Tech Nickel

Post Once & Measure twice

For all you social media/networking types out there, did you know that there is a little piece of information that you can add on to your links to make sure that they are easily tracked back to your website?  (This is for all of the Google Analytics users out there, or at least people who like measurable results!)  9/10 users don’t use this technique, and it’s super simple!

If you were to attach an “append tag” to your URL that you include in your tweet or post, you can track visitors from the social network of your choosing – back to your website for each and every tweet/post you send out…  individually.

For example, you could use this URL to include with a specific tweet:

http://examplesite.com/blog/postname/?=20140908-01-FT

I know it looks sloppy – but Twitter uses URL shorteners to make it ‘pretty’.  (Usually has a “t.co” address when it actually posts online.)

What this does – is that it adds a ‘tag’ in Google Analytics, which can be sourced back to the exact time/place where the visitor came from.  If you have a really popular post – you can track them fairly easily in Google Analytics.  Other than the ‘weird URL’, the site visitor still pulls up the same page, with nothing different except for the URL ‘oddity’.

When you open Google Analytics to do some reporting (i know, sounds like loads of fun), you can search for “FT” to bring up all the “from twitter” visitors, “FF” for “from Facebook” or “20140908″ to see how many people clicked on social networking links for any particular day.  You could also search for “201409″ to see all the visitors from social networks over the whole month (to-date).

One of the main reasons that crowds are flocking over to the digital marketing world, is that the results are measurable – and you can see a ROI (return on investment) in near ‘real-time’.

Just remember, if you aren’t actively measuring your marketing efforts – you’re building the foundation of your campaign on…  well…  we’re not sure what you’re building it on.  It could be firmly-compacted soil, or it could be a mess of quicksand.

(This post first appeared on Sprout Digital’s Blog.  Check them out for all your digital needs!)

Nick LaBrant

Right now, Nick is probably neck-deep in website development, learning more about Wordpress, and scribbling down his next "Tech Nickel" post. Feel free to contact him with any questions you might have - and he'll do his best to get you an answer!

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