Sorry if I got your hopes up, but there’s no magic formula for tracking sales generated by your social media campaign. As with more traditional marketing methods, tracking a campaign’s effectiveness is not an exact science. The right method for you depends on the nature of your business, and no matter which method you choose, tracking sales does take time and effort. But hey, what’s the point of doing all of this social media marketing if you don’t take the time to figure out if it’s working for your business? Here are just a few ways to capture the sales brought in by your social media marketing campaign.
If you’re already rewarding your social media followers with special deals and promotions, this one should be fairly simple. If you’re not running exclusive promotions to reward your social media followers, it’s never too late to start. Some social media networks have built-in promotional or discount features. For example, Foursquare allows you to reward customers with specials based on the frequency or nature of their check-ins.
If you don’t have a location-based business, or if Foursquare just isn’t your thing, use Facebook or Twitter to promote your social media follower discounts. The trick is to only offer that discount to social media followers. For example, if you offer half-priced drinks to your social media followers, make sure that your social media followers are the only ones eligible to receive that discount. Promote the discount on your social networks and tell customers to ask for the social media discount when they visit your restaurant. Make sure that you create a button for this discount on your Point of Sale computers so that your staff can easily keep track of the number of promotions they sell.
Monitor the Traffic Source
Google Analytics offers an “Enterprise Class”, which features a tool called “e-commerce reporting” to help you track online sales. Another great thing about Google Analytics is that you can always find out where your website visitors are coming from with their “traffic source” feature. Therefore, if you have an ecommerce page on your website, you can find out how effective your social networks are at driving traffic to this page.
Survey Your Customers
You know what they say, “it never hurts to ask!” If you have an online order system or e-commerce site, have your web developer create a survey that pops up after customers submit their order. Keep the survey short and to the point to ensure a higher participation rate. Simply ask customers how they found your site and list each of your social networks as possible answers. You can give in-store customers this brief survey as well, or simply ask them at check-out how they heard about your store or business. Or, if you provide a service where you meet one-on-one with clients, incorporate that question into your information-gathering phase.
Install a Tracking Widget
For a more automated approach to tracking social media sales, there are now programs that you can use to track online sales for you. A couple that I am familiar with are AddShoppers.com and RankTracer, which works in tandem with Amazon.com. AddShoppers is still in beta testing and you must request an invite to sign up.
Although none of these methods are 100% accurate, at least they give you a basic understanding of how effective your social media marketing efforts are in driving your company’s sales. Each business is going to commandeer a different method for tracking this data. The more face-time you spend with your customers, the easier it is to find out how they happened upon your business. It’s when you have hundreds or even thousands of customers ordering off of your online store every day that it gets a little trickier to keep track and get an accurate picture of where those customers are coming from. Choose the method that works best for you, and analyze your findings monthly to get an idea of the portion of your sales that comes from social media marketing.