Tracking Social ROI – Facebook and Twitter via Google Analytics

published on December 19th, 2010 in Online Marketing, Social Networking in Business tagged , , , ,

The new buzz in Internet Marketing is definitely Social Media.  If you are not yet convinced about social media check out the video on the social media link above.

Like all marketers we quickly find ourselves asking the question… how do we gauge campaign effectiveness?  Finding campaigns that deliver a strong Return-On-Investment (ROI) are critical to growing your business and for planning subsequent marketing campaigns.

This post focuses on the benefits of ROI tracking for Facebook Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns, but this post applies to any link you might post to Facebook.

google analytics beta 11 257x300 Tracking Social ROI   Facebook and Twitter via Google Analytics

Google Analytics makes your site's info simple and sexy... and its free!

I read a great article on The Net Impact’s blog How to track Facebook Ad Traffic through Google Analytics that answers how to track visitor activity from Facebook campaigns without messing with any tracking codes or website HTML.  Phew.  At Halogen we definitely believe the simpler the better.  If you haven’t setup Google Analytics yet, check out Google’s step by step instructions.

Facebook campaign tracking works by using URL tagging. This English this means we add information to the link that let’s Google Analytics know what ad campaign each click is from. Google’s adwords advertising engine automatically tags the links, but Facebook ad campaigns must be tagged manually.  Thankfully Google’s URL builder tool makes this a breeze.  Simply access the tool, put in your campaign information such as

Campaign Source: Facebook

Campaign Name: Product 1 or Brand awareness

Campaign Medium: Social (or more specific Social-PPC etc)

What is the benefit?

Once your Facebook ads have been tagged you will be able to filter your data to show only certain campaigns.  You will be able to determine what pages users access (what are users from this campaign interested in), how long they stay on your site (how engaged in your content are they), and what percentage take an actionable interest in your site (who used your contact us form or signed up for newsletter).

Are you seeing the benefits yet?

For your PPC campaigns you do not need to mask the URL with a shortener (it violates Facebook’s Terms of Service anyways!). But what about links posted to your Facebook page? All that extra information makes for an ugly link. You can shorten it up using a URL shortener – made popular by Twitter. Keep reading and we will explain below.

Where does twitter come into the picture?

google urlshortener 300x205 Tracking Social ROI   Facebook and Twitter via Google Analytics

Goo.gl Url Shortener provides statistics for your short links

Twitter link tracking can be applied in the same way… Simply tag your links with Google’s tool and then run it through your favorite link shortener such as http://goo.gl/.  Then you can get link specific information and sitewide tracking for your twitter campaigns.
Keep in mind that Goo.gl urls are NOT private.  If your link statistics must be private try using a service such as j.mp to protect your data.  Fun Fact: to see Goo.gl url statistics simply add the link data after goo.gl/ to goo.gl/info/.  Example to see the traffic data for http://goo.gl/Gwk7 simply append the Gwk7 like so: http://goo.gl/info/Gwk7

Do you have any social media tracking secrets or questions?  We would love to hear them.

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