Slacking-Off Series: The Role of Website Design When Tracking Social Media ROI

By Teylor Schiefelbein
March 28, 2019

Welcome to Slack-ing Off, a blog series taken from the transcripts of messages on Slack between our Director of Creative Services, Jonathan Olivo, and our Director of Platform Development, Aubrey Berkowitz. As a collaborative bunch, we’re bringing our Director of Digital Marketing, Teylor Schiefelbein, on board to discuss the impact that website design and development can have on social media ROI [return on investment].

The Role of Website Design When Tracking Social Media ROI

*Disclaimer- if you do not like candid conversations about digital marketing and websites, you can probably stop reading here. We won’t use profanity, but we can’t promise GIFs won’t be involved.

Aubrey: Hey Jonathan, good to catch up again.

Jonathan: Hey Aubrey! It’s been a hot minute.

Aubrey: So Teylor is joining us today. For those who don’t know, Teylor is our Director of Digital Marketing here at Alter Endeavors. Teylor was one of the founding members of the department and has been handling both strategy and execution for some clients ever since.

Teylor: Hi, that’s me! Good to be officially joining the ~slacking off club~

Aubrey: Since you started at AE, what are some of the changes and challenges you’ve seen on the social media landscape in regards to Digital Marketing?

Teylor: Oh wow, where to even begin! I think a lot of things have changed from a technical standpoint in terms of platform types, algorithms, etc. but a lot has stayed the same — like the importance of storytelling and knowing your audience.

I think the main challenge over the years has been proving the value of social media as it relates to sales and a brand’s return on investment (ROI). But thanks to those technical advancements, it’s getting easier.

Jonathan: That’s really interesting Teylor, could you elaborate on some of the technical advancements that have made things easier for you?

Teylor: For sure. I think having a deep understanding of Google Analytics is KEY here. I always use a Bitly or UTM link to see who is engaging with my social content and what actions they’re taking on the website from there — whether they’re reading a blog, purchasing product or submitting a contact form. We also install a Facebook Pixel on all ad accounts to track the success of our campaigns. Oh, and can’t forget CallRail. This is an excellent tool for service-based businesses to track who is calling from the website and where they came from.

All of these tools can be installed, but to be honest, if the site isn’t optimized for conversions from a design perspective — I’m left very frustrated as a social media marketer.

Aubrey: Focusing on conversions is really important in regards to your platforms. We’ve mentioned before on Slacking Off how your website is more than just a business card. What are some examples of conversion issues you’ve had when driving traffic to a page from social?

Teylor: Great question! There have been a few brands I’ve worked in the past where Alter Endeavors didn’t build their website and I didn’t have access to it. It made me feel like I was working on an island. I knew I was sending traffic to their site from my link tracking, but I had no idea what their journey was after that point. It certainly didn’t help that the site I’m thinking of was incredibly outdated, so the branding and messaging you saw on social didn’t match up with the site at all.

Jonathan: That can be a big issue for brands! Keeping the messaging and branding cohesive is very important but can also be a struggle. If your target market doesn’t see cohesiveness within a brand the relationship with your audience may begin to wain and ultimately you may lose their trust, engagement, and retention.

Teylor: Totally! My role is to build and strengthen the relationship between a brand and its audience. That’s so much harder to do if the brand comes across as unprofessional at any point. That can easily happen when the branding isn’t consistent or the user struggles to perform whatever action they went to the site for in the first place. Doesn’t matter whether I’m tracking conversions if the user can’t even figure out how to navigate a poorly-designed site!

Aubrey: User experience is becoming more and more a focus here at Platform Dev. Especially how it relates to mobile and interaction on mobile. Often, the simpler the user-flow the better.

Teylor: Preach!

Aubrey: Teylor, for your social team, what have been some of the effective tactics y’all have used to increase conversions? Immediately, clients like OrthoManhattan come to mind.

Teylor: If we have a conversion-focused campaign — like in the case of OrthoManhattan where our goal is the submission of patient request forms, we first make a point to reach out to Jonathan and the Creative Services team to design a specific landing page with that goal in mind.

When a potential patient lands on that page, it’s clear why they’re there and what action we want them to take. It has a custom URL and we’re tracking where they came from, how many submissions we got, and how much a conversion costs.

Aubrey: And when you’re tracking conversion costs, you’re referring to Social Media Ad campaigns, right?

Teylor: Correct! There’s no point in paying for traffic that will never convert. Because we’re so conscientious about our client’s budget — we want to do everything in our power to help optimize and expedite the sales or lead process.

It’s for sure something our team couldn’t do without either of y’all — from the design standpoint and the implementation of the tools I mentioned earlier.

Aubrey: That goes both ways. We can build the best website in the world, but if no one ever sees the site or finds the site online — it’s worthless.

Teylor: Touché. Good thing we’re all on the same team then!

Jonathan:

Aubrey: Thanks for stopping by Teylor. Hopefully, we can have you back soon!

Teylor: It would be my pleasure! Do I get a goodie bag or something?

Aubrey: