March 21, 2012

Google Analytics social reports coming soon

Google announced the release of some new social reports in Google Analytics, aimed at “bridging the gap between social media and the business metrics you care about”. Measuring social media has been one of the biggest obstacles businesses have faced since the rise of the social networks.

Given the increasing importance of social marketing and social network traffic, it was probably inevitable that the Google Analytics team would add social-focused reports. However, Group Product Manger Phil Mui says the new reports take a different approach than most social analytics products, which are more focused on “listening” — counting mentions, retweets, analyzing sentiment, and so on.

“Those are important metrics for sure,” Mui says. “But how do these metrics tie to the bottom line of a business? That’s what the CEOs most of the Fortune 500 folks that we talk with want to know.”

So companies using the new social reports can tell Google the goal that they’re interested in, whether it’s making a purchase, registering a user, or just having someone click on their about page. Then Google will show you not just how many visits are coming in from social networks (and which social networks in particular), but also how many of those social visits are “converting” to that goal. Mui says the reports also examine the impact that social networks have on a company’s “upper funnel” — in other words, the harder-to-measure cases where they don’t lead directly to a conversion, but may contribute indirectly. So if someone visits your website by following a link from Twitter, then returns in a week to buy something, Google will track that too.

Get the full story at TechCrunch

Read also "Capturing The Value Of Social Media Using Google Analytics" at the Google Analytics Blog