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  • Ishbel Macleod

The importance of adding UTM codes to social media links

Why you need UTM links for social media

If you work in social media, you’ll know that just posting content isn’t enough: it’s so important to be able to track the results.

As well as reach and impressions, the number of click throughs to a website is one of the key measurements to track and is often used as a key performance indicator (KPI).

As well as the social channels themselves, it is likely that you will use Google Analytics for tracking. This allows you to see not only how many people come to your website after clicking your link, but also where they go after they have landed. This is particularly important for an ecommerce brands, allowing you to track who has purchased a product.

While you can just use the website URL, creating a UTM code (Urchin Tracking Module code) allows you to fully track how many people come from your own social posts, compared to user generated content.

How to set up UTM codes

It’s incredibly easy to set up custom campaign URLs with UTM codes. You can do it manually on a post-by-post basis through Google, or certain tools will automatically add tagging.

For each link you want to use, all you need to do is enter the URL and the campaign source. We suggest also adding a campaign medium and a campaign, to allow you to accurately track which post leads to what referrals.

It’s important to note that UTM parameters are case-sensitive – so if you use ‘Twitter’ on one post, and ‘twitter’ on another, the results will come up separately.

In the image below you can see the form, as well as what the tagged link looks like. Google’s URL tagging page offers you the chance to link up to and automatically shorten the links.

If you are running A/B tests, or multiple ads, you may also want to use the campaign content tag.

How to track UTM links

Assuming you have Google Analytics set up correctly, tracking UTM links is simple.

Simply access your Analytics page, then go to Acquisitions, and Campaigns. Here, you can see all the traffic from your tagged links.

You will be able to track by campaign, as well as by source and medium.

Bear in mind, links that are tagged and in this section will not appear in the Social Acquisition section.

It is also worth noting that your figures on Google Analytics will be lower than on the platforms themselves, or via link shorteners such as This is because the channels count the number of people who click the links – Google Analytics only counts the number who land on the page and wait for it to fully load.

So, why should I use UTM tagging?

To put it simply, to better track acquisition.

You’ll be able to track exactly how many people come from each link across each channel, and then better decisions on the content.

If you receive a great number of clicks, but a high bounce rate, you’ll know that either the content is wrong, or you’re targeting the wrong audience. It will allow you to fully test and check for conversions and truly deliver the best ROI.

It also allows you to perform tests: whether it is an A/B test, or checking organic versus paid, or different times of the day, you’ll be able to accurately attribute your referrals. And that makes for better understanding and reporting – and therefore better social content.

Want to create social content that delivers results? Get in touch today.


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