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    « A New Web Analytics Salary Guide | Main | 10 Must-Have Analytics Tools for Small Business: June's Picks »

    October 04, 2010

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    RRS_ATL

    June,

    This seems like a fairly painless and straight forward process. But what happens when the "telephone" effect kicks in. (re: http://www.emerkirrane.com/2010/01/19/playing-twitter-whispers-with-your-message-and-attribution/)

    What are your thoughts on being able to track links once the original link gets re-shortend without your campaign id in it?

    -Rudi

    Jdersh

    @Rudi: Good question. This is the sort of stuff that keeps me up at night. Perhaps I'll write a follow-up post called, "Revenge of the Mutant Social Media Link." :-)

    There are a number of overlapping ways to track social media links, listed here in descending order of value:

    1) Web analytics campaign code report (as described in this post)
    2) Web analytics referrer/landing page combo report
    3) 3rd party tools like Radian6 (general) or TweetReach (niche)
    4) URL shortener stats from tools used to shrink links, like bit.ly

    In the list above, #1 gives you a direct connection between the campaign and the site-side outcome. #2 lacks the campaign but still gives you a connection to the site-side outcome (assuming the referrer gets passed, which is another issue). #3-4 give you a sense of reach and viral effect but DO NOT connect to site-side outcome, which is why I rank them lower on the list.

    This is perhaps more complex than it oughtta be, but I think that all of these data sources can be used in combination to measure the effectiveness of social media marketing. Make sense? Have anything to add?

    me.yahoo.com/a/6t7ktkV209U2Mwn6y3ngO41KpNE0C.Nw18Qx

    Hi June - great post!
    I'm always surprised by how little campaign URLs are tagged in social media. Even given the "Twitter Whispers" phenomenon I mention in the post Rudi kindly linked to, tracking social media campaigns as far as possible is surely preferable to not tracking them at all.

    One way around it, I suppose, is to create microsites or dedicated campaign pages for the social media campaign, so that the landing page can be used as a measurement of campaign click-throughs. Otherwise, quantifying and estimating the proportion of clicks that have lost the tag can still help to estimate the success of social media endeavours.

    Surely it's better than operating in the dark.

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