You can use social media to promote and even get leads for your business. Measuring the results of social media advertising, however, can be incredibly tricky. It’s important to know where your leads are coming from so that you can focus your efforts on the top performing channels.

So, how can you measure the success of your social media advertising? It’s easier than you might think. These tips will help you determine the ROI and the success of your campaign.

Determine Your Paid Ad Goals.

To determine whether a social media campaign was a hit, you must first determine specific goals. Before launching any paid campaign, decide which metrics to measure and outline how your campaign can help you hit those metrics. For example, the goal of paid Facebook ads is often to generate “likes” for a company page or to drive clicks to an external website. Pinterest offers promoted pins, which can be used to promote a featured product and link back to company websites. A paid Twitter campaign can push for more followers or more clicks to a sponsored link.

Measure Engagement.

“Engagement” is the magic word of social media marketing, but it’s the hardest metric to peg.

Boosting engagement means getting more people to interact with your content. When users like a Facebook post, favorite a Tweet or add comments to any post, they are engaging with it.

Facebook business page admin(s) can access Facebook Insights. They can:

  • See how many “likes” each of your posts got
  • Learn how many users saw individual posts
  • Get up-to-the-minute views on total page likes
  • See who is talking about your page
  • View demographic information for your posts to help you hone in on your target market.

Twitter Analytics provides data for:

  • How many times users saw your tweets (presented in fun graphs)
  • How many clicks your links got
  • How many times your tweet was favorited or retweeted
  • How many people clicked to see embedded media
  • Your followers’ top interests and who else they are following.

The Numbers that Count.

There’s no way around it: You must determine if your social media advertising is generating leads and sales. Unless you promote posts that point directly to an offer, determining conversions from these advertisements can be knotty. Fortunately, there are tools available to track social media spending and success.

Social Analytics is a free Google tool that helps track users as they move from social media sites onto company pages. With these reports, you can see which social channels visitors are coming from and which site pages they visited after arriving. For example, if a visitor arrives at a landing page from a paid social media ad, you can easily track if the visitor converts or leaves (“bounces” from) your site.

To really harness the numbers that surround social media campaigns, a paid tool like Simply Measured collects profile information about your social media audience, metrics for your paid social advertising, and comparisons between different social media channels. They also provide easy-to-read reports so that you can quickly make sense of the numbers. These analytic services can help businesses with multi-channel campaigns and/or heavy social media advertising investments stay on top of their paid ad performance.