How to Track Social Media Traffic With Google Analytics (Step by Step)

Would you like to track the traffic that social media sends to your site? With Google Analytics, you can get valuable insights about your visitors that find you via social media.

Another way to monitor social media is through MonsterInsights. It’s a WordPress plugin for Google Analytics that displays important reports in your dashboard and one of the best social media analytics tools.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to track social media traffic with Google Analytics.


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Benefits of Analyzing Social Media Traffic

Google Analytics gives you a detailed report on your social media traffic. A few benefits of conducting a social media traffic analysis are:

  • You can identify which social media sites send the most visitors to your site and which ones need more attention.
  • You can figure out how engaged your social media visitors are by analyzing the time spend on your site. This data helps you to figure out if you’re targeting the right audience or if you’re offering the right content they’re being promised on social media.
  • You can compare the ratio of new visitors vs. return visitors. For example, if the visitors are not returning more often, you might want to change your social media strategy to boost more engagement.

How to View Social Media Traffic in Google Analytics

Follow the below steps to view the social media report of your site in Google Analytics.

Log in to Google Analytics and select the right website for which you’d like to view the social media report.

click on google analytics view

In the left taskbar, navigate to Acquisition » All Traffic » Channels. You can view a detailed Channels report. Now click on the Social column.

conduct social media traffic analysis

This will show you the social media traffic report of your site.

social media traffic analysis report

How to Interpret Your Social Media Traffic Data

By default, Google Analytics report displays the raw data of your social media traffic in a tabular view. To interpret the data with ease, you might want to change the view of the report. Besides the tabular view, Google Analytics supports the following views as well.

  • Percentage: It displays a pie chart that shows the contribution to the total for the selected metric.
  • Performance: With a horizontal bar chart, it displays the relative performance of the selected metric.
  • Comparison: With a bar chart, it shows the performance of the selected metric to the site average.
  • Term cloud: It displays a visual representation of keywords of your site. This view is the best option for interpreting the keyword data of your site.
  • Pivot: It allows you to detect data trends that you can’t determine otherwise. You can rearrange the information in the table by pivoting the data on a second dimension.

For example, let’s say that you run an eCommerce site and want to track which social media site contributes to the most direct sales and revenue. You can get the data in many different ways.

For easier analysis, let’s choose the percentage view in your social media channels report.

In the social media channel report page, click on the Percentage view. Then, choose Transactions as your primary metric. In the contribution to total field, choose Revenue.

social media traffic analysis- percentage report

Now you can see a customized report sorted by the number of transactions. You can also see a pie chart that shows the contribution of each social networking site to the total social commerce revenue.

Similarly, you can also use other views to get a customized report that helps you easily interpret social media traffic data.

How to Use MonsterInsights to Track Social Media

Now, if you’re a new Google Analytics user, then navigating around the reports might be complicated. This is where you can use MonsterInsights.

It’s the best WordPress plugin for Google Analytics and a top social media monitoring tool. You can view reports right in your WordPress dashboard and don’t have to interfere with any coding when setting up Google Analytics.

Use Referral Reports

For social media monitoring, MonsterInsights gives a top referral report. It shows which channels drive traffic to your site. To view the report, add MonsterInsights plugin. Then go to Insights and click Reports.

The first report you’ll see will be of Overview. Now scroll down and you’ll see Top 10 Referrals report.


Using the report, you can track your social media traffic. You can figure out which platform brings in the most visitors, so you can focus on promoting your content and products on these channels.

Create Custom URLs for Social Media Monitoring

Another way you can track social media traffic is by creating custom URLs with UTM codes for your campaigns. Using MonsterInsights URL Builder, you can add parameters in the URL, so you’ll exactly know where your traffic is coming from.

To create a unique link, go to Insights and then click Tools. Here you’ll see the URL Builder. Next, enter the parameters for your URL.

Let’s say you have an upcoming spring sale and want to track traffic from Facebook. You can add the following parameters to build a custom URL.

custom url builder

Once you’ve entered the details, you’ll see your custom URL. Now copy the link and use it for promotions on Facebook. Any visitors that come via this link will be automatically tracked in MonsterInsights reports.

use the new custom url

Track Facebook Instant Articles

If you are running Facebook Instant Articles, then you might not be accurately tracking the traffic they bring to your site. That’s because it doesn’t play nice with Google Analytics.

But if you’re using MonsterInsights, then you can instantly track traffic from Facebook Instant Articles with a click of a button.

Just add the Facebook Instant Article addon and activate it. MonsterInsights will automatically detect and track traffic, and you don’t have to go through any setup.

Then using the report, you can find out which posts and pages are popular on Facebook, which type of content your audience likes and which they ignore, and what topics you should cover.

That’s it!

We hope this guide helped you to learn how to track social media traffic with Google Analytics.

Are you ready to level up your social media campaigns? You might want to check out our guide on 23 Social Media Marketing Tools That Will Give You an Unfair Advantage.  And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more Google Analytics tutorials.

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