By now, virtually all hotels have at least one social media channel that they use – most likely Facebook. They might also use some others; Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat being among the most popular. Unfortunately, in an effort to not be left behind by competitors, social media accounts are opened with little to no thought into what you should be posting and how to actually track the performance of these channels.
Thankfully Google Analytics, offers many ways to track whether your social media marketing is actually bringing you useful traffic. One of the tools at your disposal is using UTM parameters to track exactly where referral traffic to your website is coming from. By knowing this information, you can tailor your social media strategy to focus on what is most effective at driving traffic to your website and, in turn, driving bookings.
Google Analytics’ Standard Referral Traffic Tracking
If you use Google Analytics to monitor your website’s performance, then you are likely familiar with referral traffic. Referral traffic reports on where visits to your website came from. It is a good place to start to understand if your social media activity is driving traffic to your website.
On the Reporting page in Google Analytics, under Acquisition, you’ll find Network Referrals, which tracks your most popular social media URLs, like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. This allows you to evaluate which channel is driving the most traffic, but doesn’t help you understand what content is driving the traffic.
In other words, you can’t determine if someone was referred to your website from a link on your Facebook About page, in a promoted Facebook post, or in a timeline post. That’s where UTM parameters can come in handy. UTM parameters allow you to track exactly what a travel shopper clicked on to reach your website. Armed with this information, you can stop wasting time on posts that fall on deaf ears and produce more content that is leading travel shoppers to your website.