Google Analytics: Social Plugins Reports

By Sarah Lokitis | Jul 9, 2012
More Articles by Sarah

Social ImpactGoogle says, “Content that gets shared, wins.” We all want to win, don’t we?! Well, Google Analytics is making it a little easier to see how much winning we are actually doing on our websites with the new Social Plugins Reports. Social Plugins reports let you determine the social on-site engagement by grouping the social network, action, and count together for you.  

Google Analytics automatically imports Google +1 data, AddThis, and ShareThis plugins. You can edit other social sharing buttons and plugins to report to Google Analytics by implementing a bit of code!

By navigating in Google Analytics to Traffic Sources > Social > Social Plugins, you have the option to view Social Interactions by your selected date range. You can also switch between viewing Social Entity, Social Source, and Social Source & Action.

Social Entity view displays the URL of the content that is shared and the number of social actions each piece of content received.

Social Source view displays the source, such as Twitter or Google, the number of social actions and the percentage each source used out of the total social actions. In the screenshot below, the graph on the right uses blue to represent Twitter tweets and the Green represents Google +1’s .

Social Source

Social Source & Action is just that. The Social Source, say Twitter, and the Action, a Tweet! In the screenshot below, the ShareThis plugin on the site shows the source and the action, which is simply a Share.

Social Sources and Actions


When you have multiple options for sharing on your site and the majority of users use a certain type of share, take notice and see if that information can drive your social strategy. If everyone is sharing on Twitter, coming to your site from Twitter, and no one shares on Facebook, spend more time with your Twitter audience and RT and thank users for sharing those posts!

Another great insight Social Plugins/Interactions reports provide is you can learn what type of content drives the most shares and interaction. If your blog posts on Google Analytics are doing great, write more! If that feature on your new singing toothbrush is getting hundreds of shares, write more about it! Use the data to guide your strategy.


Will knowing which social networks are driving the most traffic and shares influence your social media strategy? Please share your experiences and thoughts by commenting below or finding me @Lokitis or +Sarah Lokitis

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