How to Measure Your Social Media Success with Google Analytics

how to measure social media success with google analytics
How to Measure Your Social Media Success with Google Analytics
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I am a bit of a stats nut. If not interrupted I can play with stats forever. I wrote this guide for people less obsessed with numbers and stats.  So here is a step-by-step guide on how to measure your social media success with Google Analytics which is done by creating Google Analytics segments for social media. The Google Analytics social media segment will help you get a better understanding of the value of your social media efforts.

How To Create A Google Analytics Social Media Segment

Google Analytics has a feature called Advanced Segments. What these Advanced Segments do, is let you define a custom segment of visits selected by the source.google analytics social media segments

all sessions in google analytics | How to Measure Your Social Media Success with Google Analytics

To get things started, I’ll show you how to create a Google Analytics custom segment. This is done to track visitors from social media channels. First, click open the advanced segments and select +Add Segment.

how to add a segment in google analytics | How to Measure Your Social Media Success with Google Analytics

You will now see a list of premade Google Analytics segments. These help you to analyze different aspects of your traffic. At the top, there is also a big red +New Segment button.

new segment in google analytics | How to Measure Your Social Media Success with Google Analytics

Click the  +New Segment button. You’ll be taken to a screen where you can select the parameters for your segment.

google analytics source | How to Measure Your Social Media Success with Google AnalyticsTo select social media channels for your Google Analytics segment, do the following:

  1. Select the Conditions section from the Advanced section.
  2. In the Conditions area select Source from the first drop down menu as the dimension, you want to filter.
  3. From the second drop down select contains.
  4. In the text field type in the text that identifies one of your social channels. For example facebook.com.
  5. Click“or” statement and repeat the steps 2 to 4 until you have all your social sources covered.

On the right side of the box, you’ll see a live update of your segment as you add new conditions.

In the image below I have identified the most important social media channels. However, you may want to add special channels that are relevant to you. For example industry forums, blogs or social networking sites in your country.

google analytics audience summary | How to Measure Your Social Media Success with Google AnalyticsSelect a name for your newly created Google Analytics segment and click save and you are done. The Google Analytics social media segment will be available to use in all the reports. It lets you better understand how the visitors from social channels behave on your site. Some useful examples for the segment include:

  • Goals from social sources
  • Ecommerce Revenue from social sources
  • Differences between social and other segments

How To Create Advanced Social Media Segments

You can add sources with “or”-statement and get a really long list. It will work just fine. However, if you want to show off your h4x0r skills, you can create the same segment using just one line. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Select the Conditions section from the Advanced section.
  2. In the Conditions area select Source from the first drop down menu as the dimension, you want to filter.
  3. From the second drop down select matches regex.
  4. In the text field copy and paste the following (no spaces):  facebook.com|quora.com|reddit.com|imgur.com|tapiture.com|disqus.com|9gag.com|tumblr.com|
    plus.google|twitter.com|linkedin|del.icio.us|delicious.com|technorati|digg.com|hootsuite|stumbleupon|
    myspace|bit.ly|tr.im|tinyurl|ow.ly|reddit|youtube|flickr|pinterest.com|^t.co$|tweetdeck|instagram.com
    google analytics matches | How to Measure Your Social Media Success with Google AnalyticsRegex is a way of creating complex rules to be passed to the system. What we did, in this case, is adding a lot of sources in one statement separated with ORs. What the parts mean:

    • facebook.com – tells the system to treat the dot literally as a dot. Otherwise, it would match almost any character.
    • youtube|flickr – | means OR in regex.
    • ^t.co$ – ^ tells the system the match should be in the beginning.
    • ^t.co$ – $ tells the system the match should be at the end.

    Now you are on the guru level! You can build your segments with ORs or regex (more about regex). However, here’s a link that will copy this advanced segment directly into your Google Analytics account. Note: Just make sure you’re logged in to Google Analytics before clicking on it.

    If you have more than one Google Analytics account, then your segments will be visible by default on all accounts. You can also share your segments with others as you can see in the link above. Another useful thing about segments is that you can use any segment in Google Adwords remarketing with Build Audience option.

    google analytics share | How to Measure Your Social Media Success with Google Analytics

    If you want to apply the segment to your statistics, you can select it from any page within Google Analytics. You can do this, by clicking on the +Add Segment area on top of reports.

    You can select several segments at once and compare the performance as shown in this image.

    google analytics all traffic | How to Measure Your Social Media Success with Google Analytics


    Understanding Your Segment Data

    Comparing visitor numbers is a good indication if your efforts are bearing fruit in general. To get more insight out of these reports you should analyze how social media visitors are interacting with your site. Then compare how they are converting to goals, compared to how you want them to do it.

    If you haven’t set up goals in Google Analytics go here How to Setup Goals in Google Analytics. However, you can also go to your Goal section and see how are social media visitors are converting.

    On the next image, you can see that the website gets 28.28 percent of its conversions from social media channels. This is great as the percent of traffic from social channels is lower than that. The numbers reflect the conversion rate that is higher for the visitors from social media. (This is a historical example.)

    google analytics overview | How to Measure Your Social Media Success with Google AnalyticsSo what does this mean? The 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. However, 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.  Therefore we need to create similar content, repost old content and create videos or slideshows from popular material.

    I hope this helps you to get more insight out of your social media marketing program. It should also help getting closer to that all-important social media ROI.

    Read the related post: How To Setup Google Search Console For Your Site

This article originally appeared on https://www.dreamgrow.com/measuring-your-social-media-success-with-google-analytics/ by Pete Kallas