Not long ago, I started to promote my blog on Facebook more seriously. Since the subject of my blog is not 100% appropriate for the audience present in these groups, I quickly wondered if the time invested in the promotion was worth it.
Therefore, I started looking for a method to be able to track which Facebook groups brings me the most visitors! And I found an EASY way!
What you will get at the end of this tutorial
Here’s what you’ll get after following the steps! Each Facebook group is listed on the left. You can then see the number of sessions, new visitors, time spent on the page on average, etc.
You will also be able to discover what articles visitors from Facebook groups viewed! Continue reading to learn more!
I made a video out of this tutorial! It’s my first video tutorial ever, so please bare with me! ;D It’s on my YouTube channel, but you can watch it below:
Blog Post Tutorial
Why should you do it?
- There’s no point in wasting your time doing promotion on a group if you had only one visitor in the last 6 months.
- This lets you know which groups you need to concentrate on, or which ones you should work on.
- And also, let’s you know which articles are most popular on Facebook!
How it works
We are going to add UTM parameters to the link of your blog post. It will enable Google Analytics to categorize the visitors that are coming from these specific links. Here is an example of a link I use for my interview with Cleo:
The UTM parameters
I added 3 parameters to my link to be able to categorize it. I added
utm_campaign. These are called UTM parameters. Each of them is case sensitive, so lowercase and uppercase are considered different (Money and money will be considered different, for example). I will explain to you what each of these parameters do:
- Campaign Source (utm_source) : mandatory, used to identify the source of the visitor (Google, Bing, MailChimp)
Our source of Trafic in our case is Facebook.
- Campaign Medium (utm_medium) : mandatory, used to identify the medium (email, ad campaign on Facebook)
Our medium is “Social” since Facebook is a social media! Simple, right?
- Campaign Name (utm_campaign) : mandatory, used to be even more precised about where the visitor is coming from
I use this parameter to write the name of the Facebook group, since it’s the precision I need!
Well, I guess you’re telling me that this is requiring too much work, right? Nope! Still just a little! To simplify your lives, I created an excel document for you.
However, keep in mind that it is very important to be consistent and always use the same links for the same articles. Do not make variations in your UTM settings. That’s why I strongly advise you to document your links, as I do with my excel document.
Document your links with my free Google sheet
To get the Google Sheet, enter your email in the form below. You can use it to generate easily and efficiently your links. Note that the columns C, D and E are hidden. It’s the 3 columns that are automatically filling the UTM parameters that I explained to you earlier. These columns are hidden because you have to establish them once and for all at the beginning, and never edit them afterwards. I already did it for you, so you are already good to go!
Get the Google Sheet By Email
- Go to your emails, click on the link to get the Google Sheet. The email might go in the promotion folder.
- The document is in view only, so you have to Click on “File”, “Make a Copy”
- Rename the document to what you want.
- The document will open in a new tab and you can start to edit it now!
Here is how to use the document for the first time:
- The column B contains the name of the Facebook group that I’m a member. Edit the link to write the ones you are a part of.
- Paste the link to your blog post in the cell A2. Slide the cell to the bottom until you have reach all the FB groups.
- In the column F, you will see the link that will be automatically generated. It’s the link that you need to use in Facebook groups.
- I use the column G to write a small text that will present the post on Facebook:
="Creating a blog is not the only thing to do when you first create a blog. What comes next? I wrote a complete list in this blog post, so you don't forget any important steps! " & A8
Only re-write between the quotation marks. Then, slide the text for all your Facebook groups!
I highly recommend you to write a little sentence when you promote a post in groups. In my opinion, it is better to write a word presenting the article rather than simply writing its link in a comment and sending it coldly. This can make a difference and make people want to read your article. As I do not want to rewrite this small text every time I publish to a group, I write it for the first time in cell G2, then I slide the cursor to replicate the text for all other Facebook groups. The link is added to the end of the text automatically.
When you want to add new blog posts, follow these steps every time :
- Copy the range of rows you used for the last item. Paste it underneath.
- Change the background color of the cells so you can easily differentiate a new post.
- Change the link to the article in column A, then drag the slider down to repeat the change for all rows.
- Write the promotional text corresponding to the item in column G, and drag the cursor to reproduce the text for all of the following facebook groups.
- When you want to publish to a particular Facebook group, copy and paste the contents of column G. That’s it!
If you want to see the statistics per Facebook Group
- Go to your dashboard
- Click on Acquisition > Campaign > All Campaigns
To see the blog posts that were visited :
- Under “Campaign”, click on “Secondary dimension”, “Behavior”, then “Destination Page”
- Your results will now be shown according to the visited page of your visitors
If you did other campaigns in the past, your Facebook group data will be mixed up in this section of Google Analytics. If that’s the case for you, you can also go to Acquisition > Overview > Social > Facebook. Then, under “Secondary Dimension”, choose “Advertising” > “Campaign”
Shorten the links
If you find that the long URL to your blog is ugly, you can shorten it with tools like bit.ly. On the other hand, when you post your link in a comment on Facebook, only the “important” part is displayed. And if you post the link directly on the wall of a group, there is no obligation to leave the link visible, you can delete it from the text once the preview generated, so no problem on that side too.
In short, I do not bother to shorten my links since they go unnoticed on Facebook, as you can see in the pictures below.
Use the parameters in lowercase
It is suggested that you write the content of UTM parameters in lowercase. This is already done in my Excel file, but it also depends on what you use in your Analytics dashboard beforehand. If in the Acquisition > Overview tab your main channels (social, organic search, direct, etc) are lowercase, use lowercase letters. On the other hand, if it is written “Social” with the S in uppercase, use Social with an uppercase S in your UTM parameters.
Always keep the same links once used once
It is very important to use the same UTM settings once you start. I strongly suggest that you document your links and reuse them when you redo the promotion of an article on a Facebook group. If you change the settings along the way, this will cause inconsistent data, and you don’t want that!
On Google Analytics, the historical data are untouchable and cannot be changed.
I hope this article will help you know which Facebook groups work best for you. I’m not an expert on Google Analytics and advertising campaigns. On the other hand, I asked several people around me the best way to analyze his visitors, and my method seems the best! And it might not look like it, but I worked on this tracking method for MONTHS!
Do not hesitate to leave a comment if you have any question or comment to make me. It will be my pleasure to help you!