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Google Analytics Social Reports – What can you learn from them?

Ellie Gunville
by Ellie Gunville on Jun 8, 2012 4:45:00 PM

As Social Media continues to evolve and grow, it is more important than ever to be able to measure your Social Media efforts. Do you know which of your brand's social channels provides the most value for your business? Have you determined the social strategies that are most effective with your audience? In March, Google announced they would be including a set of Social Reports in Analytics that will help answers these questions.

The Social Reports collect data from over 400 Social Media sites, including frontrunners Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Data collected within these reports allows you to measure results from various social outlets in one, convenient place.

Analyzing this data can help you better understand how your Social Media Marketing efforts are impacting your business, and which areas you should focus your efforts.

Analyzing the Social Reports within Google Analytics allows you to:

  • Discover how visitors from different social channels interact with your Website and its content.
  • Identify which social sites bring the highest converting traffic to your Website.
  • Determine the type of content on your Website that is being shared or linked to, along with where it is being shared or linked from.
  • Identify the Social Networks on which your content is being shared.

The Sources section within the Social Reports allows you to identify which Social Networks bring you the highest quality traffic. You may find that certain Social Media sites bring you a high number of visits, but low quality traffic and others bring you a lower number of visits, but high quality traffic. This information can help you determine where you should and should not put more emphasis moving forward.

The latest feature added to the Social Reports is the ability to find out who is linking to your content and where they are linking it from. When you publish content on your Website, Analytics will search the web for Websites that are linking to it and add that source to your Social Reports. This feature allows you to identify the kind of content that is producing links, so you can produce similar content in the future and build relationships with those who are linking to you.

The Social Visitors Flow report offers a great way to visualize how visitors from different Social Networks navigate through your Website. The report allows you to clearly identify which pages visitors entered your site through and whether or not they continued on to other areas of your site. A great feature of the report it the ability to drill down to a particular Social Network and easily analyze and compare the visitor flow for different sources.

The Social Plug-Ins report allows you to identify what types of content on your site people are sharing and through which social actions they are sharing the content. Examples of social actions you might want to track on your site include Facebook Likes and Shares, Tweets or social bookmarks. To track social actions on your site, modifications must be made to your current tracking code. All Google+ social actions will be automatically tracked and recorded within your Social reports. Learn more about modifying your code to track social actions.

Have you dug into the Social Reports in Google Analytics? Are the reports helping you learn more about the social traffic coming to your Website?

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Ellie Gunville
Written by Ellie Gunville
As the Manager of Online Advertising at E-Power Marketing, Ellie focuses on developing targeted advertising campaigns to boost sales, increase trade show and event registrations drive leads and strengthen brand recognition. She has become an expert in all things online advertising, and expanded her focus to also include Google Analytics and conversion optimization.

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