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10 April 2020

How can you use Google Analytics to catalyse and complement social media success?

How can you use Google Analytics to catalyse and complement social media success?
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By Yugam Jaitly

Google Analytics

In a world where a cup of tea goes alongside a quick scroll on Instagram, attention has become more than a frequently used noun.

It has broken the confines of language, and become the key currency that dictates the give-and-take characteristic to consumer-business relationships.

The ascension of attention-driven marketing

Well, to be fair, marketing has always been about clawing at the consumer’s attention. But, ever since the digital wave, attention has somehow become both scarce and abundant at the same time.

So, in a way, digital marketing has become a race to finding the sweet spot where attention leads to conversions.

Mind you! Business organisations have a lot riding on this race. A study affirms that global digital ad spend is expected to cross $375 billion by the year 2021.

Given their almost non-existent budgets, 47% of small businesses spend $10,000 or less on digital marketing practices. But, then again, 8% of organisations within the same group account for more than a million dollars spent on digital marketing.

The point is that even though small-scale enterprises won’t contribute a buttload to the $375 billion figure, they do have their skin in the game.

But, you must be wondering how does any of this advocate for the need to weave analytical webs around your social media strategies.

Here comes the big reveal!

The role of analytics in the era of social media

Given the intense congestion and competition plaguing the realm of digital marketing, the only way to stay ahead of the curve is to know your customers more than your competitors do.

Moreover, if there was no demand for sophisticated analytical systems, tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics would not even exist.

But, they do, and if the present is any indication of the future, they are here to stay.

Broadly speaking, GA acts as a centralised place where you gain access to different behaviours and insights affecting your business/website.

Using Google Analytics:-

  • You can find out what sources are bringing the most traffic, or how long visitors stay on your website.
  • You can identify the pages that generate the most traffic, and deploy content creation funnels that mimic the success of your most visited pages.
  • You can gather demographic data telling you where the people visiting your website live, or what age-groups they belong to.

and more…

For a comprehensive overview of what GA does, check out Google’s official information page about the tool.

Once you acquaint yourself with the ins-and-outs of the Google Analytics dashboard, you can read on from here.

Step-by-step process to steer social media growth with Google Analytics  

Chart out growth goals

Goal-setting is the prerequisite to any kind of analytical activity in the domain of digital marketing.

After all, you need to know what you have to track before you start leveraging the right tools.

Now, before we present you with two frameworks to make your life easier, note that goal-setting is a very subjective task.

So, you’re free to go your own way if have a methodology that works better for your business’ individual needs.

The S.M.A.R.T. framework:-

The acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Evidently, this goal-setting methodology is concerned with developing realistic goals that catalyse the consistent growth of your marketing channels.

Example:-  

I will grow conversions originating from Facebook by 1.2% in the coming six months.

The OKR framework:-

OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results.

Well, if you’re looking for testimonials, know that even Google uses this methodology for its goal-setting endeavours.

Similar to the S.M.A.R.T framework, the OKR methodology is also concerned with delineating measurable objectives.

Without delving into too many intricacies, let’s just say that the OKR framework works exactly like the SMART framework, but doesn’t impose any stringent realism on your ambition.

Example:-

Objective:- Expand reach on social media platforms.

Key Results:-

  • 30% enhancement in the number of followers.
  • 40% enhancement in Instagram impressions.
  • 2x engagement on every post.

Ideally, try mixing both approaches and come up with a hybrid strategy that strikes a balance between being ambitious and realistic.

But, make sure that you only use these frameworks as prototypes.

Be mindful of the individual constraints and challenges facing your social media growth, and personalise your plan as much as possible.

Set up the analytical tools you need

If you need a resource to help you set up a Google Analytics account, check out this official support page by Google.

The process is fairly simple and is not any tougher than setting up a Gmail account.

Once you equip yourself with a functioning GA account, it is time to set up an account on Google Tag Manager.

Follow this guideline to set one up.

Many people fail to understand what GTM exactly does. So, let’s get that out the way.

It is simply a tool that allows marketers to manage multiple marketing tags in a singular platform.

Well, the big selling point for GTM is that it rids marketers of the need to rely on developers for managing website tags. Also, it is free to use!

Now, before we move any further, let’s do a quick recap of everything that we’ve directed you to do so far:-

  • Create quantifiable goals that you can track.
  • Set up an account on Google Analytics.
  • Set up an account on Google Tag Manager.
  • Get excited about what comes next.

Integrate Google Analytics with Google Tag Manager

  • Open the GTM dashboard.

Google Tag Manager

  • Click on ‘Add a new tag’. A secondary window will pop up as soon as your device registers the click.

Google Tag Manager

  • To create a tag for Google Analytics, all you need to do is click the ‘Tag Configuration’ area, and choose ‘Google Analytics – Universal Analytics’ as the tag type.

Google Tag Manager

  • Yet another window will pop up once you complete the above step. Fill the on-screen form, and enter your Google Analytics tracking ID (refer to this resource if you need help in finding your Google Analytics tracking ID) in the designated space.

Google Tag Manager

  • Now, head to the ‘Triggering’ area on the window that opened after clicking on ‘Add a new tag’. Over there, click the checkbox that says ‘All pages’, and you’re good to go.

Google Tag Manager

  • To seal the deal, click on the ‘Save’ button (now turned blue), and that’s it! You have now successfully integrated Google Analytics with Google Tag Manager.

Google Tag Manager

Let the analytics begin

There is virtually no limit to what you can do with the combined analytical power of GA and GTM. However, this abundance of possibilities can also leave you overwhelmed.

Thus, we advise you to track some foundational metrics, to begin with, and figure out your precise tracking needs on-the-go.

To begin your analytical journey,

  • Open Google Analytics.
  • Head to the sidebar.
  • Open the social sub-section in the acquisition tab.

Now, you can gain insights from 6 different acquisition reports namely Overview, Network Referrals, Landing Pages, Conversions, Plug-ins, and User Flow.

By studying these reports, you can:-

  • Quantify the value your social media presence brings to your business by tracking goals, e-commerce transactions, and conversions.
  • Measure how often the social media plugins on your website get clicked.
  • Discover how and where people engage with your content by tracking metrics like the number of sessions, page views, average session duration, and pages-per-session.
  • Discover the content that gives you the best ROI across different networks and communities.
  • Discover how users flow from social media platforms to different pages on your website.

Take Away

By using Google Analytics to track social media success, you can

  • Identify social media channels where your efforts are leading to results.
  • Track the success of your campaigns.
  • Decide if you want to stop investing time and resources on platforms that are yielding neither conversions nor impressions.

and more …

 

But, most importantly, you get to continuously improve your digital marketing endeavours.

 

In turn, you can expedite the growth of your business.

 

That’s what makes the whole exercise detailed above worthy of your time and energy!

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