Wildcard Friday – Social Media Tracking in Google Analytics

By Joe


Today I’d like to show you how you can easily track your social media efforts using advanced segments using the new version of Google Analytics.

In the Standard Reporting tab of Google Analytics, first click on the Advanced Segments button right underneath the tab and then select New Custom Segment on the bottom right hand side.

With the custom segment screen open, you’ll first want to name your custom segment, which in this case will be “Social Traffic”. After creating the name, next select the different social channels that you are looking to track. You can do this by adding “Source” next to the “Include” drop down. You’ll need to add a “Source” row for each channel that you want to track. Next, in the blank field next to “Containing”, type in each social media site’s domain. In this example I want to track Facebook, Facebook Mobile and Twitter. Once you’ve finished entering all of the social sites you are looking to track, you can click “Save Segment” and your selections will be saved.

You should now be back to the Standard Reporting section of Google Analytics and with the Advanced Segments section open again, select “Social Traffic” from the Custom Segments area and click apply.

You should now be able to see the results of just the segmented social channels you selected in Google Analytics. This example’s graph shows that until recently, social wasn’t really contributing to much traffic, if any. It is also interesting to note how much more traffic Facebook has brought in compared to Twitter. Site owners can use data like this to determine which channels are most effective for bringing in traffic, which pages the traffic is going to, and which channels are bringing in traffic that actually convert.