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Tracking links on social media

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A key element of social media marketing activity is sharing links via your social media channels – whether that’s a top-level link to your website’s homepage, a specific product page, or a blog, article or white paper hosted on your site. If there is such a thing as a secret to successful social media marketing, it would have to be analytics. If you don’t know which social media marketing activities are successful, and which aren’t, marketing can be expensive guesswork. By tracking and analyzing incoming traffic to your web pages, you can build a profile of what approaches and techniques work best, and in turn, use this data to inform future campaigns. So what is the best way to track links you have shared on social media? Here are three of the tools that we find most useful.

  • Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder – This Google Analytics tool couldn’t be easier to use. You can enter the website URL you want to track, the campaign source (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media platform) and other identifying details such as keywords, and the tool will generate a unique URL that you can then track via Google Analytics. It’s a simple and versatile tool that gives great insight into how many website hits the different channels of your campaign are driving.
  • Bitly – Bitly is best known as a popular link-shortening tool, but it is also an extremely powerful and versatile link-tracking and management tool, showing how many times an individual link has been clicked and where it has been shared, with a breakdown between the various social media channels. Bitly’s free-to-use analytics are useful, but its paid enterprise option provides even more detailed campaign metrics and analysis, link optimization and more.
  • ClickMeter – ClickMeter is probably one of the most versatile and comprehensive link-tracking tools available for marketers running social media campaigns. It’s quick and easy to create tracking links which can then be monitored in real time, and also offers dozens of different analytics features. Paid plans range from $349 per month at the top level for big businesses that need to monitor up to 2 million events per month, down to a very affordable $29 per month for smaller businesses to track up to 25,000 events per month.

Link tracking and analytics are vital to any business’s social media marketing strategy. Knowing how successful various facets of your campaigns are across social media can help take the guesswork out of your marketing efforts, and the three tools we’ve listed here are a great starting point for empowering your future strategies.