Bill Grunau

Measure Social Media Traffic-User and Flow with Google Analytics

Measuring the benefits of social media is one biggest challenges in digital marketing. Likes and shares on Facebook are nice, as are RTs (Re-Tweets) and mentions on Twitter, and +1s and shares are great on Google Plus, but beyond being popular on that particular social network is there any benefit? Do social networks drive traffic to your website and once there do the visitors (users) go deeper into the site? The short answer is YES, and we’ll show some examples below.

Google Analytics has a new feature called Social Visitor-User Flow which is part of Visitor-User Flow. Our previous blog, “How to Use Google Analytics Visitor Flow” explained how to use this powerful tool with along with examples. Below we show examples of Social-User Flow and at the bottom of the blog post we show the Google Analytic menu where you can access this powerful tool.

 Google Analytics Social-User Flow Examples

Here are examples of social-user flow from three different websites. What is interesting about these examples is that while Facebook is always one of the top networks for driving traffic, it is not necessarily always #1, and when you look more closely the #2 and #3 position varies. We found this to be true, in general Facebook is almost always #1 or #2, but the other sources of social flow vary.

Some of this naturally is a result of where the client focuses their energy, attention and budget, but there are other factors at work as well. Some social networks work better for specific topics and industries.

Another important myth these examples and Social Flow graphs dispel is that social media does not drive traffic to websites and equally importantly they demonstrate that traffic from social media goes deeper into the site than just the initial link.

Social-User Flow example 1

This website has very high traffic from social media and has become very popular on StumbleUpon. While it has very high traffic it also has a high drop off rate as most visitors for this site view the post shared via social media and leave the site. Even with the high drop off rate the site still has a substantial amount traffic from social media.

Google Analytics Social Flow example D

 Social-User Flow example 2

This example is what most would expect for traffic from social media with Facebook as the dominant source of traffic. What is interesting about this flow is that visitors via social media go deep into the site and don’t stop at the first post.

Google Analytics Social Flow example S

 Social-User Flow example 3

This is example has nearly equal traffic from Facebook an reddit which will surprise many.

Goolge Analytics Social Flow example Y

 Google Analytics Visitor Flow Menu

Google Analytics Visitor Flow menu

To see your Social Visitors Flow, login to your Google Analytics account.

From the main menu click on Traffic Sources and then click on Visitors Flow.

Once you are in Visitors Flow click on the Green pull down menu to view flow by Social Network.