How to Track Your Social Media Marketing

Google Analytics provides a number of ways to help you see which social media platforms are driving the most traffic to your website and whether anyone who arrives at your site becomes a customer. Even if you have been managing social media accounts for your business without them for years, the first step is to define your goals, since without them you cannot effectively track results and understand whether what you are doing is worth the time or money. Start by asking yourself what you hope to achieve from each of the social media platforms you are active on. Here are some examples:

  • Is your end goal of using Twitter to simply increase brand awareness?
  • Are you using Facebook to generate targeted leads that are likely to become customers?
  • Are you trying to sell a product or service via social media?
  • Are visitors arriving via social media links greeted with a call-to-action (CTA)?

Once you have worked out your goals, you can set them up in Google Analytics so that your account automatically logs all of these desired actions by visitors and attributes them to the appropriate marketing channel (including sources other than social media). The next step is to know which Google Analytics reports are going to provide the information you need, and how to interpret them. Later, you can set up Google Analytics to automatically email reports to you to make things easier. Here are the three most valuable reports:

1. Network Referral Report

This report shows you how just much traffic arrives at your website from each individual social media network. It's important to know this so that you can either drop platforms that are under-performing or, if you feel they should be working, invest more time and money into them. And if you are considering investing some of your marketing budget into any of the paid options these platforms offer for driving traffic, this report will offer a good guide as to whether or not a platform is a good fit for your business. Delving deeper into this report, you can click on each individual platform to see which pages on your website have been shared on social media. To access this report go to Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals on the left menu and select the date range you want to view.

Network Referral Report

2. Landing Pages Report

Ever heard the phrase "Content is King"? Few things are more important to a website as high-quality content, and one of the many ways in which you benefit is by having something people will want to share with their friends and associates on social media. This report tells you which pages of your website are being shared the most and how many visitors and page views those shares translate into. Going into more depth, you can click on each URL and see on which social media platforms these pages are being shared. This information is of value so that you know what kind of content helps you accomplish your goals - and you can therefore invest more time or money into more similar content. To access this report go to Acquisition > Social > Landing Pages on the left menu.

Landing Pages Report

3. Multi-Channel Funnels Report

If you're not familiar with the concept of a "sales funnel", in it's simplest terms it represents the path with which you convert visitors to your website into customers (it's funnel shaped since you won't convert all of the visitors at the top into customers at the bottom). This specific report is not concerned with how you convert visitors while on your website (for example what pages they visited before making a purchase),but instead focuses on how they arrive at your website (for example via social media or some other source).

The reports in this section include what's termed an "assisted conversion", which highlights instances where someone may have first visited your website via one source (such as Twitter) and come back to your website later via another source (such as a Google search) and completed one of your goals (this example would count Twitter as an assisted conversion). It is important to know which of your traffic sources are appearing in the assisted conversions list so that you know if your social media marketing is valuable in supporting and complimenting all your other marketing efforts. You can access this report by going to Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Overview on the left menu.

Multi-Channel Funnels Report


If you are serious about getting the most from your advertising spend, it's clearly important to know what aspects of your marketing works and this can only be achieved if you measure everything. And after viewing your list of assisted conversions, it should also be clear that you should never consider any of your individual marketing channels to operate in a vacuum.