Three tips for measuring the impact of social media marketing


In this guest blog the folks from AdaptWrite share their top tips for measuring the value of publishers’ social media activity.

Earlier this year, Digital Book World revealed that more than half of book publishers are now regularly using Twitter, and publishing through blogs. This is a marked difference to 2011, when only a third of publishing professionals suggested they were micro-blogging (or just plain blogging) on a regular basis.

However, one of the biggest challenges still facing the publishing industry is how to calculate the return on investment from social media. Here are three simple ideas for how you can monitor the impact of social media.

Are your tweets hooking your audience? Image from Flickr/Simone-Walsh

1. Set your goals

By setting goals – for example, the number of user svisiting the ‘order complete’ page on an ecommerce website, or clicking on an affiliate link – you can start to monitor how often they are met. Then, when you begin a social media campaign, you can understand whether social traffic is more or less likely to end up as a sale or sign-up.

There are now a slew of free analytics tools available to webmasters – and systems such as Google Analytics allow you to set and monitor goals within them. These goals can have a revenue figure attached, meaning whenever a user completes a certain action you can understand how this affects your income. We recommend reviewing your current analytics to get to grips with which actions equate to conversions. For example:

  • Are visitors that sign up to a newsletter more likely to buy a book? If, so what is their average spend?
  • What web pages tend to drive the most conversions? Can you divide the revenue derived from these pages by the total unique visitors to understand how much you might expect to earn from each visit to your site?

2. Assess your competitors

The beauty of social media is that all of your competitors have to reveal their best performing tactics right out in the open. You can easily review a Facebook page to see which posts have garnered the most likes/comments or track how many times your competitor’s tweets have been retweeted on Twitter.

In order to understand which tactics are working for your competitors, you can utilise social listening tools. While there’s a range of options out there, you can easily set up social listening for free – for example, plug your competitor’s Twitter & Facebook feeds into an RSS reader and you’ll get regular updates on their latest news and campaigns.

3. Test and optimise

One of the biggest changes social media – and digital marketing as a whole – has brought about is the fact that publishers now need to be able to adapt quickly. You can no longer simply broadcast at users and expect them to listen; instead, you need to engage them regularly and clarify what works – and what doesn’t.

Earlier this year, online Facebook newsfeed monitor EdgeRank Checker found that the average Facebook page post only reaches 17% of the page’s fans. One of the ways you can improve this number is by working on your engagement rates (that’s the number of users that like/share/comment on a post). How do you do that? For starters, crafting relevant and entertaining content will encourage your audience to interact. You can also start-up conversations, and make creative use of images and videos.

Regularly tracking conversion rates, such as how many times your links are clicked on from social networks, can also help you understand just how much traffic social networks are delivering to your website. Our infographic outlining the clickthrough rates of seven major UK book publishers, might help you benchmark the performance of your own posts.

There’s no quickfire way to go from nowhere to viral on social networks, but by ensuring you’re delivering quality content to your audience, and making an effort to engage with them, you should be able to grow any digital marketing campaign.

AdaptWrite.com is a blog specialising in digital analysis for book publishers and authors.

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