March 29th, 2012

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Social Media ROI with Google Analytics

In the next few weeks, Google and its Google Analytics team will be rolling out a new initiative with social-focused reports.  Its goal is to help individuals and businesses measure the ROI on social media marketing.

In other words, what is the monetary value of a Like, Tweet, Retweet, Stumble, Share, Submit or Send? This new initiative will use metrics to show how various comments, shares, etc. tie to the bottom line of a business.  By letting Google know the goals of their social media efforts (making a purchase, registering a user, email sign up, clicking on their “About” page), Google Analytics will be able to track these conversions with their new social reports.  Companies will be able to analyze how investments in different social channels have contributed to their business objectives.  These new Google Analytics reports will show how many visits are coming in from social networks, which social networks they are coming from, and which of these visits are actual conversions.  The reports will also be able to track indirect conversions that may result from a visit to a website from a link from a social site, even if it happens one week later.  By assigning a monetary value to these direct and indirect conversions, companies will be presented with the information they need to see the return on investment from their social media activities.  Social reporting is important.  Being able to measure social media marketing = being able to measure online behavior.  Phil Mui, Google Analytics group product manager, had this to say about it: “Our goal with the new reports is to tie social activities and referrals to measurable, meaningful economic value so businesses can more effectively evaluate which social channels are impacting their bottom line, and which tactics will lead to measurable economic value.”  The new set of reports will be available under the “Social” tab in Google Analytics.  The new set of reports will be Overview, Sources, Pages, Conversions, Social Plugins and Social Visitor Flow.  As people continue to find new ways to interact across the Web, these new reports will become increasingly more important in helping companies understand the value that social actions are providing to their businesses.

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