How To Use Google Analytics For Social Media Tracking

Social media is important for brands and individuals trying to improve their online presence, engage audiences, and increase their visibility. The most important problem for brands that actively use social media is analysis. Though the social media platforms offer some analysis, Google Analytics offers more robust and detailed data, especially with its social media tracking features.

Especially by connecting your Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus pages to your Google Analytics account, you can get data about your industry and your brand. In addition, social media tracking using Google Analytics analyzes investment success and provides you with important concrete data for brand awareness. Also, it is very important to analyze the impact of social media on business goals and conversions using Google Analytics.

In this article, we will go through all these processes, focusing on social media tracking via Google Analytics. Still, the first step is to understand what social media tracking is to assimilate all these processes better.

What Is Social Media Tracking?

What Is Social Media Tracking

In its simplest definition, social media tracking is the tracking of social media platforms by focusing on customer feedback, specific topics, competitors, industry-related discussions, and direct or specific keywords and then analyzing them to take action.

The general perception of social media tracking is that it allows you to collect data by tracking conversations on social media platforms about your brand, competitors, and specific keywords. However, this process is only the first step of social media tracking and gives you metrics such as engagement rates and mentions. The second step of social media tracking goes beyond data and numbers. It’s about digging deeper into what is being said, finding the root causes behind your visitor’s movements, and taking action.

By social media tracking, you can better understand the expectations of your followers and target audience, plan campaigns that will benefit you by following trends, strengthen your communication with your customers, and shape your strategies according to the current needs of your customers.

In the digital world, where customer loyalty and communication with customers are becoming more and more important every day, including social media tracking in your marketing strategy is now a necessity rather than a choice.

Top 5 Preferred Use Cases Of Social Media Tracking

Top 5 Preferred Use Cases Of Social Media Tracking

While social media tracking offers many surprising opportunities, it is commonly used for these five purposes.

  • Brand perception: Measuring the overall perception of the brand or products,
  • Sector insights: Analyzing conversations/discussions or hashtags in a sector,
  • Competitive analysis: Analyzing a competing brand or product,
  • Campaign analysis: Reporting on how a campaign resonates,
  • Event tracking: Tracking the audience’s reaction to an event (conference, seminar, etc.).

Issues Need To Be Focusing When Social Media Tracking

When social media tracking, it is critical to focus on five key issues that stand out. These topics are customer questions and concerns, competitors, your brand and products, industry and market, and company executives. It is essential to pay attention to these factors to create a strong tracking strategy.

Customer Questions And Concerns

When social media tracking, you should keep track of customers’ questions, feedback on products, whether they like the products, and any concerns they have about your brand or product. This customer feedback is an opportunity to improve both your products and services. For this reason, you should set alarms on these issues in tracking tools and follow the feedback.


One of the beauties of doing these studies is being able to follow rival companies. By seeing what kind of work rival companies do on social networks and the internet, how they communicate with customers, social media and Adwords work, and details about content and video sharing, you can develop your marketing and advertising strategies and take steps to get ahead of them.

Your Brand And Products

When social media tracking, it is also important to follow the posts and comments made about your brand and products on social networks. It is important to do this to see how your brand awareness and image are doing on social networks and to understand what consumers think about you.

You can set alarms about your brand name and how your brand is mentioned and determine the words and phrases to follow. Apart from these, you should also determine the word groups related to your products and product categories. In this way, you will also have the opportunity to follow the posts made about these products.

Sector And Market

You can also use social media tracking to get information about your sector and market and follow current developments. You can set up your alarms by identifying the word groups important for your sector and market that users use frequently. Thanks to these word groups, you can closely follow your sector and make the necessary breakthroughs for your business by being informed about developments.

Company Executives

You may also consider following the posts about your company executives during social media tracking. In particular, if you have executives who are active on social networks and have an impact on internet users by sharing content to inform consumers, you can also follow the posts made about them on social networks. This is effective for the company’s image and important for your executives. Since your executives influence your company’s image on the outside, knowing what users think about them is also important. Setting up an alert with the names of the executives will also allow you to see the posts about them.

Most Common Mistakes That Effects Social Media Tracking Results

Most Common Mistakes That Effects Social Media Tracking Results

With social media usage continuing to grow and more and more discussions taking place online every day, it is becoming increasingly important to track your digital presence. Basic social media tracking in itself, which should be a basic practice, is not too difficult, but there are a few basic mistakes and slip-ups you can make, which can cause you to miss important mentions, especially when you are just starting out. As with all mistakes, the first step to fixing and learning from them is to be aware of them in the first place.

Not Understanding the Target Audience: Each social media platform has its unique audience structure. One of the most common mistakes brands make is trying to implement a general strategy without understanding the target audience. Factors such as users’ age groups, interests, language, and duration of activity on the platform should be considered.

Posting Inconsistent Content: Social media requires brands to post valuable and engaging content consistently. However, sometimes brands tend to post frequently, compromising on content quality. This can lead to loss of followers and damage to the brand image.

Not Responding: Social media allows brands to communicate directly with their followers. However, some brands are negligent in responding to comments or messages. This can weaken the brand’s bond with its followers and create a negative user experience.

How To Social Media Tracking?

How To Social Media Tracking

The first thing a brand that decides to follow social media should do is to decide what it wants to follow. The keywords and topics you want to track will change over time. If you use social media tracking tools, you will learn which keywords people tend to use in conversations about your brand and industry. You will also start to get some insights, and you will realize what ideas are helpful for you.

Social Media Tracking Tools

Social Media Tracking Tools

Social media tracking tools allow brands to be tracked on many channels and facilitate social media management. Social media tracking and reporting tools make tracking social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other channels easy. These tools save marketers time and provide important customer and competitor tracking data. Results are obtained to guide marketing strategies when this data is brought together and reported. Examining the tools in this field to facilitate your social media management, dominate the sector and customer opinions, and save time will be helpful.

You can use different tools, such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, BuzzSumo, Awario, etc., for social media tracking, but in this article, we will focus on how you can use Google Analytics, which is also a social media tracking tool, most efficiently.

What Is Google Analytics?

What Is Google Analytics

There is no very narrow answer to the question of what is Google Analytics. However, in the most general definition, Google Analytics is a platform where we can make detailed measurements of all traffic coming to your website and see these measurements as a report for free. Whether in real-time or retrospectively, using Google Analytics, you can measure many data such as sessions, user behavior, location and devices of audiences, e-commerce transactions, and conversions for all websites with tracking code installed and get very detailed reports on all activities. You can also do detailed social media tracking. There is also a paid version called Analytics 360.

Google Analytics is built on four basic main components.

  • Data collection: In Google Analytics, data is collected with the help of javascript code snippets. This line of code transfers which URL users visit and from which browser or device they log in to your analytics account.
  • Data processing: The collected data is sent to Google’s servers, categorized, and made meaningful.
  • Configuration: Once the data is processed, it is saved in the database. Data saved in the database cannot be changed again. For example, you cannot access the old data even if you remove the filter on your filtered account.
  • Reporting: This is the component where the collected data is presented to Google Analytics users.

What Data Can You See Through Google Analytics?

What Data Can You See Through Google Analytics?

First of all, since Google is the producer and provider of this tool, this tool is always being developed. Many features may come even right after the date we write this article. The main data we can see in Google Analytics are as follows:

  • How many people are currently on the website?
  • From where and in which cities have these people logged in?
  • How did they find my website (Google search, social media, ads, direct browser address, etc.)?
  • What devices did these people log in using (mobile, tablet, computer, etc.)?
  • What are their interests?
  • What is their gender?
  • What is their age range?
  • Have they visited our website, or is this their first time?
  • How long did they spend on average on the site?
  • Did they only look at one page and leave or browse different pages?
  • Which product or article were they most interested in?

You can view all the data instantly and for yesterday, last week, last month, or a specific time period you specify. In summary, it is a tremendous event that Google Analytics shares so much data with us for free. It does not cause any harm to the site, does not slow down your site, and does not create a security vulnerability. We definitely recommend you use it.

Benefits Of Analyzing Social Media Traffic With Google Analytics

Benefits Of Analyzing Social Media Traffic With Google Analytics

Configuring Google Analytics social media tracking is worthwhile if you use various social media networks to promote your business or brand. With Google Analytics, you can pinpoint the social media platforms driving traffic to your site and identify those needing improvement. Also, Google Analytics assists in assessing whether you’re effectively reaching the intended audience with the appropriate content, gauging their time spent on your site and the number of pages visited. Comparing new and returning visitors on your social media networks helps evaluate the need to adjust your social media strategy. Additionally, you can monitor the conversions generated by your social media audience, including form submissions, purchases, and video views on your landing pages.

How To Use Google Analytics For Social Media Tracking?

How To Use Google Analytics For Social Media Tracking?

In this part of our article, you will learn about social media tracking using Google Analytics. You can follow the steps below to use Google Analytics for social media.

Step 1: Set up Google Analytics on Your Website

To start social media tracking in Google Analytics, you must first have Google Analytics installed on your website. Here’s how to do this:

Create an Account: If you don’t have a Google Analytics account, go to their website and set one up for free.

Tell Google about Your Website: Think of this as introducing your website to Google. Give it a name and choose relevant settings. This becomes your “property” within your account.

Add the Tracking Code to Your Pages: After setting up your property, you’ll receive a tracking code, the Google Analytics ID, or the UA code. This code should be added to every page of your website. How you add this code depends on the platform you’re using for your website, and the process may differ.

Step 2: Make a Special Web Link for Your Social Media:

You’ll want to use special web links to keep tabs on how well your social media ads are doing in Google Analytics. These links have details that Google Analytics uses to determine where your website visitors are coming from.

Here’s how to make one:

  1. Go to Google’s URL Builder.
  2. Fill in the boxes like your website’s link, where the traffic is from (like Facebook or Twitter), what type of campaign it is (like social), and give it a name (like Winter_Sale).
  3. Click “Generate URL.”
  4. Share this link in your social media posts.

Step 3: Use Custom URLs in Your Social Media Posts:

Now that you have unique web addresses (URLs) use them when sharing social media links. Whenever you post a link to your website, use the custom URL. This helps Google Analytics track the traffic from that particular social media post.

Step 4: See How Your Social Media is Doing in Google Analytics

Now that everything’s set up let’s check on how your social media is working in Google Analytics:

  1. Log in to Google Analytics: Go to where your website details are.
  2. Click on “Acquisition”: Look on the left side, find “Acquisition,” then click “All Traffic,” and finally, choose “Channels.”
  3. Check out “Social”: You’ll see all the visitors from social networks. Click “Social” for more details, like which social networks bring in the most visitors.
  4. Be a little patient: It might take a bit (up to 24 hours) for Google Analytics to show your data after you set everything up. So, give it a little time.

Step 5: Understand Your Social Media Results

Now, let’s dig into your social media numbers in Organic Social Google Analytics:

  1. Check the traffic amount: See which social networks bring the most visitors to your site and which bring fewer. This helps you know where to put more effort.
  2. Look at the quality: Check out things like “Bounce Rate” (how many leave quickly), “Pages per Session,” and “Average Session Duration” to see if visitors from each social network are engaging with your site.
  3. See conversions: If you set goals (we’ll talk about this next), you can find out how many people do what you want after coming from each social network. This helps you figure out if your social media efforts are paying off. Google Analytics and social media work together for a successful online business!

Step 6: Make Goals for Your Website

Goals in Google Analytics help you keep track of specific things people do on your site, like filling out a form or buying something. Here’s how to set up goals:

  1. Go to “Admin”: Look at the bottom left corner of your Google Analytics dashboard.
  2. Click on “Goals”: In the “View” part, find and click on “Goals.”
  3. Press “New Goal.”: Follow the steps to create a new goal. You can choose from ready-made templates or make your own goals based on your goals.
  4. Describe your goal: This depends on what you want to track. It could be reaching a specific page (like a thank you page after a form is filled), spending time on the site (like at least 10 minutes), or doing something specific (like playing a video). 

Setting goals helps you understand how well your website is doing, and it’s like giving your website a roadmap for success!

Step 7: Boost Your Social Media Smarts

Okay, let’s talk about custom segments and dashboards in Google Analytics. They’re like help you to understand what’s happening with your social media pals:

  1. Custom segments: You can think of this feature as spotlighting certain visitors. Let’s say those friendly folks from Facebook hang around your site for over 2 minutes and click on at least 3 pages.
  2. Dashboards: Think of these as your website’s control panel. You get to create a dashboard with all the cool stuff you care about most – like how many friends are coming from social media, how many are doing what you want them to, and if they’re sticking around. It’s like having a special view of your website’s awesomeness.

With these two, you’ll be successful at keeping track of and making the most of your social media adventures using organic social Google Analytics.

Social Media Tracking and the Role of Google Analytics

Social Media Tracking and the Role of Google Analytics

Social media tracking is critical to the success of digital marketing strategies. Powerful tools such as Google Analytics can help you do this effectively. In our article, we examined what social media tracking is, preferred use cases, issues to focus on, and the most common mistakes.

We understand the role of Google Analytics in social media tracking and explain step-by-step instructions on using this tool for social media tracking.

Social media tracking is important for increasing brand awareness, engaging with your audience, and optimizing your digital strategy. The data that Google Analytics provides during this process provides valuable guidance to users to better understand their interactions and improve their strategy.

It should not be forgotten that social media tracking focuses on numerical data and includes a qualitative assessment of interactions. In this context, we emphasize the importance of constantly reviewing and improving your social media tracking strategies.

In conclusion, using tools such as Google Analytics for social media tracking will strengthen your digital presence and increase your online success. In this process, following current trends and interpreting analytical data correctly will allow you to improve your digital marketing strategy continuously.

Frequently Asked Questions About

Google Analytics tracks social media traffic to your website, revealing its origin (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), arrival method (sharing, clicking), specific page visited, session count, and user actions (purchases, form submissions). This comprehensive data offers insights into your social media effectiveness and site engagement.

Create an account for social media tracking with Google Analytics, integrate it into your website, and integrate your social media platforms with this account. The “Traffic Sources > Social” report allows you to analyze social media traffic to your website, displays the source of traffic and interactions, and helps you optimize your strategies.

Google Analytics enables social media tracking with the right integration and tracking tags. However, regularly checking and using platform-specific information is important to ensure data integrity.

Neslihan Demirel
Hey, I am Neslihan Demirel! I graduated from Nisantasi University, Department of Computer Engineering. My graduation and internship experiences reinforced my interest in SEO and digital marketing. I am currently working in the Dopinger Digital Marketing team. At Dopinger, I work to increase the pe... Read More
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