How to Measure Social Media Impact With Real-Time In Google Analytics

If you have a website, you’re probably using an analytics tool like Google Analytics to track and measure your site’s traffic and success. In addition to all of the normal great functionality of Google Analytics, you now have the option to see your site stats in a new way with Real-Time reporting. The Real-Time feature allows you to see information about your site visitors at any given moment like how many visitors are on your website, what page they are viewing, and demographic details. Intrigued? Let’s take a look at how this feature can help you measure your social media impact.

Access Real-Time Reports

To access the Real-Time feature, log into your Google Analytics page as usual and click on the Home tab from the menu options. In the top left sidebar, select the Real-Time option.



In the Overview tab, you’ll see all of the metrics in one complete dashboard. In the top section, you’ll see how many visitors are currently on your site and if they are new or returning, what source brought them there, what articles they are reading, and the pageviews per minute. This can help you determine the impact of the content you’re distributing. After releasing a blog post and sharing it in Twitter, log into your Google Analytice Real-Time dashboard to see the engagement. You can do that with all of your social media channels to see how much traffic certain topics generate. When the view counts slow down, you know it’s time to re-engage.


In the bottom section, you’ll see what keywords brought them to your site and the demographics of the visitor. This information will be extremely helpful when creating Ad-Word campaigns for marketing your site.



In the locations tab, you’ll still see how many visitors are on your site., but it will display in a color coded bar by country. Just below that you’ll see the breakdown by country and visitors from each as well as a map view. This is helpful information if you have an international business. Being able to see the average time a certain country interacts with your site, you can maximize your time on social media by posting content time specific to that location.


If you prefer to use Google Earth VS the map view, click on the tab and enable Google Earth to see your visitor locations displayed differently. I wasn’t able to get that feature to work but it is part of the interface. Hopefully the full release will fix that.

Traffic Sources

In the Traffic Sources tab, you’ll see what brought visitors to your site. This can help you determine what social media sites people are most engaged with. Below the number of visitors currently on the site, you’ll also see if the traffic is direct or organic.



The content section shows you what content visitors are currently viewing and also has an option see the pageviews for the last 30 minutes. Knowing what content is being viewed will help you to determine if your latest blog post or contest are engaging to your audience.


With this kind of instant measurement, you can now have a better picture of your marketing efforts in the short term in addition to your long term results. It seems like a perfect addition to what already has great capability to help you manage your website and marketing. What do you plan to use Real-Time to measure?

Jessica Prouty

Jessica is a Support Technician for Cytanium Hosting who loves to teach people how to use modern technology to be more productive and organized. Simple tips, tricks and tools can make anyone computer savvy! You can follow her on Twitter @learningrl or visit her blog at

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox