Adam T. Sutton

Measuring Social Site Traffic

June 9th, 2010

People who follow your social media updates are likely fans of your brand. Their motivations may vary, but if they’re reading and responding to your content, then they know who you are and they like hearing from you.

“It’s not really surprising that, like search traffic, social media traffic tends to be very qualified,” says Maura Ginty, Senior Manager, Search and Social, Autodesk. “It can be small in volume, but it’s really qualified.”

Ginty’s team uncovered this insight by monitoring social media traffic to Autodesk’s website and analyzing the actions visitors took after arrival. Obtaining data around social media is not difficult, Ginty says. The hard part is using it.

“I think people end up feeling like the data is going to answer their question, but it’s the interpretation of all that data and the filtering of all that volume that really helps provide insight into what to do next,” she says. (Keep an eye on our Great Minds newsletter for an up-coming article on how to improve social media measurement).

Ginty’s team started synthesizing data to uncover the social impact of online marketing campaigns, in part, by using a tool created with Covario. For example, the team can calculate the velocity of a marketing message — the number of people a message reaches in a certain amount of time in social media — and combine it with a sentiment analysis. This information helps the team gauge how quickly messages spread, how people respond, and which efforts have strong social appeal.

“We’ve seen from different areas that a lot of the push of information will end up happening in the first 24 hours,” Ginty says.

Social media is a new channel with unique brand/customer interactions that can be tested and measured. I am excited to see how other industry leaders will start measuring and tweaking their social efforts to improve everything from brand image to conversion rates.

Are you doing any testing in social? Let us know in the comments…

Adam T. Sutton

About Adam T. Sutton

Adam T. Sutton, Senior Reporter, MarketingSherpa
Adam generates content for MarketingSherpa's Email and Inbound Marketing newsletters. His years of experience in interviewing marketers and conveying their insights has spanned topics such as search marketing, social media marketing, ecommerce, email and more. Adam previously powered the content behind MarketingSherpa's Search and Consumer-marketing newsletters and carries that experience into his new role. Today, in addition to writing articles, he contributes content to the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa blogs, as well as MECLABS webinars, workshops and summits.

Prior to joining MarketingSherpa, Adam was the Managing Editor at the Mequoda group. There he created content and promotions for the company's daily email newsletter and managed its schedule.

Categories: Research And Measurement, Social Networking Evangelism Community Tags: ,

  1. June 10th, 2010 at 10:33 | #1

    Adam, I am doing my darnedest to pick up where this leaves off. From Social “Sentiment” through to the actual sale. Karmaback has a unique system to match up positive sentiment (sharing, comments, likes, and more) with actual sales.

    We’re also researching the effects of “Motivation” on Sentiment and Sales. check us out!

  2. June 14th, 2010 at 10:37 | #2

    Hi Harlan — sounds interesting. But what do you mean by “motivation”? How would it affect sentiment and sales?

  3. June 17th, 2010 at 16:23 | #3

    I’ve been wanting to find out what Facebook users do once they get to our site for a long time. Especially interested to find out if they donate or take action. But how do you get this information? We use Google Analytics and the only thing I can figure out is to find visitor paths based on a certain page, not a traffic source.


We no longer accept comments on the MarketingSherpa blog, but we'd love to hear what you've learned about customer-first marketing. Send us a Letter to the Editor to share your story.