Recent studies have shown that consumers are more likely to do business with a company that has a social media footprint on the Internet. Social media marketing is also an excellent way for you to advertise to a very targeted and specific audience. Therefore, there is no question that being active on social networking sites is important to the success of your website; however, as with any Internet marketing initiative, it is important that you track the success of your social media campaigns.

The good news is that there are a number of effective ways that you can determine the effectiveness of your web marketing strategies. This can ensure that your advertising efforts are productive and help determine which practices need to be changed.

Social Media Referrals
In Google Analytics, there is an option to view social media data regarding your website. In this area, you can tell at a glance the number of people who came from a Facebook or Twitter link to your website. You also have the ability to ability to drill down and look at exactly which pages that people were referred to and which social media posts or shares that sent them. This gives you the ability to see if your Google+, Facebook and Twitter posts are actually successfully driving people to your landing pages.

Additionally, this enables you to see if other people are sharing your social media marketing posts. When people re-post or share your social media messages, they show up as coming from different social media profiles than your own. This can help you determine which social media network and which types of posts are the most successful, allowing you to focus your efforts on what is working.

Social Media Conversions
The goal of any web marketing practice is to increase your website’s sales or conversion rate. Simply driving traffic to your website, no matter how targeted, is not enough to make a website or business successful. This is why you should also track the conversion rates associated with your social media posts. You can do this either through the “Social” area of Google Analytics or the “Conversions” area.

Tracking your social media conversions helps you ensure that your marketing plans are working, and they also allow you to determine which types of posts and landing pages are the most successful. Social media posts with links that lead to high conversion rates should be emulated and those with low conversion rates should be adjusted accordingly.

Bounce Rate From Social Media Referrals
It is important that you not only get people to visit your website from social media profiles and posts but that people see what they expect when they arrive at your site as well. If you have a high bounce rate, it may indicate that people are expecting one thing when they click on a link to your site and getting something else. You may need to adjust your landing pages or change the wording of your social media posts, but the bottom line is that a high bounce rate usually indicates a problem.

Track Coupon and Discount Codes
Something that a lot of online storefronts and businesses have begun doing is posting coupon and discount codes on their social media sites. This can not only improve sales, but it can also help you track the number of sales that originated from someone looking at your social media profiles. When people make purchases online and use these codes, you have the ability to run reports that show you how many times a code was used. Many people use different codes for different social media sites so that they can tell if the majority of their sales are coming from people visiting Twitter, Facebook or other social networking sites.

Measure and Track Social Media Fans, Likes and Shares
There are a number of online tools and programs that will allow you to track and chart the number of social media fans, re-posts, likes and shares that your profiles receive. While these things do not directly translate to sales in the way that referrals and coupon codes do, building these numbers have long term benefits. To begin with, Google is now incorporating positive social media feedback in its indexing algorithms. This means that activity on social networks can improve your website’s search engine rankings.

Additionally, the more people who like and share your posts, the more likely that other people are to visit your website. This is a long term marketing plan, but it can benefit your website through increased sales and Internet exposure.