Measure Social Media Effort with Google Analytics
One of the things that I hear very often from new clients and prospects about Social Media is that it doesn’t work, it’s a waste of time, and money.  There are a few reasons why they feel this way: 1 – they have been told to do it because you need to, 2 – they never received any business from those efforts, and/ or 3 – just don’t understand social media.

I’m not going to tell you why you need to be doing it or that you’ll generate a ton of business from it, or even explain social media to you.  What I am going to show you below is how to better measure and track the effectiveness of your social media efforts.

What I like to do and what we do at Recon Media, Inc is for every single link we share on social media that links to our website we add tracking.  The reason for this is that we’ll be able to see the data in our Google Analytics under campaigns and see how each channel performed for a certain campaign or post.

Measure Social Media with Google Analytics

After collecting data we are able to see which social media channels we should focus on.  We look at a number of different factors to determine where to focus.  A few things to look at would be the time on site along with page views per session.  You really want to look at goals/ conversions; most importantly.  Now that doesn’t mean drop everything else and focus where the money is.  You need to look at the data and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Now, how do you get this data?

The way you’ll be able to see this specific data is by adding specific tags (code) to the link that you share.  That link with the code will tell Google analytics that it’s a campaign, where it came from, and other data you enter into the code.

Well, if you’re like me (not a coder) and don’t know what to add to the links; Google provides a Free tool that will create Google Analytics Tracking URLs for us.  Here is how you go about creating a Google Tracking URL:

  1. Visit: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?hl=en scroll down to “URL Builder Form”
  2. Enter in the URL that you’ll be sharing
  3. Fill in the fields (this is how I fill them out, you can fill them out as you like)
    1. Campaign Source – Where it will be posted (ex: company facebook, Facebook Campaign, Company Twitter)
    2. Campaign Medium – Is it a post, ad, banner (ex: Twitter Ad, Google Group)
    3. Campaign Term – I don’t use for social media
    4. Campaign Content – what is the link about, I don’t use much
    5. Campaign Name – Name the campaign
  4. Hit submit and you’ll get something that looks like this: http://ReconMediaInc.com/?utm_source=Example Blog&utm_medium=Blog Example Link&utm_campaign=Campaign Tracking Blog

Google Analytics URL Builder for Social Media

That is an example of what you’ll get.  Pretty ugly, right? You wouldn’t want to share that in a Tweet or on a post.  So that the link isn’t so hideous I use bit.ly as my URL shortener – http://bit.ly/1IFUqWp.  There are many options for URL shorteners that you can use.

You then repeat the process for each different source you’ll be sharing the link on.  Keep the campaign name the same for the one link.

That is how you’ll be able to measure the effectiveness of your social media efforts.  This process can really be used for any type of campaign that will be driving traffic to a website that you want to be able to track how it performed.

If you have any questions or comments you can contact me on Twitter @jvictorcast or via email at jose@reconmediainc.com.

About Jose Victor Castellanos

Jose has a passion for helping businesses understand and utilize internet marketing strategies to grow their businesses. Providing marketing consulting for over 5 years.