Getting Closer to Measuring Social Media’s ROI with Google Analytics’ Multi-Channel Funnels
Google recently announced new functionality to their Analytics program, multi-channel funnels. Their vision of these new funnels is for owners of e-commerce websites to not just see the last place a user clicked in order to make a conversion, but to see the entire series of events leading up to that conversion. This could include seeing a product on Twitter, doing a search for it, finding your website and then buying it. If it works the way Google intends, it could revolutionize the way people create campaigns and advertisements.
One of the big implications here is how it will let site owners track the success of their social media efforts. With multi-channel funnels, Analytics users will be able to look back over the last thirty days to see the path a user took up to the conversion, and this includes social media links, searches and so on. This can allow site owners to see how different aspects of their social media efforts can affect a conversion. For example, did a conversion begin with a story posted on Facebook, or a link posted on Twitter? Up until now, it’s been difficult to see the path users took to get to a conversion, as most tracking programs only show the last step, which can only tell part of the story.
According to my research, these funnels can pull data from a multitude of sources, such as social networks, email newsletters, display ads, referral sites, affiliates, paid and organic search entries, and possibly more. This can lead to an amazing amount of data that can give marketers a fine granular image of what works for their campaigns and what doesn’t. Owners can then tweak their campaigns across the entire spectrum of their marketing strategies, from social media to email marketing, once they get a better idea of what’s successful.
How does this help with social media, specifically? By creating custom campaigns that focus on social media-based visits that aren’t a direct result of your marketing efforts and one that does, you can see the differences between the two to get a better idea of what’s successful and what isn’t. This isn’t a complete ROI monitoring solution, keep in mind, but it’s a big step in the right direction.