Google Analytics: Social Sources and Activity Stream

By Sarah Lokitis | Jun 20, 2012
More Articles by Sarah


Google Analytics has recently added a new suite of social media reporting. These features are pretty cool, so I wanted to take some time to highlight each new section. In this post, I’ll cover Social Sources, which is comprised of Social Referrers and the Activity Stream.

According to Google Analytics (GA), “Social Sources reports help you refine where you spend time and move your social tactics from “gut feel” to data-driven.” GA has created the Social Sources feature to help marketers determine which social sites refer the highest quality traffic. Before, using Google Analytics traffic sources, marketers could drive down to measure and analyze traffic from search or referrals. Now in Social Sources Reports, the social sources are automatically segmented helping you focus and compare traffic and see what content is popular.

To navigate to Social Visitors Flow in Google Analytics, click Traffic Sources > Social > Social Sources.

Google has partnered with social networks to provide Google Analytics users with off-site activity data including +1’s and comments. The Social Data Hub partners include Delicious, Digg, Google+, Meetup, Reddit and smaller known partners like Gigya and Read It Later. Unfortunately, Facebook and Twitter are not included in this list. (If Google could be friends with Facebook and Twitter, there might be hope for world peace!)

Activity Stream

Activity Stream - Conversations

With the Activity Stream you can monitor channels that are part of the Social Data Hub and see who has interacted with your content. The screenshots above and below highlight the Conversations and Events segments in the Activity Stream. Conversations include posts, comments and shares, while Events include +1’s, saves, and bookmarks.

The Activity Stream is real-time, so you can use this tool for social media monitoring and be updated immediately if there is an issue or comment you should address.

Activity Stream - Events

Other features of the Activity Stream include viewing individual post and page analytics, content on Google Ripples, and the social activity.

Have you used Social Sources and the Activity Stream in Google Analytics? Please share your experiences and thoughts by commenting below or finding me @Lokitis.


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