How’s your traffic from Twitter?

The end of the financial year is fast approaching and it presents a great time to stop and look back on your social media marketing efforts for the first half of the year. When evaluating or measuring the success of these efforts a great place to start is by looking at the website statistics to see just how well you are (or are not) doing.

The website statistics provide invaluable information when determining how successful the efforts have been, as often social media marketing is based around driving consumers back to a website to promote a particular product, service or offering.

One of the most important statistics that a marketer will need to know is how effective the Twitter campaigns have been. How many people are coming back to the site as a result of strategically placed Tweets?

Referrals

Traffic from Twitter will be tracked as referral traffic automatically in Google Analytics. If anyone clicks a link to your website from a tweet you will see www.twitter.com in the referrals report section. This is a great way to give you a basic idea of how much traffic your tweets are generating – but it’s not without problems.

Many people today are accessing Twitter through various different ways such as through other interfaces and also by taking advantage of tools such as TweetDeck. If someone clicks the link back to your website through these means then we do not see the inbound referral as being from www.twitter.com but instead is shows up as a direct link.

There is a better way!

When it comes to tracking return on investment from any web based marketing campaign most important metric is always objective completion. All marketers should be taking advantage of the Google Analytics ‘Campaign Tracking’ feature. Using campaign tracking enables the accurate measurement of anyone visiting the website as a direct result of a tweet as it removes the relevance of what platform they used to click the URL.

One method to be able to track this data is using a URL shortening service – such as www.tinyurl.com – in conjunction with the campaign tracking feature. This service creates a re-direct that is hosted by Tiny URL allowing Google Analytics to be able to monitor any traffic using that URL. This technique gives a clear and accurate picture of everyone who is coming to your website as a direct result of that particular tweet. As a bonus you are able to get further breakdown information based on these people – for example how many people came from a PC, iPhone or iPad.

Understanding and analysing this information is a great way to channel future campaigns and let you understand exactly which promotional activities do and do not work for your target audience.

To find out more about Google Analytics campaign tracking feature see here.

Benjamin Nicoll is a founding partner of GoDigital Media, one of Australia’s best value digital media agencies, which provides up-to-date, affordable products and services for SMEs.

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