Understanding the Impact of Social Media at Analytics Training Camp

I first wrote this post for the Media Two blog Media Two Point {oh!}. They’ve been awesome enough to let me repost it here.

Eric Boggs and Adam Covati are the founders of Argyle Social. You can follow them on Twitter @ericboggs and @covati

Eric’s in his argyle sweater vest. Where’s Adam’s? 

Argyle Social helps marketers understand the impact of social media. They’re a startup, but they’re going places. 

Social media marketing is hard – if you’re doing it right.Adam Covati spoke about the impact of social media 

Social media isn’t a free channel. 

Adam and Eric started the presentation by asking us “How do you measure social media?” Answers included creating unique URLs and track them, using analytics software, and correllations between engagement on social networks and sales. 

Engagement is a core tenet of any social media marketing program. It’s media that you control to a certain extent. Once you publish something, you no longer own it. But you control what goes out – blogging, tweeting, etc. 

For engagement to actually be worthwhile, it has to eventually lead to dollars. Without a commitment to measurement, you’ll have no idea if you’re creating value or wasting time. 

“What gets measured, gets managed.” -Peter Drucker 


Keyword -> Impression -> Click -> Visit -> Conversion 


Offer -> Send -> Open -> Click -> Conversion 


Twitter/Facebook -> Fans/Followers 

You can’t optimize a two-step process.

So Adam and Eric have come up with a way to segment this into additional steps: The social funnel. 


Subscribers have opted in to hear what you have to say. 

Engagers have responded to you. 

Prospects are those who you can start to sell to. 

Conversions are those who have dug deep. 

Once you can figure out where people are and how they’re different then you can approaching them differently. 

  • Engagement drives loyalty and repeat purchases.
  • Conversion doesn’t complete the cycle – it re-frames the relationship.
  • Influencers may be outside the funnel. There’s more to the universe than your funnel.

The funnel isn’t there just to get new sales, and it’s not a line. People can move around within it. 

The subscriber level is a chance to extend the relationships online, as long as you’re giving more than you’re selling. Measure the percentage of your customers subscribed. Figure out how you can raise that number. The growth rate of fan counts is important to see where you’re going. Ask for social connection at all customer touch-points with links to your other presences.

The engager level is a squishy step because it’s defined differently. This is where people raise their hands. Engagement moves subscribers down the funnel. Measure the ratio of engagers to subscribers, and interactions by content. Be sure to define engagement in your organization. 

Prospects are people who convey interest. The key metrics on this level are interactions per prospect and prospects by content. Use web analytics parameters to build links so that you know where conversions came from. 

You’re not done once they reach the conversion level. You need to keep pushing them back into the funnel. Conversions should include repeat customers. Measure revenue per content, subscriber, channel, etc., and lead time (subscriber to conversion). 


You’re never going to get any credit in social media for sales until you prove some. 

This is a manual process for now, but there are some tools available. 

What you can do: 

  • Find ways to differentiate your audience.
  • Snapshot metrics that reflect separate stages.
  • Try to move the needle week-over-week.

Channel -> Subscribers -> Engagers -> Prospects -> Conversions 

Figure out where you need to be (courtesy of Christopher Penn) 

  1. Create a new Gmail account.
  2. Export your email list, import to Contacts.
  3. Use the Contact finder on Twitter/Facebook/etc. to find your customers
  4. Count/Follow/Engage/Etc.
  5. Publish all social content via single platform
  6. Append analytics parameters to your links.
  7. Track the impact of your content.
  8. Tools? Argyle, Spredfast, CoTweet. Link bit.ly with Tweetdeck across your team.
  9. Set goals in your analytics platform.
  10. Try to track goals all the way back to the post.
  11. Collect a one month’s data; make a decision.

Adam and Eric even included some advice from our Director of User Experience – my live blogging buddy – Phil Buckley

Find your top-performing content. 

Re-schedule it for the next several months.

Thank me later. –Phil Buckley 

Repurpose your content. You worked hard on it. Vary timing to determine if it is significant.

When working on other marketing programs, ask yourself are you doing that with social media?