Google will attempt to answer a question on every marketer’s mind: How much is is social media helping my sales?
Google announced at the SES Conference & Expo that it will soon be rolling out a social report on its Analytics page. The service, which will analyze social media sites such as Delicious, Digg, and Google+ for their values to brands (but not giants like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter) is expected to go live in a few weeks.
The social reports promise to help with three things, according to the Google Analytics blog:
- 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
- Make better, more efficient data-driven decisions in your social media marketing programs
Google mentioned 21 sites that are part of the service now. To be included, sites must operate as a social network/platform, and own the social data or are legally able to share it with Google. Search Engine Watch goes into detail about what the new offering offers. And perhaps most interesting, it will measure “socially influenced” sales, says Phil Mui, group product manager, Google Analytics.
This could prove to be a big advantage to Google, which has been struggling with its public image lately. You never know if Google+ will take over someday from Facebook as the world’s biggest social network. If we look not too far in the past, less than five years ago even, everyone and their hairdresser was on MySpace and only geeky college students used the boring site called Facebook.
Even if that doesn’t happen (and let’s be honest, it’s not looking likely), Google could still make a name with something uniquely its own.
“While the ability to measure the impact of social media more precisely is indeed big news, the bigger story could be that Google has truly capitalized on what it does best: make sense of a lot of information,” writes Marketing Pilgrim.