Within the Social tab in Google Analytics, you can measure your social impact 6 ways: sources, activity stream, pages, traffic flow, social plugins and, thankfully, conversions. This blog post will cover the best ways to use these reports to evaluate your company’s social media campaigns.
Is social media sending traffic to your website? Social Sources reveals how much traffic each social network refers back to your website. Use this data to determine where your content and offerings are gaining traction, and put more effort back into the social networks that bring you the most traffic.
The chart below shows each social network’s contribution to Visits to your site. You can also sort by Pageviews, Average Visit Duration and Pages per Visit.
Social Sources has a tab above the reporting called Activity Stream. Click over to find real-time data showing how people are interacting with your content on select social networks.
For a social network’s data to be included in the Activity Stream, the network needs to be included in Google’s Social Data Hub. Not all of the major social networks are found but here are some of the top social networks that are in the Social Data Hub:
- Read It Later
Big-time social networks like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn are not included, which means their activity won’t be included in your stream. Keep this in mind when viewing your data.
The activity stream below shows people interacting with SalesBlend’s content on Google+. This allows us to monitor comments and shares of our content and join in on the conversation.
Pages shows which pages on your site are visited the most by your social media traffic. Your pages are ranked by which gets the most visits, but you can also analyze Pageviews, Average Visit Duration, Data Hub Activities and Pages/Visit.
Data Hub Activities shows the number of activities that took place for each page on any of the social networks in the Social Data Hub. Activities might include Likes, Shares and Comments.
Social Visitors Flow
Social Visitors Flow visually shows how visitors from social networks navigate your website. This flow chart offers a quick snapshot of social network visitor behavior.
The flow chart below shows the top social referrers, top landing pages, navigation flow and traffic drop-off at each step. This data helps you determine which networks are sending qualified, interested visitors to your website.
If the flow chart has too much going on, you can hover over a social referrer to either ‘highlight traffic through here’, ‘view only this segment’ or see ‘group details’. By using these options, you’ll discover a much clearer picture of how, say, traffic from Twitter behaves when they come to your website.
Here’s what the same report looks like with Twitter traffic highlighted and the data much easier to comprehend!
Social Plugins track the performance of social buttons on your site, such as Google +1 and Facebook Like buttons. Google Analytics will only automatically track the performance of your Google+ buttons, so if you want it to track your other social buttons, set them up manually using this guide.
We saved the best for last! Tracking conversions from social traffic allows you to start measuring return on your social activities. Your conversion report shows conversion rates and the value of conversions that occurred due to social network traffic. (For conversion tracking to work, make sure you set up Goals in Google Analytics.)
Here you can tell which social networks are really valuable to your company. After all, you don’t just want traffic to your website, you want traffic that converts.
You probably noticed the conversions report shows total conversions, assisted social conversions and last interaction social conversions.
Last interaction social conversions refer to visitors who came directly to your website from social media and converted before leaving.
Assisted social conversions refer to visitors who came to your website from social media, left, came back via another traffic source (organic search, direct, etc.) and then converted. Here’s Google official description of an assisted conversion: “The number (and monetary value) of sales and conversions the social network assisted. An assist occurs when someone visits your site, leaves without converting, but returns later to convert during a subsequent visit. The higher these numbers, the more important the assist role of the social network.”
Measuring assisted conversions is an important step away from last-click attribution models, which only give value to the last traffic source before conversion. With assisted conversions, you can see all the various channels that helped your business convert website traffic into leads and customers.
Google Analytics Social Reports lets you begin measuring the value of your social campaigns and allocating your resources accordingly.
How are you using Google Analytics to help determine the value of your social media campaigns? Let us know in the comments below.
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