Measuring Your Social Media Success with Google Analytics
I am a bit of a stats nut. If not interrupted I can play with stats forever. But for people less obsessed with numbers here’s something that might help you get a better understanding of the value of your social media program. (Some images are scaled down so click on them to get a better view).
Social media segment
Google Analytics has a feature called Advandced segments. This lets you define custom segment of visits selected by the referrer.
I will show you how to create a Google Analytics custom segment that tracks visitors from social media channels. First, click open the advanced segments and select Create a new advanced segment.
This takes you to a screen where you can select the parameters for your segment. To select social media channels for your report you will
- open the Traffic Sources from Dimensions section.
- From Traffic Sources drag the Source to your segment area.
- Set Condition to Contains and
- in the Value field type in text that identifies one of your social channels.
- Click Add “or” statement as needed.
In the image below I have identified the most important social media channels but you may want to add special channels that are relevant to you. For example industry forums and blogs or local social media networking sites in your country.
Now, you can do this by hand for practicing reasons but here’s a link that will copy this advanced segment directly into your Google Analytics account.
Seems that Google has screwed that up a bit. I found a work around for now:
1. Log into Google Analytics
2. Switch to old version
3. Go to Advanced segments
4. Click the links in this post
Worked for me. I’ll try to find out if there’s any other way with the new Analytics interface. But seems that they have even removed the share button. Go figure!
Name segment and click Test Segment to verify that everything is working. This will show you how many visits each part of the segment contains.
If you have more than one Google Analytics account then you can select the where the segment is available from Visible in drop down list. Now you can click Save and Apply to Report and you will see the statistics for only this segment.
Later when you want to apply the segment to your statistics you can select it from any page within Google Analytics by selecting it from the drop down menu on the top right corner.
You can select several segments at once and compare the performance as shown in this image.
Comparing visitor numbers is a good indication if your efforts are bearing fruit in general. But to get more insight out of these reports you should analyze how are social media visitors interacting with your site and converting to goals.
Some people haven’t set up goals in their Google Analytics, they should go here How to Setup Goals in Google Analytics and follow instructions. But you can go to your Goal section and see how are social media visitors converting compared to your average visitor.
On the next image you can see that Dreamgrow website gets 37 percent of its conversions from social media channels.
Well… this is great news as we only get 21 percent of traffic from social channels. This reflects on the conversion rate that is 77% higher for the visitors from social media.
The most important question in analytics is So what? and the blindingly obvious conclusion from this example is that social media works in getting the goals we need. There are a lot of ways you can play around with this segment but for us the next question is how do we get more visitors from social media channels to our site? For that:
- select only your Social media segment and
- go Content part of Google Analytics.
- Select Top Landing Pages.
This report will show you what are the main entry points for visitors from social media. We can say that these are the pieces of content the have most potential to spread. Create more similar content, repost old content, create videos or slide shows from popular material.
I hope this helps you to get more insight out of your social media marketing program and one step closer to that all important social media ROI.
Read the related post HOW-TO: Tag Social Media Links for Google Analytics and Outbond Links are Gold.
Posted on: May 3, 2011
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