How Google Analytics and Social Media Data Work Hand-In-Hand
The customer outreach you do on your website, landing pages, and your brand’s social media channels should walk hand-in-hand with your digital media strategy. Integrating with one another to drive traffic to your online assets strengthening customer loyalty, boosting brand impressions, and ultimately increasing your revenue.
Once you’ve established the system to push traffic between these two powerful digital marketing tools, the next logical step to make sure your strategy is working by measuring the ROI of the efforts. As always, Google Analytics provides the mechanism to measure the two together.
As you may know, Google Analytics supplies you with all the website data you need, including who your website visitors are, where they came from, what they looked at, and much more. But you may not know you can also track and measure your social media campaigns through the same system. Using Google Analytics to track your entire digital footprint affords you the ability to combine the data to prove the ROI of your social media efforts and show how effectively they work together with your website strategy.
So to start tracking your social media in Google Analytics, there are some easy steps you can take to get set up. This process for measuring the success of your strategies I’ll be taking you through assumes you are already using Google Analytics for your website/landing pages and you’ll be adding your social media strategies to what you already have in place.
Setting goals for social media and your website
Before you begin tracking your social media campaigns in Google Analytics, you need to decide what you’ll be measuring by creating social media objectives and goals. These goals should be part of your overall social media marketing strategy and should align your broader business objectives with your digital media strategy.
While putting together your goals and objectives, be specific about what you want to achieve. To say you want to increase website traffic doesn’t provide you with a metric you can measure, however stating a goal to increase traffic by 20% gives you a target to shoot for, and a number to measure your success by.
Next, make sure your goals are attainable and relevant. You may want to increase your revenues by 50%, but if this isn’t a realistic increase, it doesn’t make sense to use it as your goal. And finally, make sure the objectives are time-based.
For example, a goal to increase website traffic by 10% in July by posting on Facebook 45 times per month dedicated to driving traffic to the website would be a measurable objective.
Setting up Google Analytic goals
Tracking the effectiveness of social media campaigns for your brand takes more than measuring page views, visits, comments, and likes. It’s extremely important to find out if your social media strategy is helping your business by proving ROI. So knowing your top level metrics such as lead generation, sign-ups, click-throughs, and downloads will help solidify your digital strategy.
Using Google Analytics reports to show ROI
To show this ROI, there are eight analytics reports specifically geared to your social media efforts in Google Analytics. To find these reports, go to the Reporting Tab>Acquisition>Social.
The Overall Report provides you a look into how much conversion value is being generated from your social channels. This social value graph compares the number and monetary value of all goal completions versus those from social referrals. Note: Before this will work correctly, you must have your social goals in place.
Network Referrals provides you with engagement metrics for traffic from each of your social networks. It shows which social networks referred the highest quality traffic.
Data Hub Activity
The Data Hub Activity report shows how people are talking about and engaging with your site content on your social networks. This report will show the URLs people shared, how they shared it, and what they said.
The Landing Pages report provides the engagement metrics for each URL. Each one will show the originating social media channel used for that URL.
In this report, you’ll learn which sites are linking to your content and in what context. You can use this data to replicate successful content while discontinuing campaigns that aren’t converting efficiently.
The Conversion report will help you quantify the value of social media for your business. This report shows the total number of conversion and the monetary value of conversions occurring as a result of referrals from each network. Note: Google Analytics conversions must be set up in order for this report to be populated with data.
If you have social share buttons on your site, it’s imperative to understand which buttons are being clicked on and for which content. This report supplies the data necessary to determine what content is most commonly shared, and from which social networks.
Finally, the Users Flow shows the initial paths users from social channels took through your site so if you run campaigns promoting specific products, you can see whether users from the channel entered your site through a product page or not and whether they continued to other parts of your site.
Reporting on the data from these reports
Now you have the data from these eight reports, you can showcase the social media strategies driving traffic to your website, and compile the necessary data to prove ROI. Make sure the data you’ve mined aligns with the goals and objectives you set up in Step 1.
Google Analytics provides you the data to supports your findings and assists in making decisions regarding your overall website and social media strategies. Using these reports to align these channels will ensure they are working effectively to drive traffic.