Use Google Analytics to Track Inbound Links From Social Media Profiles

You can track referrals from Facebook or Twitter in Google Analytics, but what if you want to track specific links within your social media profiles to measure their effectiveness? For example, what if I want to see how many people visit pamorama.net by clicking on my Twitter profile link? This tutorial will teach you the simple steps you need to take — and this method can be used in conjunction with any of your social profiles: Facebook, LinkedIn, or the legion of others.

1: Create a trackable link

Head over to Google’s URL Builder to create a URL that can be tracked separately in Google Analytics. Fill in the spaces as indicated in this screenshot with information about your social media profile:

2: Shorten your trackable link

Google’s URL Builder will create a very long URL, so it’s a good idea to shorten it with one of the many available online shorteners. For the example below, I used bit.ly, but any of them will do the trick:

3: Add your shortened trackable link to your social media profile

You’ve created a trackable link and shortened it — now you need to add it to the the social media profiles you want to track.

4: Track your URL in Google Analytics beginning the next day

Since you used Google’s URL Builder, the link will be tracked automatically in Google Analytics each time someone clicks on on it. You’ll be able to see your referrals by going to Google Analytics -> Traffic Sources -> Campaigns. Google Analytics takes about a day to begin reporting the referrals.

Have you used Google Analytics this way? What did you learn from the data?

 

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Social Media: A Cheat Sheet [Infographic]

Are you new to social media? Are you unsure about how to engage your audience via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the rest? Here’s a handy infographic that doubles as a roadmap of the social Web. Created for CMO.com by 97th Floor, it analyzes the top social media sites in the U.S. and tells you how each one stacks up in terms of:

  • Customer communication
  • Brand exposure
  • Ability to drive traffic to your site
  • SEO

Overall, YouTube and Digg post the best results, although YouTube falters in the traffic area and Digg isn’t a great tool for customer communication. This guide doesn’t address the mechanics of how involved you need to be with each site when you launch a new campaign, or how aggressive — in general, it’s important to tread lightly with your messaging because over-marketing in the social sphere can backfire quickly.

The image below has been scaled. You can click on it to see a slightly larger version and download the full-screen PDF.


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Social Media: Everybody’s Doing It, But For Different Reasons [Charts]

While the demographics of the average social media user mirror the average U.S. adult (i.e., everyone’s socializing online in some way), a recent Retail Advertising and Marketing Association survey conducted by BIGresearch shows types of social media use vary greatly by age and gender. The survey, “Social Media: An Inside Look at the People Who Use It”, compares U.S. users on the social Web to the average American adult. But even with all the Twitter chitchat, Facebook fan groups, and blogs to be followed, consumers believe face-to-face communication is the most powerful.

Here are some interesting graphs from the report — mouse over them to see the underlying details:

View the full research report (PDF)

View the raw research data comparing social media users to U.S. adults 18+ (PDF)

View the raw research data comparing all social media user demographics (PDF)

Takeaways from the report:

  • 70% of social media users between the ages of 18-34 regularly use Facebook more than other sites such as MySpace, Twitter, and Classmates.com
  • 72% of social media users say that after an online search, they communicate with others about a product or service with face-to-face communication
  • More people who use social media prefer to give advice about a product or service rather than receive it
  • Social media users are more likely to use other new media compared to adults 18+
  • 71% of female social media users regularly use Facebook, compared to 61% of males
  • More men than women prefer to communicate with others via a cell phone conversation after searching for a product or service online


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What Social Network Should You Use to Grow Your Business?

Where should you go to reach your target market via social media? It depends on who your customers are.

Here are some recent demographics for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. By tailoring your marketing strategies to dovetail with statistics like these, you can maximize the effectiveness of your social media efforts and focus on reaching your desired audience. And if your goal is to reach a wide variety of users of all ages, incomes, and education levels, you can do so by using all three. Compare your target audience with this data:

Facebook Users:

  • 116 million unique U.S. visitors in December 2009
  • follow the Internet average pretty closely in terms of affluence, education, and household size
  • are slightly more female
  • are mostly younger, aged 13-34

LinkedIn Users:

  • 24 million unique U.S. visitors in December 2009
  • are slightly more male
  • mostly have at least a college education
  • … and an astounding 33% have a graduate degree, as compared to the Internet average of 21%
  • are generally older, more educated, and more affluent

Twitter Users:

  • 23 million unique U.S. visitors in December 2009
  • reflect an even male/female ratio
  • peak at the 18-34 age group (16% of its total users, compared to 8% of the total Internet audience), with an even number of older and younger users.
  • are generally less wealthy than those on Facebook and LinkedIn

(Via Business Insider)
(Photo: Matt Hamm)


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