It is a fact that Twitter and Facebook are likely to be the two largest social networks for referring traffic to most websites. This statement is an indication that one cannot undermine or neglect the potent potential of social media as a traffic generating tool, despite its stubborn policies, that put up the highest level of difficulty when it comes to actually measuring any such outcome. The media indeed is gloomed by high bounce rates, low browse rates and poor conversion rates, but when it comes to being a source of reference, social media has the potential to be the number one driver of the cause.
What is social media after all? It is a place for conversations. It is a place where people discuss and share and it is this value proposition that attracted marketers to the medium in the first place – to be a part of such a conversation. After all, social media can create brand familiarity and drive visitors to content that can draw them in further more. It is, however, not an ideal medium to close the deal. People do not log onto Facebook and Twitter with a consumer-like interest, but with a purpose of interaction. These platforms are, thus, best used as channels to create positive associations with a brand, attract brand followers who can help spread the word and possibly serve as a platform for sharing and discussing some content about a brand and interest them in clicking through to your website.
Once again, the question arises that how does one measure how many visitors were directed by social media to a website? Getting the right social media metrics to answer this question requires one to segment by network, i.e., evaluate each social platform individually. For instance, Facebook metric offers a ton of data about nearly all the metrics one could possible want (size of your fan base, the reach and effectiveness of your content, the quantity of likes and shares of your content, demographics of your fans and so on) through their built-in product for brand pages – Facebook Insights. In contrast, Twitter is a difficult platform to gauge, however some basic measures can serve as Twitter analytics such as, @mentions, number of followers, replies, brand mentions, domain mentions, re-tweets etc.
Every platform, from Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn and Google+ are individually capable of helping you understand how visitors amounted from their references. It can be a time intensive manual task, but it is one that can help generate a good amount of understanding about the success or failure of your social media efforts.