Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How to Track & Increase Social Sharing of your Website


One of the main things that I’m interested in learning more about is how to track what people like most on my website. If you know what people spend most there time looking at, you know what kind of content should dominate your site. If something is receiving no traction, then its obviously time for it to go. Another way of seeing what customers enjoy the most on your site is though tracking social sharing. The more your sight is "Pinned" "Liked" and "+1" the better off you'll be.

Following the items that have been shared the most will also help you to correctly focus customer content. The more shares you get, the more new customers that can find your site. This will help lead you to more informed decisions that will increase the organic shares of your content. This is a newer idea for me and many people and so there is less information on the topic. Here are a few ways to help track customer sharing to other sites.

There are less conventional ways of tracking how customers are talking about you across social mediums such as searching keywords on twitter or Instagram related to your company, and seeing what comes up. Luckily through google analytics you can use social plugins and have some of this tracked for you. [2] If you set up share buttons on each of your product images it will increase much of the ease of tracking your shares. Here is a tutorial on how easy it can be to add these. [4]

There are a few different options you can use to follow your website shares. The Social Plugins Report and Activity Stream Tab in the Sources and Pages Reports in Google Analytics allows you to view off site actions and conversations. This way you can track not only what is happening on your website but off it as well. Over 80% of interactions with your websites content take place on sites other than your website. Meaning most people interact with your website on outside mediums. Start by creating a Google “+1”, Pinterest “Pin”, and Facebook “Like” button for your site. This way you can track which buttons are being clicked and for what content. You can follow which products are being shared and to which sites, by easily adapting plug-ins to report to Google Analytics.

Sharing reports are found in Standard Reporting tab of Google Analytics under traffic sources then social, then plugins. The activity stream on Google Analytics helps track the outside usage of your website through showing the URL’s that were shared, where they were shared, and what was being said. This not only helps you track how much it is being shared but where it is being shared, and where you should share it in the future. It also helps to engage users off site and focuses your content. It allows you to see where you should spend your time and money. The activity Stream can be found in Standard Reporting under Traffic Sources, then Social, and then Sources and clicking the Activity Stream tab with in Google Analytics.

Ann Smarty a search marketer writes blogs on search and social media tools. She wrote a great article on using Pinterest to drive traffic and track  “Pins” through funneling your Pinterest into a RSS feed. By using the URL: 
http://pinterest.com/source/YourWebsite.com/
You can see what is being pinned from your site. Pinterest to drive traffic and track  “Pins” through funneling your Pinterest into a RSS feed.  She describes here [3] in detail how to use this feature in a bunch of different ways and increase your sites reach.



References:
[1] Google Analytics Features: http://www.google.com/analytics/features/social-sharing.html Accessed on 1/20/2013
[2] Lauren Drell. Six ways to aquire new customers via social media. Mar 29, 2012 http://mashable.com/2012/03/29/customer-acquisition-social/ Accessed on 1/20/2013
[3] Ann Smarty: How to Track your Websites content on Pintrest http://mashable.com/2012/03/14/pinterest-track-content/ Accessed on 1/21/2013
[4] WordPress. Really Simple Facebook Twitter Sharebuttons. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/really-simple-facebook-twitter-share-buttons/ Accessed on 1/21/13