Google recently rolled out a couple of exciting innovations to its platform that will improve both your social media measurement and overall experience with Google+.
The first has to do with Google Analytics, which on May 1 introduced Social Measurement, Content Tracking, Attribution, & New Sharing Tools. This was exciting for us at Nevada Magazine, because it offers a practical way to measure our social media efforts, which have been going strong now for three-plus years.
As the social media manager at Nevada Magazine, I always assumed that Facebook was the number-one generator of traffic to our website, but I had no idea just how much until I looked at the new information available in Google Analytics (the rest of this blog assumes you’re fairly familiar with and have a Google Analytics account. If you don’t, and you own a business and have a website, I highly recommend you start an account — it’s free!).
I looked at Nevada Magazine’s year-to-date analytics (find the “Social” tab under “Traffic Sources” in Google Analytics). This year alone, Facebook has generated 3,001 visits to NevadaMagazine.com, which trumps the total number of visits for 2 through 10 (see above graphic) — COMBINED! This helps with our social media strategy, because it tells us that people are routinely clicking on our links and sharing them with others on Facebook. We’re noticing this increased attention, too, as people are commenting on our photos and stories more than ever before.
It should be noted, though, that we’ve had a presence on Facebook for much longer than our other social media channels, so it makes sense that this established platform is a great traffic driver to our site. What surprised me is the little amount of traffic that Pinterest has driven. We started a Pinterest profile this year, so the sample size is small, but much of what I’ve heard positive regarding Pinterest is how it’s such a great driver of traffic.
If you dig deeper, however, the average visit duration for Facebook (00:01:39) is far less than our Twitter (00:06:28), Blogger (00:05:23), and Pinterest (00:04:40) profiles. So what that tells me is that, even though we have fewer followers on social sites not called Facebook, we may have more dedicated and passionate fans/readers on those sites.
Perhaps the most interesting Social feature now provided by Google Analytics is the “Social Visitors Flow” chart. This illustrates precisely where users of various social media networks are clicking to your website. Granted, I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface with these new measuring features. That said, how do you use Google Analytics to track your social media success? What neat measuring tactics are you discovering? Have you created any goals?
The second exciting announcement via Google was that on May 7 it launched Hangouts On Air to Google+ users worldwide. Last year, Google introduced this feature to a limited number of broadcasters, enabling them to go live with friends and fans, for all the world to see. Here’s how Google explains the benefits:
- Broadcast publicly. By checking “Enable Hangouts On Air,” you can broadcast your live hangout — from the Google+ stream, your YouTube channel or your website — to the entire world.
- See how many viewers you’ve got. During your broadcast, you can look inside the hangout to see how many people are watching live.
- Record and re-share. Once you’re off the air, we’ll upload a public recording to your YouTube channel, and to your original Google+ post. This way it’s easy to share and discuss your broadcast after it’s over.
Are you using Hangouts for business? I am, and it’s been fun to connect with people around the world, while getting the opportunity to promote Nevada Magazine and tell people about Nevada’s wonderful events. See how I’ve been doing this, in partnership with KRNV Channel 4 in Reno, here and here.