Understanding attribution

Attribution for social media is one of those extremely advanced marketing topics, so I’m not going to spend TOO much time here. But I did want to cover a couple theories when it comes to understand and attributing your social ads.

According to Wikipedia: Attribution is the process of identifying a set of user actions that contribute in some manner to a desired outcome, and then assigning a value to each of these events.

So what does that mean for marketing? Attribution allows you to assign a value to a desired behavior. In our case, we want to be able to assign values mostly to conversions, but also sometimes fans, likes, etc. Below I’m going to cover three different attribution models.


This is the most common form of attribution and it means that the last place a user came from is what gets 100% of the credit. For example, if your user clicked on a Google ad and then signed up for your camp, Google gets 100% of the credit for that conversion.


This type of attribution takes into account the fact that people go to MANY different websites before they actually convert. For example, a mom may go to your website, Facebook page, Twitter account and call her friend before she ever converts on your website. Multi-touch attribution assigns a value to each website that played a role in this conversion.


This type of attribution takes into account the fact that some people may view an ad, not click on it, and still convert at a later time. For example, a mom may see a Facebook ad for your camp in her News Feed, and later go to your website and convert, without ever having clicked on the ad.

These are just three super basic ways of looking at attribution. I’ll go more in-depth here later! As always, leave a comment if you have any questions.