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Google Analytics to Introduce Social Media Reporting

27th March 2012 by Radek Milcarz | Data, News & Events

It appears that Google Analytics are now beginning to understand the importance of social media reporting by introducing a new set of social based reports. These reports are said to close the gap between social media and business metrics, such as E-Commerce conversion reporting via social referrals. Group project manager Phil Mui stated that these new set of reports will allow for a better measure of social channels for your business in three distinct areas:


  • 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


Without hesitation, here is an overview of the new reports that will appear in Google Analytics over the forthcoming weeks:


One of the fundamental additions is the introduction of an Overview Report for social traffic. This allows you to see the conversion value that is generated from social media sites. This is most certainly a worthy addition as it allows you to specifically distinguish between total conversions, assisted social conversions and last interaction social conversion.

To define this in greater detail – a visit from a social referral may result in conversion immediately or it may assist in a conversion that occurs later on. Referrals that lead to conversions immediately are labelled as Last Interaction Social Conversion. If a referral from a social source doesn’t immediately generate a conversion, but the visitor returns later and converts, the referral is included as an Assisted Social Conversion.


The Conversions Report enables you to see each individual social source that drove a conversion on your site and the value that was generated. This differs to the Overview Report in that it differentiates between sources rather than clustering them within the three categories provided in the Overview Report.

In addition, it is possible to see the effect that a latest tweet, blog post or status update had on goal defined conversions by viewing Goal Completions via Social Referral and whether it peaked after said content was published.

When coupled with real-time analytics, it will now be possible to gauge how well users react to, say, your latest blog post or tweet with immediate effect. All of these tools allow you to determine the social impact to your business at a higher degree than ever before.

The Social Sources Report enables you to view overall traffic on your site referred from social sources and which content users are interacting with. This enables you to see traffic from individual social sites using engagement and conversion metrics.

The Social Plugins Report makes it possible to see the amount of time content is shared via re-tweets, +1’s, etc. I personally find this to be an excellent report, providing useful statistics into article and blog post performance. You can then use this information to produce more content that is popular with your audience for a greater social presence.

The Activity Stream report allows you to see how users are engaging with your content offsite. Content that was publically shared (Google+ reshares, for example) displays the URL that users have shared, the source, the time, the user’s name and any comments provided. Currently, the only sources that are featured are from Google Analytics’ Social Data Hub partner list, but this continues to grow rapidly and contains some large social brands, such as Badoo and Reddit.

It is said that these new social reports will be available to users over the next few weeks and can be found under the Standard Reporting Tab.

More information regarding this can be found on the Google Analytics’ Blog here.

Any questions or feedback, please feel free to ask in the comments section below – we like a good ol’ Google Analytics discussion!


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