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Google Analytics Makes Big Changes, Adds Social Metrics

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Google Analytics has made some very big changes in the last couple of weeks. Analytics new format now includes social media sources as a channel rather than as part of referring sites. Google announced these upcoming changes on the Analytics Blog: '[URL="http://analytics.blogspot.com/2012/03/capturing-value-of-social-media-using.html"]Capturing the Value of Social Media Using Google Analytics[/URL]' in March, but now that they are implemented it is very interesting to see how much weight Google is attributing to social networks and all of the new metrics that can now be calculated. Google is calling the new section of analytics "Social Reports" and here is what they say about it on their blog: "That’s why we’re releasing a new set of Social reports within Google Analytics. The new reports bridge the gap between social media and the business metrics you care about - allowing you to better measure the full value of the social channel for your business. We wanted to help you with 3 things:
[LIST][*]Identify the full value of traffic coming from social sites and measure how they lead to direct conversions or assist in future conversions[*]Understand social activities happening both on and off of your site to help you optimize user engagement and increase social key performance indicators (KPIs)[*]Make better, more efficient data-driven decisions in your social media marketing programs"[/LIST]With these new analytics, marketers may finally have some missing pieces of the puzzle to answer the big question: what is the ROI of social media campaigns?

Also see the blog post on the [URL="http://analytics.blogspot.com/2012/05/expanding-google-analytics-social.html"]Google Analytics blog[/URL] announcing the recent addition of trackback links to social reports.

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