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How to Track Social Media Traffic Using Google Analytics

Do you know if your social media sites efforts are successful? Wondering how to track web link clicks from social traffic? This article teaches how to use UTM tags to measure your social media traffic with Google Analytics.

Tracking social media traffic with Google Analytics by Chris Mercer on Social Media Examiner

Why Should You Measure Your Social Media Traffic?

Measuring your social media traffic helps you determine which marketing tactics work for you and which are not.

Traffic coming from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or other social media sources leads to content on your website. It then triggers some close, such as a lead, a purchase, or whatever you want to achieve, keeping that traffic.

Your social media sites traffic will come from both paid and unpaid sources. For example, Facebook traffic can come from paid ads, shared posts on your page, and even posts in a group. The same holds for Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

You can also look at social media site traffic more closely. For example, traffic may come from specific site areas, such as cards, the backend, or description links with YouTube.

You want to measure how all social media traffic is converted into content, ultimately leading to your completion objective. You can carry out that with Google Analytics and also UTMs.

#1: View Information About Your Social Media Traffic In Google Analytics

In the “Source/Medium” report in Google Analytics, you can find all the relevant details about your social media site’s traffic. In this one record, you can see the identity of each web traffic source, how much audience you receive from that source, how that audience interacts with your website, and the results of those actions.

Below you will learn how to use this report.

Accessing the Source/Medium report

Open Google Analytics and access the report to Acquisition > Total Traffic > Source/Medium.

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The far left column in the Source/Medium report indicates the traffic source and tool. You can consider the “source” as the brand of traffic coming through and the “medium” as the type of traffic.

To illustrate, the first traffic source listed below is Google/organic. In this case, Google is the traffic brand, and organic is the kind of traffic. For Google/CPC, the traffic also originates from Google, and the type of traffic is CPC, which is paid web traffic.

The next part of the record, Acquisition, tells you the web traffic from that source. You can see the variety of users, new users, and sessions.

The third section, Behavior, provides information about visitors’ actions. You can see the bounce rate, web pages per session, and average session duration for this audience.

When you look at the acquisition and behavior data together, you get an idea of the quality of traffic from that source. For example, you may have a source that brings a lot of traffic to your site, but those users don’t perform the actions you want them to or leave quickly. However, you can also have a source that doesn’t send you much traffic, but those users engage with your message and content. This second source is of slightly higher quality.

The last share of the Source/Medium report shows you the results. You can see those results if you have objectives set up in Google Analytics to measure actions like leads or purchases. Select one of your goals from the dropdown menu to compare traffic sources for different results.

Analyzing the data in the report

Now that you are familiar with the report’s contents let’s look at how you can analyze this data. When reviewing the data, don’t get hung up on the numbers. Instead, look for trends. Looking at the behavioral data below, you can see that the traffic sources with the lowest bounce rates are malls.Googleplex/referral (11.05%) and also (13.31%). This information suggests that the audience from these two sources is more engaged than those from the other sources.

These two traffic sources also stand out in terms of pages per session and average session duration. On average, these audiences viewed more pages throughout a session (8.28 and 6.58, respectively) and invested more time on the site (4:28 and 4:13, respectively). Now that you’ve established that the audiences from these two sources are engaged, you need to determine if this translates into outcomes. On the eCommerce faction, you can see that mall. Googleplex had 93 purchases with a total value of $8,839, but had only two transactions totaling $248.

While the engagement levels of the two sources are similar, the first source gave you 93 transactions, and the second source only 2. This shows that the second source is not working as well for you as the first. If the first source was Facebook and the second source was YouTube, you would focus more on Facebook.

You can tag your web traffic now that you know how to use this report in Google Analytics.

#2: Track Your Social Media Sites Traffic Sources With UTMs

UTM parameters are tags you contribute to the links you share on social media sites so you can get more precise details about your traffic in Google Analytics.

By tagging your links with UTM parameters, you can see which source of social media sites traffic is bringing the most site visitors to your site, what pages or content they’re interested in, and even more details, like how much they buy, what they do after buy, where they leave your funnel, and more.

Let’s say you have a Facebook campaign and use multiple ads to drive visitors to the same content on your website. But which ad gets you the most page views after the first click? Which ad converts those clicks into subscribers or customers? To determine which ad is getting the most clicks, you can look at your Facebook account analytics to determine this metric.

Google Analytics can reveal this information if you tag your traffic. Keep the following structure in mind when tagging:


the product or service you are ultimately promoting or sending visitors to


the brand of traffic you are using (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.)


The type of traffic this brand delivers, e.g., paid, shared, or organic traffic


The headline (or subject line, if it’s an email)


The details about the traffic source

To understand how this structure affects your social media marketing efforts, let’s look at a Facebook ad example. Here are the details for that ad:

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To track this information in Google Analytics, add UTM parameters to your links:

  • The campaign (you are by product/service) becomes utm_campaign.

  • The origin (the brand) set off utm_source.

  • The medium (the type of web traffic) becomes utm_medium.

  • The term (the headline) becomes utm_term.

  • The content (the details) becomes utm_content.

Here’s how to include the UTM parameters to the link for the Facebook ad example.

First, determine the source (the brand), which in this case is Facebook:

Next, determine the medium (the type of traffic). In this case, use CPC, which stands for Cost per Click. Next is the campaign (product/service). In this case, it is Measurement Marketing Academy, but we will use Academy as an abbreviation:

Then add the term (headline/topic), which is Trust Your Numbers:

Finally, provide the content (details). You want to target blog readers and use the image of a laptop in the ad, so write it that way:

Now you require to add these parameters to the link itself. Remember that the UTM parameters can be used in any order, and only source/medium/campaign is required.

In this instance, when users click on the Facebook ad, they will be redirected to the home page of This is the top web link.

Now include a question mark to the end of the main link and then add each UTM parameter. Separate each parameter with an ampersand. This is what the final URL looks like:

Now let’s look at how you’ll use this URL when setting up the Facebook Ad. In Ads Manager, enter your main link in the Website URL field.

Then include your tracking parameters (everything after the question mark) in the URL parameters field.

Now, when someone clicks on your Facebook ad, this information will be sent through Google Analytics.

When you open the Source/Medium report, you can see where the web traffic is coming from (Facebook), what specific ad it’s impending from (the “belief your total numbers” ad with the laptop image that appeals to blog readers), what actions users are taking, how much traffic is being sent from that traffic source, and what the results of that traffic ultimately look like.

#3: Create Your UTMs With The UTM Builder Tool

The best news is that there is an easier way to create UTMs for your campaigns. The UTM Builder tracking tool ensures that your UTMs are structured, and all information is stored in one place.

To use this method, open UTM Builder and then select File > Create Copy to create your Copy so you can edit it.

On the first tab, UTM Creation Tips, you will find a summary of the UTM information discussed previously.

The sources, media, and campaigns you specify on this tab will appear in the dropdown lists on the various other tabs of this sheet, as you’ll see in a moment.

Once you have filled in these attributes, you can create your UTMs. To recognize how to use this tracking tool, let’s use it to create the UTMs for the Facebook ad from earlier. First, open the Facebook CPC tab.

This is what your sheet looks like at this point:

Next, enter your term and add the details about your content. As you define the various parameters, the worksheet automatically generates the URL for you in the Code column. Click the code in the worksheet to test it and make sure it opens the correct landing page.

Tip: When you add UTMs to your spreadsheet and start tracking, you may want to highlight the web content and campaigns that bring you the most social media site traffic. Keeping them in this worksheet will help you remember specific details you may need later.

To learn more about how you can use Google Analytics to measure the impact of your social media marketing.

What do you think? Are you using UTM parameters in the links you share on social media? How could you improve the labeling of your web traffic sources? 

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