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Step-by-Step guide to help track your social media efforts using Google Analytics

By   19 April 2012 2 Comments

For many, using social media is an excellent way to increase both interaction with current investors and reach potential new ones.  Through our own research here at Q4, we have seen an increasing number of public companies adopt social media as part of their overall IR communication strategy.

Still, all this development with social media in investor relations doesn’t make the process any less daunting, whether you are just starting off a program of your own or have been one of the early users. Some main concerns before delving in are: how do you see the results of your efforts and how can you learn from them?  One of the main reasons that many companies do not end up exploring social media is because they are concerned they won’t be able to track its effectiveness and will not be able to justify putting the effort into including it as part of their communication strategy.

A good starting point for companies is to become aware of some of the free tools to help gauge the ROI of their communication efforts.  Google Analytics is one such free tool that cannot only be used to see the activity on your own corporate website but will work for your various social media channels as well. As a matter of fact our platform is integrated with Google Analytics.

Eugen Oprea at socialmediaexaminer.com recently published a great how-to-guide for measuring social media traffic with Google Analytics.  If you’re exploring how to start using social media or already are, you should check out the guide to get a step-by-step walk though of how to properly set up Google Analytics complete with screenshots.  While setting up Google Analytics can seem like a daunting task at first, Oprea provides clear and friendly instructions that will have you running off traffic reports with Google Analytics in no time.

Google Analytics gives you the opportunity to see how the people who came to your site got there.  Perhaps on Facebook you will see that a large amount of people who are stopping by the page are doing so by seeing that some of their friends have liked your page or shared a post.  Perhaps a specific link that you shared on Twitter got a lot of attention.  By understanding the process that drives people to your channel you can play even more to that strength, emphasizing that factor in your messaging.  Knowing why people are interested in your site might show you something you weren’t aware of.

Google Analytics also offers you a chance to see what people are looking for on your channel.  By seeing what the most popular links and section on the page are you can get a better understanding of what people are looking for and the content they find most interesting.  With Twitter you will be able to see what links you provided were most interesting and how long someone took looking through your feed.  This will help you understand what kind of content you should be focusing on and see how well you are really engaging with your audience.

Google Analytics is a great tool to track social media traffic.  It offers you a chance to get comprehensive information on what is bringing your users to your social channels and what they are doing well they are there.  That key information allows you to make justifiable tweaks and adjustments to your social strategy. It also gives you an opportunity to create comprehensive reports to show those unsure of your progress the kind of results you are seeing.