Would you like to see how much traffic social media drives to your website? You may learn a lot about your visitors who find you through social media using Google Analytics 4.

We’ll outline how you can use Google Analytics 4 to track social media traffic in this guide.

But first,

 

What is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics (GA) is a free website analytics dashboard that provides a lot of insight about your site and its visitors, including those that come via social media. The most recent and updated version of Google Analytics is Google Analytics 4 (GA4).

GA4 was created to provide site owners with more precise information about their customers’ individual journeys across numerous platforms, such as the website and mobile apps while respecting user privacy. This includes collecting data while retaining location-based compliance, allowing you to implement privacy controls at the country level.

Even though GA4 was released two and a half years ago, not all users have made the changeover yet. Many others are still using “Universal Analytics,” an older version. This is likely what you’ve been using if you haven’t actively converted to GA4 and/or you didn’t notice a change in your Google Analytics two years ago.

social media tracking with Google Tag Manager

GA4 is essential today because it’s soon to become our sole option and the improved pipeline tracking and insights into your customer journey.

Google will phase down Universal Analytics in July 2023, just over a year away. It’s critical to make the switch now, so you’re ready and familiar with the platform when the time comes.

 

Why Do You Need to Track Your Social Media Traffic?

Tracking your social media traffic can help you figure out which marketing strategies are working and which aren’t. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social media traffic funnels into your site’s content, which then triggers some form of completion, such as a lead, a purchase, or whatever you’re aiming to achieve with that traffic.

Google Analytics provides a thorough analysis of your social media traffic. The following are some advantages of conducting a social media traffic analysis.

  • Determine the total traffic to your site and the traffic sources (including social networks).
  • You can figure out which social media sites drive the most traffic to your website and which ones need improvement.
  • Keep track of how many sales conversions your company receives through social media.
  • Do a page-by-page social media traffic analysis.
  • Determine the number of leads converted and the sources of those leads
  • Determine whether your traffic is coming from a mobile device or a desktop computer
  • Calculate the ROI of social media efforts.
  • Research which types of content work best on each social media network.
  • Analyzing the time spent on your site will help you determine how engaged your social media users are. This information can enable you to determine if you’re targeting the right people or if you’re providing the content they’re looking for on social media.
  • You can compare the percentage of new vs returning visitors. If visitors aren’t coming as frequently, you might want to adjust your social media strategy to increase engagement.

 

Steps To Using Google Analytics To Track Social Media

One thing to keep in mind: Google Analytics 4 is a new version of Google Analytics that dramatically alters the game and is the default setting for all new Google Analytics users.

Unfortunately for social marketers, tracking social data in Google Analytics 4 is more complicated. For the time being, Universal Analytics (UA), an older version of Google Analytics, is the most significant Google social media analytics tool.

You can still create a UA tracking ID for social marketers if you know which boxes to complete throughout the sign-up procedure.

Please follow these steps carefully to receive the correct tracking ID! You’ll also receive a GA4 ID, which will begin collecting GA4 data, ensuring that you’re ready to transfer to the new system when Google inevitably retires UA.

You can skip step 1 if you already have a Google Analytics property with a tracking ID that starts with UA.

 

Step 1. Create a Google Analytics Account.

1. Create a Google Analytics account by going to the GA page and clicking the “Start Measuring” option.

This guide shows you how to set up a Google Analytics account.

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2. Choose your data sharing settings and provide your account name. These options affect how data goes to your Google Analytics social media reports, not how it flows to your Google Analytics social media reports.

Click “Next” when you’re one.

3. You must pay close attention to this step to obtain the Universal Analytics tracking code. Enter the name of your website or company under Property name (not your URL). Select a time zone and a currency. Then select “Show advanced options” from the dropdown menu.

property set up including property name reporting time zone and currency

4. Turn on the “Create a Universal Analytics property” toggle. Enter the address of your website. Leave the “Create both a Google Analytics 4” and a “Universal Analytics property radio” option selected.

You’ll simply use the UA property for the time being, but it’s a good idea to build your GA4 property simultaneously.

After you’ve double-checked the options, click “Next.”

5. You can add information about your company on the next screen, but you don’t have to. After filling out as much information as you want, click “Create” and accept the Terms of Service Agreement in the pop-up box.

The Web-stream details and your unique GA4 Measurement ID will appear in a pop-up box (which looks like G-XXXXXXXXXX). Close this pop-up box if you want the Universal Analytics ID.

business information including industry category and business size

6. Click “Admin” in the Google Analytics dashboard’s bottom left corner. Choose the account and property you want to look at. Click “Tracking Info” in the Property column.

Google Analytics Admin tracking info

7. Now, to obtain the tracking ID, click Tracking code.

The tracking ID is unique for each website and personal information. So ensure not to give it out to the public! Also, keep it close as you’ll need it in the next step.

Tracking ID

 

Step 2: Install Google Tag Manager on your computer.

You can provide data to Google Analytics using Google Tag Manager without any coding. To do this:

1. Log in to the Google Tag Manager dashboard and create an account. Choose a memorable account name, the country in which your company operates, and whether or not you wish to share your data with Google for benchmarking purposes.

2. Go to the Container Setup section and scroll down. All of the macros, rules, and tags needed to track data for your website are stored in a container. Click Create after giving your container a name and selecting Web as your target platform.

Review the terms in the pop-up window and click “Yes.”

3. Now, copy and paste the code from the Install Google Tag Manager pop-up box on your website.

The first code should be placed in the head> part of your page, while the second should be placed in the body> section. Because the code must appear on every page of your website, it’s great if you can include it in your content management system’s templates (CMS).

You can retrieve the snippets at any time after closing the pop-up window by clicking your GTM code at the top side of the workspace. GTM-XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

4. Return to the Tag Manager workspace and click Submit on the top right of the screen once you’ve inserted the code to your website.

Container Setup with container name and target platform

 

Step 3. Create your analytics tags.

It’s now time to combine Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics.

1. Click Add a new tag in your Google Tag Manager workspace.

Google Tag Manager add a new tag

You’ll be able to alter two aspects of the tag:

  • Configuration. The specific location you want the collected tag data to be stored.
  • Triggering. The kind of information do you want to collect?

2. Select Google Analytics: Universal Analytics from the Tag Configuration menu.

3. Choose the type of data you plan to track, then select New Variable… from the Google Analytics Settings dropdown menu.

Google Analytics settings new variable

You’ll be taken to a different window where you can enter your Google Analytics tracking ID. Remember that the number beginning with UA- that we produced in the previous stage is required.

This will send the data from your site directly to Google Analytics.

4. Return to the Triggering section and choose which data to transmit to Google Analytics. To provide data from all of your web pages, select All Pages and then click Add.

After you’ve set everything up, your new tag should look like this:

Save, and you’re done! You’ve installed a new Google Tag that tracks data and sends it to Google Analytics.

 

Step 4: Create a Google Analytics target for social media.

Google Analytics tracks your website’s key performance characteristics using “goals.”

Consider which indicators will influence your social media reporting and overall company objectives before adding your Google Analytics social media goals. On this front, the SMART goal-setting framework can be extremely useful.

1. Click on the “Admin” at the bottom left corner of your Google Analytics dashboard. Click “Goals” in the View column.

Google Analytics dashboard goals

You can choose from a range of various goal templates. Check to see whether one of these corresponds to your objective.

You may also learn about the various goals that Google Analytics can track for you. They are as follows:

  • Destination: for example, if you wanted your user to go to a specific web page.
  • Event: For example, if you wanted viewers to watch a video or click on a link.
  • Number of pages/screens per session: for example, if your goal was to get users to visit several pages.
  • Duration: for example, if you wanted users to spend a certain length of time on your site.

After you’ve made your selections, click “Continue.”

You can refine your objectives even more on the next screen, like determining how long specific users must spend on your website for it to be considered a success.

After you save the target, Google Analytics will begin tracking it for you.

Remember that you can track a lot of different things with Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics. It’s all too easy to become overwhelmed. Stick to the most important metrics to you and are in line with your objectives.

 

Step 5: Get your social media reports from Google Analytics.

There are six social Google Analytics reports available. These reports outline the return on investment (ROI) and the impact of your social media activities.

Google Analytics acquisition social

1. On your Google Analytics dashboard, click the down arrows next to Acquisitions and then select “Social.” You can get the six major Google Analytics social media reports from this page.

  1. Overview report
  2. Network referrals
  3. Landing pages
  4. Conversions
  5. Plugins
  6. Users flow

 

Here’s a rundown of what you will discover in each.

1. Overview report

This report provides a brief snapshot of how many individuals convert via social media platforms for digital marketers. It compares the worth of all goals and accomplishments to those resulting from social referrals.

2. Network referrals

This section outlines individual social network engagement figures. This can help you in determining which of your content is performing well on each platform. For example, this is the report to look at if you’re seeking precise Google analytics Facebook referral statistics.

3. Landing pages.

This section shows individual URL engagement metrics. You’ll be able to know which social network each URL came from.

4. Conversions

The Google Analytics social conversions report displays the overall number of conversions and their monetary worth for each social network. For example, this is where you may see Google Analytics Instagram conversion data.

You can also compare Assisted Social Conversions, which represent the number of conversions that social media assisted with, to Last Interaction Social Conversions, which are conversions that were generated straight from a social media platform.

For digital marketers, this information is critical. It aids in calculating the value and return on investment of social media for your company.

5. Plugins

Do you have any social sharing buttons on your site? The social plugins report in Google Analytics reveals how often certain buttons are clicked and for what content.

This analysis includes analytics and data that reveal which of your site’s content is shared the most — and on which social media networks it’s shared — all directly from your website.

6. Users flow

According to Google, this report provides digital marketers with a “graphical representation of the paths users traveled across your site from the source through the various pages and where they exited your site.” For example, if you’re running a campaign to promote a specific product, you’ll be able to see if customers came to your site through a product page and then went on to other pages.

You’ll also be able to track user behavior across multiple social media platforms.