What Google Analytics Can Teach You about Your Social Media Campaigns

Social media is a critical aspect of spreading a brand message and building an online following based on community feedback and communication. Many companies are beginning to realize this and jump on the trend. But how effective are your efforts? If you’ve been relying on the built-in analytics provided by social media giants like Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest, you may not be getting the whole picture.

Google Analytics offers strategic insight to brands looking to measure the success of their social media efforts on a deeper level than the basic overviews provided by the networks themselves. This free tool takes a little learning, but should be a part of every brand’s toolbox for making sure each marketing effort on social media is effective and strategic. Use the following ideas to better understand if your efforts are paying off.

Measure Referrals

Taking the time to find out where most of your web traffic is coming from, and which social networks are your top referrers, gives a better idea of where to center the majority of your efforts and where to spend the most time.

To measure referrals, click on the Acquisition tab inside of Google Analytics, followed by the Social tab. An easy to follow list will populate that lists social referrers, the number of visitors each network sent and the number of page views on average for those visitors and the average visit duration. Take a look at what those numbers tell you and consider putting a little extra effort into your top referrers.

Look at Top Performing Posts

Content creation is a necessary marketing strategy for driving traffic to your site; it’s also time consuming. Because of this, understanding which posts are driving the highest amount of traffic allows you to cut down on creating content that doesn’t accomplish your goals while focusing on creating targeted content that has the greatest impact.

Also under Acquisition in Google Analytics, click on All Referrals. From there, select any site that you post content to. The next list to populate will be of specific links from that site, specific posts. Look at which posts have driven the most traffic to get a better view of which efforts have been the most successful. If your company is a top rehab center in Florida, you may find that posts that give specific statistics related to rehab may be more successful at driving traffic than those that offer help or advice for dealing with addiction. It varies from industry to industry and from brand to brand. Create future content accordingly and share across the most popular networks from your overall referrals.

Check Out Conversions

While understanding where traffic comes from is essential, figuring out where the conversions are coming from is even more important; that is where the revenue source from your online initiatives comes into the picture.

To measure social conversions, click on the Traffic tab inside of Google Analytics followed by Overview. Providing you have created a conversions goal and it is active inside of the network, you’ll be able to get a better view of what drives your paying customers.

Information displayed includes contributed social conversions, which are conversions where social media played a part, but not as the key factor — where a visitor may have originally come from a social network but then left and returned some time later from another source – and last interaction social conversions, which are social referrals that led to immediate conversions.

Understanding contributors to conversions is one step toward knowing exactly how well your social media efforts are doing and whether the time you’re spending is in the right place.

Becoming familiar with Google Analytics is essential for any brand looking to understand and monitor their social media efforts. Take the time learn more about the free program today and watch your social efforts pay off in the long run.

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Courtney Gordner

Courtney Gordner is a blogger/journalist with a passion for writing and the latest trends online. You can read more from her on her own blog or connect with her on Google+.
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