4 Steps to Measuring Social Media Impact with Google Analytics

4 Steps to Measuring Social Media Impact with Google Analytics

Gauge the effectiveness of your social media strategy using these four data points in Google Analytics.

Measuring the impact social media has on business is important to those in the logistics and supply chain industries. In fact, a recent Fronetics survey found that 81% of respondents reported that information on proving social media ROI would be helpful to their companies.

You can waste a lot of time trying to track down information on your various social accounts, or you can find all the most pertinent information with one tool. The best part is that your company is probably already using it. (And it’s free!)

Google Analytics is an incredible tool for businesses large and small looking to gain insight into the who, when, and where of their web traffic. And while it may seem intimidating to the novice, it’s very easy to use once you know where to find what you’re looking for.

Step 1: Look at where your traffic is coming from.

Is it social media? Google Analytics will provide an overview of the overall traffic sources that deliver visitors to your website. Included in this report will be traffic from social media. This high-level view of your traffic that includes:

  • Search (people clicking through from Google or Bing)
  • Social (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
  • Direct (people typing your site in their browser or bookmarks)
  • Referral (people clicking links from other sites to get to you)
  • Email
  • Paid search
  • Other

To access this report in Google Analytics, go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels.

Go a step further and review the volume of traffic that comes from specific social media networks, by clicking on Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals.

It’s important to have a diverse mix of traffic sources, which should be reflected in the traffic sources report. If you find that a large portion of your traffic comes exclusively from one source, especially if that source is not social media, it is time to reconsider your social media strategy. Similarly, if you are finding that one network is driving most of your traffic, you should look into when and what you are posting in the non-performing channels.

Step 2: Determine revenue derived from posts.

Make sure to include links back to your site when you post on social media so that Google Analytics can track and analyze them. You’ll want to add a UTM code (aka UTM parameter), which is text added to the end of a URL (after the ?) to identify the success of a campaign. As an example, the UTM code is boldface below:


You can set unique UTMs for all of your social media, per channel, or even per update. By analyzing your different UTM parameters, you can determine which URLs are most effective in driving users to your content.

Set UTM parameters through Google’s URL Builder. once your parameters are set, you can go to Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns to see the revenue from any individual UTM tag, like a post or tweet.

Step 3: Look at how your content is being digested.

Analytics allows you to see how long a visitor stayed on your site, (use the Duration goal to find out). Examine how content resonates with the social media audience by using Set up the Pages/Screens per Session goal, or learn how many times visitors from social media play website video with Create an Event goal for specific tracking.

Step 4: What is social media bringing you in conversions?

Google Analytics has conversion funnel reports that show how much social media is contributing to conversions. To set up conversion funnels in Google Analytics:

  • Use the Goals section and connect any type of conversion event.
  • Access your funnel report through Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Top Conversion Paths.

These four insights from Google Analytics can help you determine how effective your social media strategy is in terms of traffic, direct revenue, visitor behavior, and conversions. Use this information to continually refine your strategy and get the most out of your social media presence/

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