Data discrepancies between Publish and native analytics

If you’re on the Pro plan, click metrics shown in the Posts report will be pulled from Bit.ly. It’s important to note that we are only able to track clicks on shortened links. If link shortening is turned off, click metrics will not be available. Bit.ly counts the total number of times a link has been clicked. This means that if the exact same link has been shared more than once, or to multiple social accounts, the number you'll see will include all of those clicks. Twitter on the other hand, will simply count the number of clicks on the one specific tweet. This means you may notice a discrepancy between click metrics in Buffer Publish compared to Twitter Analytics.

Enabling Campaign Tracking to generate unique links

If you don’t have Campaign Tracking enabled for the social account, the clicks you see in the Posts report might be much higher than what you see in native analytics in Twitter or LinkedIn, because the exact same link might to have been shared to multiple places.

Let’s say you schedule a post for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, at the same time. Without Campaign Tracking enabled, no UTM parameters will be added to the URL and the link being shared to each social account will be identical. This means that Bit.ly will count the clicks on the link, regardless of whether the clicks took place on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. And since we’re using Bit.ly data in the Posts report, that’s the number of clicks you’ll see.

However, with Campaign Tracking enabled, UTM parameters will be added to the end of the URL for each social network, which ultimately means that a different link will be shared on each one. This means that Bit.ly will treat each link separately and the clicks you see in the Posts report will only reflect the specific link shared to that social account. This might still be a little different than the number of clicks you see in native analytics, but it should be much closer.

Campaign Tracking can be enabled by selecting a social account on the left hand side of your dashboard and then heading to Settings. From there, toggle "Enable Campaign Tracking" to Enabled.

You don't need to be using Google Analytics in order to enable Campaign Tracking in Publish. Enabling this setting will simply allow Publish to generate unique URLs for each social network. Check out this guide if you're interested in learning more about Google Analytics.

An extra thing to bear in mind is that on the Pro plan, it’s not possible to customize the Campaign Tracking settings, which means that the UTM parameters added to the end of the URL would be the same for each social account of the same network. Let’s say you have three LinkedIn Pages connected. The UTM parameters would be the same for each LinkedIn Page:

  • Campaign Name: buffer
  • Campaign Source: linkedin.com
  • Campaign Medium: social

If you schedule a post to those three LinkedIn Pages at the same time, the link would be identical, and therefore the clicks you see in the Posts report would include clicks on any of those links, regardless of which of the three pages the links took place on.

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