How to Track Facebook Group Threads Traffic Easily
Many bloggers use Facebook Group Threads to promote their latest posts. They have linked spreadsheets or trello boards or notebooks with each day listed out with the relevant groups that are hosting a blog share thread. They spend an hour or more diligently dropping their link in the hopes that someone will click through and they will get more traffic to their site. Sound familiar?
But is the Facebook thread method really worth it? As a mum, my time is limited, so I really don’t want to do things that take away from my time with the kids (and take longer than a nap time!) unless they have a decent ROI.
Why Track Facebook Group Threads?
There is no point spending time promoting your posts on a Facebook thread to an audience that isn’t interested in your content. It would be far better to find a group where people want to hear from you, will engage with your content and become raving fans!
Tracking the traffic from Facebook group promotion threads means that you can tell which groups are truly valuable to you and worthy of your time.
It can also help guide your content strategy. If a group that usually drives traffic stops for a certain post type, then you know that isn’t a popular topic. On the flip side, if you get great traffic then you know to create more content around that topic as it really resonates with your audience.
To effectively track facebook group activity you need to have a system that you can use across all posts for all groups. And this is where Google UTM’s come into play.
Track Facebook Promo Threads with Google UTM’s
Don’t run screaming for the hills! I promise you it is easier than you think!
First, open up two windows or tabs on your browser. (I use the split screen function on my pc by holding down windows and tab)
In one window/tab open up your spreadsheet with the linked groups you are going to visit. In the other, open up the Google Campaign URL Builder. (bookmark or keep this link handy for future blog post promotions)
Enter the URL of your blog post.
Under Campaign source, enter “Facebook”, without the speech marks. (This method can also be used to track links in emails or on other social media platforms, but we will focus on Facebook for the purpose of this post)
Under Campaign Medium, write “Social”.
Under Campaign name, enter the Facebook group name URL or even just the group name itself. I usually enter the whole group name with underscores instead of spaces. So it might look like Tracking_Facebook_Group. If you have your own abbreviation or nickname for the group then you can go ahead and enter that instead. The most important thing, to track the group’s value over time, is to ALWAYS use the same name, including capitalisation. I suggest that you keep the names simple (that’s why I use the group name) so you can remember them later on.
As you update the parameters, the URL builder will automatically update the link down the bottom of the page. This makes it super simple when posting to multiple groups as all you need to do is switch over the group name. The URL will end up looking something like this:
Sharing Your Post
To share the URL on the Facebook thread, simply click “copy link”. You can now enter your blurb on the thread and then paste the link. Having the two windows open in split screen mode makes this a very fast process as you update the group you are sharing the link to.
When adding links I also like to shorten it, as it looks neater on the thread, but this isn’t essential.To shorten the link, simply click “Convert URL to shortlink”. The shortened link will look like this:
Keep a spreadsheet of the URL in case an opportunity to share the post again comes up in the same group in another context. Adding value to groups is a strategy you should always use above promotion. Only share your posts when requested, don’t spam!
Seeing The Traffic from Groups in Your Google Analytics
So now that you have created your UTM’s (It told you it was easier than you thought, didn’t I?) you can easily track Facebook group threads in your analytics.
Head to acquisition > Campaigns >All Campaigns
In your data, you should see the name of the groups show up as people click on your links.
In the screenshot below, group 1 and group 9 are the same group. Unfortunately, when I started this method I didn’t realise the importance of keeping the group name EXACTLY the same. I have to add group 1 and 9 when looking at my traffic stats.
Tip: You will notice that one of the campaigns is named tailwind_tribes. This is because Tailwind automatically adds its own UTM to your pins added to the tribe. This is a great way to see if your tribes are working for you! (Not using Tailwind yet? Sign up for a free trial of the Plus plan!)
Take Your Analysis to the Next Level
If you want to do an even deeper dive into what your groups are interested in after sharing more than one post to the group, try adding a secondary dimension to your statistics.
You can find this at the top of the table in your analytics. Click Secondary Dimension, scroll to Behaviour, then select Landing Page.
Sort by the groups to see what the group is visiting. Sort by landing page to see if you are posting on topics that attract your audience across groups. If you see they are attracted to posts about healthy recipes, create more of these! However, if they don’t click to see more about fitness tips, then this isn’t the type of content they are looking for from you.
If a group is consistently not sending you traffic, it is probably time to move to a new one that better fits your niche. Try looking for groups that your ideal customer might hang out in.
Hopefully, the above instructions will help you maximise the return on your time on Facebook Groups and let you know if your time spent sharing is really worth it!
Do you track the activity in your groups? I would love to know what methods you use – Let me know in the comments below!
Love, Belinda xx