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Understanding Social Media in Google Analytics

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When PostRank joined the Google family in July 2011 the combined teams have been working hard at integrating the value of PostRank into a cohesive social reporting feature within Google Analytics.  Once you understand social media in Google Analytics it will help you identify the full value of socially referred traffic and see how the social channel contributes to your goals, conversions, and ecommerce transactions. This is boon for marketers that continue to struggle with ROI and trackability of social media efforts.  We will go five really cool features below but the new reports will help measure some otherwise untrackable user behavior, such as off-site conversations with your content.

1. Overview Report: Social Performance over the short-term and long-term

This report gives a quick look at the impact of user conversions and displays an associated monteary value of social referrals. Google is calling this the “social value visualization” This allows you to deterimine which social channcels are performing well and which ones need work. The dark blue circle is called the “last interaction” and references conversions that happen immediately after a social media referral. As the circles widen in the report dertermines if a user was referred to your site but leaves and converts at a later date.


social media google analytics


2. Conversions Report: Goal conversion impacted by social media

Goals are surprising underutilized in Google Analtyics and this is one report that ensures you do not forget to set Goals. This is a great report for determining which pieces of content you published to your social media channels has effectively made traffic increase or users convert. This will allow you to determine if a blog post, newsletter, video post or tweet is showing a user impact.

3. Social Sources:  How visitors from different social media sources behave

 The Social Sources report is all about engagement and conversion metrics for each individual social network. This report will allow you to see how people interactive with your content and if your desired conversion goal is being achieved.

4. Social Plugins: Sharable content

 The Social Plugin report indicates which content on your site is receiving the most engagement and which social buttons are the most successful.  If you are using a platform like wordpress you have probably already figured out which buttons are succeeding but you may not know for which piece of content specifically. This will allow you to have both in an easy tab within Google Analytics. 

social-plugins google analytics
Finding out the popularity of your content with your visitors and specifically what type is paramount in testing different layouts of social sharing buttons.
5. Activity Stream: what’s happening with social media conversions off-site
Activity stream allows you to see how people are engaging with your content across the social web. This is an outstanding feature in my opinon because it allows you to get tractability of user engagement outside the walled garden of your website or blog. currently there is a growing list of social data partners that are interfacing with this social media report in Google Analytics.
The list so far includes:
  • AllVoices
  • Badoo
  • Blogger
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Diigo
  • Disqus
  • Echo
  • Gigya
  • Google+
  • Google Groups
  • Hatena
  • Livefyre
  • Meetup
  • Read It Later
  • Reddit
  • Screen Rant
  • SodaHead
  • TypePad
  • VKontakte
  • yaplog!
According to Google’s blog post the new social reports will be available over the next few weeks under the Standard Reporting Tab.

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