Have you ever been in a situation where you execute several marketing initiatives and see good results but face an attribution problem? This is a challenge all marketers have faced at one point or another. You know that your efforts delivered results, but you don't know exactly which initiatives delivered those results and which ones didn't.
If you've ever found yourself in a similar situation, then this article is for you. You'll learn what UTM links are and how they can help you track and measure the performance of your social media initiatives.
What are UTM links and UTM parameters?
UTM links are URLs containing code attached to them that help you track that URL with more precision. This piece of code consists of UTM parameters.
Let's understand UTM parameters in more detail using a sample UTM tracking link:
The three most commonly used UTM parameters are the source, medium and campaign.
This refers to the exact source where your traffic is coming from and could be anything from a social media platform to a specific post.
In the above example, the source parameter is Facebook, which shows that the traffic is coming from Facebook.
Source parameters are added by typing the name of the source after "utm_source=."
This UTM parameter tells you exactly what kind of traffic you're getting. Whether it is social traffic, referral traffic or any other type of traffic, you can easily track that by checking the medium UTM parameter in a UTM link.
In the above example, the name of the medium is "social," which means the traffic is coming from social media.
Medium UTM parameters are added by typing the name of the source after "utm_medium=."
You can add standard medium parameters from Google Analytics. For example, the "social" medium mentioned above is a standard medium from Google Analytics. You can also customize the medium parameter based on your preferences.
As the name suggests, this UTM parameter can help you trace your traffic back to a specific marketing campaign that you're running. In the above example, the name of the campaign is "sale."
This parameter can help you track exactly how much traffic each individual campaign is driving and whether it is successful or not.
How to create UTM links
You can create UTM links by adding a piece of code with UTM parameters to any URL. Adding UTM parameters makes it possible for you to track your links and attribute traffic to the right source.
You don't need to do this manually. If you have numerous, ongoing marketing campaigns, it becomes really hard to create these links manually. It is much more efficient to use a UTM links generator tool to create your UTM links in bulk. These tools also track your UTM links from a single dashboard – you don't need to maintain long, messy spreadsheets to track links. This in itself saves a lot of time and effort.
How UTM links improve your social media marketing efforts
UTM tracking links can boost your social media marketing initiatives in numerous ways. These are some of the most common uses of UTM links in social media marketing.
1. UTM tracking links help you measure the ROI of your social media marketing campaigns.
As we've already discussed, UTM links contain UTM parameters that tell you exactly where the traffic originates. That means not just the social media platform but also the post, ad or group it is coming from.
If you're running several social media marketing campaigns simultaneously, then you can track the performance of each one separately.
For example, let's say that you're doing an influencer marketing campaign on Facebook, and part of that campaigns involves influencers posting sponsored content aimed at driving traffic to your website. In addition to your influencer campaign, suppose you're running Facebook ads to drive traffic to your website.
As a result of your Facebook marketing initiatives, you saw a spike in traffic to your website. However, you don't know whether the influencer campaign or the Facebook ads campaign was more successful, and you aren't sure how much ROI you gained from each initiative.
That is where UTM links can help you. By analyzing the UTM tracking links for each campaign, you can correctly attribute the exact share of traffic being driven by each campaign. This lets you know how well each campaign actually performed.
2. They allow you to perform precise A/B testing.
UTM links can track your social media campaigns at a granular level, so much so that they can correctly attribute the traffic generated by each individual ad or post. This means that you can create variations of ads or other content and then measure how each did using UTM links.
You can change some elements of your content copy and test all variations. The ones driving the maximum traffic are the ones that resonate well with your audience.
3. They optimize your social media strategy.
In addition to more precise A/B testing, you can use UTM links to continuously improve your social media marketing strategy by identifying what works best for your audience.
While A/B testing pertains only to testing the different variations of a particular ad or post, you can use UTM links to identify what content works best for your audience overall. Whether consumers are more interested in product reviews, discounts and promotions, or influencer posts, you can find that out using UTM tracking.
You can also identify the social media platforms that perform best for your audience, and the particular groups within a social media network where your content performs the best.
These insights can help you improve your social media marketing strategy and focus more on the types of content, platforms, groups, etc. that work better than others. Similarly, you can stop spending time and money on social media marketing activities that don't resonate with your audience.
So, UTM links can help you track the performance of your social media content and which content performs better than the rest. You can use that information to continuously improve and fine-tune your existing marketing strategy.
UTM links are an extremely useful way to assess the performance of your social media marketing tactics and improve your strategy. They contain UTM parameters like campaign, source and medium, which means they can be used to track the exact source of traffic. This enables you to see exactly how many clicks each post, ad, social media platform, group and campaign gets. Using UTM links, you can gather valuable insights into how your social media marketing initiatives are actually doing.
If you have any questions about UTM links or how to use them to improve your social media marketing, feel free to ask them in the comments section. We would love to hear from you.