Despite it’s apparent complexity, using Google Analytics to discover more about your building materials business’ social media reach is fairly easy — and, it can reveal a lot about the success of your strategy Google analytics is the flagship data collection and review platform for the largest web search entity in the world. When it began, Analytics was all about measuring the traffic data to and from websites. However, the web-based software has undergone some significant changes in usability. Today, businesses can hook Google Analytics up to their social media networks to discover a wealth of data on the virility of posts. Your building materials business is certainly no exception. Here’s how you can mine your social media analytics to significantly increase ROI.

The problem with social media

Despite social media being a relatively new medium, some trends are beginning to emerge. Social media activities exist primarily as a pre-sell strategy. Those who visit social media sources may not directly buy a product during the course of their visit, but rather come back later through another medium such as a paid search or an affiliate site. This makes it harder for social media professionals to actually prove the value of their efforts. When it comes time to make the case for social media to acquire a larger part of the marketing budget, marketers need to prove the economic value of these activities.

How Google Analytics changes the game

Google’s social reporting helps marketers more efficiently and effectively manage their social media strategy in two key ways:

  • Proving the economic value of social media efforts
  • Reducing research time spent looking for valuable influencers

Google’s Social Analytics allows marketers to view and report on the value that social media adds throughout the conversion process. Marketers can view the conversion paths where a visit from a social media site was a part of the visitor’s site session before converting, as well as the conversion paths where the visitor’s source and medium were from a referring social site at the time of conversion. These two insights give marketers a chance to evaluate the different networks and see which ones are conveying high value, which are under-delivering, and which show underutilized potential. Once marketers have this data, they can redirect their budgets and invest in what is working, terminate sources that aren’t performing, and deliver key metrics to stakeholders.

Google Analytics and the social data hub

In addition to realizing actual value driven by the various social networks, the Social Analytics reporting section integrates with Google’s Social Data Hub. This feature allows marketers to view data from sites that are a part of the Social Data Hub, ultimately granting them the ability to view the actual comments, posts, and shares that people are posting about the site in the Google Analytics account. The term “key influencers” is so important in social media, and recognizing these influencers allows a social media team to better identify the people that are distributing value to your business through their social media activity. This analysis gives marketers the chance to reach out to those beneficial influencers and build relationships that provide value to each through leaking content, guest blogging, etc.

The bottom line?

Social media analytics helps take your social efforts from activities to strategy. The tool Google is providing us will tell us why our presence online is important, making it easier for us to see the value of social media and revamp our online strategies. Marketers that are using analytics and sophisticated measurement tools to guide their social media activities will be far more successful than those that are operating blindly.   Kleber & Associates helps you turn your social media data into profits you’ll see at your bottom line. Contact us today for a personal presentation of how we can show you which analytics matter, how to collect them, and how to use them to hone your marketing strategy — saving your business both time and money in the process.   Kleber & Associates (K&A) is an Atlanta-based marketing and communications firm that focuses exclusively on building materials manufacturers and building products. Our integrated marketing spirit specializes in brand development for clients in the home and commercial building products marketplace. For more information on our capabilities, please call +1-770-518-1000 or visit