tracking social networks

With so many resources spent on social media marketing these days, the job of analyzing its effectiveness in the overall marketing mix is becoming more important.

If you’re using Google Analytics to track your site’s visitors and revenue, you’ll notice that by default you can analyze traffic mediums such as direct, organic etc, but what about social networks as a standalone traffic medium?

To achieve this level of reporting in Google Analytics and to basically tweak Google Analytics to create this traffic medium, you’ve got two options.

Option 1: Create a standalone Google Analytics social networks traffic profile

1. Under ‘Add Website Profile’ in the main Google Analytics screen create a new website profile and name it ‘social networks’ (always keep your original profile intact)

add website profile

2. Head to ‘Filter Manager’ in your profile to group all the different social networks to one new medium by applying the following filter

filter manager

Filter Name – social networks traffic
Filter Type – custom filter then advanced
Field A -> Extract A – under campaign source add your social networks. For example, I’ve used:

digg|aim|friendfeed|econsultancy|blinklist|fark|furl|misterwongs|wikipedia

|stumbleupon|netvibes|bloglines|linkedin|facebook|del\.icio\.us|feedburner|

twitter|technorati|faves\.com|newsgator|PRweb|msplinks|myspace

|bit\.ly|tr\.im|cli\.gs|zi\.ma|poprl|tinyurl

Field B -> Extract B – none
Output To -> Constructor – campaign medium and name it social networks
Field A Required – yes
Field B Required – no
Override Output Field – yes
Case Sensitive – no

Result – now under traffic sources > medium you’ll find a handy ’social networks’ traffic medium source which includes all the social websites previously grouped together

social networks medium

3. Create another filter which will exclude other traffic sources

Filter Name – exclude other traffic sources
Filter Type – custom filter then exclude
Filter field – campaign medium
Filter Pattern – type organic|(none)|direct|cpc|image
Case Sensitive – no

4. Create another filter to show the full referral path by applying the following filter

Filter Name – full referral path
Filter Type – custom filter then advanced
Field A -> Extract A – choose referral and type (.*)
Field B -> Extract B – none
Output To -> Constructor – choose user defined and type $A1
Field A Required – yes
Field B Required – no
Override Output Field – yes
Case Sensitive – no

Result – now under visitors > user defined you’ll find the precise profile or URL which is generating your traffic

full path

Use this method to schedule a handy automated email so you’ll get the full picture every morning

Option 2: Use advanced segment in Google Analytics

1. Head to ‘Advanced Segments’ in your main Google Analytics profile

advanced segments

2. Create a new segment and drag the ‘source’ box which under ‘Traffic sources’ to ‘dimension or metric’ window

3. Open the ‘Condition’ drop down and under ” paste the following sources:

digg|aim|friendfeed|econsultancy|blinklist|fark|furl|misterwongs|wikipedia

|stumbleupon|netvibes|bloglines|linkedin|facebook|del\.icio\.us|feedburner|

twitter|technorati|faves\.com|newsgator|PRweb|msplinks|myspace

|bit\.ly|tr\.im|cli\.gs|zi\.ma|poprl|tinyurl

(this field is limited to 256 characters)

matches regular expression

4. Now you can start segmenting the data and compare your social networks traffic medium Vs. other traffic sources which are already segmented such as direct and organic traffic

compare traffic sources

You can use this method to compare your social networks traffic against other traffic sources by average basket size, conversion rate and much more. .