multiplied engagement with your promoted content at a fraction of your per-engagement cost. This is the type of metrics-boosting audit any marketer would be delighted to perform on her campaigns. And while the multipliers and divisors will be different for your brand, the fact is that you’re almost certainly underestimating the impact of your paid social campaign, and perhaps by a lot.

You’re getting earned media traffic, whether you measure it or not. Measure it!

Last year, bitly highlighted the platform-hopping behavior of a link in a promoted tweet posted by a large daily deals site: after three low-volume hours for the link on Twitter, users posted the short URL within the promoted tweet to Facebook, where it ultimately drove 3 times the traffic that Twitter did within a little over a day after the advertiser posted it.

This represents the “earned media” traffic from the tweet. While Twitter’s analytics tool is the best place to analyze the impact of your paid campaign on Twitter itself (particularly for native metrics like retweets, favorites, and replies, which only Twitter can measure for you), it cannot account for users who clip your link and share it on Facebook, or paste it into an email, chat, or any other medium online. As a result, the ultimate impact of your campaign might be lost, along with your ability to learn and optimize future social campaigns based on a holistic understanding of how the content promoted within your social media post propagated across the social Web.

And the ultimate impact of cross-platform sharing might not be trivial. The figures from the exercise above are real: over the course of a mere 30 hours, a promoted tweet posted by a Bitly Enterprise client really did cross over to Facebook, which caused the campaign to yield four times the number of clicks attributed to Twitter when the two platforms are taken together. While this is an eye-popping case, most marketers would welcome a modest boost of 10-20%, which is more in line with what your typical unaccounted for earned media traffic might be.

Be a social media genius

Passively increasing your performance is nice, but you can take your ability to track cross-platform sharing behavior even further with a little testing.

For instance, if you launch separate promoted social media posts, and track them using distinct branded short URLs, you can answer questions that will enable you to wring the most value out of users’ tendency to share across the social Web, and to replicate best practices gleaned from those findings in future campaigns. These questions might include:

  • What is the audience profile of users who are more likely to share links across platforms, and how is it distinct from non-sharers' profiles?
  • At what time of day should I post to social media to increase the likelihood that the linked content will be shared across platforms?


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Andaiye Taylor

Director, Content Marketing, Bitly Enterprise

Andaiye Taylor is Director of Content Marketing at Bitly.

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