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How to track inbound links from your social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, etc)

You can track referrals from Facebook or Twitter in Google Analytics, but what if you want to track specific links within your social media profiles to measure different variations or placements within your profiles?

For example what if I want to track how many people open briancray.com by clicking on my Twitter profile link? That's what this tutorial is about and it can be applied to any social media profile, whether it's Facebook, LinkedIn, or the myriad of others.

Step 1: Create trackable link

Visit Google's URL Builder to build a URL that can be separately tracked in Google Analytics. Fill in the spaces as pictured below (changed to reflect your site and social media profile of choice, of course).

Setting up Google URL Builder Tool to track social media profile referrals

Step 2: Shorten trackable link

Google's URL Builder makes a long URL even longer. To make it appear less daunting let's shorten it. In the picture below I used bit.ly, which seems like the best choice.

Shortening your tracking URL

Step 3: Add shortened trackable link to social media profile

You've got your trackable link and it's been shortened. All you have to do now is add it to your various social media profiles!

Step 4 (completed next day): Track your URL in Google Analytics

Because we used Google's URL Builder, everytime someone clicks on that link Google will automatically track it in Google Analytics. Just go to Traffic Sources » Campaigns in Google Analytics and there you'll find your referrals (Or you won't if noone actually clicks the link).

Depending on your traffic, give Google Analytics about a day to begin reporting the referrals. They won't show up immediately.

Campaign tracked link in Google Analytics