In a recent attempt (Winter 2015) to reorganize the 'Acquisition' section of Google Analytics, 'Social' has been made more prominent. This section allows you to view which social media platform is sending you traffic to which of your pages as well as related information.
This section of Analytics has been organized to reflect four contributing factors to your success within social media. Google identifies them as:
- "Sources & Pages: Identify networks & communities where people engage with your content.
- "Conversions: Measure the value of social by tracking your goals, conversions and ecommerce transactions.
- "Social Plugins: Measure your on-site user engagement.
- "Social Users Flow: Compare traffic volumes and user traffic patterns through your site."
What information can be found in each section?
Some highlights of the sections the Social category offers:
- Network Referrals: lists all social media sites that have sent traffic to pages tracked within the York University Google Analytics account.
- Apply the Secondary Dimension 'Page', then search for your URL(s) to find information specific to pages you / your team is responsible for.
- Data Hub Activity: lists activity from a limited number of social media site partners that Google has paired with. It shows the link shared and what was said in relation. Note: this report does not track Facebook or Twitter.
- Landing Pages: lists all the pages that people have come to directly from a social media outlet.
- Apply the Secondary Dimension 'Social Network', then search within the Shared URL(s) to find which social networks are sending what traffic to your pages.
- Trackbacks: lists mentions of Yorku.ca URLs tracked within the York University Google Analytics account. Typically, a Trackback must be enabled on the referring site, so this report is not an exhaustive list of all referrals to the YorkU.ca domain. Trackbacks have been associated with elevated levels of spam, so many websites do not use them, however, this list can allow you to see where you may be receiving referrals from.
- Plugins: lists visitor use of social media plugins (optionally installed to help share your data).
- Click on 'Social Source and Action' at top of grid (above Secondary Dimension button) then apply the Secondary Dimension 'Landing Page', then search for your URL(s)within the Landing Page(s) to find out about on which pages visitors are sharing your content via your installed plugin.
- User Flow: displays how visitors move throughout the pages tracked within the York University Google Analytics account. See also Behavior Flow.
Note: within the Social reports, some URLs may display improperly (eg. yorku.ca may display as yorku.cayorku.ca). This is due to the configuration necessary to display full URLs throughout the rest of the York University Google Analytics account.
How else can I track visitors who come via Social?
- Social data is also available to apply to other reports via Secondary Dimensions
- If you are interested in tracking visitors who first come as a visit via a social network, then return, you can install then apply the Social Referrals that become Organic Traffic segment. (More information about Segments and their use can be found on the Segments page.)