Tracking Social Media in Google Analytics

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There is always a lot of discussion around the return on investment for Social Media, either financial or some other conversion, but many markets struggle to understand how to track this into quantifiable numbers and justify campaigns using analytics.

However, with some quick checks in Google Analytics any marketing department or savy web site owner can ensure that their time spent on Facebook and Twitter is returning some kind of value. This is very easy to do and can give you a powerful summary of the impact social media is having on your business.

As some of you may know, Google Analytics records a ton of information on your website users, where they come from, what they read and what they do next. The social part of this is no different. Log into Google Analytics and in the left hand bar, chose Traffic Sources > Social > Overview

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Here, you are presented with a range of social data such as which platforms users are coming from, as well as the contribution social media has in your website conversions.

Social Media Analytic Basics

Lets take a quick look at some of the basics. In this example from a leading Dive store, we can see that out of the 26,963 visits in this period, only 404 were from social, making a poor click through rate of 1.4%. Hence from this it seems that this social campaign needs some optimisation. Furthermore, we can see that Facebook dominates their social campaigns, with little or no traffic from Twitter or Google +, which is becoming a very important source of authority for search engines. Already we have found areas in need for improvement.

Finally, in terms of a return, we can see that out of 1,186 conversions (in this case sales), only 1.6% of sales came from or were assisted by social media.

This makes for some difficult decisions but allows marketing teams to review their spending in social media.

On top of this, we can track with shared links were the most popular. Visit Traffic Sources > Landing Pages so see which pages very visited by those visitors that came from social media. Clicking on these links will breakdown which social channels drove the traffic.

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So this is just the tip of the iceberg for tracking social, but I hope this allows you to begin to see social media in a broader light and see how you can track, budget and manage your social media performance and spending. If you need any help, give Brendan Schneider a shout and if you need any Google Analytics help, you can contact me, Daniel Reed on my website.

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