Google Analytics is probably the second most effective (free) tool you can use to make your digital marketing work harder for you (guess which is the #1 most effective marketing tool?).  Google Analytics gives you tremendous insight into your website’s audience; it will tell you what keywords brought a person to your website, what page they came to your website on, what page they left your website on, how long they stayed on your website, and more. This is the sort of information that can be vital to the success of your site.

You may already be aware of all the great metrics Google Analytics provides to track vistor behavior on your website, but did you know it can also be used to improve your social media marketing strategy. How? Glad you asked.

Here are some simple yet powerful tips for how you can leverage Google Analytics to improve your social media marketing efforts.

Separate Social Traffic from Other Traffic

Google Analytics provides an “Advanced Custom Segment” feature you can use to filter the social media traffic from all other traffic sources. By creating this segment, you can easily see how visitors to your site that came from social media sites interact with your content.  Do they spend more time on your site or do they convert at a higher rate?  Segmentation is your answer.

You can also create segments for each social media site individually.  By doing this, you’ll see which social media websites are bringing you the most traffic, when they bring you the most traffic, and how long that traffic sticks around. This information can help you concentrate your best efforts on the social media sites that are working for you, rather than trying to spread your presence on all of them at once.

Add Campaign Variables to Each Social Media Post

If you want to use Google Analytics to track the success of a certain post or social media marketing campaign, then you’re going to need to add campaign variables and tag those variables in the URLs. Campaign variables create an individualized report for each post to make it easier for you to see how well each one is doing. Without them, you’ll see traffic, but you won’t necessarily know which social media post brought it to you or how well the social network responded to the post.

To do this, go to Google’s URL Builder and a few simple steps you’ll have a URL you can share that will send your campaign data to Google Analytics

Take Time to Track Goal Conversions

Regardless of whether or not you care about social media conversions, tracking this information can help you see how well your efforts are working. Tracking your social media goal conversions will help place a monetary value on your social media marketing campaigns, which can help when budgeting future campaigns or when justifying whether or not to launch another one.

Improve Landing Page Optimization

For those who want to increase their social media conversions, the targeted social media landing page is a very important part of the strategy. The information presented in Google Analytics can help you identify whether or not your landing page could be an issue (is the visitor leaving immediately, or taking time to stick around?) and can help you figure out what you need to do to fix it (what can you try to get the visitor to stay?)

Use Keywords to Find New Connections on Twitter

Use the Google Analytics Keywords reports to find out which keywords people are using to find your site. Take these phrases, search them in Twitter, and create multiple saved search feeds to monitor. Jump in the conversations there, and you will reach the same people searching those phrases and finding your website.

Making these five simple tactics part of your daily social media marketing activities TODAY!