Tracking social media with Google Analytics
This is not really a hack – rather the application of a simple (yet powerful) filter that allows you to compare visits from social networks side by side next to other referral mediums. The result allows you to have a quick comparison of the significance of social networks to your site in your Google Analytics reports, rather than having to drill down into each referrer. For example:
Background on social networks and user generated content
(taken from a recent Bowen & Craggs presentation)
Social networks have exploded on the Internet. The vast numbers of people now participating in them has resulted in a huge influence over brand perception. Hence their importance when considering your digital strategy. Some companies such as Dell*, Harley Davison and Starbucks, to name a few, use social networks as a direct feedback mechanism to actively drive their on and offline marketing strategies.
- There are an estimated 250 million internet users on a social network, from zero 5 years ago.
- MySpace alone claims over 200 million registered users, more than the population of Brazil or Russia. For Myspace in the US, think Facebook and Bebo in the UK, Orkut in Brazil and India, CyWorld in Korea, Mixi in Japan, Lunarstorm in Sweden and so on.
- Around 120,000 blogs are created each day – that’s blogs, not posts!
- In a mid-2007 IBM survey of online adults (aged 18+), the percentage of people claiming to have contributed to a user-generated content site was 9% in Germany, Australia and the UK; 7% in the US and 4% in Japan.
- Of those who contributed content, 58% did so for recognition and community, not monetary gain.
- 6 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute – it would take you a whole year to view one day on uploaded content.
*The Dell Hell story that started with Jeff Jarvis in 2005 is now part of Internet history. It first starts as a story of how bad customer service was with a computer manufacturer, but then becomes a success story as Dell first listened to what was being said about them on the web, and then acted with huge investment. Not only did they invest to correct the problem (poor customer service) but they also invested in bringing the voice of their customers closer to the company by setting up their own social networks around Dell products.
So social networks are important – how do we track them?