UPDATE June 18th 2012 - The URL Builder described here has been replaced with Professor Traffic, the add on for Google's Chrome Browser. Check it out here.
Actually, it's not just for Twitter but I can't resist alliteration.
My simple Excel Spreadsheet will help you to track traffic from Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn too. There's even a custom setting to track your visitors from pretty much any other site.
I built this spreadsheet because the Noisy Little Monkey team find it fiddly to use the online URL Builder from Google and because it makes the job of creating URLs with Analytics tracking built in much faster.
It's quite easy to use (I hope...?). DOWNLOAD THE SPREADSHEET (Microsoft Excel 2010)
Step 1. Enter the FULL URL (web address) of the page you want to share.
Don't forget to include the http:// bit right at the beginning. This is best done by browsing to the page you want to share and then copying and pasting the content of your address bar.
Copy this bit:
And paste it here:
Choosing a campaign name & medium type.
The campaign name will show up in Analytics, so make sure it's something relevant, but not too specific. If you're not sharing dozens of links to your site every day, I'd keep it simple. Certainly in the first instance.
For instance, if you're sharing the same link across the big four social sites and it's not tied to any other marketing you're doing, I'd suggest calling the campaign 'Social'.
For the medium, you might want to call it 'Link' if it's just a link. If it's a banner or badge and you have different designs, then make sure you give each one a unique name so you can measure which is driving the most traffic (e.g. 'banner-125x125' and 'banner-728x90').
If you're using this tool, Google will handily segment your results by site, so there's no need to include these in the campaign or medium, unless you really need to.
Do not leave these fields blank or use spaces - that'll screw everything up.
Also, if you want to build one of your own - and you can copy my formulas, I've locked the cells so you can't edit them by accident, but you can see the 'workings in the margins' as my maths teachers all used to say - make sure you use Title Case for the campaign and media types. It's not strictly necessary, but in your Analytics reports 'link' and 'Link' will show up as different mediums, which is a pain. In the spreadsheet it automatically converts it all for you, which is a handy work around if I do say so myself.
Step 2. Copy and Paste the URL Builder links onto the relevant social site.
Say you are sharing the link on Twitter. Click the red cell with the white font next to the 'For Twitter' label. Now copy the link (if you really want to be showy, hold down the 'Ctrl' key on your keyboard and tap the 'c' key - this copies it).
Now, go to Twitter, HootSuite or wherever and paste the link in the relevant place (shortcut 'Ctrl'+'V' - this pastes).
There's an option to enter custom sites if you need it, but Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn are all covered as standard so you can share the link and track the visitors from all four with consummate ease (or if you're using the keyboard shortcuts now, maybe that should be consummate vs).
What you'll see in Google Analytics.
The bit in yellow in Traffic Sources menu is the stuff you're measuring now...
You can see which sites drove traffic...
Which mediums (now you can see that GA splits out 'Links' vs 'links' so keep your Title Case rule in place)...
And, if you've got your goals set up properly - which of these campaigns is driving your profitability:
We'll be posting more on how to interpret these results in the coming weeks and months, but if you need any help in the meantime - get in touch. We can help.