Google Analytics For Social

Understanding the impact your social campaign is having on your overall website traffic can be difficult if yoSocial - Analytics (Photo 1)u’re not sure where to look. Did you know that Google Analytics has a whole section devoted just to social? Below I’ll take you through it!

First, how do you get there? The social section sits right under Acquisition (see screenshot). Once you’re there I recommend starting first on the overview section. Please keep in mind that this section  is really only helpful if you have goals set up in analytics (goals=conversions). Otherwise you have no conversions to track. Not familiar with goals? Check out how to set up goals in analytics here.


While in overview, you’ll see just that, an overview of conversions that your social channel is driving (the social channel can encompass multiple social networks). The circle graph shows your total conversions, contributed social conversions and your “last interaction” social conversions.

Social - Analytics (Photo 2)


Before we dive any further let’s define these three terms:

Conversions: A conversion happens  when someone takes an action that you’ve defined as valuable to your business, such as an online purchase or filling out a form on your site.

Contributed social conversions: The number of conversions that any of the social networks in the social channel assisted in converting. This happens whenever the social channel appeared anywhere along along a customer’s conversion path except as the final channel.

Last interaction social conversions: This is the number of conversions that the social channel completed. Another way to think of this is this was the last channel that a customer interacted with before converting.

This is valuable because by looking at this chart along with the breakdown on the side of sessions and conversions you’ll start to see exactly how much your social channel is helping you not only drive customers to your site but also convert your customers.

Tip: I would recommend also checking out  “shared URLs” to see some of your most popular content on social.


While we are on the topic of conversions let’s hop down to the conversions tab of this social section. Here, by clicking on Assisted vs. Last Interaction Analysis we can zoom in further on assisted or contributed conversions and last click or direct conversions. Keep in mind in this particular screenshot below we are looking just at Facebook. I see there were 2 assisted conversions and 1 last click conversions on this network in the selected time frame.

Social - Analytics (Photo 3)

In the final column I can see a ratio of Assisted/Last Click Conversions. If this number is over 1 that means that this social network, in this case Facebook, is more effective at providing assists than last click conversions.  So why is this valuable?

If you know Facebook is a more of a “first click” interaction as opposed to a “last click” interaction you can better target your social messaging to those new customers who have little to no knowledge of your brand.

Network Referrals

The network referrals section is interesting because it provides a side by side chart of your overall sessions (in orange) with your sessions from social referrals (in blue). This is a great way to quickly identify a post that did really well on social and resulted in a lot of sessions. Additionally, I like how down below all of this it breaks out the different social networks and the average time on site from each network. This might be a good way to identify which social network is driving your ideal customers to your site.

Social - Analytics (Photo 4)

User Flow

The one thing I don’t like about the user flow functionality in Analytics is how much traffic there is condensed into one large chart. That being said, the social channel only user flow is neat because it is only a portion of your overall sessions (just those from the social channel) and breaks it down by social network.

Social - Analytics (Photo 5)


Even though I didn’t go through everything in this post I would highly encourage exploring the other parts of this social tab in analytics. If you’re active on any of Google’s Data Hub Partners, there’s a whole section for that called Data Hub Activity.  The one Data Hub Partner that most of us are familiar with is Google+. This functionality allow you to dive into specific social “conversations” about your site. Beyond that, the landing pages tab is incredibly helpful as you can take a closer look at the most popular landing pages from your social channels.

Those are just a few of the tools in Analytics to help you dive deeper into your social analytics. Hopefully, a few of them can be helpful.




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