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Google Analytics Takes a Stab at Social Media ROI Reporting

Newsflash! Trying to calculate ROI from social media strategies is not easy. Sure, it's fun to track engagement metrics like fans, followers, wall posts, retweets, check-ins, etc., but how do you convert those numbers into bottom line business value? There may not be an easy answer, but at SES-NY today Google Analytics is introducing a new set of Social reports that attempt to peel the onion.

You may remember in the fall of last year, Google Analytics introduced the concept of the Social Data Hub. By combining data from the social data hub and the existing Social Engagement reports,  Google has put together some best-in-class social media reports, and they are now being released to the masses.

By integrating web and social metrics, brands can finally see what channels and tactics produce real business outcomes such as conversions, sales, registrations, sign-ups, etc. By beginning to understand these correlations, one can more easily calculate the value that social media strategies are providing.

The following reports will be available in Google Analytics (Standard and Premium versions) over the next few weeks:

  • Social Sources & Top Pages receiving Social Traffic
  • Conversions: Last-Interaction & Assisted
  • On-Site Sharing Activities through Social Plugins
  • Social Source Navigation Flows

These reports are designed to assist with 3 things:

  • Better identify the value of socially referred traffic and measure direct and socially-assisted conversions
  • Understand both on and off-site social activities to help optimize user engagement and increase social KPIs
  • Make better, more efficient data-driven decisions in your social media marketing programs

Let's Look at Some Screenshots!

The Social Overview report will provide a quick, visual look at the impact of social interaction to your business goals. You can see how many conversions and how much business value was produced directly or influenced by social traffic.


The social conversions report drills down on the different social channels to see exactly how many direct and assisted conversions resulted. In our experience, social traffic tends to assist other channels, which makes this report so much more exciting than what's available in Google Analytics today. 


The pages report inside the new Social section will display two sparklines to see how total site traffic and social traffic corellate. Below in the table, one can see the individual pages from a website that have been accessed via social channels.

Be looking for these reports in your account over the next few weeks, and remember, if you don't already have social engagement tracking and reporting in place for your website, now is the time to act! 

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