E-MarketingStrategy: 4 Tips and Tools for Tracking Your Web-Marketing Effectiveness
Google Analytics will tell you how many visitors are coming to your site from Facebook, from Twitter, from any blogs you've been working with, and from anywhere else on the web. If you're running an e-commerce site, Google's data will tell you how much money each traffic source has earned for you. If you set up a broader conversion goal within Google Analytics—such as a newsletter sign-up, or a request for information, or a visit to your directions page—Google will track those for you as well.
Careful review of the data in your Google Analytics account will help you understand which of your efforts are paying off, and which are not.
Harvest (HarvestApp.com) is time-tracking software I recommend companies use to easily record the amount of time employees spend on certain tasks. Within Harvest you can set up employee accounts, projects and tasks. Set up an account for each of the folks you've got working on your Web marketing. Then, create a project—such as your Weekly Twitter Contest—that you run every week. When your folks sit down to begin running the Twitter contest, they just start their Harvest timer, and then shut it off when they're done.
You can run a simple report at the end of the week comparing the money you spent to pay the employee to run the project versus the money Google Analytics is telling you you've brought in. This is a very crude, but helpful and quick profit-and-loss snapshot for the week's Twitter contest.
Keep in mind when running the numbers that there is more to these social media activities than bringing in immediate sales. While you may see a loss for particular social media activities—the contest for example—you may have gained a great number of new potential customers. View the individual profitability in the context of your larger Web-marketing efforts.