Join Brad Batesole for an in-depth discussion in this video Social reports overview, part of Google Analytics Essential Training.
- [Instructor] Social media is one of the changes that has really shifted the way we approach digital analytics in the last few years. Social media has become such a big component of everybody's day to day that it's essential that we track exactly what's happening behind the scenes. Well, when we talk about social media with respect to Google, we can think of it in three very distinct ways. The first is social that sends traffic to your website and that's essentially just another referral source and it could be a post, a tweet, a pin or any other type of content that isn't say a blog or an organic source.
The second type of social activity is the social interactions that happen on your website themself. So if you have a Facebook Like button or a Tweet button on your site, you'll likely want to track how many times those buttons have been pushed and on what pages they're being pushed on. That part of Google social is known as social plugins for your site. Now, Google's going to automatically track the Google Plus buttons. However, anything outside of Google Plus will need special tracking code added to your site and we're not going to get into that for the scope of this course but I do want you to be aware that that feature is available.
Now, the last type of activity is sort of the hardest one to track and that's tracking things that happen not on our site but on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest and so on. Google has created what's known as the Social Hub which is a network of partners who have the opportunity to share date into Google Analytics. Truth of the matter is Facebook, Twitter, all the big players, they're not sharing data back with Google Analytics so you'll have to leverage those analytic dashboards on those specific platforms directly. So let's take a quick look at what all of this means as it relates to being inside of Google Analytics.
I'm here on our Overview report which I found in the Social dropdown as part of the Acquisition reporting category. You'll notice that the first thing that Google wants to show you is your Social Value. Once you have goal tracking set up within Google Analytics, you'll have the opportunity to select the Conversion type in the upper left hand corner of this report. Here, I've selected a goal that I created, goal number two. It's the only goal that I have in this particular account but it's worth taking a look at. What Google's going to do is show you a large circle and at the top is the total number of conversions that have happened on your site.
Now, the reason that it says $0 here in the value is that I never assigned a value to these goal conversions when I set them up. If you set a value, Google will tell you the actual dollar amount that the value is for those conversions and how that trickles down into your social conversions. Next and it's hard to see but there's a light blue circle that has two Contributed Social Conversions and finally, there's a smaller dark blue circle in the center of that which is our Last Interaction Social Conversion. This number one means that Google confirmed that somebody bought something on your site or completed a goal action immediately after arriving from a social media site.
So the number two refers to the Contributed Social Conversions meaning that social media played a role at some part in that customer's purchase journey. So they may have visited Facebook then they visited Google and then they did a search for your site and they arrived and then they purchased or completed a goal. Google's going to show you that social had some level of contribution. Whether or not it was valuable is up to you to decide but they do point it out for you. Here on the right hand side, we can see a summary of our total sessions and the Sessions via Social Referral.
If you hover over any of these, Google gives you a little reminder as to what you're looking at. As I scroll down, you'll have some options on the left hand side. Social Network is selected and on the right, it's going to show us sessions from each social network. You'll notice that Facebook is most popular for this site followed by Twitter and then Yelp and then we have Pocket and Google Plus which both have this little symbol and this symbol means they're a Social Data Hub partner. So they're sharing that data into Google. Well, Pocket's not all that interesting to me.
It might be valuable for your business in which case being a Data Hub partner could be valuable to you but for most of us, the Data Hub just really isn't bringing much value to the table and we'll talk more on that in a little bit. You can also choose Social Source here on the left hand side under the Plugins and if you've enabled those plugins on your site, you'll have some data here. You also have the opportunity to look at the most popular shared URLs and that's going to be a total summary of all of the shares happening across all of the social media networks.
Here on the left hand side, you'll have the opportunity to navigate between the various Social reports. I'm going to talk through these as we continue on through this chapter.
In this course, Brad Batesole explains how to get set up in Google Analytics and glean insights from each of the reports. He covers the out-of-the-box functionality—from account creation to reporting fundamentals—and explains how to interpret your results, create and track goals, and use options like dimensions and segments for deeper insights. Each tutorial is practical and succinct, touching on the features you'll use most in your day-to-day analytics workflow.
- Setting up an account
- Installing tracking tags
- Understanding reports
- Using the data table
- Using annotations
- Utilizing segmentation for deeper analysis
- Viewing shared content and referrals with social reports
- Tracking engagement with behavior reports
- Using Site Content reports
- Reviewing site speed
- Adding custom campaign tracking