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Social Media Support ROI: Tracking Link Clicks

Once you understand the difference between Post Based Metrics and Action Based Metrics you are ready to start tracking your different social analytics. One of the first metrics you want to start tracking for both customer engagement, and publication, will be link clicks. And like everything else related to Social Media, there are multiple ways to handle this.

Tracking traffic through your publishing software

When publishing posts for your company, you should always leverage a publishing software. This allows you to schedule your posts in advance, provide multiple employees access to your handle, and multiple other benefits. The platform also will track the click-through traffic associated with posts made.

The benefit associated with this type of link tracking comes from being directly tied to your publishing activity. At the end of the month you’ll receive a list of posts made, total link clicks, clicks per post, and all other related social metrics.

The Short-Fall associated with this type of tracking comes from the fact that the reporting time constraint is post based. Any time period that you run a report on, will only provide metrics for the items published during that period. The report will exclude metrics for actions taken by the customer during that period on posts that were published prior to that date range. This sounds like a fairly small adjustment, but it can have significant impacts on your metrics.

Tracking traffic through your link shortener

A link shortener is another tool that should always be employed when publishing to social media channels. It allows you to provide a clean, and user friendly link to customers instead of the often ungainly link associated with corporate websites. It also provides the opportunity to brand your url’s, which builds trust with your users and expands visibility of your company’s footprint. Link shorteners are also time constrained by actions instead of publish date. This will help to provide a better picture of what your customers have done, and how they have interacted with your links, during the reporting time frame.

The downfall of tracking your links through your link shortener is that you have now dissociated your click traffic from your publishing activity. You will be able to report on all active links, and their total traffic within a given month, but you won’t know what post that traffic and link is associated with. Additionally, once a customer lands on your website, you no longer have visibility into what actions the customer took after clicking on the original link.

Lastly, if your link is copied and shared by your customers they are likely to replace your link shortener with their own. This will eliminate your ability to track incoming traffic associated with the original post. This especially impactful if a news source, or major blog, picks up your post and shares it on their site. This could lead to thousands of clicks that are no longer associated with your social campaign.

Tracking traffic through your Web Analytics

(Campaign Tracking)

Using Campaign Tracking to tag your shared links enables the ability to directly link your outbound posts to activities taken on your website. At the most basic: Campaign Tracking is accomplished by adding parameters at the end of your url. For example: www.yourwebsite.com?utm_source=twittercare&utm_campaign=11282017. This tells your web analytics to group all traffic associated with the utm_source “twittercare” together.

The advantages associated with enabling campaign tracking can be broken down into five categories:

  • Campaign tracking is an Action Based Time Constrain metric. When you pull reporting for the month of January, you will see all actions taken on your links, and your website, within that month.
  • Each link generated with a Campaign Tracking code serves as a unique url. This means that if a website, news source or blog shares your link you know that the only way they got the link was from your social post.
  • Unlike short urls, which are often replaced when a link is reposted, 99% of users will never strip off your campaign tracking. This keeps intact your ability to track traffic associated with the original post.
  • Well-designed Campaign Tracking can enable visibility into the entire customer journey, from social post all the way through to authenticated login or purchase.
  • Campaign Tracking is part of your web analytics platform. So anything you track for your website, like sales or authentication, can also be tracked using a Campaign.

Setting up Campaign tracking is different for each Web Analytics platform out there, but they all work basically the same. The similarity across platforms allows for the standardization of best practices, and implementation.

Learn how to use link tracking tags including UTM Codes, and Adobe link tracking

When using a social publishing platform like Sprinklr, you can automate every link sent out to have Campaign Tracking added. This greatly simplifies the process of adding the codes, and ensures that every agent publishing links is correctly adding the codes. If you are using a platform that does not automate the addition on Campaign Codes, like SalesForce, then you will need to create a simple and quick process for adding the codes to your outbound links. (We built a widget that added the Campaign code and shortened the link).

Some best practices to get you started:

  • Every code should start with one repeating piece. Such as utm_source=socialcare. This will ensure that when you are pulling reports everything is grouped together, and you aren’t trying to track down all of the codes that have been used.
  • Always add a timestamp. This ensures that every link is unique, and will give you an idea of the lifespan of your shared links.
  • Determine what is most important to your organization: Is it knowing which Call Center shard the link, what social channel it was shared on, or what contact type it was. The potential list can be endless so prioritize and build this into your design.
  • Remember that these codes are publically visible. Don’t include agent names or anything else that might negatively impact your employees or company.

 

Understanding the Value you’ve driven.

After you have begun adding Campaign Tracking to your links, you can begin to calculate the value that your shared links drive. Your customer support managers are sharing links to digital self-service and support sites, so utilization of the shared links is viewed as contact deflection. When supporting customers within social, additional customers are capable of leveraging the links shared for self-service. This drives incremental value beyond the one-to-one interaction.

The calculation we created leverages the concept of Contact Deflection, with additional funnel reductions to drive a conservative value.

Distributed Click-Through Value = Total monthly clicks on shared links (Unique Users) * Average additional click through rate for shared links (71%) [ 1] * Containment Rate (70%) [ 2] * Average value of a support contact ($7) [ 3]

  1. This reduction allows you to remove the traditional one-to-one relationship, and calculate value on the one-to-many aspect of social: Based on an average click through rate of 3.5. A click through rate of 1 would show a one-to-one relationship. This provides us a 2.5 click rate of additional value or, 71.4% distributed additional value from the shared links.
  2. The Containment Rate is a measurement of the percentage of self-service users that do not need to contact your support centers after using their support channels. This can be found either through surveys, or software solutions.
  3. The average value of a support contact comes from your support centers. This is the value that your company did not incur for contacts.

 

Synopsis

Tracking traffic through your Publishing Software:

  • Positive: Your click through numbers are directly related to the posts being made.
  • Negative: Reports will only include clicks on links shared within the time period, ignoring all other active content.

Tracking traffic through your URL Shortener:

  • Positive: Reports will include all click activity that happens within the chosen timeframe.
  • Negative: Shortened links are disassociated with the outbound message, limiting your awareness of what message went with the link.
  • Negative: It is hard to understand the “Created” date of a short url.

Tracking traffic through your Campaign Codes:

  • Positive: Reports will include all click activity that happens within the chosen timeframe.
  • Positive: You can design your Campaign Codes to track back to the original post.
  • Positive: Your Campaign Code is a part of your web analytics. This is the only tool that allows you to see the full customer journey from Social through to Purchase or self-service.
  • Negative: Not all publishing platforms can automatically generate Campaign Tagging. This is a barrier to implementation.

 

Post Based Metrics | Action Based Metrics

Social Media Support ROI: Action Based Metrics

Before you attempt to build your Social Media Support Value Model, we need to talk about the two classifications of social metrics. This is a fundamental concept to understand, because it dictates when and how you need to pull your reporting. Your analytics can be broken down into two unique classifications based on how the results are captured. These two classifications are Post-Based Metrics and Action-Based Metrics. In general, your reporting tool drives whether your metrics are action or post based, and you need to ask your software provide with methodology they are using.

This classification refers to metrics based on actions taken by the user within a pre-defined window. The most significant differentiation from Post based metrics is that your results are not impacted by when actions were taken by the company. When pulling results for the month of January, you would see actions taken on your posts based on what customers did within that month. This means that if a post from December continued to trend into January, you would see metrics related to that post.

The benefit of Action Based metrics, from an operational perspective, is that the metric generation is confined. Once your time period has closed, your analytics are locked in place.

Synopsis: Metric reporting based on when an action is taken by a customer. These metrics lock-in at the end of the month, and once the reporting window has closed, will not change.

Platform Example: Adobe Analytics

 

Post Based Metrics | Tracking Link Clicks

Social Media Support ROI: Post Based Metrics

Before you attempt to build your Social Media Support Value Model, we need to talk about the two classifications of social metrics. This is a fundamental concept to understand, because it dictates when and how you need to pull your reporting. Your analytics can be broken down into two unique classifications based on how the results are captured. These two classifications are Post-Based Metrics and Action-Based Metrics. In general, your reporting tool drives whether your metrics are action or post based, and you need to ask your software provide with methodology they are using.

This classification refers to metrics and reporting systems that are based on the time and date that posts are made. The metrics are designed to report on the actions that you, as a company, have taken within a time period, for example the month of January.

One of the primary issues with post based metrics is that the reporting window never actually closes. If you run your report for the month on January on the 5th of February, you will get Engagement numbers for metrics Likes, Impressions, and Clicks. However, if you rerun your January report on the 10th, you will now receive all new numbers for your post based on additional activity that has occurred during those five days. Even though you are reporting on the same time period, your numbers will continue to change. This is especially important for metrics like link clicks. If your link shared via social is picked up by a popular blog or forum, your metrics may ramp up a month or more after the initial post-date.

The open ended aspect of Post Based Metrics necessitates building out a strategy to track and capture the ever-increasing nature of your metrics. This unfortunately means that you need to re-pull your reporting for historic months to understand how they have changed. While this is time consuming, it does ensure that you are not under-reporting your metrics and leaving value on the table. One way to accomplish this is by building out a reporting spreadsheet similar to the one below. By recording metric growth for past months, you can see both the total impact you have in any given reporting period [Column Sum], as well as the total impact based on when you published the post [Row Sum].

Social Media ROI Metrics - Post Based Metrics

Synopsis: Metric reporting leveraging the date of the corporate action. These metrics never truly lock-in.

Platform Example: Sprinklr

 

Action Based Metrics | Tracking Link Clicks