As the title of this blog suggests I write about advanced topics.  However, sometimes even the more “basic” versions of what I talk about are still advanced.   So when I refer to basics in this post I don’t mean it is as sophomoric or something you should assign to an intern.

Recently, I wrote about Facebook integrations and YouTube integrations and after talking to a lot of clients about the solutions I realized that some clients may appreciate insights on the basics of social media tracking.  This post is about what you can do right now without any additional cost.  These are the “basics” that you should be implementing or in the process of implementing.  Note: Adobe Consulting Services are experts on setting these up for clients.

Social Media Processes

In the simplest form you should have a process or system in place to create campaign codes for all your social media links.  For example, if you have someone who tweets then every time they have a link in one of their tweets they should always include a campaign code.  You should have the same processes in place for ALL social platforms you are investing in.

If you don’t have a process in place, then here is some advice on building the process.

1.       Build a system if possible.  A webpage should be more than enough to have a user enter in the link information then have the webpage generate the campaign code or link for the user.  If you are technically able, then you can have that same page send the classification values to Site Catalyst automatically.

2.       Come up with a simple structure for the campaign codes. If you have not done so already then I strongly advised that you do have a company wide structure.  It can be as simple as “sm:fb:12345″  where sm stands for social media, fb stands for Facebook and 12345 is the unique code for the campaign.

Once you have a good process in place then you will be able to build reports on all the different social media platforms you are investing in.

Classifying Referrers

Classifying referrers should be the next step in your reporting.  If you have not already then you should watch this video(classifications start at about the 28 min mark). You can learn how other clients are classifying their referrers and how they are gaining insight from it.

A crucial part to classifying referrers is to have a document that keeps track of what is classified and why.  Social media is constantly changing and your classifications should change also.

Also the video has a link to whitepaper titled, “What is the Value of Social Media?” That you can download from the video page.

ROI Reports

Once you have the processes in place to accurately report on Social Media acquisition and you build the classification then you want to build your ROI reports.

There are many ways to build these reports so feel free to use your imagination but I am only going to cover the most simple of them.

Build an excel report where you take the classified referrers report and pull in revenue or any other important conversion metric.  Then add a column for what you invest in that platform.  Even if you have a high level guess for what you invest then it is better than nothing.   Finally, build out an equation to see if you are making or losing money on the specific social media platform.

Here is an example excel report:

Next Steps

Once you have the basics setup and in place you will want to investigate the more advanced solutions such as the Youtube Integration, Twitter Integration or Facebook Integration. The more advanced solutions will give you more insight into how you can improve your ROI on social media and make more informed decisions.

Other posts you might be interested in:

As always, post your comments or e-mail me at pearcea (at)  It is your comments and e-mails that keep me posting and give me ideas for future posts.


Hi there Does anyone know if it is possible to have a tracking code of Doubleclick and of Omniture in one link?


@ Ron Diver – I totally accept with you Ron, the ROI figures has to be typically expressed as a percentage value. Also I think Pearce Aurigemma is showing the profit figures (Revenue – Investment). Anyways it’s a nice post I liked it

Ron Diver
Ron Diver

ROI should indicate a ratio or rate of return, typically expressed as a percentage. In this case the results are Twitter 322%, Facebook 258% and YouTube 315%. Your presentation implies that Facebook has the highest impact, when in fact it is the lowest in this case.

Pearce Aurigemma
Pearce Aurigemma

Stefanie, Your question brings up an even larger question, why would you want to send in two tracking codes from one hit? I am sure there is a reason why you are asking but it does not seem logical that a user can come from two campaigns at exactly the same time.