What Google Analytics Can Tell You About Your Facebook Strategy

Improve Face­book mar­ket­ing strate­gies by using Google Ana­lyt­ics to track Face­book users and their engage­ment with your web­site.

Mark Hansen By Mark Hansen from Megalytic. Join the discussion » 0 comments

With more than 890 mil­lion peo­ple using Face­book on a dai­ly basis, its impor­tance to brands and mar­keters is obvi­ous. Get­ting hun­dreds of Likes on a com­pa­ny pho­to can help devel­op brand recog­ni­tion and build a fan base. How­ev­er, as the social net­work has matured, so have its accom­pa­ny­ing pro­mo­tion­al strate­gies.

It’s no longer enough to get users to scroll through pho­tos on Face­book; at many com­pa­nies, suc­cess on the social media plat­form is deter­mined by your abil­i­ty to get them to click through to your web­site and con­vert to cus­tomers. Using Google Ana­lyt­ics (GA) to under­stand the traf­fic from Face­book can give you the insight you need to devel­op a strat­e­gy to accom­plish this goal.

Understanding Your Facebook Fans

It’s Mar­ket­ing 101 – you need to under­stand your audi­ence in order to speak to them through any plat­form, espe­cial­ly Face­book. The social net­work offers a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to start casu­al con­ver­sa­tions, gain feed­back, and build a rela­tion­ship with your tar­get audi­ence. When you’re armed with more infor­ma­tion on who these peo­ple are, then you can cre­ate con­tent more tar­get­ed to their inter­ests and increase the like­li­hood that they’ll want to engage with you.

The Google Ana­lyt­ics’ Demo­graph­ics Overview report can pro­vide you with more in-depth analy­sis of who is reach­ing your web­site from Face­book. As fans click through to your web­site, Google Ana­lyt­ics tracks infor­ma­tion on their age, income, inter­ests and more, which can ulti­mate­ly help you devel­op appro­pri­ate out­reach strate­gies for the social net­work.

Google Analytics Demographics Overview Facebook

For exam­ple, a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal inter­est group seek­ing to spread a mes­sage about prop­er pre­scrip­tion dis­pos­al used Face­book as a sig­nif­i­cant part of its strat­e­gy. Through both organ­ic and paid posts, this group want­ed to specif­i­cal­ly tar­get an audi­ence of mid­dle-aged women. The group believed that this demo­graph­ic would best receive and act on its mes­sage. By fil­ter­ing the demo­graph­ics report in Google Ana­lyt­ics to show peo­ple com­ing from Face­book, they were able to con­firm that they were indeed reach­ing a pri­mar­i­ly female audi­ence, with the largest per­cent­age com­ing from the age ranges of 35–44 and 45–54.

Conversions Through Facebook

Our ulti­mate goal as mar­keters is to con­vert cus­tomers and increase sales. By uti­liz­ing the data from Google Ana­lyt­ics we can gain a bet­ter under­stand­ing of who from Face­book is vis­it­ing the web­site, as well as who is mak­ing a pur­chase, sign­ing up for the newslet­ter, or tak­ing some oth­er action with­in the sales cycle.

Google Analytics Social Value

Facebook’s desk­top ads saw a 1.1 per­cent con­ver­sion in 2014’s fourth quar­ter, while its mobile ads con­vert­ed at 0.3 per­cent, accord­ing to Marin Soft­ware. These con­ver­sion rates are sig­nif­i­cant­ly low­er than paid search, but using insight from Google Ana­lyt­ics can pro­vide an accu­rate depic­tion of what tac­tics are work­ing on Face­book and how to improve con­ver­sion.

For exam­ple, an inde­pen­dent liv­ing com­mu­ni­ty tar­get­ing high­er income retirees uti­lized Face­book ads to reach mul­ti­ple audi­ences: adult chil­dren of poten­tial res­i­dents, as well as the poten­tial res­i­dents them­selves. By set­ting up ad URLs to be tracked in Google Ana­lyt­ics, the liv­ing com­mu­ni­ty could com­pare the per­for­mance of audi­ences, ad copy, and images based on activ­i­ty after these peo­ple hit the site. Google Ana­lyt­ics enabled them to track engage­ment, as well as lead gen­er­a­tion, and there­by refine cam­paigns to use the most effec­tive images and ad copy, as well as deter­min­ing the demo­graph­ics of the tar­get audi­ence to set up for the cam­paigns.

Revenue From Facebook Visitors

Under­stand­ing the con­ver­sion rate from Face­book is the first step, but tak­ing it fur­ther to learn the direct dol­lar amounts that the social net­work con­tributes to your brand’s rev­enue will define ROI.

Eighty-four per­cent of mar­keters rely on Face­book more than any oth­er social media plat­form in their cam­paigns, accord­ing to an AdAge sur­vey. This reliance can be jus­ti­fied by using the Goals fea­ture with­in Google Ana­lyt­ics to quan­ti­fy con­ver­sions. For an in-depth look at how to set up this option, read through this blog post.

Google Analytics Facebook Conversions

Prov­ing ROI was incred­i­bly impor­tant to a best-sell­ing author who was estab­lish­ing an online brand pro­mot­ing resources for healthy liv­ing. After build­ing an immense Face­book fol­low­ing by pro­mot­ing free resources, her team was able to see Face­book con­tribute direct­ly to rev­enue by strate­gi­cal­ly pro­mot­ing paid resources to the audi­ence, cul­ti­vat­ed through ear­li­er pro­mo­tions. While the author was pleased to con­nect with her fans on Face­book, it was Goal track­ing in Google Ana­lyt­ics that allowed her mar­ket­ing team to attribute a spe­cif­ic dol­lar val­ue to Face­book cam­paigns.

See­ing data on what posts, on what days worked most effec­tive­ly to dri­ve pur­chas­es encour­aged her team to stream­line their Face­book strat­e­gy to con­tin­ue build­ing rev­enue growth.


We know that Face­book is the largest social net­work, and that many brands rely on it to con­nect with their tar­get audi­ence. But with insight gained from Google Ana­lyt­ics, mar­keters can improve their strate­gies and prove the social network’s over­all worth to their brand.

Mark Hansen

Written by Mark Hansen

Founder and President, Megalytic

Mark Hansen is the Founder and President of Megalytic , the leading tool for building web analytics marketing reports. Megalytic is used by digital agencies, marketers, and business owners for faster, more insightful and better looking analytics reports. Mark writes a regular blog about Google Analytics best practices, and now provides insight on Google AdWords following Megalytic's latest integration with the tool.

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