Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tracking of your own Social Media Properties

Tracking social media is key to understanding its effectiveness as part of your overall marketing strategy.

Part one of understanding social media's effectiveness is to understand what is driving traffic to your online properties. Tracking inbound referrals gives us a great sense of the flows of inbound web traffic and whether Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Delicious, or LinkedIn are driving traffic. It also gives us a great sense, at an individual level of what brought each person to our online properties.

However, part two of understanding social media's effectiveness is understanding how effective your own social media properties are. Tracking of these online properties is a very valuable extension to your ability to understand the digital body language of your prospects across all of your web presence. With many social media sites, however, such as blogs, you often do not have the ability to build a sub directory system to place the scripts into.

In order to get around this, from the standard installation of web scripts, it is possible to rework the tracking scripts to look at a static URL for the rest of the scripts. The scripts will look like they do in the image above, where http://www.yourmainsite.com/ is a static URL that you put the script files on.

With that in place, you then need to put the links to those tracking scripts on your blog. Each blog platform is slightly different, but generally they all allow adding HTML and scripts inline. I use blogger, and the scripts are easily placed inline just before the close of the BODY tag.

I look forward to hearing your comments on how this has worked for you.


Kimberly Roman said...

Steve, this is great! I was JUST talking about this today - I have a blog hosted on Blogger that I wanted to track through Eloqua but I wasn't sure exactly how to do it. I am going to implement this tomorrow and see how it works. Thanks for the tip!

Steven Woods said...

One point that Kimberly just made to me as we chatted off-line about this is that the web scripts tester may return a "not found" condition on your web scripts if you host them on a separate, static site as described in this post. Verify that your traffic is being captured correctly, and you should be okay.