Whether you’re marketing on social media as an individual or as a brand, understanding how your content is faring on social media is a critical part of a content strategy. However, it’s not always easy to do - you need to perform an “audit” to find all of the content you care about and get all of the necessary web and social analytics data into the same place. This usually means exporting all of your Google Analytics data and importing it into a spreadsheet, then repeating the process for the all other data services that you use.
In this tutorial, we're going to start with the basics here to help you understand which Social Networks are sending you the most traffic, and identify the landing pages that they hit which you can optimize for better marketing performance.. You will go through the following two steps:
- Discover which Social Networks are sending you the most traffic using Google Analytics
- Analyze and improve conversion of Social referral using Google Analytics
Let's get started.
Step 1: Discover which Social Networks are sending you the most traffic using Google Analytics
Google Analytics can provide some great insights into the performance of your content on social media. First, let’s look at which social networks are sending you the most traffic so you can focus your efforts accordingly. Get started by opening a Google sheet, then the Analytics Report in the Blockspring Console.
Create a report using the metrics Pageviews, Sessions, and the dimension Social Network, and insert it into a new sheet.
You’re now in possession of some valuable data about your website’s social media traffic. It’s easier to make sense of the data using a visualization or conditional formatting to look for outliers or other actionable opportunities. Let’s copy the data into another tab so we can perform this analysis using conditional formatting, which can be found in Format -> Conditional Formatting… We’re going to apply a color scale from white to green, and set the midpoint explicitly to 50th Percentile.
You can quickly see that social media sources like Pinterest, Google+ and Pinboard don’t amount to much of our site traffic, while Facebook, Linkedin, Hacker News and Instagram are much larger contributors. In addition to understanding where traffic is coming from, you can quickly add additional metrics like Goal Completion to start to understand the value of the traffic from each source.
Step 2: Analyze and improve conversion of Social referrals using Google Analytics
Another great place to investigate is the performance of pages that visitors land on from these Social Networks. Create a report in a new tab using the metrics Sessions, Bounce Rate, and the dimensions Social Network, Shared URL. Use Filter to remove any unset Social Network values.
We can investigate the resulting data the same way we did above by copying it into another sheet or making cell references, but let’s use a pivot table to allow us to filter more easily. This will let you eliminate landing pages with a small number of sessions that might throw off the analysis, or focus on a specific Social Network.
We can use this data to identify the landing pages to target for improvement based on high bounce rates or other factors - specifically as they pertain to Social Media visitors.
You've learned which social networks are sending you the most traffic, and where those vistiors are landing on your site. Here are some ideas on what to do now:
- Take the analysis a step further to figure out which Social Networks send you the most valuable traffic. You can do this by including Goal Conversion or similar metrics in your Report.
- Connect your Google Analytics data to other analytics services that cover the Social Networks directly, like Facebook Insights and Youtube Analytics. You can make these connections directly in the spreadsheet, and get a more complete picture of what's driving traffic and how you can optimize your efforts.
Now that you’ve gotten a baseline feel for how Social Networks are delivering traffic and how users are interacting with your content, we can use the data generated here by Google Analytics to identify your top shared content and gain insights into your content strategy with SharedCount.