Twitter has become a great place to network, vent, and share links, including your own blog posts. But how do you quantify the traffic you are getting from Twitter, especially if people are using applications like Twhirl, or even a mobile phone? I’ve got a special trick for you, and it’s really easy to do!
Now for the Trick!
Step 1: Add a parameter to the URL, such as twitter=1
If your URL is http://mydomain.com/blog/post.html then it should be http://mydomain.com/blog/post.html?twitter=1
If your URL is http://mydomain.com/blog/2008/5/postname/ then it should be http://mydomain.com/blog/2008/5/postname/?twitter=1
If your URL is http://mydomain.com/page.html?id=9 then it should be http://mydomain.com/page.html?id=9&twitter=1
You can of course use any parameter you want, like tw=1 or source=twitter, be creative. Your analytics program (see step 3 in just a sec) may benefit from using the same one consistently so you can measure all your twitter traffic.
Step 2: Type or cut/paste the new URL into the text box
Put in your link just like you would any other link, just make sure you have the “twitter=1” at the end.
You can use the online interface for Twitter, or any other application like Twhirl or Twitterific. This trick takes advantage of one of Twitter’s built in capabilities of shortening URLs that are longer than 30 characters using TinyURL, so you’re not wasting any of your precious 140 chars.
Step 3: Track it!
Using whatever analytics program you use, you should be able to differentiate views by the full URL. With Google Analytics if you go to Content > Top Content you will see a list of all the viewed pages, including your link with “twitter=1” (see page #9 in image for an example). If you don’t see the page with “twitter=1” at the end, do a search at the bottom (Find URL:) for “twitter=1”.
Now you can see how many pageviews, unique views, etc. came ONLY from the link you shared from Twitter, giving you a more accurate idea of how many people actually click on the links that you share!
If your analytics program lets you view statistics by parameter, you will want to use the same parameter consistently so you can not only see stats for each page, but for all of your twitter traffic. (I used to be able to do this on Google Analytics, but I don’t see this feature anymore.)
With this simple trick you can track your Twitter traffic in a jiffy! And if you liked this trick, share it with your friends on Twitter with this URL: http://tinyurl.com/4zjopu
And if you’re looking for a way to track who else is linking to you, try one of my new Twitter tools, TweetBeep.com. TweetBeep is like Google Alerts for Twitter, and it even has x-ray eyes to see through shortened links, so even if they are disguised with TinyURL, TweetBeep catches them.