How Do You Analyze Direct Traffic from Social Media Campaign

By James Tredwell on March 15, 2021

Social media now has become imperative for all kinds of business acting as a great marketing tool as it helps connect business with the right audience. Thereby, it helps generate sales, profits, and mainly it creates brand awareness within a minimal budget.

It is possible to generate traffic from social media either through paid ads or unpaid sources such as post sharing or reviews. For a better result from the social media campaigns, it’s important to track and analyze the campaign data daily. Analyzing the daily report helps identify the metrics for a successful campaign and to drive in more traffic.

We can measure or analyze the direct traffic from social media campaigns with Google Analytics and UTM tracking codes.

What is direct traffic?

When visitors directly visit the website, mostly by entering a URL into the browser or by using a bookmark it’s called direct traffic. When Google Analytics cannot define another referring source or channels that’s when direct sessions occur. What distinguishes direct traffic from other default channels are Referrals, Social Media, Emails, and Paid ads. Nevertheless, direct traffic also occurs when visitors reach the site in other direct traffic cases like:

  • By visiting a site first from a secure (HTTPS) site to a non-secure (HTTP) site, secure sites won’t pass a referrer to the non-secure site, making this session direct traffic.
  • When users follow a missing or broken tracking code. For Example, you have forgotten to include the Google Analytics tracking code to your newly launched landing page template. Users landing on this page without tracking code defines it as direct traffic.
  • Redirects like JavaScript-based or Meta refreshes can wipe or replace referrer data, making this direct traffic.
  • When visitors click on links in slide decks, Microsoft Word documents, or PDFs, these links do not pass referrer data. They will appear as direct traffic in the reports.
  • When visitors visit a site by organic search, it can be reported as direct traffic due to browser issues. Research shows that around 60% of direct traffic may be from organic search

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free tool provided by Google for analyzing the website and how users interact with a website.

Listed below are some of the important website details we can get from Google Analytics for free:

  1. Number of visitors to the website
  2. The source of your website traffic (Direct, Social Media, Referral, Email, etc.)
  3. Traffic to every page on the website
  4. Number of leads converted
  5. Source of the lead generated.
  6. Website users location details
  7. Traffic from desktop or mobile

From the google analytics report, we can identify details about the traffic sources of websites like direct traffic, social media traffic, Referral Traffic, Results from paid campaigns, etc.

Analyzing Direct traffic from social media with Google Analytics

By analyzing a Google Analytics report, one can easily identify the social media platforms or the campaign that drive more sales or traffic to the website.

How to get the report for analyzing social media traffic?

Open the Google Analytics account on your website, and then click on Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium.

This will generate the Google Analytics report for analyzing social media traffic.

How to analyze the report?

One can analyze the traffic and get the results from different social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter. It’s easy to understand the social traffic on the website with the help of a pie chart report provided on Google Analytics. Social channels that send the most traffic to the website and low performing social channels for the website can be identified.

By Analysing the detailed report and destination URL, we can identify the social media platform, the type of ads, the result of the campaign, time spent by the visitors on our website, the count of new visitors, the location of the visitor, the landing page link, and the action taken by the user on the website. With these details, we can easily understand the marketing strategy that works well for the social media campaign.

Analyzing Direct traffic from social media with UTM tracking codes.

What is UTM?

UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) codes are shortcodes that can be added to the destination URL of different campaigns to track the result of each campaign. It is one of the essential ways used to track Inbound Marketing activities to the website.

What is the structure of the UTM Code?

There are 5 parameters to the destination URL:

UTM_SOURCE: We can add the advisor (the site in which we are advertising about our website)

UTM_MEDIUM: The marketing medium (Eg. post, video, banner)

UTM_CAMPAIGN: Unique Campaign Name

UTM_TERM: The keywords for the campaign

UTM_CONTENT: To identify the different version of the same campaign

The 3 important beings:

  • Campaign Source: The platform in which the ad is running
  • Campaign Medium: The type of campaign
  • Campaign Name: The unique name of the campaign

We can analyze the results from different campaigns on different social media sites with the help of UTM Tracking codes. Before running a social media campaign, we can add a UTM

parameter at the end of the campaign link. The identification marks on the URL helps to check the results of each campaign through google analytics.

For Example:

When we create a campaign for Facebook, we can change this link:

to this:

After running the campaign, we can check the google analytics report to find out the result of the campaign. By adding the campaign identification keyword to the destination URL of the social media campaign, It makes it easy to identify and analyze the relevance of the campaign and its results.

If you are running the same “Festive” campaign on different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, use different URL parameters on each social media platform by adding parameters like FB, Insta, or Tweet on Destination URLs. By analyzing the destination URL on the Google Analytics report, we can easily identify the platform which generates more sales.

The same method can be used for analyzing the different types of campaigns like Video campaigns, Email Campaigns, and Social Media Campaigns. With the help of URL parameters, one can compare the results of each campaign, and thereby identify the most effective

How to Generate UTM parameter URL for your social media campaign?

We can generate UTM parameters manually or with the help of Campaign Url Builder. Campaign URL Builder allows you to add the UTM parameters to the URL to track the results of the campaign in Analytics.

The URL builder gives an option for entering the website URL along with the campaign parameters like campaign source, campaign medium, campaign name, campaign term, and campaign content. Once you fill out all the details, a URL with UTM parameters will be generated automatically.

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