Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5

By , April 9th, 2012 in Social Media | 294 comments

First off, I want to preface this post with the fact that social media shouldn’t be done only with the goal of making direct conversions. Social media is about building new relationships, generating word of mouth marketing, and strengthening brand loyalty with your customers.

That said, I know that there are a lot of you who may be curious about the monetary value of your social media campaign, have clients that are asking the value of the social media services you provide for them, or simply want to learn more about how your social media strategy is leading to conversions.

Goal Conversions
You’ll be celebrating your social media goal conversions too! Image Source (editor’s note: sly usage of a Vancouver Canucks photo)

The following are the steps you must implement to be able to see the return on investment and goal conversions for your social media campaign. When you complete these, you will be able to:

  • Track goal conversions for your website in Google Analytics, a plus regardless of whether you care about social media conversions or not.
  • Analyze just the social media referral traffic for your website in a customized segment which will help you know the effectiveness of your social media strategy.
  • See the correlation between your social media referral traffic and goal conversions on your website so you can associate a monetary value to your social media campaign.

Tracking Social Media Conversions in Google Analytics 5


The Google Analytics you have grown to love is changing with the new version. You can see this version by clicking on the New Version link in the top right of your Google Analytics dashboard.

Since the new version is closing in, I thought I would cover the new setup features of your Google Analytics for social media ROI measurement.

Setup Goals within Google Analytics 5

Before you can do any kind of measuring in terms of your social media success, you will need to setup your goals in Google Analytics. The signal of a completed goal in Google Analytics can be anything including when someone lands on a specific page of your website, when someone spends a certain amount of time on your site or browses a certain number of pages, or when they click on a link to download a whitepaper or leave your site.

This means that you can track anything from:

  • When someone buys an item from your website.
  • When someone clicks on an affiliate link to a product on another site.
  • When someone subscribes to your newsletter.
  • When someone downloads a free report from your site.
  • When someone clicks on your Feedburner subscription link.
  • When someone clicks on a link to your social profiles.

To setup goals, go to your website’s analytics dashboard, and click on the Settings wheel icon to the right of the orange toolbar.

From here, click on the Goals tab and click on + Goal to add a new goal.

Types of Goal Conversions

The following are the four goal types you have to choose from, and some sample ways to use them.

1. URL Destination

This goal type is achieved when someone lands on a specific page on your website. For example…

  • If someone purchases an item, the Goal URL would be the “thank you for your order” or confirmation page.
  • If someone signs up for your mailing list, the Goal URL would be the customized thank you page people are redirected to once they have submitted their email address.

You should setup your Goal Value to be the average amount of the common conversion. So if your average sale amount is $30, enter 30, or if your average mailing list subscriber is valued at $5, enter 5.

2. Time On Site

This goal type is achieved when someone spends a specified amount of hours, minutes, or seconds on your website.

This one is a bit tough to associate with a Goal Value, but if you can estimate that people who have been on your site for over 15 minutes likely purchase an average of $15 in goods, then you can enter 15.

3. Pages / Visit

This goal type is achieved when someone visits a specified amount of pages during one visit. Again, it is a tough one to associate with a Goal Value, but if you can estimate that people who visit more than 10 pages on their site likely purchase an average of $20 in goods, then you can enter 20.

4. Event

This goal type is achieved when someone clicks on a link or button to do things such as download a whitepaper PDF file, play a video, or leave the site to purchase an item elsewhere. To use this goal type, you must:

  • Have your Google Analytics installed before your </head> tag on your website.
  • Add onClick=”_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Category', 'Action', 'Label']);” to your event.
  • Configure the Goal Details to match your event tracking code.

For example, if the event you are tracking is the purchase of an eBook sold on another website, then you would have a link that looked like the following:

<a href=”http://domain.com/yourebook.html” target=”_blank” onClick=”_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'eBook', 'Purchase', 'BPP']);” >

You would then enter the following into your Goal Details under Configure a combination of one or more event conditions from the list below:

  • Category > that is equal to > eBook
  • Action > that is equal to > Purchase
  • Label > that is equal to > BPP

Finally, you will want to associate a Goal Value to be the average amount of the common sale. So if your eBook, on average between regular price and discounted pricing, is a total of $33.30, then enter 33.3. Your final goal setup would look like this:

Google Analytics 5 Goals Setup - Event Tracking
A completed goal using the event type.

Note that the downside of tracking external events (like someone clicking on a link to go to another site to buy something) is that you are tracking visitors leaving your site, not making the purchase. So you might want to match up the number of goal conversions with the number of actual sales you make in a month and adjust the value of your goal to match accordingly.

As a disclaimer, this is the most basic of goal setups in Google Analytics. You can do much more with event tracking including solutions specific to ecommerce sites. There are also goal funnels which can show you where people drop off during the conversion process on your own site to help you further optimize your sales process.

Set up ADVANCED Segments for Social Media

Next, in order to see your goals in relation to your social media referrals, you will need to setup a custom advanced segment in Google Analytics as follows.

Step 1. Create your custom segment

Click on ADVANCED Segments , and to the right under Custom Segments , click on the button for + New Custom Segment.

Step 2. Setup your custom segment

Name your new custom segment Social Media, and then start adding social media referral domains by clicking on the dropdown to the right of the Include and selecting Source. Leave the next dropdown on Containing and enter your first social network domain. To enter additional domains, click on the Add OR statement link.

Google Analytics 5 Advanced Segments - Social Media
Setting up an advanced segment for social media referral tracking.

The following is a key to the major social media referrers. You may want to lump them all under Social Media or break them down as follows between major social media networks and social bookmarking networks.

Top Social Network Referrers

  • facebook.com – This social network is currently the second most popular site in the world according to Alexa.
  • twitter.com – Even if it’s not the most popular social network in the world, the most popular tweets generally have links which makes them a strong social media referral for most sites.
  • stumbleupon.com – This network is right up there with Facebook as one of the highest traffic generating social media sites.
  • plus.google.com – See referrals from Google’s new social network separate from search engine referrals.
  • hootsuite.com – Management tool for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and several other social media networks.
  • linkedin.com – Traffic from this network is especially powerful as it is the top social network for professionals.
  • paper.li – Daily paper site which compiles tweets from various users in lists, by hashtag, and by following. Updates are primarily sent through Twitter.
  • twitterfeed.com – Allows users to automatically tweet new RSS feed items to their users. Updates can be sent through Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.
  • youtube.com – If you have videos, you should definitely consider adding your link to each of them as this is the third most popular site in the world, again according to Alexa.
  • flickr.com – This one is a particular favorite if you are a photographer or host your images offsite.

Top Social Bookmarking Network Referrers

  • digg.com – While waning in popularity, Digg can still be a nice traffic generator if your content makes the homepage or your account has plenty of followers.
  • delicious.com – Still a popular social bookmarking site despite the recent change of hands from Yahoo to the former owners of YouTube.
  • reddit.com – This bookmarking network has grown in popularity since Digg reinvented their network last year, but still only caters to certain types of content.

You may also want to go through your traffic referral sources list to see if there any other social networks which are more niche specific that you want to include in your social media custom segment.

Step 3. Save your custom segment

Click on the Preview Segment to ensure that your segment is pulling in the right data, and then click on Save Segment to save your changes.

Seeing Your Social Media Goal Conversions and ROI

Whenever you want to view data specifically related to your social media referrals, you can do so by clicking on Advanced Segments , checking the box next to your custom Social Media segment, and clicking Apply. Now you can go through all of your Analytics looking at only Social Media related data including your conversions.

Goals Overview

Under Conversions > Goals > Overview, you can see the following from only the social media referrers you setup in your ADVANCED Segments .

Google Analytics 5 Advanced Segments - Goals Overview
Overview of goal conversions from social media referral URLs.
  • Percentage of your total goal completions.
  • A graphical overview of your goal completions.
  • A summary of your total goal completions, total goal value, and goal conversion rate.
  • Specific goal completion URLs which led to conversions.

If you click on the Goal Option dropdown, you will be able to see and click on specific goals for their detailed metrics as well.

Google Analytics 5 Advanced Segments - Goal Details
View detailed metrics for each of your goals.

The above screenshots are taken from my personal blog which does not offer a lot of products, and therefore has lower numbers. You can probably expect that any website which offers more conversion opportunities through products and services will have stronger social media referral numbers and higher goal values.

Bonus Social Media Conversion Tips

Before we end this post, here are a few extra tips for those looking to increase social media conversions and track those conversions more effectively.

Increase Conversions from Social Media

If you’re not seeing the amount of conversions you were expected via social media, then you might want to look into better conversion optimization for your website. The following are some great articles and infographics on those lines.

Measuring Social Media Conversions Offline

For many businesses, one of the reasons this methodology doesn’t always work is because people may see a message from the business on a social network, but then their conversion is made within a physical store or on the phone.

In these cases, you will want to have something that customers can reference, such as a customized discount code based on social network. So in your tweet, be sure to tell people to mention TWITTER20 for 20% off, and on a fan page update, tell them to mention FACEBOOK20 for 20% off. This way you can get a better idea of how many people are being referred to your stores and phone ordering systems via social media.

How Do You Track Your Social Media Goal Conversions?

Now that you know how I’ve started tracking social media goal conversions, now it’s your turn. How do you track your social media referral traffic in relationship to your conversion goals? Have you found it an adequate way of explaining social media ROI to clients? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, and happy converting!

– Kristi Hines

This is a guest post, all opinions are those of the author.

Kristi Hines is a social media enthusiast and blogger at Kikolani which focuses on blog marketing topics including blogging tips and social networking strategies. She also contributes to many other sites as a freelance writer covering online marketing topics for businesses including search and social marketing optimization. When she's not on the computer, her personal hobbies include photography, tennis, and salsa dancing!

Comments

  1. Great post to get people actually start really taking care of their social media. I dig the “social” custom segment, quick and easy to implement!

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Thanks Samuel! Yes, even if people just implement the custom segment, I’m sure they’ll be surprised by the social traffic they receive to their website. It’s much easier to analyze all in one instead of mixed with the rest of the referral traffic.

  2. Oli Gardner says:

    Just to comment on your bonus tips (the conversion killers one). I can definitely attest to the loading time increase having added the Google +1 button. I’d love to do a test with and without almost every plugin to see what difference that made.

    btw. I love that you’ve managed to focus adding social media tracking into Google Analytics – there are too many other tools out there that aren’t really cutting it yet – and all require yes *another* script to be added to your site. So this is very welcome news.

    Any idea on when it will come out of beta – or how they are spreading the beta love around (i.e. got any invites to share ;)

    Nicely done.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Not sure when it will come out of Beta, but as of right now you should be able to set the new version as your default which is what I’ve done. So far I’m liking it except for a few other small changes that might still be “in the works.” :)

      As far as plugins / scripts, yes, those do increase load time. I always watch the strip at the bottom of the browser when my site is loading to see what is creating holdups and try to find an alternative if possible.

  3. Yomar Lopez says:

    One thing I’ve found in optimizing client pages and my own is that having too many options for sharing may result in none of them being used. Load time is an issue but then there’s also the matter of how mobile browsers display pages. In addition, sometimes it is better to lead in with the top tools, like StumbleUpon and Facebook, as you mentioned.

    What I like about the way Google Analytics tracks goals is that it helps you really see how site visitors evolve from curious surfers to brand loyalists (and everything in between). Awesome article – I really dig the supporting links!

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Thanks Yomar! I have been experimenting with share buttons on my own site… I think I’m down to 4 right now (Twitter, Facebook, Stumble, and LinkedIn). Some sites are definitely overwhelming, but others just seem to want to display what they find most important when it comes to where they want their posts shared.

      Google Analytics is definitely a gold mine when it comes to information – you can solve a lot of website problems just by digging in deeper to see where people stay the longest and where they exit the most.

      • Ivan Walsh says:

        Hi Kristi,

        Interesting that you also use SU. I have it on a few sites and it still does well. Better than Digg, for example.

        Ivan

        • Yomar Lopez says:

          It definitely helps to lead in with the tools that you use the most.. Social media tends to have high abandonment rates at times so, if you’re not there with your audience when it really counts, there will be a severe drop-off.

          You know, I still would say StumbleUpon beats Facebook, Digg, and most other comparable sites. With a much smaller network than most (17 million compared to Facebook’s 750 million), there is a lot more interaction and quality content.. Plus their approach to search makes it so that only interested parties and friends find your best content. Not even Google does that.. Though they’re working on integrating social signals and deeper contextual control into things.

          One thing I will say about Google Analytics is to make sure you generate the full report before reading it. It sometimes help to export to PDF than sitting in the dashboard. It makes it easier to compare different reports and identify trends.

          When I deliver monthly SEO reports to my clients, we look at the big picture: Social Media Influence, Competitive Analysis, Link Popularity, Click-Through Rates, Conversion Goals, and tons more.. If you don’t have at least three months of consistent data captured at regular intervals, it can be rather difficult to figure out whether you’re making progress or not.

          One of my favorite things to do with Google Analytics is compare the keywords that bring the greatest organic traffic to pages versus the target keywords (and the density thereof). Often, you’ll find that keywords you are not optimizing for or not ranking high for are bringing you great traffic.

          For example, on my blog the word “cheating” is mentioned often. Apparently, Google thinks my blog is something of an authority on that keyword. Somehow, I get hundreds of hits on my site a month for that word even though it’s not on the front SERP for Google for that specific search. Without analytics in place, duplicating that success and finding ways to bring that traffic to relevant content (landing pages, anyone) would be darn near impossible.. You’d be flying blind!

          Heheh.. I really love metrics. I can crunch numbers all night.. Oh wait, I have to… Back to work! ;o)

          BTW, if anyone wants to join me on SU, here’s my link – I’d love to connect and interact with more people!

          http://yogizilla.stumbleupon.com

  4. [...] Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5 | Unbounce Learn how to use Google Analytics 5 to measure social media ROI and the relationship between social media referral traffic and conversions. Source: unbounce.com [...]

  5. Jon says:

    What a great tool to organize and really get the most out of your social media experience. Very well written.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Thanks Jon! Definitely helps out when you’re trying to determine how your social media campaign is going overall. Plus you can drill down to see social network specifics to know which one to focus on the most.

  6. Pel Abbott says:

    Finally, there may be a way to measure ROI on social media. CMOs can start getting excited. ;) Great post!!

  7. Wow, Kristi, this is the most thorough post I’ve seen on this subject in a long time – suddenly I’m all excited to get started with the new version of Analytics!

    I’m feeling a little bad, too, at how haphazard and off-the-cuff my conversion tracking is at the moment. As long as the lists and traffic are getting bigger, I’m happy, and not really looking at any more than that.

    That’s gotta change – thanks for showing us the way, Kristi!

    • Kristi Hines says:

      That’s a good point about just focusing on the growth Danny. There are some interesting things you can learn that will help get those lists even longer though, like which sites are really working to convert visitors into subscribers. :)

  8. Amazing job, Kristi. You must have spent a week putting this together. I submitted it to Sphinn and to SERPd. I hope it gets lots of attention.

  9. DiTesco says:

    Top notch Kristi..You never really cease to amaze me with your excellent “how to” type articles. I already knew that setting up goals and measuring conversions were possible on GA but really never did go about it. What seemed to be complicated has now been “uncomplicated”.. Thanks! Off to set some custom advanced segments and see how this goes.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      That was one of my issues with this topic – I read blog after blog after blog that had one piece of the puzzle or the other, but never both in one place. A few things I just had to test through trial and error, and when I finally got it worked out I thought it was about time to put all the instructions in one place. :)

    • Brankica says:

      Francisco, that was the same problem I had. I started digging into Analytics recently and could not figure out half of the things over there. Then I ran into someone’s post about setting stuff up and tried to do it and completely failed, cause it was so complicated.

      This is the first time I could actually put the tutorial to use and understand it properly. It was so easy after this, that I figured out a few more things I can do and managed to set them up.

    • Dave Doolin says:

      Francisco, I dug pretty deep into analytics back before the huge social media craze took off, and more importantly, before I was generating enough traffic to actually learn anything.

      It put me off!

      Nothing I did or didn’t do seem to make any difference at all.

      And I haven’t really spent much time with it since. Which I know is a *huge* mistake, and one I need to deal with when I jump back into the game.

      • Kristi Hines says:

        You have to be ready to face some potentially ugly facts about your site when you have analytics Dave – I have had days where I see my stats and never want to go back in there. But you have to realize that from those stats, you learn what people want from your site and can use them to make things better for your visitors which will ultimately make those stats much more appealing! :)

  10. Hajra says:

    Hey Kristi,

    This has to the most well researched post of all times and so thorough! Definitely. I didn’t know we could use social media so such great lengths.

    I had no idea about tracking conversations on Google Analytics, I used Disqus for that purpose and also livefyre.

    Thanks for the informative post, definitely bookmark worthy!

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Disqus and Livefyre help in keeping track of your social mentions, but Google Analytics will let you see all of the traffic you’re getting from those social sources, and not just the individual updates. It helps put the overall picture together!

  11. Brankica says:

    Hey Kristi, like you said at the beginning, social media is about building relationships but I definitely think it never hurts to actually know what you are doing and what results are coming after all the effort we put into this.

    I used to spend hours and hours on Facebook and had not so great results. On the other hand, even 5 minutes a day on Twitter used to bring traffic to my blog. I wish I started tracking all that sooner.

    Well not that I am tracking it this good now, I was trying to figure out the new Analytics, and I started learning about all the features, but except a few simple goals I didn’t move much forward as far as this detailed tracking goes.

    So I am off to set all my goals like this and start tracking more and better.

    Plan to come back and report on my findings :) Thanks for such a detailed instructions!

    • Kristi Hines says:

      It’s never too late to start tracking! I really regret not tracking my eBook sales during the first two months when it was hot, but I had other priorities at the time. But since I just started, I’ve still gotten a good bit of valuable information, and have a better idea of what to do the next time I launch a product.

      Hope you have some great findings Brankica! :)

  12. John Garrett says:

    Of course I read this post as I’m away and don’t have time to get to this until tonight…what a long wait :)

    I’ve been avoiding the new setup for awhile, but after checking this article I feel prepared to dive into it.

    For awhile there I started to become a stats junkie and I’m afraid the new version might lead me down the rabbit hole again!

    Thanks for such thorough information!

    • Kristi Hines says:

      I go through phases of stats addiction, but now I have a spreadsheet setup so I can enter numbers once a month for quick analysis. That way I can feel like I’m keeping up with all my analytics without having to do it every day. :)

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  15. Cory Huff says:

    Your stuff is always so thorough. Loved this, and just upgraded to the new version myself. Glad they moved custom reports up to the top nav. Much better.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Thanks Cory! Yes, there are some great improvements. A few things that are missing that I hope will get sorted during the beta period, but I’m sure the new features will outweigh the missing ones!

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  17. Great article, Kristi. I’ve not done a lot with “Goals” in Google Analytics before, especially in relation to social media campaigns. This is very useful info.

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Thanks Brian! I hadn’t done much with goals until just a few months ago, and when you start setting them up and seeing the conversions in relation to your traffic sources, it makes a world of difference in how you allot time to different parts of your online marketing strategy. :)

  18. Great post Kristi. I have Google Analytics set up but I’m sometimes not really sure how to use it or how to read the data. This will help a lot. I’ve especially never used the Goals feature but I’ll definitely be playing with it now! Thanks!

    • Kristi Hines says:

      It takes a bit to get used to, but once you start getting comfortable with it and creating those custom segments, you’ll find a world of valuable info at your fingertips! :)

  19. socialmotus says:

    Thanks for the very helpful information about Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions . I enjoyed reading your article and I have learned a lot. Hope to learn more.

  20. [...] Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5 | Unbounce Learn how to use Google Analytics 5 to measure social media ROI and the relationship between social media referral traffic and conversions. Source: unbounce.com [...]

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  22. As usual from you, Kristi, you’ve written the definitive, authoritative post on a topic.

    Thanks so much for showing us the main bells and whistles: it looks really cool.

    I’m still mastering the current version, but then I wasn’t working with a post like this as a guide!

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Glad you find it useful Pamela! I had a hard time putting all of the info together too as some people write about one part but not the others. About time it’s all in one!

  23. Very detailed information and highly useful, I don’t tend to promote items on social media for sale on my site directly, and usually rely on url shrinking services to track clicks (like Bit.ly) rather than setting GA goals/tracking.

    Since I also promote some Amazon affiliate stuff which never hits my site and goes to Amazon directly I also use separate “tracking ID’s for my social media campaigns as well to measure their effectiveness.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      I do like the tracking IDs too Justin, but it’s still hard even with those to know if someone came from a post or a tweet from one site, or how they got to that post which led them to the affiliate link. Isn’t there a limit on Amazon affiliate ID’s?

  24. Markus says:

    Very nice post! You may combine the link shortener with campaign parameters to track incoming visitors. But not every service allows this – so this is a good approach.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Good point Markus! I have heard some people say the UTM parameters affect the link value to a certain extent. That and you have people like me that will strip those before I retweet it again, so you’d lose them at that stage.

  25. Flo says:

    Hi Kristi,

    This is a very thorough post on goal setting and you did a much better job explaining it than Google did on their blog.

    I am loving this ability to set Events as goals in the new Analytics and for this single reason I am switching with immediate effect. :) I’ve kept away from it cos it is still in beta.

    I have been looking for a way to track downloads that I offer on my site and have always hit a brick wall. In your Event goal setting, the implementation example you gave is for standard hyperlinks. Please do you know how to correctly include the tracking code in forms? The links to my downloads are buttons and I can’t find any examples on the web where the tracking is applied to download buttons.

    Thanks.

  26. Ben Lang says:

    Great ideas Kikolani!

  27. Thanks for the detailed post Kristi!

    It’s funny how there are very few informative posts on the subject of tracking conversions using the Google Analytics goal feature.

    I have been using it for sometimes now to track the conversion rate of various forms on my blog and landing pages. There are a few new lessons I learnt above and I hope I can implement them soon for better results.

    Regards,
    Oni

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Yeah, you would think more people would want to take advantage of that. So much you can learn and then use the information to make improvements that will benefit your blog or business.

  28. [...] #29 So make sure to set up goals and conversions in your Google Analytics. As always, I turn to Kristi Hines for detailed tutorials on cool stuff so here is the simplest way to do all that – Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5. [...]

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  30. Flo says:

    Hi Kristi,

    The page is the one I’m linking to in this comment.
    Thanks for offering to take a look.

  31. Great tips, but trying to learn Google Analytics for a while now. Thanks!

  32. Ryan says:

    Super detailed, Kristi – All makes sense to me. Great job explaining. And I like where you talked about having some way of measuring ROI with offline actions, like a sign or a call to the action of telling someone how you were referred.

    To answer your question, I don’t track anything anywhere close to this. Was never a data guy, I think it can weigh you down and pull you away from the most important things, like creating awesome experiences for people and making really cool connections.

    That said, certainly, converting is imperative. I run a PC repair business, so it’s a lot easier for me to just ask people “where did you hear about me?” Just recently started consulting a bit on social, so definitively explaining the ROI to clients is both.. impossible (because every situation is most certainly going to be different), and in many cases, incorrect. It would be nice if a cookie cutter explanation would work, but there’s too much grey area it seems.

    In summation (to my freaking blog post of an answer), really really detailed post. I learned a lot from this (as I always do, your stuff Kristi), and this makes me think more about getting into more detail with the way I track my own ROI.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Thanks Ryan!

      I think that analytics can weigh you down if you obsess about the numbers, but it can also help you create those awesome experiences if used the right way.

      For example, if you look at your analytics and see you are starting to get a lot of traffic from smartphone users, you will know to make a more mobile friendly site. If you see that a lot of your visitors are from a certain network, you’ll know that can give them sharing options they will love by incorporating buttons from that network onto your site. If you see that a lot of people leave the site on a particular page, you’ll know that there’s something that you need to work on with that page to make visitors want to stick around longer.

      I don’t mind blog post-length comments – I think they always add more value to the discussion! :)

  33. Mari Smith says:

    Wowwwwww – phenomenal post, Kristi!! SO comprehensive and helpful. Sharing with my peeps now!

  34. [...] Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5 | Unbounce Learn how to use Google Analytics 5 to measure social media ROI and the relationship between social media referral traffic and conversions. Source: unbounce.com [...]

  35. [...] Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5 covers the often discussed topic of how to actually measure your social media campaign’s return on investment (in monetary terms) and how your social media campaigns lead to conversions on your website. [...]

  36. [...] Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5 | Unbounce Learn how to use Google Analytics 5 to measure social media ROI and the relationship between social media referral traffic and conversions. Source: unbounce.com [...]

  37. Flo says:

    Hi Kristi,

    Thanks for offering to take a look. Here’s the link: http://www.tpcreate.com/before-you-create-website/free-website-design-templates-downloads/

    *I tried to link to it directly from my name but the antispam blew me off twice. I hope this one goes through.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Just took a peak at your code – you *should* still be able to add onClick=”_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'eBook', 'Purchase', 'BPP']);” to the input button after onclick=”window.location.href=’3-column-website-template.zip’” – just change the eBook, Purchase, BPP to your own reference parameters like Template, Download, 3Column and then set the goal type as an event.

      I would test the button immediately after adding it to ensure the functionality is still working the same (should be, but always feels good to know for sure), and if it is, then click on it and wait to see the next day if the goal completion comes through Analytics. Or if you’re blocking your own IP address, test it on another machine and then give it a day.

      It won’t come through as a social media goal completion, but it should come up under goal conversions without an advanced segment applied.

      Let me know if that works! :)

      • Flo says:

        Hi Kristi,

        Sorry for the late update. I was waiting for my two trial implementations to come through. I also implemented it in hypertext which works fine but unfortunately, the ones for the download button didn’t work. I first of all implemented your suggestion. When that did not work, I thought maybe we can’t have two onclick(s) in one form input? So I tried to integrate the tracker inside the first onclick, separated by a semi-colon but that didn’t work either.

        Since Google did not include the download button implementation on their help page you linked to, it’s probably not possible … yet. Surprised they have one for videos but not for download buttons.

        Thanks for pointing me in the right direction and if you come up with something new pls let me know :)

  38. Rana Shahbaz says:

    Kristi,

    Thanks for sharing a complete guide on how to setup your analytics.

    Regarding calculating social media ROI, I do agree with you that it goes beyond numbers. Social media is all about helping people in doing what they love doing and when you manage to do that well, you get returns for that for a very long time.

    Keep sharing the good stuff :)

    • Kristi Hines says:

      It definitely goes beyond numbers. For example, Best Buy does a great job answering my questions on Twitter. Hence I’m more loyal to their store, but I don’t tell the salesperson at every checkout “I’m here because of Twelpforce!” So it’s good to keep in mind that you’re probably receiving benefits of your social media campaign that you’ll never know are directly tied together.

  39. I really need to start paying more attention to analytics. I tend to just fire and forget…thanks for the tips!

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Yeah, some people are obsessed with firing with out analyzing, and some people are obsessed with analyzing without firing. It’s good to find an even balance of both to be successful online!

  40. [...] Measuring Social Media ROI and Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5 [...]

  41. Great article. Thanks for putting it together. It’s just what I’ve been needing for taking the next step. Much appreciated.

  42. MaAnna says:

    Thanks for another super helpful how-to, why-to post. I really appreciate how much research you do and speak from a place of actually using it. I’m definitely going to dig further into my analytics. I’m also going to be sending my clients to this post. It’s the most complete one I’ve seen for helping folks understand how to use and understand analytics to meet goals.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      I couldn’t write about something I didn’t actually implement for myself – it drives me bananas when I try to follow instructions from someone who obviously didn’t walk through the steps themselves because if they had, they would realize they were missing a few pieces to the equation. And it happens sadly a lot out there.

      I hope your client finds it useful MaAnna! :)

  43. STEF says:

    Great article, except that custom segment don’t work with social media.
    Any visitor using a desktop or mobile app will be counted as “Direct trafic”, thus out of the custom segments.
    You need to use a Google Analytics tracking URL in order to have an accurate view of the trafic social media is driving to your site.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Ah, good point – it probably doesn’t work well with apps. It does work when people are coming directly from the site on a browser (like stumbleupon.com), using apps on their browser (like HootSuite), or on the mobile website (like m.facebook.com) as I’ve seen those come through analytics.

      The tracking parameters that Google allows you to use are hard to fully control too though. People like me will strip them when retweeting. You can’t add them to the social sharing buttons on posts. There’s so many ways for them to get lost or not get implemented from the start. Plus it’s hard to remember to use them every time you’re putting a URL out there.

      It’s hard to track everything comprehensively, but there are somethings you can track – those make the social media advanced segment worth it!

  44. Hi Kristi

    That’s excellent! I would love if you could maybe combine with Mari Smith to do a more detailed walkthrough of adding in social media metrics for facebook “like” button clicks or similar? Sort of “for dummies” with more arrows and examples?

    Best wishes and good luck in the competition.

    Imogen

  45. Wow Kristi! This has to be one of the best tutorials I’ve seen on Google Analytics. I haven’t used the new version yet, so it was great to play along with it as I went through your tutorial.

    I especially like the Advanced Segments for SM section. Up until now I’ve been using a designated URL (coded) to help track more specifically where my traffic was coming from with SM. This way seems a LOT easier.

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m sure it took quite a bit of time to put this together. It’s very much appreciated!!

    Ciao my Social Media Queen! ;-)

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Glad you find it helpful! I have tried to do the UTM parameters to track links, but I find that sometimes you’re just in a hurry and you forget to add them, so the tracking gets lost. This way you have it as a one time setup. :)

  46. [...] Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5 | Unbounce Learn how to use Google Analytics 5 to measure social media ROI and the relationship between social media referral traffic and conversions. Source: unbounce.com [...]

  47. Hi Kristi, thanks for writing this article, Brankica always suggests the greatest resources for bloggers, and I really need to dig in this area of how to track and measure results as I haven’t yet been able to.

    All the best to you,
    Joanna

    • Kristi Hines says:

      You’re welcome Joanna. I’m glad she referred you here – there’s lots of ways to apply the same steps to track other things besides social media, so I hope you get some great results when you apply them!

  48. Donna says:

    Wow! Kristi, you always write outstanding posts, but this one stands out amongst the outstanding. Truly great!

  49. Craig says:

    When working with clients who want to set up social media campaigns one of the hardest things to figure out is ROI. I had no idea that Google Analytics could be used in that way. I am going to implement the tracking that you recommend. Thanks for the tips and breakdown!

  50. [...] la posibilidad de medir la interacción de los usuarios con los botones sociales. El artículo “Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5” por Kristi Hines revela las posibilidades de medir el rendimiento de las campañas de Social [...]

  51. Ginny Carter says:

    Great post which I found on Mari Smith’s FB page. Good to have all this detail Kristi, I’ve saved the post and will have a go at it all!

  52. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  53. Aileen O'Day says:

    I love, love, love the useful information on how to track the social media element and how easy it is to implement… Look forward to more content like this Kristi and many thanks:)

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Thanks Aileen! I’m thinking about following this one up in the near future with more on analytics… it’s so exciting what you can learn from GA! :)

  54. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  55. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  56. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  57. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  58. [...] out there, you can track some monetary return on investment when it comes to social media using Google Analytics 5. So don’t worry – you’ll be able to see some [...]

  59. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  60. Partha Goswami says:

    I could not solve “Whenever you want to view data specifically related to your social media referrals, you can do so by clicking on Advanced Segments , checking the box next to your custom Social Media segment, and clicking Apply. Now you can go through all of your Analytics looking at only Social Media related data including your conversions.
    Goals Overview

    Under Conversions > Goals > Overview, you can see the following from only the social media referrers you setup in your ADVANCED Segments .”

    This portion – Please help

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Hi Partha,

      Are you in the new beta version of Google Analytics 5, or the older version?

      If you’re in the older version, once you setup the advanced segment, you’ll have to go to the Dashboard, then there is a dropdown for Adavanced Segments: All Visits – here you’d uncheck All Visits under Default Segments and check Social Media under Custom Segments and Apply. Then in the left side menu, select Goals and the Overview will show you the breakdown of your Social Media driven goals. Hope that helps!

  61. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  62. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  63. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  64. Renee says:

    Very, very helpful post Kristi, thank you. In addition to all of the helpful tips to measure social media, I enjoyed your first paragraph. I fully agree that while you need to be able to measure social media, the conversational and interactive abilities of social media make it more valuable than one number can necessarily indicate.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Thanks Renee! I think that some people forget that in order for social media to be valuable and give you measurable results, you have to set your goals for social media as engagement, customer service, and information sharing. Then people will see you as an authority and be more likely to become a customer as well.

  65. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  66. Yomar Lopez says:

    Did I mention that you win BONUS POINTS for mentioning StumbleUpon? I honestly find it more effective than Facebook for providing highly-targeted, contextual search results. The leads I get from SU are often much more interested, right-fit types. StumbleUpon also makes it easy to get just the kind of content you want and none of the extra noise.

    I think people get stuck on Facebook because of how many people are on it. I’m not knocking Facebook but it certainly takes a lot more constant work than StumbleUpon does. Let’s not forget that SU is a much easier transition for us bloggers too!

    Two thumbs up here, Kristi.. As you saw, I plugged you in my Facebook Support-A-Thon and I’m going to do the same via StumbleUpon. 8)

    • Kristi Hines says:

      StumbleUpon is a great network for getting your site traffic and brand recognition. There was one point at the beginning of the year where StumbeUpon drove more traffic to websites than Facebook did, so regardless of the number of people between the two, SU did the best! :)

      Thanks for plugging my post – looking forward to seeing yours soon!

  67. Bea Medina says:

    Great article Kristi! I’ve been a WAHM (Work-At-Home-Mom) for the past 4 years now and I am teaching Social Media Marketing and Internet Marketing to my fellow wahms here in the Philippines. This is a helpful post because you explained thoroughly the Google Analytics. I will be in the lookout for more of your great articles to share with the other wahms. Thanks!

  68. TJ McCue says:

    This will be the new primer I send to my clients who want to get a handle on the basics and some of the advanced aspects of Google Analytics! Thanks Kristi. I’ve set up a few of these things, but you really break it down into manageable steps. Thank you!

  69. Chris says:

    Awesome post Kristi!

    I really appreciated the walk-thru on setting up advanced segments in GA. Thanks to your post, I had my advanced segments up and running in no time and it’s really nice to be able to see some ROI from social media.

    My only complaint with Google Analytics is that it doesn’t track exit links by default…so I use Statcounter in conjunction with GA to track my exit links.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      I’m glad Chris! Yeah, with exit links, you have to use that extra JavaScript, but it’s kind of nice because you can specify which links you want tracked vs. having all of them in there, some of which you may not necessarily care about. I need to expand my exit link selection, but so far, I have what I need most monitored. :)

  70. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  71. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  72. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  73. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  74. Partha Goswami says:

    Would you please help me regarding the “Funnel” or “Funnel Path”?

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Hi Partha,

      Basically, the goal funnel is setting up multiple URL’s as a goal. For example, if you have a shopping cart on your site and a buyer has to go through five different pages to checkout, then you’d setup a goal funnel with those URLs in the order they would be in the process, such as:

      Step 1 – Shopping Cart
      Step 2 – Login or Register
      Step 3 – Enter or Confirm Address
      Step 4 – Enter Payment Info
      Step 5 – Confirm Order and Submit

      What this will do is show you if people are dropping the process at a certain point and maybe help you do some testing to see what would make conversions better, such as changing something on the Payment Info page if that is the one people are bailing out on.

      I hope this helps!

      • Partha Goswami says:

        Thank you very much.
        You advices help me a lot.

        I have an video URL of YouTube. If you give me the permission I’ll show you the URL.

        Can I set the URL in Google Analytics to check the traffic?
        If yes, then how can I do this?

        Thanks In Advance.

        • Kristi Hines says:

          Hi Partha,

          I don’t think you can add a YouTube video to your Google Analytics, but you should be able to go to your video when logged into YouTube and click on the analytics button next to the number of views under the video. Then click on View More Statistics (if available). That will take you to YouTube Insights for your video which isn’t as great as Google Analytics, but gives you some basics on how people discovered the video, number of views, regions that have viewed it, and so on. It only seems to work if the video has a good bit of views though. Not the greatest, but it’s a little something.

  75. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  76. John Soares says:

    This article is just what I need to make me start taking full advantage of Google Analytics. I like good data and I’m comfortable with numbers.

    And now I’m off to log into my Analytics account.

  77. Ron Callari says:

    Great post – but as much as Google can monitor traffic – it still cannot identify ‘anonymous website visitors.’ What we’re doing at Flip.to for vertical markets in the travel industry is actually providing a means to not only identify web surfers who come and go without converting – but also to retrieve their profile data and reach back to them over time to communicate. See recent post that details the process http://t.co/62l8KFp

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Sounds like an interesting system Ron. It only works with specific referrals from social networks though, correct? Just took a few moments to review your page – would like to hear more about it. :)

  78. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  79. Quick question, Kristi: instead of setting advanced segments for all your possible social media referrers, why not just look under referral traffic for your existing referrers and, assuming your goals are set up, access that information from the “Goal Set” tab, located under the traffic graph next to site usage?

    Ana

    • Kristi Hines says:

      You can do that Ana. I like the Advanced Segments because you can see all of your data throughout GA using just the social media referrers. This way you don’t have to look through everything and sort out just social media – you can have it setup and view just that data with a few clicks. You can see goals, top content from social media referrers, site searches from social media referrers, and so on. :)

  80. [...] social media ROI & goal conversions with Google Analytics – think you can’t measure the ROI of [...]

  81. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  82. Hi Kristi,
    I have deliberately avoided using the goals feature of Google Analytics because it just seemed too confusing. Finally, a guide that makes sense and is easy to follow! Thanks for sharing this, I’m actually looking forward to setting up a few goals now.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      I had that same issue for awhile Kiesha – I setup some basic stuff but didn’t really track what I wanted to. It took awhile to research, but now I’m actually tracking the really important stuff like eBook sales and my mailing list. Makes a huge difference in what you can learn about your site!

  83. [...] What’s your social media ROI? Defining return on investment in social media is made easier with tools like Google Analytics 5, but the real question is what you are seeking in your social media campaign. Conversion is important but defining what this means when it comes to your particular business become among the most important things you will need to consider. The Unbounce Blog [...]

  84. [...] check, check. Kristi on the other hand, wrote an extremely helpful article about a little known ways to measure and set up goals via Google Analytics 5. Don’t know about you, but I never got to figure out how to use GA as its best for goal [...]

  85. Paul Wolfe says:

    Kristi

    Up to now I’ve got to hold my hand up and admit that the tracking I do is totally rudimentary. I’ve always been put off by the learning curve – and the time cost of that learning curve (and time is a commodity in precious short supply for me).

    This tutorial though gives me a great blueprint to actually implementing some efficient tracking and also has given me an idea of how to set up goals with that tracking too.

    Great, detailed post. Thank you very much. Hope you’re having a good weekend.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      I’m glad this helped Paul! I had the same issues when setting it all up – you have to go from site to site getting bits and pieces of the steps which makes it seem much more complicated than it is once you have the information in one place. Happy analyzing!

  86. [...] Measure Your Social Media ROI The fact that social media shouldn’t be done only with the goal of making direct conversions. Social media is about building new relationships, generating word of mouth marketing, and strengthening brand loyalty with your customers. – Unbounce [...]

  87. [...] check, check. Kristi on the other hand, wrote an extremely helpful article about a little known ways to measure and set up goals via Google Analytics 5. Don’t know about you, but I never got to figure out how to use GA as its best for goal [...]

  88. Kristi,

    Very useful post as always from you. I especially like the point you make in the preface about social media marketing. Lots of online entrepreneurs are expecting direct one to one conversions via social media. While this is sometimes possible, it should not be expected as such. I am so glad you made it clear first off.

    Cheers,
    Jane.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Definitely Jane! I wish more people would just look at social media like having a person to greet you at the door when you enter a business. Sure they may not make sales, but they make the person feel welcome by engaging with them, similarly to how a person feels when they engage with a business on social media. But for the ones that need monetary proof, hopefully this can help too!

  89. Peter says:

    I passed this post on to a couple of colleagues who do our analytics reporting. It resolved a couple of problems they had and we are now getting good info on our social media referrals.
    It also helped clarify a couple of things around relating goals to measurements so great post.

  90. Hi Kristi — this is an amazing demonstration on how to use the new Google Analytic 5 to measure your social media conversions.

    I am so stoked to start using the new Analytics… it looks so powerful and will take my tracking and conversion analysis to the next level.

    Thanks for this great step by step tutorial and what to do if you’re not getting the kind of conversions you covet. I know I’m not, so I’m off to read the 3 articles you listed.

    Thanks again!

    • Kristi Hines says:

      You’re welcome! Hope you enjoy the other posts as well – this site is a great place to learn more about how to increase conversions as a whole, including with social media!

  91. Kristi, wow, what can I say? This is the most complete and thorough article on the new Google analytics I’ve ever read and I’m blown away with the measuring and tracking capabilities. It’s really like a whole new world of possibilities, and once again you’ve laid it out in such a way that a non-techie like myself can ‘get it’. Thanks girl, you rock!

    Marcus

    • Kristi Hines says:

      You’re welcome Marcus! I’m pretty “techie” but have worked with lots of people who aren’t. I don’t think anyone should be left out of the loop to learn things like this, no matter how tech or non-tech they are, especially since it’s a one-time setup deal. Once it’s set, the information pulling is easy. :)

  92. Hi Kristi,

    Holy cow, thank you so much for this! A way to track social media conversions is HUGE for me as it is a big part of our arsenal. Up until now, I have been able to track conversions for SM, but not like I will be able to with Analytics 5. Great news indeed!

    Thank you for your post, it is sure appreciated. This is an actionable article that will help out many.

    I too will be reading further for more information from you!

    Thank you kindly.

  93. [...] Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5 | Unbounce Learn how to use Google Analytics 5 to measure social media ROI and the relationship between social media referral traffic and conversions. Source: unbounce.com [...]

  94. Eric Boggs says:

    REALLY great overview, Kristi! That said – I have a brief counterpoint. :)

    GA fails miserably when it comes to attributing conversions to social media. Two reasons:

    - Relying on web referrers grossly undercounts social traffic. A huge chunk of the interweb’s socializing happens on mobile devices, apps, etc. that don’t pass web referrer data…and instead pass along the dreaded “direct” referrer. So unless you’re tagging links with ultra religious conviction, you probably have data sliding through the cracks.

    - GA uses a last-touch attribution methodology, which works fine for email, search and other “intent harvesting” channels. Social happens further up the sales funnel in “intent genration” land – often much further away from the end goal. As a result, prospects often require numerous touches before the convert…and social isn’t always the last one. Thus, social doesn’t get the props it deserves. Case in point – 4 referrals from Twitter that lead to a Google search conversion 2 days later gets attributed as organic. Doh!

    Eric Boggs
    http://argylesocial.com

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Thanks Eric!

      I definitely agree that Google Analytics doesn’t cover all the bases. Unfortunately, even if you do UTM tag all of your links and setup this system, you’ll still miss conversions related to social media. I could find a company on Facebook, fan them at work, then go home and Google them or type their URL in directly and, although Facebook was the one that sold me, Google or direct referrer gets the credit.

      So is it fullproof? Not at all. But it is something. My main point with this was to say that it is measurable – maybe not completely, but partially. If you combine UTM codes, Twitter discount coupons that can be traced, analytics, etc. you’ll get a good bit of the picture, but not the full picture. But I’m sure this setup will start helping people prove some value of social media, which is better than throwing your hands up, saying it can’t be done, and not going any further.

  95. [...] Measuring social media ROI goal conversions with google analytics 5 [...]

  96. Ana Hoffman says:

    Quick question, Kristi: why not bypass setting up advanced segments for social media to track the goals and simply take a look at your referral traffic sources, where all of your social media referrers are listed anyway and then click on “Goal Set” tab right next to “Site Usage” under the traffic graph?

    Wow, that’s a long question… LOL. Did it make sense?

    Ana

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Definitely makes sense! The other reason I like the advanced segments is you can see all your main social media referrers no matter how much traffic they bring in – so if you have a few sources that don’t bring much traffic and are usually further below other search engines and referrers, you don’t have to expand it to show 100 or more records to see them all. You can just see them grouped together instead of sparsed out with the rest of the referrers.

  97. [...] of what is working the best for your website. With the right custom segments, you can find out the ROI of your social media campaign as well as your other online marketing [...]

  98. Joseph says:

    Wow, I didn’t actually know there was a new version I could test. I am going over to Analytics to check it out now.

  99. [...] and you need to change your thought process to make the most impact in this realm and get the most social media ROI on your efforts.Optimizing for Facebook is not about linking and structure; it’s about social [...]

  100. Becky says:

    This is great news and an awesome article! Thanks for taking us step-by-step through this new version, Kristi!

  101. Ying Tan says:

    Kristi … this is brilliant and most helpful. Thganks for spending the time putting this together.

  102. [...] of what is working the best for your website. With the right custom segments, you can find out the ROI of your social media campaign as well as your other online marketing [...]

  103. [...] Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5 - by Kristi Hines, unbounce.com [...]

  104. [...] Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5 | Unbounce Learn how to use Google Analytics 5 to measure social media ROI and the relationship between social media referral traffic and conversions. Source: unbounce.com [...]

  105. Giles Farrow says:

    So many marketing professional think the ROI for social media can’t be measured. This is how.

    Awesome tutorial. Thank you for sharing your expertise.

  106. Wow! This post is one of the most complete posts about GA and social media that I’ve ever read. Good luck with the contest!

  107. Jennifer says:

    Hi, Kristi.

    Awesome tips here. I will have to come back and re-read this to find the tips I want to use. Thanks for such a great tutorial, I am sure I will be using social media analytics in my Google Analytics soon :)

  108. Hi Kristi,

    How important is to measure ROI in social media but it isn’t easy and also have a clear goal for them.

    Most of people can be on social channels but without having a strategy in mind.

    Having stats and analytics are fundamental, now with this great deep analysis I’ll try to measure in a better way, mine :)

    Cheers,

    Gera

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Having a way to measure your social media can definitely lead to better refinement of your social strategy – you’ll know which networks work the best and therefore know which ones to focus on. Thanks Gera!

  109. Joel Libava says:

    Great post, Kristi. (As usual)

    It may take me a couple of hours to digest it…but…

    Nice job!

    The Franchise King®

  110. This post is just what I needed as I’m working hard to get more traffic to my blog and keep readers there. I’ve learned a bit about Google Anlytics before, but your info on G5 has helped me tremendously. I’ve shared your post with a group of women bloggers when it first came out and it was a big hit!

  111. Kristi Hines says:

    Thanks Connie – I’m glad this helps you out! There’s a lot of info out there, but it is tough to put it all together. Once setup though, it can lead to a world of new discoveries about your visitors and traffic!

  112. Leo Widrich says:

    Great pointers Kristi! I absolutely think that measuring as much as you can on Social Media is key.

    I have only recently started to focus on increasing time on site and our early signs of success show that mastering this is key for converting users!

  113. Kristi,
    You are always my “go to” person for info on marketing and tech issues for blogs. Thanks for leading the way and doing it in a format that everyone can understand! You go girl!

  114. Mary says:

    Great article. Nice job.

  115. Hi Kristi,

    This is exactly the kind of stuff I know I should do but don’t because it’s just too complicated.

    But now I can’t use that excuse any more. Thanks so much for giving me these clear instructions I can actually use.

    Looking forward to giving it a whirl and actually measuring instead of just guessing:)

    Off to share this now!

    Happy blogging, Annabel

  116. Wow, Google Analytics 5 sounds like a huge improvement. I can’t wait to start using it. Thank you for sharing the details, it will shorten the learning curve.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      It definitely is Brian. Normally I shy away from betas, but for this one I switched the beta to the default version. It makes a lot of things much simpler!

  117. I didn’t know that Google Analytics has upgraded. I have to use it now for my Social Media Marketing. Thanks for this post.

    I like your blog. Cheers!:-)

  118. Your Blog is Fabulous. Good article rather. Very interesting.
    I admire the valuable information you offered in your article.
    Excellent submission very good post.
    You certainly have some agreeable opinions and views.

  119. Jeffry Evans says:

    Wow, that is quite an article, and collection social bookmarking and media sites that can be used to increase traffic and conversions. Thanks for the tips on google analytics as well!

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Thanks Jeffry! There are a lot more sites to put in that list – you just have to check through your analytics to see if there are any niche networks that are also driving social traffic to your site. :)

      • Jeffry Evans says:

        I am impressed with your writing skills, and have seen your work on other websites. I would appreciate it if you would consider posting for MegaMastery.com, my site on business success, with an emphasis on real estate and personal finance. Please let me know. Thank you.

  120. it seems that I’m missing a lot from Google Analytics, What a great value you have put into this AWESOME article. thanks for it Kristi.

  121. Lead generation is another reason why companies should opt for social media marketing campaigns. Lead generation is an integral part of a company’s success and social media marketing strategies and campaigns helps in targeted and relevant lead generation. Amazing post!

  122. Partha Goswami says:

    Hello Kristi, How are you?
    Please let me know what is Matric & Hoe do I set it.
    Your article has given me more mileage. Thanks. I’m looking for additional helps.

  123. [...] from social media channels.  Kristi Hines explains in step-by-step fashion what you need to do to set up your Analytics to retrieve this invaluable data: This is a must-read for any- and everybody using social media as [...]

  124. Stephan says:

    Hi Kristi,

    After implementing some of your strategies, I realized that I couldn’t track separate PPC campaigns driving traffic to my landing pages. I figured out a solution and wrote an article that Oli posted in the Unbounce knowledge base for anybody else struggling to measure the effectiveness of their PPC campaigns.

    Check it out. I hope it’s useful to other marketers or DIYers out there:

    http://support.unbounce.com/entries/20387346-how-to-track-paid-traffic-from-different-ad-networks-in-google-analytics

  125. Wow! I find this method so effective too. Thank you for sharing us this wonderful facts!

  126. [...] about shares and follows, popularity and presence, influencers and ‘thought leaders’, SEO and ROI. It’s marketing and branding (personal and otherwise) and sales leads. You don’t become a [...]

  127. [...] guide on how to set up a system that tracks conversions by social media traffic can be found on Unbounce, but more advanced Google Analytics users can take the following steps to start tracking this data [...]

  128. Billy Kirsch says:

    Wow – You’ve provided a great resource and so many step-by-steps we can all follow. Much appreciated, and glad to discover you Kristi!

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  131. Rob Kaminoff says:

    Kristi,

    Your ability to break down complex issues into small, actionable steps to get results is absolutely amazing! I’m curious as to your thoughts on two related issues.
    1) How can we go beyond the channel, down to specific campaigns (or even posts), to understand the type of messaging that leads to onsite conversions? I believe this would require marketers to insert campaign codes into each blog or social post. I know that this can be done with Google’s URL builder, but that seems very cumbersome. There are several applications, ranging from free to expensive–including http://hubspot.com, http://arkli.com and http://argylesocialmedia.com–that appear to do this well. They also provide a publishing platform that enables marketers to leverage their learnings when launching new campaigns, across multiple social media platforms and email systems. I was wondering if you have any knowledge or experience with these, as they appear to be powerful time-savers that help marketers understand the specific posts/emails/campaigns responsible for conversion events for each referring URL. .

    2) How do you address the “last-touch attribution issue?” As has been stated here, it may take several tweets before an individual takes action on a website. Many times, people will take that action simply by typing the URL in their browsers, where the action would be attributed to “direct,” while others might search by the company name, where it would be attributed to SEO. In such cases, Argyle’s system gives credit to a particular social media or email campaign, as long as the user clicked on it within the last 90 days prior to taking the action on the site, and apply multi-touch attribution to the conversion event.

    I would truly appreciate your thoughts on these issues and how you would propose to overcome them. Regardless, you have picked up another enthusiastic subscriber to your blog and follower on Twitter! Thanks so much for this awesome contribution!

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Hi Rob,

      Glad to have you as a subscriber! These are great questions!

      I’m not familiar with Hubspot, Argyle, or Arkli. I’d guess to get down to messaging level, you would have to use the custom UTM parameters, custom bit.ly URLs, and so forth to track down to which tweets makes a conversion. Other than that, the closest you can come is if your tweet link is shortened by t.co, you can click on that referrer to drilldown to the exact t.co (say t.co/CZBbluI) link that brought you traffic. Then match up the exact URL to see if it brings you any conversions. Using the same theory, you could customize a segment using the referral path option instead of source and then just enter /CZBbluI as the path matching the campaigns you wanted to track.

      The downside to the above idea is that it depends on people clicking that URL on a regular browser. Mobile clicks, clicks inside of HootSuite may not register as referring traffic from that specific t.co URL.

      2. As of right now, I really don’t address that issue. The Argyle system does sound nice, but the pricing does make it an investment. I just accept that not everything can be tracked unless you get down to custom UTM parameters, shortened URLs, etc. Best I can say for the custom UTMs is just to record it in a spreadsheet so you can match it to the right campaign in your analytics. It would give you the best info.

      If you find any other better ways to do it, I’d definitely love to know! I just do the UTMs for the campaigns I’m closely tracking – they do a pretty good job, even if they are a bit exhausting to create from campaign to campaign.

  132. [...] Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5 – Learn how to use Google Analytics 5 to measure social media ROI and the relationship between social media referral traffic and conversions. [...]

  133. Sara says:

    Interesting information thanks, I didn’t know that +1 button affected page loading, may review having it on at all.

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  135. Just stumbled on to this, great advanced look into Analytics, I’m going to print this for later.

    Thanks for sharing Kristi, but it would be much appreciated if next time you could get a picture that doesn’t show them scoring on my Capitals!! lol

  136. Shannon says:

    Great post! I do have a question though. When I use ‘containing’ for all social media referrals, I have non-SM sites showing up in my referral traffic report. But when I use ‘Exactly Matching’ it seems to work correctly. I’ve seen a few articles out there on this and I’ve seen these reports made a few different ways- which is the best to use ‘Exactly Matching’ or ‘Containing’? Is anyone else having this issue?

  137. Prasant says:

    It is simple and amazing. i have a question here. suppose i want to set a goal for my email subscriptions for my blog then what would be my goal url. i use feedburner so will the link of it will be my goal url. can u help me here. also the stats is also provided by feedburner so will it be useful for me to do a setup on google.

    thanks :)

  138. [...] Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5 – Learn how to use Google Analytics 5 to measure social media ROI and the relationship between social media referral traffic and conversions. [...]

  139. Erica says:

    Great post! Everything was so clearly explained. Got my Advanced Segments created in less than 3 mins!!

    Thanks a million!

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  143. Thanks for sharing Kristi! Google Analytics is really great. By using it, you can measure traffic that comes to your site easily. As well as you can track where it came and you can focus on the social sites that delivers you more traffic.

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  147. panagiotis says:

    Thank you for sharing the PR details, it will shorten the learning curve.

  148. Hello, i feel that i saw you visited my blog so i got here to return the desire?.I am trying to to find things to improve my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  149. Thanks for your excellently researched and well-informed article Kristi! It’s very interesting to see how you’ve been able to measure conversions, and there is a lot of information here about how this can be done. What I also find interesting is how people amend or update their strategy based on their findings. Knowing how to use your analytics meaningfully is as important as knowing how to measure them in the first place! http://ow.ly/7Zd95

  150. dusas says:

    I believed that to measure social media ROI is quite hard.
    Social networks works a little bit like real life and word spread it’s quite big think and it’s not always traceable.

  151. You can certainly see your skills within the work you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

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  155. I love google analytics when you have control of the goal page yourself (assuming this is the type of conversion), but when you don’t, in cases such as affiliate marketing, it just becomes largely frustrating trying to effectively track and focus in on where your most valuable traffic is coming from.

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  159. Hi Kristi,
    Finally I stumbled upon your extremely valuable info about measuring social media ROI and goal conversions with Google Analytics, thank God for that! Can’t wait to get started :)

    BR,
    Tomas Ohlum

  160. [...] 98. Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5 [...]

  161. Great post! Everything was very clearly explained. Managed to get my Advanced Segments created in less than 2 mins!! Thanks a bunch!

  162. Ed Forteau says:

    I always felt move of the social media traffic from sites like Stumbleupon, Digg, and Riddit were junk traffic, but I never tracked and measured conversions from these traffic sources. Now I will. Thanks for a great article.

  163. Obdii says:

    Thanks Kristi, I had no idea what “event” meant on GA before.

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  167. pita bread says:

    It works in practice – such an approach brings results. Google Analytics in general have a lot of interesting options.

  168. Justbeenpaid says:

    Hi,
    I am afraid that using google analytics is dangerous because it gives google to much information and increases the likelihood of getting a penalty.

    Have a great week
    Jhon Rechards

  169. [...] Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5 – Learn how to use Google Analytics 5 to measure social media ROI and the relationship between social media referral traffic and conversions. [...]

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  172. massages says:

    Google Analytics is such a helpful tool!

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  176. [...] Make sure to listen to what analytics are saying. These may be the fundamentals or basics of blogging, but we can even neglect the basics at times.  And if you’re not tracking with Google Analytics, Kristi Hines has written an excellent how-to on getting set-up called Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5. [...]

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  178. rambo says:

    Google is the best search toolbar.

  179. Hitusha says:

    I hope that I will use all social bookmarking for my site: http://www.vietnamtourism.org.vn

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  181. Daisy Watt says:

    Thanks for your post. Keep up your job.

  182. google always gives perfect result….. and great tools

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  185. Great article! Thanks a lot :)

  186. Disqus and Livefyre help in keeping track of your social mentions, but Google Analytics will let you see all of the traffic you’re getting from those social sources, and not just the individual updates. It helps put the overall picture together!

  187. Fernando says:

    This is fantastic, I need to set up conversion tracking on my site and I want to see the ROI of social media. I think the event tracking is a vastly underutilized resource and might even be more important than page views.

  188. Tonyw says:

    Great conversation!
    I think you need tracking software to track visits to your website. I use Google Analytics and Wassup to give me a clear picture of my website traffic. Really good conversation…taking away some pointers that I will use on my websites.

    Thanks

  189. [...] many contributions to well-known communities such as Search Engine Watch, Social Media Examiner, Unbounce and KISSmetrics. Though we started with a general outline, our chat ended up being more of a rapid [...]

  190. Muskie says:

    There is Traffic Source -> Social now. Below that there is “Visitor Flow”. For my personal website last month Google said the social network sending me the most traffic was Stack Overflow.

  191. generating word of mouth marketing, and strengthening brand loyalty with your customers.

  192. samir says:

    Nice. When I speak with prospects about correlating social activity to traffic via Google Analytics and what actionable insight lives there, I have to speak in terms of how it confirms awareness of a campaign/promotion amongst the right people in most cases. Social monitoring tools that focus on analytics more-so than engagement (such as Sysomos Heartbeat… I work for them) incorporate Google analytics to correlate and measure campaign performance amongst a targeted audience right alongside traffic to a microsite, landing page, etc. For example, if a prospect creates content targeted at influential mommy bloggers it’s identified via social media research… and then they were to see social activity about that campaign increases over a designated time period right alongside an increase in traffic…. it’s confirmation that money spent on the campaign is well spent. If the increase in social activity is seen during the same period that conversion increased… its even better depending on the goal.

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  195. Marcus says:

    Great post Kristi, it’d be great to dig into this a bit deeper and explore setting up social micro-conversions in GA and connecting them to full (£ driving) conversions. In theory easy to do, but in practice not so much!

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