Online marketing is a struggle for almost everyone. No one is sure what will work and what will not. Different experts have conflicting ideas on how you should spend your online advertising money, yet no one seems willing to provide meaningful reports that are easy to understand.
Email platforms like Constant Contact, iContact, and MailChimp have their own methods for measuring open rates, bounce rates, and click rates. But is that information really helpful to you? What exactly happens after someone clicks one of those links in your emails?
Facebook has an analytics feature, called Insights, which shows you the number of people who Like your Page, talk about your Page, and how people that your posted messages have Reached. The "Reach" refers to the number of people your message was presented to, but it does not indicate if they actually took the time to read it or if they will take action with it.
As far as I'm concerned, these Facebook Insights are worthless for businesses. They are designed to make you feel good about your activity on Facebook and to make you try harder to engage people so the number Reached increases. But is the race to increase your reach actually making you money? If you don't actually know, then the answer is a qualified "no."
Is Twitter making you money? Do you even have a way to track the people who interact with you through Twitter? What about LinkedIn engagements? Profitable?
I'm raising these questions because I want you to be aware that you need to track all of your online marketing activity. It's not good enough to blindly trust that somehow it's working; you need to measure your results.
There are several paid online tools that will track your activity and provide results, and your online marketing consultant should be providing those reports. But you could simply use the built in tracking from Google Analytics to measure all your activity.
I use Google Analytics to track every one of my Tweets, every Facebook status update, and every shared link to Facebook. I also use the same tracking for the Daily Golden Nugget emails I send every day, the stuff I post to Google+, and even the updates I send to LinkedIn.
In order to track all the results from these updates and posts I would need to cross reference all the tracking from each system and try to pull it together. Is this what you're doing right now?
Using Google Analytics campaign tracking I can clearly see the dates when things were shared online and the dates that people clicked a link that brought them to the web page I wanted them to see. What happens after people get to the website is a different topic, but at least I have measurable results to show me what social networks attract attention and which don't.
In tomorrow's Nugget I will share with you exactly how I do all this tracking. It's much easier than you might think, and you should kick yourself for not doing it sooner.
Read on... tomorrow.