Applying Direct Response Metrics To Social Media

As with all marketing, social media can help fulfill three business objectives: loyalty, leads and sales. It's part public relations (PR) and community building, part direct response marketing, and part sales channel. Because social media can help with all three business goals, many simultaneously, choosing the right metrics is very important. Today, you're going to see how to use direct response marketing metrics to measure the ROI of your social media efforts.

A recent eMarketer report identified 7 brand effectiveness metrics, 5 revenue generation metrics and 3 customer engagement metrics:

Social Media Metrics - eMarketer

Leaving the effectiveness measures to the PR / community building aspect, let's look at the revenue generation numbers:

  • New customers
  • Leads
  • Sales
  • Individual social profiles of fans and followers
  • Customer lifetime value

So the question becomes how to measure these? For this post, we'll look at measuring one of these – leads, specifically from Twitter. It takes two to tango, and in this case, Google Analytics and HootSuite. Let's look at how to set this up.

Step 1: Observe The Rules

When it comes to online marketing, there are a few rules that must be observed:

Dempsey Marketing Online Marketing Rules

With a goal set up to measure the opt-ins on your landing page, combined with the unique link (using HootSuite), you'll be able to measure the effectiveness of your campaign.

PRO TIP: you can test the click-through rates of different messages by using different unique links.

Step 2: Create Your Offer

In order to have someone become a lead, you've got to give them a compelling offer. This comes down to a few factors:

  1. Who your ideal client is
  2. What your client wants; what is her goal?
  3. What you can give her that gets her closer to achieving her goal, but doesn't give away the house.

Offers come in many formats: discounts, ebooks, webinars, videos, audios, teleconferences, and many others. Choose the content format that plays to your strengths, and is how your clients like to get their information.

Step 3: Combine It All

Here's how this all fits together:

  • You post your tweet with the unique link to Twitter
  • One of your followers sees the tweet, clicks the link, and lands on your landing page
  • The person absolutely loves the “A” version of your offer and opts-in, triggering a Google Analytics goal
  • On the thank you page, you suggest they also become a fan on Facebook
  • At the end of the campaign, you measure the results (see below)

Step 4: Measure

HootSuite provides excellent click tracking reports. When combined with your Google Analytics goal tracking information, you know:

  1. How many people clicked on your link in Twitter
  2. How many people converted on the offer
  3. How many people didn't convert (also important)

Extra Credit

Why A/B test only your tweets when you can A/B test your landing pages too?! You can test headlines, images, body copy, and more. Here's a post that shows you how to use Google Content Experiments to A/B test with WordPress.


  1. Good stuff, Robert. A/B testing is something I’ve been meaning to do for ages but never have. I’m off to read your Google Content Experiements/WordPress post now. Thanks for the motivational kick in the butt!

  2. Awesome post, don’t forget to mention that part of that offer/landing page needs to be a strong call to action. Don’t make people think, tell them what to do.

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