When you are busy building your business and getting yourself known on social media platforms, you may find yourself wondering if all your hard work on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites is actually paying off.

Ultimately you want to make sales, right? But never forget that there is more to social media than trying to gain sales. Relationship building is the main benefit from using social media, and without being able to connect and converse with your prospective customers through these platforms you may never be able to influence them to buy your product or service further down the road.

Being active on social media over a long period of time can result in greater visibility for yourself and your business, and builds a level of trust between you and your followers that is invaluable to your future success.

Despite this, it is always good to have an idea how effective your efforts are, and enables you to make adjustments where you are seeing no positive effects at all.

An easy way to check your social media activity results is to track how often people are clicking through to your website from your social media posts, and look at what sort or style of posts are engaging most with your audience.

You can do this by using Google Analytics. This is a free tool to help you analyse your web traffic, and works best with a self-hosted website, although your can use it with some blogging platforms too.

With Google Analytics you can check what percentage of traffic is coming to your site from social media sites, and which particular site is sending you the most traffic. You can also see how your traffic has changed over time coming from social media, and that may tie in with how pro-active you have been with your social media posting. To check your stats in Google Analytics, go to Acquisition > Channels, and you will see the percentage of your traffic that is coming from social media sites.

When you compare your results to a previous period you will hopefully see a steady increase in percentage, but when you see a decrease this could be because you have been less active on social media, or the posts you are currently writing are less engaging to your readers. If this is the case, you can easily adjust your activity and output to improve these figures.

If you find that your social media traffic is down, but you cannot say that you have been any less active, or the quality of your posts have changed in any way, then check to see if the rate is down from all sources, or if there is one particular site that is causing the problem. Go to Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals.

Google Analytics Network Referrals will show you in much more depth which social media sites are the biggest traffic drivers to your site, and you can also take a detailed look at the average session duration and pages per session. A low session time will indicate that your visitors to this site are probably unengaged and may not even be of any value to you, especially if they are not interested in your particular niche.

Google Analytics compare network referrals will show you if there has been a deep decline or large increase of traffic from your individual social network sites. Again this can be directly affected by your social media activity, but if you have not changed your routine it could be an indication of a change within a social media network about how often it is showing your posts, or it could be down to something as simple as seasonal use where network popularity will fluctuate with national holidays etc.

You can drill down even deeper into each individual social media network results to see where traffic is being directed from page-by-page. This is especially useful as you can see which page or particular post is doing a good job of attracting traffic to your site. If you can figure out what elements of your page or post is so attractive, then you can rinse and repeat the method to get more traffic to your site.

If you think you are spending a lot of your precious time posting on social media sites, checking your results can show you how effective your efforts are, and can save you some time if you have been active on the wrong social media sites.