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3 Ways To Measure Social Media Traffic Using Google Analytics

26/09/2018
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How would you measure your social media efforts are working or not?

You can track them through respective social media analytics, but the alternative to it would be more convenient.

Yes, this is Google Analytics, the dashboard which is known to almost all marketers and tracking the results is quite easy through it.

With this article, you’ll come to how UTM tags can get help for measuring social media traffic with Google Analytics.

But, before that, there is one important question?

Why Should You Track Your Social Media Traffic? 

The first advantage of social traffic measurement is to know which marketing techniques are working for you and which are not.

Different social media traffic offers you a lead, a purchase or whatever you’re trying to achieve with that traffic. The traffic would come from paid and unpaid sources, both.

For instance, Facebook traffic can come from your paid and unpaid efforts like shared posts from your page or something else. This can happen with Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn as well.

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Now, you would go for measuring how all of this traffic transforms into content and help you achieve your goal.

This can be done with Google Analytics and UTMs.

1. Social Media Traffic Data in Google Analytics

Google Analytics comes with a report covering the identity of each traffic source, how much time the audience spends on your post, and other results.

How to access that report?

  • Open Google Analytics
  • Go to Acquisition
  • Go to All Traffic
  • Go to Source/Medium.

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Go down the page see the different traffic sources for your site.

The data shown is divided into many different sections. To know more about the data, here is the Google Merchandise Store demo account.

The far-left column of the Source/Medium report states the traffic source and the medium respectively.

The “source” can be taken as the brand of the traffic and the “medium” as the type of traffic.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Take the below example where the first traffic source listed is Google/Organic. Here, Google is the brand of the traffic and organic is the traffic type.

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The Acquisition, the next section of the report lets the marketers know about the quantity of traffic from that source.

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Behavior is the third section about the actions taken by people. Here you will find details of bounce rate, average session duration, and pages per session.

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The combined data of Acquisition and Behavior will let you know about the quality of the traffic from that source.

The fourth and the last section of the report entails you the results.

Suppose, you’ve set goals in Google Analytics to track activities like leads or purchases, this is where you can see those results.

Choose one of your goals from the drop-down list to evaluate traffic sources for different results.

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Evaluate the Data in the Report

Since you’re familiar with the report structure, it’s time to analyze this data.

While analyzing the data, look for trends rather than numbers.

Take the example of Behavior data, here the “traffic sources with the lowest bounce rates are mall.googleplex/referral (11.05%) and sites.google.com/referral (13.31%)”.

This shows that audiences from those sources are more engaged over other sources.

You will find the results pages per session and average session duration of the traffic sources.

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Since you know audiences from these two sources found engaged, you need their translation to results.

For e-commerce, the mall.googleplex had brought 93 transactions for a total of $8,839, but sites.google.com got only 2 transactions for $248.

Analyze the scene, engagement rates were the same, but there were 93 transactions from the first source and 2 transactions from the second one.

This means you need to work on the second source.

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Now, you have understood how Google Analytics report work, it’s time to tag social media traffic to it.

2. Take Help of UTMs to Track Your Social Media Traffic Sources

UTM parameters tag your social media links to Google Analytics to get more detailed information.

The parameters let you know the particular source of social media traffic bringing most visitors to the site as well as other details, like the purchase details.

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The role of Google Analytics can be calculated here for this example in this way.

Suppose you run a Facebook campaign, and then you can easily determine all results of the campaign using Facebook analytics.

But, there will be some results like the page views after the first click? Which had made clicks turn into subscribers? These results can only be shown if you add Google Analytics to your traffic.

While tagging, think of structure like this-

Google Analytics can show you this information if you tag your traffic. When it comes to tagging, think of the structure like this:

  • Product/service
  • Brand
  • Type
  • Headline
  • Details

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To know how this structure works for you, take the example of Facebook-

  • Product/service: Measurement Marketing Academy
  • Brand: Facebook
  • Type: Paid
  • Headline: “Know Your Numbers”
  • Details: Retargeting blog readers – laptop image

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You would like to add the “laptop image” identifier in details because you’ll test different images in similar Facebook ads and see the results of using the diverse image in your ads in Google Analytics.

If you add your traffic in this way, you’ll get details about a particular ad and what kind of activities people take after clicking that ad.

So, how these details will convert to UTMs? Consider the following-

“Your product or service is the “campaign,” the brand is the “source,” the type of traffic is the “medium,” the headline is the “term,” and the details are the “content.”

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To follow this information Google Analytics, add UTMs in the following way-

  • The campaign (your product/service) becomes utm_campaign.
  • The source (the brand) becomes utm_source.
  • The medium (the type of traffic) becomes utm_medium.
  • The term (the headline) becomes utm_term.
  • The content (the details) becomes utm_content.

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For the Facebook ad example, here’s how to add the UTM parameters to the link.

First, spot the source (the brand), which is Facebook-

Next, spot the medium (the type of traffic). In this case, you’re using CPC or better say cost per click-

Follow this up with the campaign (product/service). It’s Measurement Marketing Academy, but we’ll use Academy for short:

Then add the term (headline/subject), which is Trust Your Numbers:

Finally, provide the content. Your aim is to retarget blog readers and using a laptop image in the ad, so you write it like this:

Go for adding these parameters to the link itself.

Take this example, when users click the Facebook ad, they will go directly to the home page at https://measurementmarketing.io. That’s the main link.

Now go for adding a question mark to the end of the main link as well as individual parameters. Use an ampersand to separate each parameter. See the final URL in the image-

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Go to Ads Manager; type your main link in the Website URL box to set up the Facebook ad.

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Now, it’s time to add tracking parameters to the URL Parameters box.

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Now, when any user clicks your Facebook ad, the Google Analytics will directly take that information.

3. Use UTM Builder Tool to Create Your Own UTMs

Take the help of UTM builder tool to keep your UTM parameters structured and get your information organized.

Steps to use UTM Builder-

  • Go to UTM Builder
  • Select file
  • Create a Copy (This will help you get your own copy to edit it)

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The first tab shows UTM Building tips.

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  • Go for customization of this sheet.
  • Click on Traffic Tag Settings and set your core traffic tag settings.
  • Go to Source column, to list the brands (Facebook, YouTube) of traffic sources.
  • In the Medium column, keep the types of traffic (CPC).
  • In the Campaign column, add products or services you offer.

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The three (sources, mediums, and campaigns) features listed on this tab will display in the drop-down menu on the other tabs.

Once you filled the information, you can create your UTM parameters.

To know, how this tracking tool works, utilize the UTM for the earlier used Facebook ad example. First, click the Facebook-CPC tab to open.

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Go to URL column on this tab, put URL for the ad’s landing page.

In the next Source column, choose the social media traffic source from the drop-down menu.

In the Medium and Campaign columns, choose the CPC and academy for respective columns from the drop-down menu.

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See, how you sheet appears after this-

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Now, type in your term and put the details about your content.

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Now when you have defined a diverse parameter, the spreadsheet will automatically produce the URL for you in Code column.

Now, test the Code by clicking it in the spreadsheet and ensure correct landing page opens.

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Conclusion

Social media traffic gives you valuable insights into your efforts done to bring leads, conversions etc.

But, the traffic can be tracked through Google Analytics.

How?

Above-mentioned points will enable you the whole procedure of adding social media traffic to Google Analytics and conclude the result.

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