Being able to measure the impact and addition of social media on your site has been the holy grail for many marketers. It’s normally said that it improves the number of visits and interactions with your site, but exactly how much of an improvement it makes has been unclear. Until now, that is.
Google Analytics has unveiled a new set of social reports, designed to connect social media stats with business metrics and give you a clear picture of how exactly social media is benefiting your site.
Announcing the changes on their Analytics blog, Group project manager Phil Mui said that the three main factors that Analytics will help with are:
- Identify 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 on and off of your site to help you optimize user engagement and increase social key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Make better, more efficient data-driven decisions in your social media marketing programs.
The main change is that there is an overview report for social value, letting you see how much conversation value is generated from the different social media sites. The overview compares the number and monetary value of all your goal completions against those that resulted from social referrals, highlighting them as assisted social conversations and last interaction social conversations.
The conversations report allows you to see exactly how many conversions originate from the different social media sites. You can also see the monetary value they drive to your business, provided you have defined goals in Analytics itself, as that’s what required to see the data in question.
The major addition, however, is the social sources report which shows you engagement and conversion statistics for each social network so that you can see exactly how people are interacting with your content and whether any social media campaigns you’re running is having a desired effect.
Also the social plugins report effectively does the same as social value report except it shows you exactly how many times a page was shared via the Google +1 button or via Twitter. At the moment, it doesn’t seem that Analytics will measure the impact of the Facebook ‘like’ button or LinkedIn share, but you would hope that these would be added in eventually (provided Google doesn’t become petty and deliberately exclude them).
The final addition is the activity stream which allows you to view exactly what people are saying when they link to your articles or pages. Currently this is limited to Google+ and those signed up to the company’s Social Data Hub such as Disqus, Blogger, Digg, Reddit and TypePad.
These new additions will be rolled out for all users over the coming weeks so if you don’t have it now, expect the additions to arrive sometime around mid-April at the latest.