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Determining the Best Social Media Attribution Model for Your Campaign

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  • Determining the Best Social Media Attribution Model for Your Campaign

How do you know that your social media campaigns are raking in conversions? It would help if you had the right tools to track these statistics.

And you can do so with social media attribution.

When you measure your social media campaign with a marketing attribution model, you assess which channels are getting you the best return on investment (ROI).

There are various social media platforms where you can build a significant presence. Different marketing attribution models operate differently depending on the type of business and the nuances of your company’s sales cycle. You must understand which channels deserve the right amount of attribution to achieve accurate results.

Here, we look at different social media platforms, their benefits to your digital marketing strategy, and different tools you can use to analyze how well you perform on such platforms using social media attribution.

Successfully Leveraging Social Media Marketing

With over 3.5 billion users across different social media channels, it would be foolish not to utilize these online platforms in boosting your brand. If you know how to navigate specific online spaces, you have higher chances of getting loyal customers from your target audience.


Who doesn’t have a Facebook? It’s nearly impossible to meet anyone without a Facebook profile or someone who is not familiar with the platform. It’s the largest and most highly adopted social media platform with 2.8 billion monthly active users, so you already know that much of your target audience is well represented.

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Using Facebook advertising for small businesses is an excellent way to promote your products and services, whether B2B or B2C. At least 1.4 billion Facebook users use social groups to boost their business operations, with 26% of all users making purchases after clicking on Facebook ads.

If you run a small business, Facebook is an excellent way to promote your business and gain local exposure. Building your brand from your immediate location will inevitably lead to expansions through Facebook connections.


Twitter, a microblogging platform, allows a maximum of 280 characters per tweet. You might think that’s too limited to promote your brand effectively, but consider that it’s the perfect amount to engage with the 187 million active users on the platform.

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Twitter’s character limit is ideal for conducting online customer support, which counts toward your social media metrics (more on that below). Consistent customer support is essential in building brand loyalty.

Building a Twitter presence is also essential when considering that the average Twitter user follows at least five brands on the platform. Add this to the fact that 36% of B2B businesses generate leads through Twitter; you shouldn’t hesitate to distribute your content here.


With over one billion monthly active Instagram users, at least 90% of these users follow a business, and 200 million of them visit at least one business Instagram profile a day. It is compelling enough to use this platform for your brand.

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Instagram is an ideal social media platform to cultivate a community. Follow hashtags related to your niche to identify the users who use those hashtags. You get direct access to the users with a genuine interest in your products and services.


Members participating on this social media platform are professionals from different industries. LinkedIn has at least 610 million members, 63 million of whom are decision-makers and 10 million C-level executives.

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LinkedIn creates 46% of referral traffic on company websites. If you want to take advantage of this distribution channel, you must effectively market to LinkedIn users with informative content. Consider blog posts, articles, case studies, eBooks, reports, or whitepapers.

Like Instagram, you can find the right audiences on this platform through hashtags related to your niche.


Research shows that people retain 95% of a message when watching a video instead of reading a text. You can leverage this statistic with the top video streaming platform on the internet. YouTube has over 2 billion monthly users with whom you can easily communicate.

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Besides video content that focuses on your brand, you can get creative to drive more leads. Consider using how-to videos or testimonials to deliver valuable content to turn prospects into loyal customers. Videos are great digestible mediums, but they still have to be entertaining to be effective with your audience.

Social Media Metrics

In online marketing, social media metrics help gauge the success of your social media marketing campaign. When you analyze your social media campaign metrics, you learn which strategies work and which need adjustment.

It would be best if you tracked the social media metrics that matter the most. These are the types of metrics that you have to monitor:

  • Engagement metrics: Facebook likes
  • Awareness metrics: Instagram followers
  • Conversion metrics: Click-through rates and bounce rates
  • Share of voice metrics: Visibility and discussions about your brand
  • Customer support metrics: Response rate and time it takes to help customers

Focusing on the metrics that provide a clearer picture of your strategy’s performance enables you to create and maintain a successful social media campaign.

Marketing Attribution Models for Social Media

There are six attribution models that you can utilize for your social media campaign. These tools help you perform in-depth analytics to identify which channels are getting traffic for your website.

These channels represent touchpoints or engagements when a potential customer engages in some form or fashion. From discovering your site through a Facebook ad to converting and making a purchase, you must attribute the proper engagement to the right channels to know which ones to enhance.

Single-Touch Attribution Models

Even if your customer encounters 15 ads before converting, single-touch attribution credits only one of those ads, these models are straightforward and easy to implement.

First-Touch Attribution Model

The idea behind the first-touch attribution model is that a lead would not have converted without the very first engagement.

This attribution model lets you know how a customer initially found your website or product. Perhaps they saw an Instagram post that linked to a webinar. Then they subscribed to your email newsletter after the webinar.

In that example, all conversion credit goes to your Instagram post because it’s the first touchpoint.

This model may not be suited for sales cycles that involve many multiple engagements over a long period before converting a lead.

  • Pros: This is the least complex attribution model to set up. You don’t have to analyze or calculate too much data.
  • Cons: This model only values the beginning of a customer’s buying journey, making it hard to optimize your marketing process as a whole.

Last-Touch Attribution Model

This attribution model credits the final touchpoint, leading to a conversion, ignoring everything that came before the last engagement. It values the end of the marketing funnel by focusing on what drove a customer to convert. Last-touch is usually the default attribution model setting.

Let’s go back to the Instagram post example. Suppose you posted content featuring a product that a prospect was interested in, and then they followed that product link to your site. They didn’t immediately buy the product but bookmarked your product page for later.

Sometime later, the lead saw a YouTube video and decided to purchase the product immediately after watching it. The last touchpoint, in this case, is the YouTube video. That touchpoint gets all the attribution credit, not your Instagram post.

  • Pros: A simple attribution model to implement. It focuses on direct leads and is suited for conversion-based metrics.
  • Cons: This attribution model ignores everything before the touchpoint that led a customer to convert, making it difficult to determine if your ad campaigns are working.

Multi-Touch Attribution Models

Unlike single-touch attributions that give all conversion credit to one marketing touchpoint, multi-touch attribution models value all the bases that a customer touches when driving a conversion.

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Linear Attribution Model

Also known as the even-weighted attribution model, this model equally credits all touchpoints that led to a conversion. It values the first touch, lead creation, opportunity creation, and the last touch that makes a customer close.

Linear attribution models solve marketing attribution’s main problem of not knowing which touchpoints are essential. This model essentially says that if a customer goes through multiple channels before closing, then those channels are all critical.

Implementing this attribution model gives you a clear picture of your entire sales cycle. It covers all touchpoints that lead conversion and is manageable even with a small team with long marketing processes.

  • Pros: You get a complete overview of your sale. The linear attribution model values everything from the beginning of the funnel to the final lead converting stage.
  • Cons: Equal attribution to every touchpoint can make optimization hard because, realistically, not every touchpoint is equally essential.

Time-Decay Attribution Model

This attribution model works well if your business has a long sales cycle. Like the linear attribution model, the time-decay attribution model is a multi-touch model that values different touchpoints. Instead of equal attribution, this model values the latter touchpoints closer to the final lead conversion.

Even if the time-decay attribution model values the middle and bottom of the funnel in your marketing more than the beginning, early touchpoints may have more significance than what is known in this model.

For instance, a customer’s journey might start from interacting with your Facebook ad. Then they sign up for a webinar and later buy your product through a link in your blog. The Facebook ad might have more impact than the blog content.

  • Pros: This model helps you optimize the direct touchpoints that tend to hold more weight in lead conversions.
  • Cons: This model may have lapses in some instances. Sometimes, early touchpoints hold more weight in the conversion.

U-Shaped Attribution Model

Also known as the position-based attribution model, the U-shaped attribution model credits 40% to the first and last touchpoints and 20% to the middle touchpoint. It emphasizes that the first and last touchpoints are the most important in converting a lead without neglecting what occurs between those events.

If your business involves campaigns that require lead nurturing, this campaign may be unsuitable. The U-shaped attribution model values the points where a lead finds your business and the engagement that converts them. This model may be best for prospects that make up their mind to buy your product or service, even though they may engage multiple times before making the actual purchase.

  • Pros: This model equally credits the first and last touchpoints without neglecting the middle touchpoint for better analysis.
  • Cons: Sometimes, the first or last touchpoint may be more important than the other. So, you need to reevaluate these points when analyzing your campaign.

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Algorithmic Attribution Model

If your business involves a complicated sales process that requires an in-depth analysis of your funnel stages, the algorithmic attribution model is your best option. This model is the most accurate tool to measure how your customers converted from being prospects.

The algorithmic attribution model is unique to each business, making its success rate higher than other models.

  • Pros: This model provides accurate data, allowing you to credit the touchpoints that genuinely matter to your business.
  • Cons: This model’s accuracy requires complex calculations and data analysis. You may need to hire experts to operate the advanced tools that the algorithmic attribution model requires.

Better Marketing ROI with Social Media Attribution

Marketing attribution generates better ROI for your business by giving you an idea of which channels convert prospects into paying customers. You can invest more resources into the channels that work in your favor and lessen resources to those that do not. It would help if you had these tools to know how to adjust your strategy.

If you get a lot of ROI from your Instagram ads, then you would focus on optimizing your marketing strategy for the social media platform. If your company’s Twitter account doesn’t cover too many bases, you must reevaluate and re-strategize your Twitter campaign.

Reassess the business you run. The different attribution models may suit one type of business better than the other. It all depends on how long your sales cycle lasts.

Without proper social media attribution, you’re blindly implementing social media and digital marketing campaigns without guidance. It’s much better to measure, assess and determine the best course of action for your campaigns through attribution.

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