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Google Analytics Update Connects Social Marketing With ROI

by Ben Stirling | 21.03.2012
01 - Social Overview

Any one involved in social media you will have probably asked the question “What is the ROI on social marketing?” Well that is what Google Analytics are trying to answer with their new features.

As social media continues to become an important part to any integrated marketing campaign, it was inevitable that the Google Analytics team would include a social-focused reports.

Traditional social analytics products tend to be more focused on “listening” clocking mentions, retweets, analyzing sentiment. These are key metrics but what most financial decision makers want to know is, how does this activity effect our bottom line?

Companies using the new social reports can set the goals that they’re interested in, whether it’s making a purchase, registering a user, or just having someone click on their about page. Google will then show you how many visits are coming in from social networks, which ones and how many of those social visits are “converting” to that goal.

This a great news for tracking the often mentioned Tug conversion funnel, being able to track if someone visits your website by following a link from Twitter, then returns in a week to buy something through PPC, Google will track that this. In essence Google can then assign a monetary value to both the “last interaction” and “assisted” conversions. This is a breath of fresh air when in helping brands decide whether the money they are budgeting for social marketing is actually supporting the bottom line.

In addition there is an ‘Activity Stream’ tab that offers conversation monitoring, similar to what you would find on existing tools like radian 6. In short you can track what people are saying about your company on each social network.

Google says it will be rolling this out over the next few weeks. Google Analytics users will find the new features under the Standard Reporting Tab.