I had the privilege of speaking with the Genius folks today about the GURLTMs and some cool new web analytics features they'll be rolling out this fall. For those of us who've been wondering how the heck to prove ROI is possible with social media, we may have found a way to do just that.
Tracking the impact your social participation can make on active pipeline has been a pretty nebulous challenge. But the GURLs change that. GURLs are these super-powered, shortened URLs similar to what you may have seen from services like budURL, bitly, and others.
I use budURLs to track many of my Twitter links. I can see clicks and a few other things, but they're a standalone metric. And there's no follow-thru visibility about someone who clicks on my budURL and then clicks on other links on my blog or website.
The GURLs could become one of the most popular tools at the social media party. What I like is how easy Genius has made social media support. Just take a look:
Step 1: copy and paste a URL into the tool. Label it for tracking purposes.
Step 2: Once you click the button "Create Trackable URL" you're presented with your GURL and the options to Tweet, post to LinkedIn or on facebook. When you make your selection, the link is embedded, you type your message around it and you're done.
Step 3: Measure your success. Now you can wait and watch to see how well received your links and messages are. But here's the kicker: Genius will track anonymous visitors until they identify themselves to you and then merge the history from their previous clicks with their identified profile. This means you'll have the ability over time to begin assigning contribution to social media efforts.
Here's an interesting tidbit. The Genius folks shared with me that what some of their customers are learning in Beta use of the tool is that the lead conversions they achieve through Twitter actually tend to become qualified leads at a faster rate. The early belief about why this is happening is because those leads have been actively researching solutions and looking for information.
This is good news for B2B marketers who have been looking for more proof points that social media pays off.
But, wait...there's more. Genius is also launching Visitor Intelligence for Sales which allows both sales and marketing to see which companies are visiting, but not yet identifying themselves. With a tie to LinkedIn, your sales reps or marketing people can take a look at who they know from those companies and replay the website visits to ensure they can communicate in relevant ways to help relationships grow right from the start.
The other thing that comes to mind is the ability to see when there's a potential interest from a new vertical or market segment you might not have been focusing on with past messaging. Let's say that, all of a sudden, pharmaceutical firms are visiting your website. Wouldn't that be great to know so you can get some content specific to them ready for prime time?
These are two great additions from Genius that show they're continually stretching to deliver tools that impact how marketing and sales can improve the ways they sell in relation to the way today's buyers are buying.
Read about Social Media Support
Check out CEO David Thompson's blog post
Learn more about Anonymous Visitor Tracking and Visitor Intelligence