How do you know if social media is driving traffic to your business?


By Hannah Wakeman

Digital
18 February 2016

We all know the value social media can offer a business. It not only increases brand awareness but acts as a customer service tool, allowing people to get in touch with seemingly distant companies. But social media is a pesky thing to accurately track. With so many programs out there, all with differing aims and claims, it can seem impossible to find the information you really want. How can you tell if a lead originated from a tweet or if someone sharing your Facebook image resulted in 300 new site visits?

graphSocial tracking

The analytics sites provided by social media are a starting point. Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics provide a snapshot of what posts were successful or how many people followed you in a given day. But it does not tell you how many people went through to your site from social media.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the go-to resource for web traffic. It has a ‘Social’ section under its Acquisition menu but this information is practically redundant. The very few social channels it recognises include ‘VKontakte’ and ‘Hatena’ – not exactly the most well-known or popular platforms! The elephant in the room here is that Google fancies itself a social forum with its own Google+. This means that social competitors will probably never be a ‘Data Hub Partner’ nor have a place in Analytics unless you set this up yourself.

Another pitfall with Analytics is that traffic to your site from social platforms often gets lumped with the referral traffic rather than in the designated social section. This can greatly skew your results and show you two very different numbers for social traffic depending on whether you are looking at Channels or the Source/Medium view.

UTM tracking

UTM tracking is the answer. It allows you to track if a site visit originated from an individual link posted on social media. UTM effectively changes the URL of a link to include vital information that you can then track in Google Analytics. You can see how many site visits or leads actually originated from a link to your site posted on social media. You’ll need separate campaigns for each social aim including different strands of marketing such as email or sponsored links.

By using UTM tracking, you can see if a particular blog post or page posted onto your social platforms is driving leads for your business. From there, you can post similar content or emphasise a page as an important part of the site to improve your social performance.

SpiderGroup are a digital marketing agency in Bristol that can help get your social platforms driving relevant traffic to your site. Check out our blog for handy hints and tips or you can get in touch with us here to find out about our services.

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