Questions? (877) 643-7244
FutureNow Article
Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011

Addressing Problems of/with Social Media: Start with Tracking

By Whitney Wilding
February 9th, 2011

Benefits of Social Media Marketing Campaigns

By the close of 2010, it was clear that social media had become a strong presence in the online marketing world. And why shouldn’t it be? Social media has some obvious benefits that have drawn companies to it:

  • it is free to create an account and begin building content;
  • your online presence is live in an instant;
  • the inter-connectivity of the space facilitates exponential growth of a customer base;
  • features of the space are set up to make it easy for people to spread a message (such as your customer base touting the merits of your brand).

So, with all of these benefits, can there possibly be a problem with using social media to drive traffic to your site?

Start Holding Social Media Accountable

Of course! In fact, one of the major issues facing marketers using social media as a tactic isn’t at all exclusive to social media. Social media, like any other marketing effort, needs to be accountable. However, since it is a fairly new medium, and has gained popularity so rapidly, the ugly old issue of how to track the effectiveness of the medium has resurfaced.

Here at FutureNow it is essential that our analysis account for the effectiveness of all of the traffic sources to a client’s site. If a particular social media campaign is not being captured in analytics data, then that’s an opportunity for improvement. Analytics tracking can provide you with some invaluable insights that will allow you not only to better understand the value of social media to your site, but also to optimize your social media campaigns and their landing pages on your site, and reclaim lost revenue.

How to Set Up Tracking on Social Media.

Luckily, for online advertisers who are fairly new to analytics, Google provides some great articles to help you get started. You need to appropriately label and tag your social media campaign just like you would do for any other campaign you run. Google offers a “how to” detailing how to label and tag a campaign. Although the article does not use a social media campaign as the example, the same principles apply when you go to label and tag your social media campaign. We added a social media column to the table in the Google article to help you easily adapt their instructions and your social media campaigns (click image below to enlarge):

Adapted from Google Help Article, "How Do I Tag My Links"

As you are planning your ad campaigns for 2011 (not just social media campaigns), don’t overlook one very important element of your advertising: tracking. Have additional questions or need some additional help interpreting your analytics data? Contact us to find out how we can help you make the most of your analytics.

Add Your Comments

Comments (140)

  1. Good points all. I think though (unless you’re willing to pay) the best way to make the most of analytics is to accept the fact that it’s going to take a long time to get good, and start using it.

  2. I don’t believe in Facebook, I’m pretty sure it will end up like Myspace someday

  3. As we all know that SEO is time consuming method to get good and long lasting result. But with social media site help, we could get traffic without considering our site position in search engine search result.

  4. I have been trying to find a way to get more traffic to my FaceBook business page and I’m considering FaceBook ads, but was worried I wouldn’t be able to track the analytics effectively. Your post has given me an idea… thank you.

  5. Thanks, the Google Analytics tips is really helpful. I’ve added it to my site and I get much more informative stats than with the programs that came with my web space.

  6. Completely in agreement. The social networks are turning into perfect platforms for the direct promotion.

  7. I think the idea of people finding your business on a social network site is ok for some but I would much prefer people visit our website first.

  8. Very true. I like to use facebook for my website because I don’t have to pay for advertising. If it is good enough to gain attention, it will become viral on these social media sites. Thanks for the post!

  9. Social media are important nowadays to grab everyones attention towards our website. I personally feel Linkedin is better than FB. I might be wrong..but its my view point.

  10. Tracking is a fundamental part of any web marketing. In fact it is one the main advantages of marketing on the web, so to think that any company would begin a campaign without setting up any sort of tracking is almost ludicrous – yet it happens all the time.

    Social media is free, but in reality most companies are fairly clueless when it comes to it and will therefore need to hire or out source to someone with expertise to ensure the campaign is run correctly – this soon makes it a very real cost!

  11. We see just how powerful the social media tools are with the recent roumours of facebook and google investigating twitter purchase for ten billion …thats righ billion wow connecting and measuring them are the key to your websites success

  12. I really believe in social Media website especially on Facebook. this is only the one website I use to update and share my all things.

  13. Appreciate this article. Social marketing with Facebook has turned out to be a great way to advertise my business. I think it’s the paid advertisements that have been doing well for my site.

  14. I love the way FB allows the small business to get the word out about their products. If you provide just the right amount of free information, such as a relevant PDF or a link to a YouTube video, they will want to visit your site to learn more.

  15. Thanks for the tips. Tagging social media campaigns is a very important start to holding social media accountable. To ultimately understand how to effectively use social media to achieve business objectives, the measurement of engagement within the social media platforms need to be integrated with measurement of actions on the marketers’ website.

  16. I completely agree with 70s.The social networks are turning into perfect platforms for the direct promotion.

  17. Thanks for the guidance! I have learned my social media brings me just 1.5% of visitors. =( Will think how to improve it, this fact frightens me.

  18. since 3 month i use social media on my website, theres no traffic explosion

  19. It is the best way to observe the social medias for a period of time if you don’t want to spend a penny. And of course for your respective product.

  20. I’ll say this: tracking takes a lot of time in many cases. That being said, the more you do it the better off you are going to be. Even if it takes me a couple hours to check up on past campaigns, the time spent is well worth it.

  21. the issue is also as the popularity increases, we will start getting flooded with advertising.

  22. Twitter is the best marketing tool. Its a way ahead than facebook or any other.

  23. i do agree with you that social media is the in-thing in getting visitors to one’s website.but to be candid,getting traffic is an issue

  24. Not sure if you caught the superbowl commercials, but pretty much every one of the main companies had their facebook url in the bottom of the frame at the end.

    In any point, I think the post is great – def need to keep track of campaigns, would be nice if analytics could incorporate facebook/other campaigns on the dashboard.

    Look forward to seeing more posts!

  25. Facebook is looking to dominate and doesn’t care about Google, so expect to have to battle for “position” in both is my attitude.

  26. I’ve been at this marketing thing for awhile now, and one thing that sticks out to me that I learned the hard way, was that I didn’t actively track where my clicks were coming/going. I can’t stress it enough to someone who’s starting out, it is very important to know what’s working and what isn’t

  27. The idea of making business on a social network site is ok, but often an advertisements are to aggressive IMO.

  28. Facebook, Twitter, etc are great ways to get your business out there but you should absolutely want to direct traffic to your website primarily.

  29. There is no doubt that social media is going to rule the web world. But in near future today’s giants will go off.

  30. Most of my genuine blog traffic comes from social media sites, I completely agree with you. Nice blog…

  31. Just like any inbound marketing technique, determining it’s value is impossible without measurement and analytics. Thanks for the tips!

  32. Social Media site is most popular and helpful techniques to increase traffic.

  33. I agree 100%. A huge part of marketing is testing and measuring. Which is really hard to do in the social media world. What is really your ROI on spending so much time learning and implementing social media strategies. Hard to say. But although some business benefit, many don’t. But its SOCIAL! So it really has to be done regardless! If ou are a business owner you almost feel guilt if you don’t put effort towards it.

  34. Very well said. I agree with you 100%. Most of the marketers now use Facebook and Twitter, which I found very powerful. We just have to know how to use and gain from its benefits.

  35. hello, thank you for the post, i totally agree. I use Onlywire to keep a track of my social network accounts and it really helps me do it faster and right. The obvious disadvantage is that many people use them for spam but at least some of social media try to update their algorithms in order to prevent them.

  36. I can not really make friends with social media for what does Twitter now really SALES IS for websites

  37. Now if we could only quantify the ROI on social media…

  38. Tracking information and visitors to a campaign or website is vital. It gives you information no only of traffic to your site, but also by analysing the data you can see trends in the market, how changes to your site affects traffic, how features and promotions affect change. This can all result in changes in your bottom line. Tracking in any online business or internet promotion is well wort the time invested, in my opinion.

  39. even if facebook would end up like myspace, still it is worth spending time on social media. i speak from my own experience. when i just started one of my websites i had visitors the same day due to social media. in addition, social media network is constantly growing.

  40. social media is not really about getting sells, its about keeping in direct contact with your customer and listening to what they say about what they would like to see, or what your business can do better.

  41. Great post. People like to do business with people they like and trust. Social media offers a unique opportunity to allow our connections to get to know us.

  42. Social media are important to grab everyones attention towards our website. I personally feel Linkedin is the better but facebook is facebook.

  43. Twitter is the best marketing tool. It’s a way ahead than facebook or Linkedin.

  44. Social media is the mainstay of my practice marketing. Traditional advertising is as dead as the dinosaur.

  45. i’m fairly new to social media and analytics but your article did help me point to the right direction of tagging links for social media tracking and tagging campaigns and even just for that i’d say your article did gave me valuable information.

  46. You can also use solutions like tracking 202 which affiliate marketers have been using for years to track facebook ads as well as other things such as media buys and traditional SEM. In that world analytics is everything as it should be in whatever you’re pursuing online. As that’s the huge benefit online provides the ability to track everything and make conclusions.

  47. Social Media has become a platform for the industry to share their things with the world. Social sites like Facebook is providing the “referal” link tag, by using which one can track the campaign status. It’s so easy and helps to analyze data very transparently.

  48. With Facebook ads, they have their own form of analytics that tracks your success for you. It works quite well for my company. Good article

  49. The easiest way I have found is to use Twitter Live! Especially if you have a lot of automated content. You can set how often you post your feed to not only Twitter but Facebook as well. I would recommend that you make some friends on either network that have interests on the topic of your blog/website as they are more likely to respond to your posts and visit your website. Also Hootsuite is another avenue I would persue and have a play around with that.

  50. also try using the sitestats plugin if you are using wordpress, that way you can track where your visitors are coming to your site from, and what search term was used to get them there. :)

  51. I agree social media may help in some niches however i still have yet to see any success from it.

  52. I agree. Facebook, linkedin, twitter and all other social media sites helps in markerting without any cost and in fast way. They have a large network as well.

  53. This is a great idea. I’ve used googles campaign analytics for email campaigns before but never thought of using it on Social Media.

  54. Because of the small budget of small businesses social media is always a leading choice for marketing. But now it is becoming a choice of large businesses as well due to its great benefits without any disadvantages.

  55. Thats really good and informative. Thank you so much for sharing this

  56. @ Recetas Canarias Can you explain that? I mean why twitter is better than facebook and linkedin? Because I think that facebook is the best tool for marketing protomotion…

  57. Social Media activity always takes so much time! It’s hard to take care about everything.

  58. Interesting stuff. Everytime I try something new I have to be able to track its progress. This is the basis of any good campaign. This will surely help

  59. Social media is the future, those who use it wisely will have a great advantage

  60. Great tips …… never know about these kind of analytic techniques ….. using social media is best among all internet techniques

  61. I completely agree. The social networks are turning into perfect platforms for the direct promotion.

  62. Social networks are definitely one of the best tool for marketing online since many people are engaging with it.

  63. In this day and age, where technology is constantly changing and social media is providing unparalleled opportunities to engage your target market, it’s imperative to stay on top of marketing trends while utilizing analytics in bettering your strategic campaign. Great post!

  64. Pretty late to the party here but, 12 months on from your post tracking the success of social media has become even more important.

    Yes Google’s taking social signals into account more these days however that’s not reason enough to keep on tweeting, and posting.

    like any other marketing initiative (and especially in the current economic climate) campaigns have got to be seen as adding value

  65. Like goal setting in google analytics having a right social media campaigns will help you measure how well your site fulfills business objectives.

  66. [...] grokdotcom.com – PR6 [...]

  67. [...] COMPUTER RESEARCH IN MOTION ROGERS COMMUNICATIONS SAIC SATYAM COMPUTER SERVICES Filed under: Gadget and Technology Comments [...]

  68. [...] ASSOCIATES LSI LINEAR TECHNOLOGY LEXMARK INTERNATIONAL LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS Like this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

  69. Very useful article. Now I plan to use social media to promote my website.

  70. [...] INTERNATIONAL RECTIFIER INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES (IBM) INTERDIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS [...]

  71. [...] SYMANTEC HEWLETTPACKARD QUANTA COMPUTER NOVELL Filed under: Gadget and Technology Comments Off [...]

  72. [...] NETWORK APPLIANCE APPLIED MATERIALS ROCKWELL AUTOMATION ADOBE SYSTEMS Filed under: Gadget and Technology Comments Off Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) ( [...]

  73. [...] ALLIANCE DATA SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL RECTIFIER GOOGLE ARROW ELECTRONICS Filed under: Gadget and Technology Comments Off [...]

  74. [...] GLOBAL MICROSEMI EASTMAN KODAK CO ELECTRONIC ARTS SCIENTIFIC GAMES Filed under: Gadget and Technology Comments Off Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) [...]

  75. the biggest disadvantage of Social Media is Easily traceability and miss use of your personal information
    any ways thanks a lot its very informative Article

  76. [...] IUSACELL FEI COMPANY YAHOO IMS HEALTH DIRECTV GROUP Filed under: Gadget and Technology Comments Off Comments (0) [...]

  77. [...] NIKON PROGRESS SOFTWARE ZIONS BAN APPLE COMPUTER Filed under: Gadget and Technology Comments Off Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) ( [...]

  78. Social media use is a hot topic in the legal industry and measuring ROI is a question many lawyers are asking. Without any metrics, some lose focus and interest. Tracking is indeed helpful to keeping lawyers engaged. Thanks for sharing.

  79. [...] HAI PRECISION IND LINEAR TECHNOLOGY GRUPO IUSACELL FEI COMPANY YAHOO Filed under: Gadget and Technology Comments Off Comments (0) [...]

  80. [...] TECHNOLOGY PRICELINECOM UNITED ONLINE NINTENDO SUN MICROSYSTEMS Filed under: Gadget and Technology Comments Off Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) [...]

  81. Tracking is one area I need to focus on more in my Google adwords campaign. Off to go check it now!

  82. [...] HEALTH DIRECTV GROUP ASUSTEK COMPUTER INTERSECTIONS MOODYS Filed under: Gadget and Technology Comments Off [...]

  83. [...] AVNET RACKABLE SYSTEMS SHAW COMMUNICATIONS RED HAT Filed under: Gadget and Technology Comments Off Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) ( [...]

  84. [...] HOLDING OPENWAVE SYSTEMS DIEBOLD LM ERICSSON EMC Filed under: Gadget and Technology Comments Off Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) ( subscribe [...]

  85. Facebook advertising in today’s day and age is absolutely vital for any small business, especially with how targeted to a particular audience Facebook can be. For me, certain Facebook advertising campaigns are much more effective than others. For example, banner ads on the side are beyond irritating. Something that always sticks out to me is seeing something new, fresh and different than what ‘everyone else’ does.

  86. You can also use alternatives like monitoring 202 which entrepreneurs have been using for decades to monitor facebook or myspace ads as well as other elements such as press purchases and conventional SEM. In that community statistics is everything as it should be in whatever you are seeking on the internet. As that is the large advantage on the internet provides the capability to monitor everything and create results.

  87. I need a social networking campaign. I will get help from this site.

  88. facebook twitter & linkedin is now most result driven social networking site.

  89. I completely agree with you.
    Facebook and Twitter are shaping the way for the direct promotion.

  90. A social media account may be free but to make an effective marketing tool you have to invest the time and money it needs to be successful. Social media marketing will give you what you put into it.

  91. It is needless to explain the value of social media marketing in this era of online marketing. Everyone is connected with each other through online. Every business person is trying to make their presence over the internet to enhance their connections and so on.

  92. Yes.. with social sharing you can grow up everything, but don’t forget to track them.
    :-)

  93. Facebook. this is only the one website I use to update and share my all things.

  94. We are hoping that using a facebook page will help promote our products. They are scripture based items. Having a page for people to comment and share through facebook how these products have touched their lives, hopefully word will get out.

  95. Luckily Analytics now contains a whole suite of social media tracking reports which we use vehemently. Especially with the +1s. Google seems to pushing the G+ platform harder than ever.

  96. yes it is true now social websites are the second souce for traffic and in social media race facebook and twitter are my favourite.

  97. I agree social media is great for business!

  98. Facebook has done a really great job for another of my sites. I have used Facebook ads to drive traffic there and at the moment I have around 35.000 members. However, I have been able to do so as I live in Bosnia, and when we target the local markets ads tend to range between 1c and 5c per click (depending on he ad as well, i have an average CTR of 0,22%, which I think is outstanding) and we have been able to create a really large group with very little expenditure.

  99. As we all know that SEO is time consuming method to get good and long lasting result. But with social media site help, we could get traffic without considering our site position in search engine search result.

  100. By the close of 2010, it was clear that social media had become a strong presence in the online marketing world. And why shouldn’t it be? Social media has some obvious benefits that have drawn companies to it:

    it is free to create an account and begin building content;
    your online presence is live in an instant;
    the inter-connectivity of the space facilitates exponential growth of a customer base;
    features of the space are set up to make it easy for people to spread a message (such as your customer

  101. Yes Google’s taking social signals into account more these days however that’s not reason enough to keep on tweeting, and posting.

    like any other marketing initiative (and especially in the current economic climate) campaigns have got to be seen as adding value

  102. Use google alerts to gain one step a head of your competition. I use some tools like Raven and woopra for real time analytics.

  103. We’ve never really seen any ROI from Facebook and other such social networks. It seems there only real purpose is extra exposure for your brand

  104. Social networks are undoubtedly unavoidable but it’s not always profitable to all kinds of business!

  105. I totally agree! I think Social Media Marketing a great opportunity for all kind of business!

  106. I usually use Facebook’s fan page to promote my products. I think it works to drive traffic to my website and increase my revenue. I think social media is a must for marketing.

  107. I usually prefer to use Twitter & Facebook!..This is a best marketingtool for marketing

  108. Social media is a great way for business marketing.

  109. Facebook is one of the best marketing tools out there nowadays. If you are running a business and aren’t using it, you WILL fall behind.

  110. Social media is free, but in reality most companies are fairly clueless when it comes to it and will therefore need to hire or out source to someone with expertise to ensure the campaign is run correctly – this soon makes it a very real cost!

  111. Hi,

    Social Media Marketing needs to be a part of any Marketing Plan and when done correctly it will work.
    Thanks for sharing nice post.

  112. Very true. I like to use facebook for my website because I don’t have to pay for advertising. If it is good enough to gain attention, it will become viral on these social media sites. Thanks for the post!

  113. Social media is the best way to drive traffic on the site.

  114. Social media has rapidly integrated itself into our everyday lives, both personal and professional, and it’s perhaps had no greater impact than on the world of marketing, with consumers and brands seeing enormous benefits and changes

  115. It’s not all gravy, though. Social media campaigns can be time consuming and the impact can disseminate very quickly, whereas traditional marketing campaigns, certainly in television, can produce short term results that have greater tangibility.

  116. I think that Social media is a great way to get traffic to your site but only if its done correctly

  117. Social media is now more important then ever since Google ranks well the websites that go viral. Taking too much time to develop a social network around your website can be harmful for your business

  118. Social media marketing is a must for all business.

  119. social media will help increase traffic and page rank in google.

  120. I really Appreciate this article. Social marketing with Facebook has turned out to be an excellent thanks to advertise my business. i feel it’s the paid advertisements that are doing well for my web site.

  121. Whats the easiest way to track your traffic coming from the social media sites, I don`t trust google analytics as I know im getting more traffic than it`s reporting.

  122. I would like to know if everyone still feels the same about the social networking and analytics this year as you did in 2011.

  123. I came across this eye-opener article at the most appropriate time because I have been using Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to expose my site and my business without know the kind of results coming out of my efforts.

    It is now a must for me to have a way of analyzing my efforts.

    Thanks for the posts and I appreciate so many comments in respect of the above subject matter.

  124. Thanks for the guidance! I have learned my social media and social network are very good sources to increase your traffic.

  125. Thanks for the guidance! I have learned my social media brings me just 1.5% of visitors.

  126. indead , facebook is 80% used by programs more then people .

  127. thanks for the share and making some of the best points on SMM ..i am not able to target the specific visitors through SMM still trying to get stones turned

  128. Undoubtedly social networking sites like facebook have become a great plarform to publicise your blog, without any such hardwork. They link to others effetively ancd effortlessly

  129. Luckily Analytics now contains a whole suite of social media tracking reports which we use vehemently. Especially with the +1s. Google seems to pushing the G+ platform harder than ever.

  130. I think that Facebook can be a powerful tool when it comes to creating traffic for your site, but it really depends on what your website is about. For example I have two websites and one of them is about student loans and tips on how to repay them and for that Facebook is of no real use. But my other website is called like a laugh and by posting funny pictures and links I increased all of my pageviews drastically. I get about 40% of all of my traffic directly from facebook.

  131. Nice post. I Think i agree with the previous speaker. Facebook can be a powerful tool but at the same time a dangerous tool.

  132. Social media is an integral part of almost all businesses in the modern world. The day will come where ALL businesses need their own social media network. Nice article.

  133. Definitely some good points in this article to keep in mind. We do use Facebook for promotion, but it’s good to know we should start tracking our campaigns for maximum results. Thanks for sharing!

  134. Is it just me but social media doesn’t drive the same amount of traffic as straight up content via SEO. I watch my analytic s carefully and the results just aren’t there.

  135. All good points. I think even if the best way to make the most of the analysis is to accept the fact that it’s going to take a long time to get good and start using it.

  136. @Exhibition, we are noticing the same thing that content marketing via Social Media does not drive the same volume or quality of traffice as SEO.

  137. We have had a similar experience to Exhibition Stands, traditional SEO has been FAR more effective in generating new business than social has..

  138. Hello Whitney, good points about Google analytics and tracking social media. I still have a tough time fully embracing Facebook. I really think that Google plus is going to be a huge force in the future. Especially when it comes to Google local search. Thank you :)

  139. Yes of course the impact of social media now a day is booming day by day. It is also driving the traffic, but need to constantly be in touch with the social media fans. If we can help and give support and even provide festival offer using it, you can definitely drive the traffic.

  140. Truly, SEO method is time consuming & involves long processes but I still believe that seo gives the most perfect result. However, social media/networking sites are also very reliable means of driving traffic. I do enjoy the two methods because they give me the expected result always.

Add Your Comments

 

Print this Article
Share

More articles from Whitney Wilding

Marketing Optimization Blog
FREE Newsletter Sign-Up
send it once every: