Mike Pantoliano will be speaking at the “Social Media Analytics: Discovery and Attribution” session at SearchFest 2013 which will be taking place on February 22, 2013 at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click the following link.

1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.

Surely. My name is Mike and I work as a web marketing consultant for Distilled in Seattle, WA. I spend most of my time building web marketing strategy for businesses that run the industry and size gamut. I split my day to day time between CRO, analytics, SEO, content marketing, and PPC. I spoke at SearchFest last year, which was a blast, and I’ve also spoken at MozCon, SES, and SearchLove on various topics. Lastly, I blog on Distilled.net and SEOmoz.org, and wrote an Excel guide for fellow web marketers.

In my free time I rock climb at the best bouldering gym in the country, I play music, blog on my personal blog about tech (mostly), and split co-writing duties on my dog’s blog with my girlfriend.

2) How effective is Google Analytics for measuring social?

Very. If you asked me two years ago the answer would be very different. GA’s release of the multi-channel funnel reports opened up an entirely new way to measure the effectiveness of all of our marketing efforts, especially social. The customer journey is so rarely a straight line from first click to purchase, but essentially that’s the way we’ve been doing web analysis prior to MCF.

And it gets better in 2013. Google Analytics’ attribution modeling tool will be rolled out for everyone, which is a more complete way to assign conversion credit. Mediums like non-branded organic search and social inherently operate as exposers – introducing people to your brand – while the closers like branded organic search, PPC, and email have been hogging the last-click attribution credit over the years. The sooner businesses figure out the true value of their exposers, adjust resources and budget accordingly, the sooner they’re bringing more new customers through the door.

3) How can one properly attribute social as part of a multi-touch conversion process?

Unless you’re using social to mainly push coupon codes, your traditional macro-conversion rate on social visits will be dismal. But if that’s the way you’re measuring ROI for social, you’re doing it wrong.

For companies with established social presences, or a strong enough brand to quickly gain a social following, the right way to do social attribution involves the measurement of micro-conversions, assisted conversion ratios, and looking at attribution models that consider the full customer conversion path. On the other hand, small businesses that have little social presence are faced with an uphill battle with uncertain future returns. In those cases, I think it’s fair to let metrics like engagement, Klout score, FB insights data, etc. into your reporting, while still making sure that micro-conversions are being measured.

This question is essentially what I’ll be covering in my presentation so come to Rhea Drysdale and my session to find out. It’s gonna be a good one, I promise.

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