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) adobe​.com.  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.