Keen observers will argue that Google is determined to make social media an integral part of business marketing strategies.
Recent public service updates suggest as much: Google Plus put the search giant slap bang into social network territory, Google Plus Local provides social reviews and recommendations in the search results, users are being encouraged to surf whilst logged into their Google accounts…
Less public Google updates point towards social, too.
Almost all of Google’s latest Analytics updates appear to revolve around social media metrics as an addition to the existing product.
The new set of social media reports is said to be intended to close the gap between business media and social networking - by allowing webmasters to accurately analyse the traffic to their websites from individual social media sites, and even to reflect the value of specific campaigns.
Social Value Visualisation
This overview shows, in an easy-to-understand diagram, exactly how much conversion value has been generated via social media specifically, in both numerical and monetary form, when compared to all other channels.
This function was designed to enable marketers to see individual conversion rates for each social networking channel, as a percentage of total conversions and their monetary input. This means that it can be seen, at a glance, exactly which campaigns have proved the most successful.
The social sources report shows, in graph form, the correlation between all visitors, and those specifically from social referrals. In addition, it shows the engagement and conversion metrics for each, meaning that it is possible to see how different types of visitors have engaged with the website.
The Social Plug-in report is designed to clearly identify which items on the website are receiving the most attention, which are being shared on social networks, and how many likes, follows, +1s, etc., each has received.
The Activity Stream
The Activity Stream report shows the ways in which people engage socially with your off-site content across the web.
These new reports will shortly become available to all Google Analytics users and can be found via the Standard Reporting tab.
One Analytics update that does not specifically concern social media is 'Content Experiments', which allows users to test (and hopefully improve) content on their websites using A/B/N testing to determine which page version achieves the most conversions.
Browser Size Analysis
Last, but not least, Google has added a really useful browser size analysis tool, which enables webmasters to see how much of a web page is actually visible when its viewed in different browsers, including mobile browsers. This tool is a real eye-opener when it comes to viewing just how little of a web page is above the fold in some mobile browsers.