How To Use Google Analytics For Social Media Monitoring

Posted by Sanket Patel

September 29, 2016

Social Media 26 min read

You have a website, you’re using multiple social media platforms but you’re wondering how can you make improvements and evaluate your audience…

Do you know who is your website’s visitors and how engaged they are – whether they’ve converted as a reader, a subscriber or a customer?

Google Analytics Social Media

With Google Analytics, you can get deep insights into the performance of various social media platforms you’re using and uncover valuable information to figure out which social media channels drive the most traffic to your website.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest – all the channels provide customized analytics to allow you to tailor your website’s content and promote on these channels. But you can take your efforts to next level by utilizing Google Analytics to revise your social media marketing strategy and dig deeper into data than Facebook Insights, Twitter analytics or Pinterest Analytics.

In this article, you are going to discover 3 ways to use Google Analytics to evaluate your audience and assess your overall social media marketing efforts.

Why Is Google Analytics Important For Social Media Marketers

Whether you’re a large or a small business, most businesses today, use social media to spread brand awareness and drive sales, So, it is essential for social media marketers to understand the power of Google Analytics.

Google Analytics helps you to track where your visitors come from and how often, if they engage with your content or leave immediately. It provides crucial information about your website activities.

Though the interface of google analytics is a little overwhelming and not every section provides meaningful data, but some sections are worth tracking the effectiveness of your social media efforts.

You can set up the business goals and measure if the visitors are matching those goals. Having a pre-decided goal will help you decide what data you should focus on. To identify the effectiveness of your social media marketing, you’ll need to focus on the Audience and Acquisition sections in Google Analytics.

Analytics Audiance

By focusing on these factors, you’ll be able to correctly assess three critical aspects of your social media marketing:

Whether you’re making efforts on the right social media platform
The effectiveness of your pitch/tone of voice and messaging on social media
Whether you’re targeting relevant social media users

1. Firstly, Understand your audience makeup

The Audience section of Google Analytics provides a lot of useful information about who visits your website and their details such as their gender, age, location, interests, browsers and mobile devices they use. This is where you’ll find your social media referral traffic.

Audience sections

The main areas to focus on are the Demographics and Geo in the Audience section. To uncover the details about your active visitors, look at both age and gender under Demographics and locations under Geo. This data will help you create relevant content for the platforms where your audience spends the most time.

Let’s talk about Age

Knowing the average age of the users on your website helps you prioritize the type of content and which social channels to focus on. For example, the users of age 18-24 are mostly engaged in social channel like Snapchat.

Finding ages of your website users

Click the drop-down arrow of Demographics and then click Age
Choose the age – time frame you want to assess

Now, scroll down for the results, analyzing the ages of your audiences you can explore new opportunities for content and help you determine the platform your audience prefers.

Let’s see a Gender breakdown

Your website users’ gender plays a big role in how they engage and communicate online. You can find gender percentages of your website visitors and select Gender under Demographics.

Gender Demographic

Determining whether most of your website users are males or females will help you know the appropriate tone to use in your messaging. Knowing the age and gender of your audience helps you craft better copies to connect with them.

Let’s view location data

Analyzing the data in the Locations section helps you narrow down geographic targeting for your website which saves you time and money on paid ad campaigns. You can easily find out the cities, states and countries where your website viewers are located.

To access location information,

Click on Location under Geo
Set the time frame
Scroll down to see country results
Click United States to see the states that drive most traffic

Location in Analytics

Knowing the geographic location of your website’s audience will help you plan the social strategy to reach the people closest to you. Moreover, if your business doesn’t perform well in the city you live, you may want to shift your social strategy to narrow down your target audience.

2. Secondly, Find out which social channels drive the most website traffic

The Acquisition section in Google Analytics help you view how the people arrived at your website. If you’re aiming to figure out which social site drives the most traffic, you need to focus on social referral traffic.

Analytics Channels

To assess the traffic referrers of your website,
Click All Traffic and then Channels
Specify the time period you want to analyze
Scroll down to see the results
Click Social to view results of each social media site

The social channel listed at the top is the one driving the most traffic. This helps you greatly in knowing the productiveness of your current social media tactics and the data speak out which social platform plays the biggest role in driving traffic to your site.

Bonus Tip – Check your website’s social media referral traffic on monthly basis and record it on spreadsheets.

3. Plan your strategies for specific platforms

Once you’ve analyzed your audience demographics and identified the top referral sources, you can use these insights to decide which social channels to focus on and plan your marketing strategies accordingly. You should always test newer tactics and prioritize new social platforms.

Social Media Tactics

For example, you know that the content with images drives more clicks. If you’re looking to boost your referral traffic from Twitter, you should pair every link you share with an image for one month. Finally, check your analytics at the end of the month and see whether this tactic generated more clicks from Twitter.

The golden rule here is that you should not shift the entire social media strategy at once. It’s best to concentrate on one platform at a time for a month and measure the power of each platform. When you implement a new approach for one month, check the traffic in the social channels to figure out whether your new tactics for that social platform made it move up on the list of referrers.

Hence, by making small adjustments to your social media strategies on one platform at a time, you can easily evaluate which plans and platforms are most effective at driving referrals. Remember, ditch the things which do not work and focus on the tactics and social channels that drive more clicks.


Social media is a boon for today’s online businesses and the most effective tool to build your brand awareness, attract audiences and connect with prospects and customers. However, if your efforts aren’t able to move the needle on your business goals, you’re not getting the desired return on your investment.

Do you use Google Analytics to drive your social media marketing strategy? Which sections do you find the most valuable? You can share your thoughts in the comments below!


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