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Understanding UTM parameters and Google Analytics

UTM parameters are tags that are added to the end of a URL, which help to track the effectiveness of a campaign, or more specifically in this context, the effectiveness of a post published to your social media accounts. If you have hundreds or thousands of visitors to your website each month, it's helpful to know where that traffic is coming from.

Let's say you shared a link to your website on both Facebook and Twitter. Each time someone clicks on one of those links, the UTM parameters are sent back to Google Analytics, which allows you to track what percentage of traffic has come from Facebook and what percentage from Twitter. In turn, this allows you to decide how and where to focus your marketing efforts.

🎥 Keen to learn more about link shortening and Google Analytics? View our tutorial videos here!

This article contains the following sections:

  1. Enabling Google Analytics Campaign Tracking
  2. Customizing your UTM parameters
  3. Finding your data in Google Analytics

Enabling Google Analytics Campaign Tracking

To enable Google Analytics Campaign Tracking, select your channel on the left hand side of your dashboard and then head to Settings. Under the General tab, set "Enable Campaign Tracking" to Enabled.

Customizing your UTM parameters

⭐️ The option to customize UTM parameters is available on paid plans. Learn more about our plans and pricing here.

When Google Analytics Campaign Tracking is enabled, the following default UTM parameters will be automatically added to the end of every link that you share through Buffer:

  • Campaign Name: buffer
  • Campaign Source: / / /
  • Campaign Medium: social

If you're subscribed to a paid plan, you'll have the added benefit of being able to customize the UTM parameters by clicking Customize Campaign Tracking.

📝 Please note, only the account owner is able to change the UTM parameter settings.

Update UTM parameters

Finding your data in Google Analytics

The UTM parameters that have been set, will then appear in Google Analytics as the links direct traffic to the particular website. This tracking can be found within the Acquisitions section of Google Analytics.

Select Acquisitions on the left hand side and then click Campaigns, followed by All Campaigns. This is where you can track the different campaigns that have been created and the traffic that has been generated. You’ll see a list of all the campaigns you’ve been tracking and you can click on each to view the full details. You can filter for different Campaigns, Sources and Mediums, which have been added to the URLs.

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