Track Your Social Media Referral Traffic With Google Analytics

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Filed Under Social Media

Do you want to get all the vital information about social media referral traffic for your website?

It may be a good idea to use Google Analytics Social Networks Referral for the purpose of finding out from where all your social media traffic is actually coming from. Definitely, you might not be successful in securing all the possible information but it can give you a brief idea about your social media referral traffic.


Use custom URL’s to find social media traffic

The term dark social media traffic refers to your site, especially when you might post a direct link to content, across any social media network and it gets clicked outside the network. For ex: If you happen to post a link on Facebook and some user clicks on it using some mobile dashboard app. It may be also possible if the user copies your link and shares it using email or text message with others.

In this case, it is difficult for Google Analytics to track traffic from these different sources and it evaluates them as direct traffic. This makes it challenging to find the number of click-throughs for every content post that you share via social networks. By using Google custom URLs, you can track the performance of your content in a far more efficient manner.

Let’s look at the process of using Google Analytics to find out more information about your social media traffic:


#Set up web tracking for your website

Make sure to create Google Analytics account for your website or blog and create additional view for tracking all the custom URLs, otherwise the default view gives you unfiltered data report. Learn about how to use different Google Analytics accounts, users and properties work in tandem to create a view.

You’ll also need to create your web tracking code, which is very simple and once you have set up the code, all you need to do is paste it on the web pages that you wish to track.


#Create your own custom URLs

If you want to build your custom URLs, then your can use the URL builder from Google for this purpose. Choose from the different fields that are available such as the Website URL, Campaign Name, Campaign Medium and Campaign Source.

Most of these fields are pretty self-explanatory and can be filled in easily. However, it’s important that you provide detailed information in each of these fields to avoid any confusion in analyzing data.

Once you’ve filled in all the required fields, you need to click on Submit, where an automatic trackable link is generated that can be published across your social networks. Make sure to have different custom URLs for each network, if you’re publishing content across multiple social platforms.


#Use short custom URLS to make it easy

There may be character restrictions on many of the social networks, hence it makes sense to use a link shortener to keep your posts interesting and appealing at the same time.

You just need to copy your shortened custom URL on to any of your social networks and publish them to share it with others.



The most important part is to monitor and track the results by logging into your Google Analytics account. When you click on Campaigns, you can find the Secondary Dimension box, where you can type in Source or Medium into the drop down search box. This helps in fetching all the custom URL”s that you created and have access to more measurable and accurate metrics for links from your social media networks. 

About the author
Shobha Atre
Shobha Atre
Shobha takes special interest in writing blogs about the latest social media news, marketing and new advertising trends in online business. She also loves writing reviews on tech gadgets, particularly related to smartphones and laptops. Her association with the writing industry has been from the past 7 years and she loves writing about all kinds of trending topics in general. Formerly, she has contributed feature articles for international magazine publications such as "Live IT" and " B.R International - Read more stories from .
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