Why tracking can make or break your content efforts

social index

I’ve become a social media fiend in the past year. Mostly because it’s working. The number of prospects & leads I get each month has been steadily rising. Here’s how I track. I hope it will help you too!

Join 20k others and follow Sean Hull on twitter @hullsean.

The image above displays the results of my social media efforts. It’s what I call my “iHeavy social index”. I’ll have a followup post that goes into more detail about how that works.

1. Start measuring your time using social media

Let’s think about this carefully. Why not write down everyday, 1 hour on twitter, ½ hour on Google+, ½ hour adding links to buffer or hootsuite. The more you track the better idea you’ll get of how you’re spending your time. So try to be honest. Mine for this past month was 27 hours.

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2. Track your time spent creating content

Writing content should be easier to track. For me idea time is two hours and writing time is another few. Last month I wrote five piece of content so 25 hours total.

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3. Monitor your total conversion value

If you’re a services business like mine, you’re sending people to your website, but don’t have widgets to sell. So how do you track revenue?

The answer is you still need to value conversions. For me, a visit to my pricing page has a value, as that indicates someone who is zeroing in on a service provider, or at least doing some comparison shopping. What’s more a newsletter signup has a value. But how much?

Suppose a new client is a $5000 piece of business. How many newsletter signups might bring you one piece of business? Consider that people who get your newsletter are already in your inner circle, probably share your insights, and talk about you from time to time. Let’s say for arguments sake 50 newsletter signups will bring you one piece of business. Then a newsletter signup is worth $100.

Some other conversions that have value for a services business, about-us, pricing, download whitepaper, testimonials and so forth. Last month my total conversion value was $4350.

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4. Add it all up

This past month my conversions value came in at $4350. Since I spent 52 hours total on content & social media, my efforts yielded a value of $84/hr.

Now I admit there is a lot of estimating going on here, but the point is, track what you can. If you think your numbers are a bit high, adjust your conversion values (view pricing page or newsletter signup for example) downward.

You *could* also compare the above to actual revenue, but that is likely to be shifted in time. In other words social media that was effective in February, might yield a new client in March, and an invoice paid in May, so 90 days off or more.

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5. Get real with yourself

If you’re spending more and more time on social media & just hoping, you may be spinning your wheels. Looking at numbers like this forces you to face the hard facts. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something new.

Remember too, social media can have a residual affect, where people start talking, or your name gains visibility. If you’re getting more business though, folks should surely be checking you out on your website.

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