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Why Every Resort Should Tag Every Social Media Link They Share This Winter

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A while back I mentioned a personal goal of mastering Google Analytics. Not a day goes by that I don’t take a few minutes, open my GA account, find a feature I don’t know how to use, and learn something new. One thing that I’ve been doing for a few months now is pretty simple: I tag every link pointing to a site I own with GA tags before I post it to social media.

For example, if you clicked on my social media link (or someone’s retweet/share of the original) to get here, you should see one of two things at the end of the URL in your address bar. Either:


The process takes about 30 seconds longer than it did before:

  1. Copy URL of page I want to tweet/post about
  2. Create two links with GA tags: one for Facebook one for Twitter
  3. Use to shorten both links
  4. Share the Twitter link on Twitter and the Facebook link on Facebook

I’ve done this to every link I’ve shared since June 5. That’s about an extra 30-40 minutes of work over the last 4 months…a drop in the bucket.

And the reason…
So, why do I take a minute extra each morning to do this? I do this because I want to know how well the traffic performs that is generated by my social efforts so I know how much emphasis to put in different areas.

Now, some of you Google Analytics jedis are saying to yourself, “Can’t you just create an Advanced Segment like this (plus any other Twitter related sources that show up) that captures social traffic?”

Yes, you can and should. I do, but that doesn’t tell the full story of social media traffic. I called those Advanced Segments “Facebook – Organic” and “Twitter – Organic”. The traffic that comes directly from the stuff that I post is simply called “Twitter” or “Facebook”. Which means I can run a report with four segments like these:

When I use tags on MY social posts, I can separate the traffic that comes from social media naturally from the traffic that is generated from my efforts. With those stream separated, I can then see how well they perform. For instance, these are the conversion rates for those 4 sources in terms of visitors that stay for at least one full minute on my site before they leave:

Or which of those visitors ends up browsing more than 2 pages during their visit:

Or how many people use the resort rankings:

Or…you get the idea. Now think about your site. Season pass sales? Day pass sales? Lodging booked? Etc. Wouldn’t it be pretty slick to see how your direct social efforts compare to organic traffic from social? Or how the traffic from your social efforts compares to traffic from email campaigns? Might that help you know where to put extra efforts or priority?

It can…and should. That’s what I’d do.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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