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Social Media Marketing Campaign Tracking in Google Analytics

Premium web analytics solutions can be a great way to track the traffic your social media marketing campaigns drive back to your website.  However, a premium solution may be out of your budget.  Never fear, Google Analtyics is here!  Follow these simple steps to track specific campaign-level information.

Assumption:  you already have a Google Analytics account set up and the tracking code is properly embedded in your site.

Three Easy Steps

To walk through the steps, we will use the following example:

Jackson Marketing Services is running a social media campaign to increase guest blogger participation on rabidofficemonkey.com.  The campaign will run on Twitter and Facebook.

Socia Media Marketing Campaign Tracking Set Up

Take a few minutes to figure out your tracking goals.  Use the Google URL Builder to help you.  In the image below, you can see the types of data you can record.

For our example, the website URL is rabidofficemonkey.com/write-for-us.  Since we are tracking multiple social media platforms, we are setting up two separate URLs — one for Facebook and one for Twitter.  Our Medium is social media, and our Campaign Name is “New Guest Bloggers.”  For the purpose of our example, we don’t need the other fields.  Google’s best practice recommendation is to only use the fields you need.  If you don’t need the others, don’t fill them out.

After capturing how you want to track your campaign data, click the submit button.  The new campaign tracking URL generates below the submit button.
google url builder

 

Start Using Your Campaign URLs

You probably noticed that our simple url — rabidofficemonkey.com/write-for-us turned into two, separate behemoth links so we can track by source:

Twitter:  http://rabidofficemonkey.com/write-for-us?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social+media&utm_campaign=new+guest+bloggers

Facebook:  http://rabidofficemonkey.com/write-for-us?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social+media&utm_campaign=new+guest+bloggers

So, we know that takes up a lot of space on Twitter, and it’s just not all that pretty either.  If you use a tool like HootSuite, take advantage of the URL shrinker.  Not using HootSuite?  Try one of these other URL shrinkers:

Start Monitoring Google Analytics

After you start using your campaign URLs, you will immediately be able to start tracking visits generated by your campaigns. Right after generating the campaign URLs, I made some test visits to the site using each of the URLs. As you can see below, the visits have already started registering.

campaign overview

How do you find this information?  When you are inside Google Analytics, go to the Traffic Sources section.  Click Overview.  In the resulting report view, simply click on the word Campaigns.  Ta da — there’s your information.

But wait . . . we have two campaign URLs.  Where’s the break out on Facebook vs. Twitter on this campaign?  It’s there — don’t worry!  Just click on the campaign name (new guest bloggers), and a new report opens with more detail about where your traffic came from.  Now, these numbers aren’t impressive right now because they were test runs I performed quickly for this post.  Real data from a real campaign should look a lot better than this, of course!

campaign details

That’s how easy it is to set up your social media campaign tracking URLs!  Next week, I’ll show you how to set up a custom report for your tracking URLs.
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Stacy Jackson is a founding partner at Jackson Marketing Services, a marketing firm located in Dunedin, Florida. In addition to her work at Jackson Marketing Services, Stacy is a founding member and editor of RabidOfficeMonkey.com. You can follow her on Twitter @stacy_jax and on Google+. Learn more about Stacy at stacyljackson.com.

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