How to Use Google Analytics to Track Social Media in 2022

How to Use Google Analytics to Track Social Media

If you’re using social media to get the word out about your business or brand, using Google Analytics to track the social media traffic on your site is an awesome way to see if your efforts are working.

Using Google Analytics, though, can be complicated. Which reports are the best for telling you how your social media campaigns are doing? How can you easily access those reports?

In this post, we’ll go over what Google Analytics can tell you about your social media traffic and how to find the reports you need to analyze that traffic.

What Google Analytics Can Tell You About Social Media Traffic

If you’re thinking about using Google Analytics to check your social media referral stats, that’s a great idea! There are a bunch of things that Google Analytics can tell you about your social media traffic, including:

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  • If your social media traffic is converting
  • How long social media traffic is spending on your site
  • What percentage of your site’s overall sessions are from social media
  • How many pages social media traffic is viewing on average before leaving
  • How much traffic each social platform is sending
  • What your top landing pages from social media are

With all of that data, you can make decisions about what you’re doing that’s working on social media, and what could be improved.

Ready to take a look at your social media traffic in Google Analytics? Let’s dive in.

Where to Find Google Analytics Social Media Reports

Finding your social media data will differ depending on which version of Google Analytics you’re using. Let’s take a look at both Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4.

Universal Analytics Social Media Reports

In Universal Analytics, you can find a social media report that breaks down your traffic by social network. Head to Acquisition » Social » Network Referrals to find sessions, pageviews, average session duration, and pages per session for each network. Click into a network to break the report down further but the URL shared in your post (your landing page).

Social Network Referrals Report

Use this report to discover which social network is sending the most engaged traffic to your site.

You can also check out the Social Landing Pages report to see a breakdown of all of your social traffic by landing page. Go to Acquisition » Social » Landing Pages to see a list of social landing pages combined instead of broken down by social network:

Social Landing Pages Report

This report is great for checking which content is doing well on social media overall, so you can get a sense of what your social audiences are collectively interested in.

Now, to check conversions broken down by social network, head to Acquisition » Social » Conversions:

Social Conversions Report

Here you can see what conversion value each network is making you. This can help you plainly see which networks are pulling their weight, and which aren’t.

Another report we like for social media data is just the main Channels report. Access it under Acquisition » All traffic » Channels.

Social Channel Google Analytics

This report is great for social media reporting because you can see how social media traffic is stacking up in comparison to your other channels.

Google Analytics 4 Social Media Reports

Google Analytics 4 does not have specific social media reports. Instead, you’ll just find your social traffic within your other reports.

Let’s start with the Acquisition Overview. Go to Acquisition » Traffic acquisition. In this report, you’ll be able to find each of your social networks separately in the table, like YouTube here:

Traffic Acquisition Report GA4

You can use the search bar to search for each social network, or scroll until you find them to see their numbers.

To see your social traffic in general against your other channels, click the Session source/medium dropdown under the Search bar. Choose Session default channel grouping to change the way your channels are organized.

Session default channel grouping GA4

You’ll now see your social traffic lumped into Organic Social, Organic Video, Paid Social, and Paid Video, depending on what kinds of campaigns you’re running.

Organic Social Report GA4

This report is great for seeing how your social media traffic compares to your other traffic sources.

How to Track Social Media in WordPress

If you’re using WordPress, there’s a way that you can track your basic social media traffic stats right in your WordPress dashboard.

How? With ExactMetrics.

ExactMetrics is the best premium WordPress analytics plugin. With ExactMetrics, there’s a whole list of things you can set up and monitor in Google Analytics and your WordPress dashboard, plus a referral traffic report with social media sources.

ExactMetrics Google Analytics Plugin

Our most popular features include:

With ExactMetrics, all your most important metrics are right there in your WordPress dashboard.

Social Media Traffic Monitoring in WordPress with Referral Reports

When you open your ExactMetrics dashboard reports, you’ll find your Top 10 Referrals report right there in the Overview. Here’s what that report would look like when Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram (with Linktree) are your top referral sources:

Referrals Report - Social Media

With this report, you can see at-a-glance if your social media posts are sending the amount of traffic to your website that you’re hoping for.

Get started with ExactMetrics now.

Create Custom URLs for Social Media Monitoring

Another way you can track social media traffic is by creating custom URLs with UTM codes for your campaigns. Using the ExactMetrics URL Builder, you can add bits of code called parameters to track the links you share on social media more in depth.

To create a unique link, go to ExactMetrics and then click Tools. Here you’ll see the URL Builder. Next, enter the parameters for your URL for the tool to spit out the URL you can share.

The campaigns you create with this tool will then show up in Google Analytics reports.

That’s all!

We hope this guide helped you to learn how to track social media traffic with Google Analytics.

If you’re using social media to grow your business, we think you’ll like 30 Epic Marketing Hacks for Explosive Traffic Growth.

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