Recent reports suggest that marketers intend to spend 10.8% of their budget on social media this year. To justify this significant investment in social media, CMO’s will without a doubt rely on reporting tools to assess the effectiveness of their social media campaigns.
The ability for online marketers to assess social media campaigns does not come without its fair share of challenges. Even though social media is no longer a new frontier, measuring the effectiveness of a social media campaign still represents one of the more difficult and least understood aspects of the job. For as long as I can remember, the few social media reporting solutions that were available came with a hefty price tag.
Making waves with a landmark announcement, Google has announced that they will be rolling out several new reports over the next few weeks into their widely acclaimed Google Analytics. These new reports will include a variety of metrics which can be used to assess your social media strategy.
Excited yet? Let’s take a quick look at some of the new reports included in the new update!
Google analytics data has the reputation of being incredibly deep for a free solution. Most webmasters will never come close to breaking the surface of all that it has to offer. For the vast majority of users, a high-level overview is all that is desired.
The Social Value report included in the new update acts as this high-level overview, providing important social media information such as Conversions, Assisted Conversions, and Last Interaction Conversions (and associated Dollar values) at a glance.
The above figure shows that there were 20,385 conversions that can be attributed directly to social media properties (Google +, Facebook page, etc). These 20,000+ conversions resulted in total revenue of $113,037.50. The second and third lines of the figure display the number and associated dollar amounts of conversions where social media played a role, but did not directly lead to the action.
The Social Sources report is the next step in a deeper analysis of website visitors that come to your site from the social media networks. It essentially shows “engagement and conversion metrics for each social network so you can see how people are interacting with your content and whether it’s leading to a desired outcome.
For example, you can use the Social Sources report to analyze and track the behaviors of users in regards to a social campaign promoting several of your products. Just as with any campaign, you can now track what pages they landed on, where they exited, and which of these visits led to conversions.
Creating unique content that is interesting and sharable is a priority for every online marketer. To help people more easily spread their content, marketers often install social sharing plugins on their website. Up until now though, there was no out-of-the-box solution that allowed you to integrate these social plugins with tools used for reporting.
The new Social Plugin report in Google Analytics has solved this problem allowing marketers to aggregate all data from social plugins. You can use this to find out which pages of content are the most interesting and most likely to be shared. From there, you can refine your future content creation tasks to align with your new insights. You could even use this report to test variations of layouts and placements of the sharing icons.
Monitor conversations others are having about your brand and company that occur on the websites of companies included in Google’s Social Data Hub partners. This includes Reddit, Meetup, and Google+. Facebook and Twitter are sadly not included. Previously, paid tools like Radian6 were the only solution to offer this sort of functionality, but Google Analytics is now offering it for free.
As of today, Google Analytics has only rolled out a few of these features with future plans to include the rest of the features over the next few weeks. It’s clear that Google is putting an emphasis on social media. Is this a sign of more changes to come in their algorithm?