There’s no question that social media has become an important aspect of digital marketing. With over 1.86 billion active monthly users on Facebook, 319 million active monthly users on Twitter, and 600 million active monthly users on Instagram, social media marketing offers a valuable opportunity for small businesses to get in front of prospects.
The challenging part of social media is understanding what works.
Facebook advertising alone offers many different options for campaign goals. It’s important to define your goals for your social media accounts, and then track your results so you understand what needs to be improved.
Google Analytics offers a number of different reports that will help you see what social media platforms are driving the most traffic to your site and whether or not that traffic converts into sales.
For this article, I’m going to assume that you already have Google Analytics set up for your website. If you need help figuring out how to do this, be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Google Analytics which will walk you through the steps to get your account properly set up.
Define Your Goals
Before we start considering what reports you should analyze with regard to your social media, it’s important to define what your goals are with your social media marketing.
Are you planning to use social media to generate engagement and more brand awareness? Or are you planning to drive targeted traffic that will convert into leads and sales?
Are you trying to sell a specific product or service? If so, what is the call-to-action you want visitors to complete once they arrive on your site?
Once you define this for yourself, you can set your Goals in Google Analytics. Google Analytics Goals are specific actions that you want visitors to complete on your website. For example, let’s say that your objective is to have one of your blog articles shared on social media as a way to generate engagement and grow your following, then one of your Goals would be for people to click on the social sharing buttons on that blog post.
Once you set up your Goals, then Google Analytics will automatically track the key actions on your website and attribute those conversions back to the appropriate marketing channel. That way you’ll be able to run reports to see which marketing channels (social media or SEO or advertising or any other channel) are driving the most leads and sales for your business.
For more tips on the types of Goals you should consider take a look at this recent blog post.
Next, let’s dive into the reports…
1. Network Referral Report
What does it tell you?
This report will show you how much traffic is being driven by each individual social network.
Why is it important?
First, managing social media accounts requires a significant amount of time and effort. If you notice that one of the social media platforms doesn’t seem to drive traffic for you, it may make sense to stop using that platform and instead focus your efforts on the platforms that are working for you. Or, if you feel like the low-driving platform should be working, then you need to adjust your strategy.
Secondly, many social media platforms offer paid options for driving traffic either through boosting posts or creating ads. It’s important to understand which social platforms work best for your business before investing valuable marketing dollars in any type of advertising.
Once you’ve generated this report, you can also click on each individual platform to see which of your URLs have been shared on social media.
To access the Network Referral Report go to Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals and select the date range you want to view.
2. Landing Pages Report
What does it tell you?
The Landing Pages report tells you which of your pages is being shared the most on social media and how many sessions and pageviews those shares generate. You can also click on each page URL and get a breakdown of which social media platforms are sharing those pages.
Why is it important?
In order for your social media marketing to be successful, you need to be creating content that will engage your audience. With the amount of content available across social media platforms, it’s important to have a very clear understanding about which of your pages are working and which aren’t.
Understanding which landing pages are generating the most traffic can help you plan future content that will also engage, drive traffic, and convert visitors into leads and sales.
For example, let’s say you operate a local bakery and you’re looking to drive more traffic to your site and you notice that the number one landing page is a blog article about the “Top 5 Sweet Treats for Valentine’s Day.” If these types of articles are highly engaging to your audience, then going forward you can plan similar content to help drive even more traffic to your site.
To generate the Landing Pages report go to Acquisition > Social > Landing Pages.
3. Multi-Channel Funnels Report
What does it tell you?
This report shows you the paths that visitors take to convert on your site, even from other sources of traffic beyond social media. For example, you may see that the majority of people who convert come to your site from organic search or, maybe you see that a large portion convert after clicking a link from a social media platform.
The diagram provided will show overlap between the channels and take into account assisted conversions. For example, if someone clicked on a Facebook post promoting your product and then came back a few days later after directly searching on Google for your site, Google Analytics will track Facebook as an assisted conversion.
Why is this important?
The main reason this is important is because social media marketing doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You should be using social media as a tool to support and compliment all of your other marketing efforts.
By analyzing this report you can gain an understanding of the behavior of the visitors to your site. Using this report you can look at Conversion Paths and see what the average next behavior is after someone visits your site from social media or how may times someone typically visits from social media before converting into a sale for your business.
To access this report click Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Overview
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