With Facebook on the verge of a historic $5B IPO, there has NEVER been a better time to ask the question: What is social media really worth?
Apparently, the folks at Google Analytics agree completely. That’s why they’ve designed their latest update to follow your follows, scrutinize your likes, and reconnoiter your retweets.
If you’re thinking: ‘But the purpose of social media isn’t necessarily to ROI,’ you’re exactly right — Google will help businesses track their social media goals on a number of levels, monetary and otherwise.
So even if the purpose of your Twitter pages isn’t to drive sales, Google’s “Social Data Hub” will help you track your progress toward that goal, whatever it may be.
According to TechCrunch, the new Social Data Hub does much more than just counting up your mentions, retweets, etc. This tool will track your own, custom social metrics, whether that includes gathering opt-ins or just getting people to visit your “About” page…
Most importantly, the SDH doesn’t define “conversions” as simply sales. The Social Data Hub will measure how well you’re “converting” on just about any online goal.
Just in case you’re wondering, the SDH also tracks monetization. Specifically, it tracks the long-term sales that may stem from social media.
That means, if someone follows a Twitter or Facebook link to your site, bounces, and then returns to make a purchase later that month — Google will track that too.
I’m a little skeptical as to HOW they manage this part of the analytics… but it’s pretty impressive, nevertheless.
Here’s the part that everyone else is skeptical about: Social media has become more important than even search when it comes to several marketing metrics… Not all of them by any means, but more than most traditional marketers are willing to believe.
Social media is carrying a lot of the load that used to be the exclusive realm of traditional advertising — the semi-intangible things like brand-awareness and engagement. Just check out this infographic to see how important social media has become.