If you follow our blog, you already know we love social media marketing. Content marketing on social media is one of our preferred means of increasing website traffic and generating positive word-of-mouth for our clients. It’s affordable, simple, and one of the easiest ways to connect with target audiences.
But how do you know if your marketing is working? If only there were a way to share a link that tracks all of the critical data you want to collect from a visitor…
UTM codes do just that!
What is a UTM Code?
The Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) is a code added at the end of a URL that can track the campaign name, source, medium, content, and keywords of that link once clicked.
Google Analytics will track UTM codes and organize the collected data so you can quickly analyze and compare what parts of your marketing strategy are delivering the desired results.
For instance, when a UTM code is added to a social post on Facebook, Google Analytics will be able to tell you the source of the traffic (Facebook) and the campaign you assigned to it, rather than categorizing it under the general “social” category.
By tracking these parameters, you are strengthening the precision of your reports by collecting as much data as possible. This data can be used to determine which social channels create the most traffic, what campaigns and content are most popular, and what media is most engaging to your audience.
How Can UTM Codes Help Increase ROI?
Return on investment (ROI) is essential to anyone allocating time and money into social media marketing.
If you use social media to increase engagement and traffic, then you need to learn where your target audience is and what type of content they are engaging with.
Sixty-nine percent of social marketers say boosting brand awareness is their top goal for social media, essential to understand which platform is getting the most engagement. If you are utilizing paid promotions, UTMs will help you to understand which campaigns are working, and which ones are falling flat.
By tracking these parameters, you will have more valuable insight into what platforms work best for your unique business needs.
How to Get Started with UTM Codes
First, use the Google UTM Generator, which will create custom URLs with UTM parameters of your choosing and create a short link appropriate for sharing on social media. This is one of the easiest ways to start using UTM codes.
Once you know what you want to track, you just need to share this URL. Google does the rest of the work by tracking the parameters you specified and organizing the data on the Analytics dashboard.
With all this information conveniently available in one place, you can compare results to determine where your strategy is working and where it needs to be adjusted.
UTM codes are straightforward and informative tools that can be used in a variety of ways. Beyond helping you determine your social media ROI, these parameters can tell you more about your target audience and how your brand is received online. Even the most well-planned social media marketing strategy will need to be adjusted at some point; try utilizing UTM codes to collect valuable information to guide these changes.
For more information on what UTM codes are and how to use them, check out our Guide to UTM Codes.
Thanks for reading,
Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in May 2019 and has been edited and updated in January 2022.