When it comes to social media marketing, you need all the help you can get to stand out and get results. The competition is fierce and your budget is limited, so you need to make the most of your time and resources to ensure that your efforts pay off. You need to know which strategies actually work. Where is your audience located? What content is really expecting from your business? You can do this and a lot more with one simple “trick”: take advantage of UTM tracking links. In this article, we’ll show you how to use UTM parameters on social media to improve your results.
WHY USE UTM PARAMETERS?
Using UTM parameters is a great way to track results and filter important data from your reports. This way you get much more in-depth data collection using Google Analytics. Accurately tracking your campaigns will create a much more realistic perspective on the performance of your online marketing initiatives and allow you to accurately calculate your return on investment. So what are UTM parameters?
WHAT ARE UTM PARAMETERS?
UTM parameters are tracking tags that you can add to a URL to send data to Google Analytics. Tagging your links with UTM parameters will allow you to gauge the success of your campaigns and identify new ways to get more users to your website.
This piece of code tells us where the visitor came from and why. How do we know all this? Using UTM parameters like utm_source, utm_medium, and utm_campaign. Let’s see what these settings are and what they do.
Want to know where a new visitor to your website is coming from? UTM tracking can make your job easier with the utm_source tag. Let’s take a real-world example and imagine that your visitor is actually a traveler named Martin. Martin has just arrived at Orly Airport. His plane came from Nice. So if we were to use UTM tracking it would look like this: utm_source = Nice.
This setting gives an overview by telling us how the visitor reached us. Martin could have used many different ways to get to Orly. He could have come by bus, train, car, etc. But he did not do it. He took the plane. So the UTM medium would be utm_medium = airplane.
We know how the visitor got to your site, but we still don’t know why. This is the last piece of the puzzle. Let’s say Martin saw a giant billboard while walking through Nice. He scanned a unique code and learned free training on using social media to find better partners. It was all part of a marketing campaign called “Find Your Partner”. So when we see utm_campain = find your partner, we know exactly what drove him to us.
BUILD BETTER SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS THANKS TO UTM SETTINGS
There are two main ways you can use UTM tracking to measure the success of your social media marketing campaigns. You can configure it through Google Analytics (or your analytics software of choice) or you can configure it through your social media management dashboard. Not all social media dashboards offer this service, but it is becoming a fairly common feature. Buffer, MavSocial, Agorapulse, and Hootsuite offer it as an option in some paid plans.
CONFIGURING UTM TRACKING VIA GOOGLE ANALYTICS
The following process assumes that you already have a Google Analytics account:
Go to the campaign URL generator and create your link
Go to a tool called Campaign URL Generator and use it to create UTM tracking parameters. You must include a source, but the other parameters are optional.
To get the most out of it, we suggest that you use at least the first three parameters: Campaign Source – Medium & Name. Capitalization and spelling are important, so be sure to use the same names each time.
Enter your link
Scroll down and enter your link with your new UTM tracking settings. It only takes a few seconds. You can also convert the URL to a short link to make it more accessible, even for non-marketers.
Paste the link in your social media post
Now that your link has “top secret” tracking capabilities, use it in your social media marketing campaign and start measuring results.
USE UTM TRACKING LIKE A PRO
Can’t wait to see how your brand new link powered by UTM parameters works?
- Open your Google Analytics account.
- Under Reports, click Acquisition and then select Campaigns.
- Under Campaigns, you will find all the information about trackable URLs and access a wealth of useful information.
- Analyze the data. This is the most important step in the process and the reason we put all of these parameters in place. Use this data to refine your future strategy. Study the numbers, measure the success of your campaign, and compare it to the rest of your marketing efforts.
SOME ADVANTAGES OF USING UTM PARAMETERS
Use UTM parameters to measure social media ROI
Adding UTM parameters to your social links helps you measure and prove the value of your social media efforts. You can show how social posts drive traffic to your site. Thus, you will get a clear picture of lead generation, referral traffic, and conversions. Then you will measure the social impact of the company’s income. Remember, you can also use UTM tracking data to calculate the cost of acquiring a lead or customer.
These are two important numbers for people in the business who make decisions about budgets. UTM parameters give you a lot of detail, so you can follow the success post by post. You can clearly see the difference between paid and organic social posts. This allows you to more accurately calculate the return on investment. The main advantage of UTM settings is that they allow you to track all social traffic. Without them, tallying traffic from all social channels (including messaging apps) would have been impossible.
Use UTM parameters to perform A / B tests
A / B testing allows you to test and confirm (or not) your assumptions about what works best for your audience. You can use this information to refine your social strategy. For example, you might think that social media posts with videos always perform better. But is it really true for your audience? With UTM codes, you can test this theory. Share two identical articles, one with a video and the other without. Mark each with a UTM code of appropriate content. You will see very soon which one is driving the most traffic to your site.
Of course, you will need more than one test to prove a theory. If you find that videos perform best, you can move on to testing which types of videos perform best. You can get more and more details to further refine your strategy.
Use UTM parameters to track influencer marketing results
Influencer marketing is an important strategy for many marketers. According to a Hootsuite study, 76% of marketers say measuring the ROI of influencer campaigns is a major challenge. Using a unique UTM code for each influencer you work with is an easy way to track how much traffic they send to your site.
You can use UTM codes to see exactly which messages are the most effective. This helps you decide which influencers hold promise for long-term partnerships.