Initially I was going to write about having a clear plan for posting on social media. However, a couple days ago while reviewing a particular websites analytics it dawned on me that the topic I should write about is why you should be using Google analytics to measure social media referral web traffic. Social media referral web traffic (try saying that 10 times fast) is the traffic that comes to your website as a result of your linking back to your webpage via a social media post.
Visibility: It is important to understand where this traffic comes from because without a clear understanding of which social channels are producing the most traffic it can become quite easy to find yourself posting to networks that are not actually producing results. You may be posting to Twitter and Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn, however unless you were to review your site’s analytics you would never know that Google+ is actualy directing the least amount of traffic back to your website while LinkedIn is directing the most. In this sense having visibility into which networks drive traffic lets you adjust your strategy in real-time to take advantage of what is working best.
The Unforeseen: Another reason to monitor your website analytics is that it can alert you to anomalies. For example, I experienced an anomaly just this past week when a social network began generating 30% of my social media referral web traffic. This network, which I had uploaded zero content onto would have never been a part of my social media strategy had I not been alerted to this anomaly. As a result I can now augment my social strategy to include for this new network.
With the help of Google analytics you can begin to understand which social efforts are producing results, which are not producing results and if there are any network’s that you should start to include in your social campaign. Setting up Google Analytics on your site is a relatively straightforward and easy process with plenty of online guides and YouTube videos that can walk you through the process step by step.
Let me know if you need any help with the above and as always be sure to send me examples of your work by commenting below or Tweeting me at @DanSaso