Most of us know social media is increasingly important to stay ahead in this competitive world. Every business no matter small or big maintains a Facebook and Twitter account to be socially present and promote their business. With the rapid growth in the use of social media by different brands, there is an utmost need to examine the returns and benefits of going “social”. But, how do you measure the value and effectiveness of your social initiatives?

To put a stop for all the run down, Google has finally rolled out its new social reporting in Google Analytics. Google reports allow to track how social marketing efforts turn into site conversions. It allows you to analyze which social networks are driving the most traffic, what is the user activity when they arrive at your site, and how they are sharing the content. Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools have been updated to allow easier analysis of social actions on your site, how the social feedback impacts your search traffic, and the details of your more social visitor base.

Google Social Analytics

According to Google the three main factors that Social Analytics will help with are:

  • Determine the full value of traffic coming from social sites and measure how they lead to direct conversions or assist in future conversions.
  • Understand social activities happening both online and offline of your site to help you optimize user engagement and increase social key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Enable brands to measure the ROI for social media activities and make better, more effective data-driven decisions in your social media marketing programs.

The current version shows three reports on Analytics:

  1. Social Engagement: This report shows how users who interact socially with your data behave on your site. You can track all standard site behaviors (conversion rates, time spent on site, bounce rate, etc.) for the portion of your audience that shared the content.
  2. Social Actions:  This is essentially an applied version of the Social Engagement Report that gives you a breakdown of the social feedback a page or site has received.
  3. Social Pages: This page lets you examine, at a glance, which pages on your site are most important from a social perspective. The report will let you know which content on your page is generating the most and least interest.

Google Analytics’ New Social Reports:

The new Social Reports are being rolled out to all users, however in few countries it will be completely available over the next month and will be shown under the “Social” tab within the Traffic Sources section of the ‘Standard Reporting’ tab.

The following reports are included in this section:

  • Overview
  • Sources
  • Pages
  • Conversions
  • Social Plugins
  • Social Visitor Flow

Let us view some of the interesting features of the new reports:

Overview Report: This overview report offers a mini-dashboard from which you can get a view of all reports that can be found in the social media section of Google Analytics. The ‘Social Value’ section of this report is mainly useful to see how much conversation value is generated from the different Social Media channels.

Sources and Pages Report: Another addition is the social sources and pages report that displays the number of visits and ‘engagement metrics’ such as page views, duration of time spent and number of pages viewed per visit for each Social Media channel. These two reports work together to help you understand how users are interacting with your content from various social networks and whether it’s leading to a desired outcome.

Conversions Report: The Social Media Conversions report lets you measure the conversion rates that have originated from different social network sites and the monetary value they drive to your business. These reports also show the different types of conversions, whether it was an immediate conversion or a conversion that happened at a due course of time.

Social Plugins Report: This new report is very similar to what is offered today in the Social Action reports. It shows the summary of pages and the social activity that happened when it comes to social plugins in the site, such as clicking on a like, tweet or +1 button.

Social Visitors Flow: Basically, it enables marketers to access a visual representation of path followed by website visitors coming from social sources.

Google Analytics new Social reports are definitely a ‘Game Changer’ addition to the Analytics section. We’re really excited about the possibilities this presents in terms of getting a clear and accurate understanding of how our Social Media Marketing efforts are generating real value that’s easy to measure.

So, what are your thoughts on this new valuable update to Google analytics? Share your views and thoughts.

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