It is getting increasingly difficult (not that it was easy earlier) to justify the investment that the client makes with respect to a social media campaign. Qualitative metrics no longer seem to work in a standalone manner.
As a solution to all this, we at Convonix have come up with the following.
Currently, multichannel funnel and social reports in Google analytics retrospect interactions only over a period of 30 days which means that the long term impact of social media is undervalued. I think all of you will agree with me when I say that some (read: majority of) users interact with your brand via a social platform and convert through some other channel 3/4/5/12/18 months later. However with the default setup of Google analytics for your websites, this is not tracked, meaning your performance reports show this – no. of last interaction conversions = 0, no. of assisted conversions = 0!
Example: Jessica wants to buy a new cell phone. She sees Blackberry do a campaign on social media and interacts with the brand (read: visits their website). She realizes it’s something that she needs to save for. She keeps interacting with the brand for a period of 60 days. After 2 months (60 days), she goes directly/via Google to the Blackberry website and fills up a form/buys the phone.
This is how her conversion path would look like.
Note that this is for a period of 60 days so with the default GA implementation, Blackberry’s GA data will be displayed as follows:
No. of Last Interaction Conversions as a result of Direct Traffic = 1
No. of Assisted & Last Interaction Conversions as a result of SMM =0
But this is not true! Social platforms have also had an impact on Jessica’s purchase decision! Hence the correct figures should be:
No. of assisted conversions from social media = 2
One from LinkedIn and one from Facebook – Remember GA only counts unique platform interactions.
This will only be possible if we can trigger a cookie in analytics that will track Multi channel funnel report data for a period dating back to 2 years as opposed to current implementation of 30 days.
We can access this data by creating a custom report in analytics. Best practice is that you include blogs/forums/article websites also depending on the kind of referral traffic you get from these sections in your custom reports.
Here’s a sample implementation - http://www.convonixanalytics.com/social/referral.html
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.