Whether you’re trying to espouse your political beliefs on Facebook, showcase your night on the town on Snapchat, or accumulate clout on the Gram, social media has become a central part of our lives. The same is doubly true for advertisers and marketers, which is why measuring social media KPIs has become a critical part of our business.

But integrating most social media channels into our marketing mix as effective paid channels is sometimes easier said than done. Certain verticals (like B2C e-commerce) excel on social channels like Facebook, while others aren’t so hot (looking at you, B2B SaaS). Despite whatever difficulties you may face, it’s important to focus on the right metrics to help quantify your performance and guide your decision-making.

What are the right results? What are the right metrics to track? Ultimately, we’ll want to focus on two key metrics:

  • New customers
  • Revenue

Less important are metrics like page engagement, follows, and likes, although they can occasionally be useful. There is an argument for the importance of these softer metrics in ‘brand awareness’ campaigns — for the launch of new products, features, etc. However, you should already have an idea of what kind of revenue will be generated by this traffic, based on previous campaigns.

And if you don’t have that data, it’s time to start tracking it. If brand awareness campaigns generate 1,000 clicks a month, you’ll want to monitor that traffic and see how often it generates a sale or new customer. (Bonus points if you’re running multi-channel attribution software like CallRail’s CPL tool, or Bizible, but you can get some of this insight from the multi-channel funnel report in Google Analytics as well.)

If you’re unfamiliar with multi-channel attribution, you can familiarize yourself here. In brief, multichannel attribution involves crediting channels that contributed to a sale — Facebook, for instance — even when that channel wasn’t directly responsible for producing the click that corresponded with the sale.

This is a complicated topic, but it gets easier with experience, and with analytics tools that break down performance by channel.

New customers and more revenue

New customers and revenue are the bread and butter of any business. When we evaluate the effectiveness of our social media campaigns, we should always be looking at new customer figures, and ultimately revenue. Sometimes this can be difficult with social media because the touchpoints for these campaigns are so up-funnel, but that’s when we can start to look at trickle-down new customer figures based on leads.

As an example, let’s say we’re running three different Facebook campaigns:

  1. Promoting an e-book
  2. Re-targeting 30-day, non-customer site users
  3. Promoting a newsletter/ email list

After running these campaigns for some time we can start to dive into the leads these campaigns produce, as well as seeing how often leads become new customers, how large their average order sizes are, and how often they make a purchase. This kind of analysis is going to be much easier with Marketo or a comparable analytics program, but a smaller e-commerce business could also DIY this work in Excel or Google Sheets.

Analyzing Cost Per Lead

Ultimately, this data will help you identify a profitable cost per lead for your business, no matter what industry you work in. However, keep in mind that you may also learn that you don’t have a profitable cost per lead for a particular channel, or for your wider paid search initiatives. Certain e-commerce businesses, for example, are only going to be profitable with large enough average order sizes. (This is one of the reasons you’ll consistently see promotions on websites like “Free shipping on orders over $50.”)

Which gets us to the crux of the matter: Your primary KPIs should remain the same across your marketing channels, even for social media. Yes, there are instances in which pure ‘brand awareness’ campaigns could be beneficial, but our long-term goals are the still the same no matter what kind of campaign we’re running

Fortunately, tools that help us more easily extrapolate cost per lead and revenue are coming out and making our jobs easier. If you’re currently a CallRail customer, be sure to check out our new CPL tool, for an easy way to identify CPL by campaign.

And if you’re not already tracking your calls and putting that data to work, you can start right now: Request a free demo of CallRail or sign up for a 2-week free trial. Not only can you start tracking calls generated via Google Ads and other search campaigns, but you can also dive into these calls to learn about your current and potential customers, and grow your account.

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