How to Measure Social Media ROI in Google Analytics

Do you know how much revenue is generated by your social media influencer web traffic? Here’s how to measure social media ROI In Google Analytics.Are you developing a large social media campaign and need to leverage the influence of brand advocates?

I had a client that wanted to track specific influencers and how much revenue their social promotion generated. They felt uncomfortable asking their influencers to join an affiliate program but needed to track the promotion and tie each influencer’s contribution to the campaign’s ROI.

Thankfully, Google Analytics enables reports that display revenue derived from all social media sources.

How to Measure Social Media ROI in Google Analytics


The Conversions report allows you to quantify the value of Social. It shows the total number of conversions and the monetary value of conversions that occurred as a result of referrals from each network.

However, if you need a granular view of social traffic, you must create specific tracking sources to identify the monetary value of each influencer’s promotion.

Before you create these tracking sources, you should understand how campaign tracking works within Google Analytics. If you haven’t installed Google Analytics you can learn to configure it here.

Campaign Tracking


Google tracks the following:

  • Search traffic – This includes both organic and paid search.
  • Referral traffic – This is traffic from other sites which have direct links to your site.
  • Direct traffic – This is traffic resulting from a direct URL type-ins, bookmarks or when email marketing isn’t tracked.

Remember: By default, Google does NOT track Affiliate traffic, Display Ads, and Email.

To track individual influencer promotions in Google Analytics, you need to create your marketing source codes.

Here’s how…

Marketing Source Codes


If you want to get detailed tracking information on specific social media posts you can add additional marketing source codes.

These codes allow you to track specific social media post that drive customers back to your website.

Google Analytics uses five standard dimensions for a campaign which need to be incorporated into the query string of the URL for each social post.

Here’s an example:

http://www.domain.com/landing_page.php?utm_campaign=influencername&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=promo1

  • utm_campaign – The name of the marketing campaign.
  • utm_medium – Media channel (i.e. email, banner, CPC, etc).
  • utm_source – Who are you partnering with to push your message.
  • utm_content – The version of the ad (used for A/B testing_ or in AdWords. You can identify two versions of the same ad using this variable. This is not always used and is NOT included in the example above.
  • utm_term – The search term purchased (if the link refers to keywords). This is not always used and NOT included in the example above.

I understand how this may seem a bit arduous, but you don’t have to create these unique URLs yourself.

Create Influencer Tracking URL


Use the Google URL Builder to help create these links.

google-url-builder-juntae-delane

Tip: Use the URL builder when you have one-off campaigns. For larger campaigns, I suggest creating a spreadsheet with unique URL for each social post and influencer.

Define Your Goals In Google Analytics


If you don’t have goals set up, you’ll need to create goals in Google Analytics for the conversions you want to track.

Create Your Influencer Custom Reports

  1. Click “Customization” in the navigation bar.
  2. Click “+New Custom Report.”
  3. Give it a title.
  4. Click “+add metric” and choose the metrics you wish to include. Search for the goal you just created and select the metric for Completions [e.g., Purchases (Goal 1 Completions)]. This will show you the number of conversions of this type. How to Measure Social Media ROI in Google Analytics
  5. Click “+add dimension” and determine how you want to break up the data in rows.How to Measure Social Media ROI in Google Analytics
  6. Click “Save” and you’ll see a custom report for you to measure influencer’s social media performance. From this point, you can assign a conversion value to each transaction to track your ROI.How to Measure Social Media ROI in Google Analytics

Final Thoughts


It takes much effort coordinating your influencers and brand advocates social media promotion. The most important task is creating a spreadsheet of unique URLs that each influencer should use as a part of their individual campaign. Once created, you can track the performance and ROI of their efforts.

Influencer outreach is a great way to increase your brand’s reach and increase sales. Whether you know it or not, your brand has influencers and advocates. Start partnering with them and tracking their efforts. Good luck.


  • Dr. Sanjay Prakash Sahoo

    Google Analytics effectively covers all the parameters of Campaign be it Corporate or Otherwise. It allows to define your own benchmarks and set your own milestone. It allows you to measure your progress in a turnkey way which can either be time stamped or revenue reckoner based. It facilitates you to recognize the key biz pivots along with its multiple social touch points. The 5 dimensional Campaign, medium,source, content and term monitors, measures and colates current traffic from 450+ social networks thereby efficiently and effectively enabling Trend Analysis. It helps to determine ur biz value and the direction it is taking now and should take in the future. The Buttons determine usage pattern and popular patronage. The Google+ extension helps in depth data navigational statistics. The Goal Setting feature allows you to map ur biz deviations lags or supercedes.

    Bottomline :- Google Analytics is Must and Should lifeline to anchor your business by analyzing its social impacts. It provides you with that much needed success and acceptance perspective which remains the common denominator for growth as it acts as an attendant multiplier to your traditional efforts. Google Universal Analytics is the perfect recipe for 360 degree social appraisal

  • Dr. Sanjay Prakash Sahoo

    Google Analytics effectively covers all the parameters of Campaign be it Corporate or Otherwise. It allows to define your own benchmarks and set your own milestone. It allows you to measure your progress in a turnkey way which can either be time stamped or revenue reckoner based. It facilitates you to recognize the key biz pivots along with its multiple social touch points. The 5 dimensional Campaign, medium,source, content and term monitors, measures and colates current traffic from 450+ social networks thereby efficiently and effectively enabling Trend Analysis. It helps to determine ur biz value and the direction it is taking now and should take in the future. The Buttons determine usage pattern and popular patronage. The Google+ extension helps in depth data navigational statistics. The Goal Setting feature allows you to map ur biz deviations lags or supercedes.

    Bottomline :- Google Analytics is Must and Should lifeline to anchor your business by analyzing its social impacts. It provides you with that much needed success and acceptance perspective which remains the common denominator for growth as it acts as an attendant multiplier to your traditional efforts. Google Universal Analytics is the perfect recipe for 360 degree social appraisal

  • John Martin

    Thank you for explaining this so simply, Juntae! I agree: analytics is a great way to justify what you’re doing on social media. Especially since prospects don’t seem to follow a straight path from social media to sales. The video you’ve included makes analytics easy to understand – I’ll refer back to this to help others. I’ve seen several explanations about marketing codes, but your explanation, including the Google URL builder is the best I’ve seen. I use both of these with my clients, and now thanks to you, I have a great way to explain this!

    • Thanks for reading and commenting John! I look forward to your future engagements.

  • Ervin

    Being able to understand our audience and to understand them we need to know how to deal with analytics. This is great blog post on that topic. Easy to read and full of good info about analytics. Keep up the good work man

    • Thanks for reading and commenting Ervin. I look forward to your future comments as well.