Is Your Social Media Traffic Converting

How to Get Those Clicks and Conversions

So you’ve racked up thousands of Twitter followers and even more Facebook likes, but is social media really delivering as a marketing strategy for your company? A good following – and even regular engagement – doesn’t count for much if you’re not seeing clicks and conversion.

When it’s done right, social media can be a tremendous tool for sales and lead generation, but it takes the right approach. It not only requires time, patience, and dedication to post high-quality content, but it takes careful, ongoing analysis to determine if your approach is working. Without that second step, you could be putting in a whole lot of effort for a very minimal return.

So how do you judge your social media success? There are actually two distinct ways that social media helps with conversions:

  1. Direct Conversion – This happens when someone finds out about you via social media and clicks through directly to become a customer.
  1. Indirect Conversion – This happens when a customer has seen ads, read articles, and perhaps run across your content on social media channels, and along the way, they’ve decided to become a customer. Social media is a factor, but not the primary contributor.


Naturally, the second means of conversion is harder to track – though it’s no less valuable. Social media is an important part of your marketing mix, so it’s worthwhile to track how well your social media traffic is converting.

Use Google Analytics to Monitor Indirect Conversion

While some conversions aren’t the direct result of your social media marketing, it’s still very important to track these indirect conversions. Maybe a customer saw your promotion or product on social media, but they didn’t immediately click through to make a purchase. Perhaps later on though, they needed the product or service that you offer, and through a Google search they found your site and became a customer.

Obviously, your social media marketing played a role. The way to track those indirect conversions is with Google Analytics. This nifty service uses cookies to identify visitors who have visited your site. If a visitor originally clicked on a Facebook or Twitter link – even long before making a purchase – Google will recognize that and give credit to the social media platform for the indirect (or assisted) conversion.

But back to this shortly.

Start with Custom Links

If you hope to track your progress, you’ve got to get organized. One key way to do that is by setting up custom links with Google URL Builder. This tool allows you to set up a custom URL that is built with information relevant to your specific campaign. Whenever you share that custom link – whether through Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc. – that link lets Google Analytics know which campaign it’s connected to.

This makes your use of Google Analytics that much easier. Every click on your custom link is tracked, and you are able to see the direct results of your social media campaign.

Track Your Success

Of course, this only shows you that guests are landing on your page. The goal here is conversions (i.e. sales made, subscriptions, etc.). This is accomplished by tracking specific goals. For example, say you want your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter. Set your goal URL as a “You’re Subscribed!” page that a visitor will only reach if they have indeed subscribed. Every time that goal is reached, you know that you have one more conversion.

Congrats! You’ve achieved step one: tracking your click-throughs from social media, and step two: tracking actual conversions.

So back to those nebulous “indirect conversions.” Once you have custom links and goals set up in Google Analytics, check out your Top Conversion Sources (Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Top Conversion Sources), and you’ll get a clear breakdown of where your traffic and conversions are coming from. You’ll see that some of your conversions come directly through your social media campaign, while others arrive the roundabout way.

Keep Tracking

This is all extremely valuable information, as it will help you to improve on your social media campaigns. By tracking your conversions, you’ll see what’s working and what’s not. While not everything is trackable, there’s enough that is, and those bits can contribute tremendously toward your social media success.