As a social media manager, you may or may not already be taking advantage of Google Analytics. If you’re not, odds are that other team members in your organization have been. According to Sprout24, it is estimated that 47 percent of companies use Google Analytics exclusively when it comes to monitoring web data as of 2018, with 40 percent using Google Analytics along with other tools. This is a big jump from the 23 percent of companies that used Google Analytics in 2009.
As a marketer, you’re likely to be familiar with the benefits of Google Analytics for professionals in your field—particularly those working in SEO. But did you know that Google Analytics can be a tremendously useful tool for social media managers as well? With Google Analytics, you can:
1. Track Website Traffic from Social Media
Social media is great for building brand awareness, and depending on the industry you’re working in, may or may not be your leading platform when it comes to conversions. But one thing all social media managers should care about is how much web traffic the company website receives as a direct result of social media efforts. With Google Analytics, you can see the sources of all web traffic, which can include organic search, paid search, outside links, and other sources, including social media.
2. Identify the Best and Worst Performing Social Media Channels
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram—these are just some of the many popular social media platforms that companies are including as part of their marketing campaigns these days. But does that mean all of them should be used? Maybe. How much effort should be spent with each platform? The short answer is that it depends. It will depend on things like your marketing budget, time allotment, industry and target audience, and so on. Your Google Analytics can be a powerful tool in identifying which social media channels are performing well and driving traffic, and which ones have been doing poorly.
3. Make Adjustments
You can make the decision to improve or change strategies with any social media platforms falling short, or perhaps make the decision to stop working on those platforms altogether, and instead, focus your time and budget more on the platforms performing well. Let’s say for example that you split an equal budget between Twitter and Pinterest, but Google Analytics shows that your audience coming from Pinterest is clicking through to your site more often than your Twitter audience is. It’s then easy for you to make the argument to move some of your Twitter budgets over to Pinterest to broaden that audience even further. The decision is up to you and your team, but without that crucial data, it can be difficult to make an informed decision.
4. Track Conversions
In addition to creating brand awareness, as a social media manager, you may need to know if your social media marketing campaigns have been generating any conversions. Google Analytics can easily show you if any social media traffic resulted in conversions in a couple of different ways.
Aside from first click conversions, Google Analytics can also show you if social media efforts resulted in any conversions at a later point by looking at your Assisted Conversions through Last Click Attribution. Let's say, for example, someone sees an ad on social media for a pair of shoes from your online boutique. They visit the website by clicking on the ad, but don't make a purchase. About a month later, that person decides they want to purchase those shoes after all. They either search for your online boutique on Google or visit the domain directly, and then make the purchase. Google Analytics will be able to show you that their first touch point was through the social media ad.
5. Set Up Goals
As a social media manager, you’re likely always setting up new goals to make your next campaign perform even better than your last. The data you can access through your Google Analytics dashboard can be extremely helpful in setting up challenging yet achievable goals. After tracking web traffic, leads, and conversions, you can set up a goal for your next campaign to surpass those numbers because you have a benchmark in place to track against. You can then look back on your Google Analytics to see if you succeeded and met your target numbers, where you may have faltered, and why.
For social media managers looking to get the most out of their marketing campaigns and expand their skill set, it’s about more than mastering social media. The most successful professionals in this field also invest in mastering content strategy and web analytics for a cohesive marketing education. Simplilearn’s Digital Marketing Specialist course is designed to do just that. This course offers a variety of essential digital marketing skills, including Google Analytics, conversion rate optimization, content marketing, and much more.