December 15, 2020
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How exactly can you improve your social media with UTM links?

Social media marketing is getting more and more professional by the day, and reaching high ROI is becoming really difficult.

You can’t throw pictures and videos onto a platform and expect a considerable engagement rate. If you want to increase your sales using social media marketing, you need to be more exact.

One of the most important matters in such a situation is tracking your campaigns as well as your audience. You have to know what strategies work best for your campaign and what is not returning your investment.

So you need to track where your audiences are online and what they actually want to see on social media.

Fortunately, there is a simple trick to do many of these tasks: using UTM links for each piece of content you share.

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What are UTM links?

The phrase UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module. UTM links allow search engines to track certain businesses’ URLs. In fact, if you want to link your URL to Google Analytics, you must create a UTM code and attach it to the URL.

A UTM tracking link is a link like:

As you see, this link has several components:

  • Your URL
  • utm_source
  • utm_medium
  • utm_campaign

Apart from your URL, the other parts are called UTM parameters that determine what you demand to track.

Different types of UTM parameters

There are three types of UTM parameters:


The source parameter determines where your traffic is coming from. For the mentioned example, the link was shared on Facebook, so the source parameter is “facebook“. Source parameters are not limited to social media platforms. You can track links from specific groups or even social posts.


This UTM parameter determines the type of traffic you’re getting. You can easily track any kind of traffic, including social traffic or referral traffic, using the medium parameter in your UTM link.

In the mentioned example, the medium is “social,” indicating that the traffic is coming from social networks. You can also customize the medium parameter according to your preferences.


This parameter refers to campaigns you’re holding, including ad campaigns, sales campaigns, blog promotions, a/b tests, etc.

Generally, UTM links are just some shortcodes that you can add to any link in your social posts.

Benefits of UTM links for social media campaigns

UTM links have several advantages for social media marketing. Here are some important ones:

Measuring the ROI of social media marketing campaigns

ROI is a measure of your performance, and it is defined quite easily. Calculating the ROI of your digital marketing campaigns is essential and sometimes difficult. It’s obvious that it would be a lot easier to calculate if you perform good tracking and collect insightful data.

You want to check how well you’re making money from your online campaigns and calculate the return on your social media investment. When you know your ROI, you can recognize the best and the worst activities in your social media strategy.

The overall formula for calculating the ROI is simple: (Revenue–Investment )/Revenue

In fact, you need to consider the time and money you have invested in “social media marketing” and also how many people reach any conversion goal. Therefore, for calculating it, you have to know your conversion goals to calculate your revenue.

Then, you need to collect accurate data on every effort that is contributing to each goal. UTM parameters are best for collecting and tracking these data and calculating the ROI.

For instance, if you’re selling your products/services using social media, online sales are a basic conversion goal. The engagement rates are also another goal many marketers and business owners consider for their campaigns.

Running social media A/B testing

A/B testing is one of the most useful methods to find if an advertising element is of interest to your audience. This element can be the landing page of your site or hashtags in your social media posts.

A/B testing on social media has recently drawn the attention of marketers and showed great results for many campaigns. It lets you optimize your posts according to your audiences’ interests.

For example, you want to know which one is of more interest to your social media followers: videos or images. Social media A/B testing is best to test this and find the answer.

With UTM codes, you can perform A/B testing very well. You can share two similar posts, one with a video and one with an image. Then, you just have to tag each one with an appropriate campaign UTM code. You’ll soon figure out which one gets more engagement rates.

Optimizing social media marketing strategies

In addition to finding the best variations of a single post by A/B tests, UTM links help you identify what kind of content is of more interest to your audience overall. This can greatly improve your social media marketing strategy.

One of the biggest questions of marketers and social media managers is whether their audiences like reviews, influencer posts, educating posts, discounts, or promotions. UTM tracking easily helps you to figure it out.

UTM links can also enable you to identify the best social media platforms for your audience and even the particular groups within each social network where your content gets the best interactions.

Of course, gaining this information can help you optimize your social media marketing strategy. Better audience targeting, more focused content generation, saving time in reaching out to platforms, groups, etc., are some benefits of using UTM links to optimize your strategy.

Tracking influencer marketing results

Around 75% of marketers are using influencers as a useful way of increasing brand awareness. Social media influencers are therefore making masses of money by collaborating with small, medium, and big businesses.

Finding suitable niche influencers who are really engaged is not an easy task. There are numerous reports of defrauds by fake influencers who have bought their followers.

Moreover, you need to think of the return on investment of your influencer campaigns. Around 76% of marketers consider measuring influencer campaigns’ ROI a top challenge.

UTM links are great tools to tackle these problems. UTM links can greatly simplify this task for you. You can use a unique UTM code for each influencer to know how much traffic they’re sending to your site.

UTM codes can also exactly determine the best-performing influencer posts. This is a great way to choose suitable influencers for a long-lasting partnership.

UTM codes in Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a unique tool for tracking your traffic and analyzing your digital marketing performance. Not only is it enabling you to see how much traffic you’re getting, but it also allows you to precisely determine where your traffic is coming from.

You can also see how many visitors are coming through social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. It is possible to know who is clicking on your link after seeing each ad or even distinguish between the traffic is originating from social networks and email.

Google’s free built-in UTM builder can easily provide you with the ability to search through all of this information. This tool enables you to build a URL with UTM codes that exactly shows you what you demand.

You can track all your custom campaigns by entering related information like the website’s URL, as well as its source, medium, and name.

To access your source/medium tracking capabilities:

  1. Go to your Google Analytics dashboard
  2. Open the left-hand menu
  3. Click the “Acquisition” tab
  4. Open the “All Traffic” option

Similarly, there is a “Social” tab there that will enable you to track incoming traffic from social media sites/apps. Also, there is a “Campaigns” tab for checking how many visitors are being redirected from online campaigns with specific keywords such as “purchase.”

2 Google UTM Builder alternatives

Apart from Google URL builder, which is the most popular UTM builder tool, you have several useful options out there.

Here are two Google UTM builder alternatives:

Terminus app

Terminus helps you easily build and manage your UTM links. It has several useful features to help you keep tracking your digital marketing campaigns.

For example, if you want to add several UTM tags to a specific URL, you can easily do it with just several clicks in Terminus.

URL Builder Spreadsheets

This is another tool that allows you to add more than one tag to your URL. Here are other advantages of URL Builder Spreadsheets:

•        Remembers your past URLs and campaign parameters

•        Your team has a central place to go to for building URLs

•        Helps achieve consistency for your tagging guidelines

•        It’s free


As you see, a UTM link is a perfect way to track and analyze your social media marketing campaigns. Calculating the ROI of your campaigns, recognizing the best-performing types of content for your audience, finding the best platforms, groups, and channels, running efficient social media A/B testing, finding trustworthy influencers, and generally optimizing your social marketing strategies are some advantages of UTM links.

That’s why we created this infographic to help marketers learn how to increase their social media marketing ROI using UTM links.

If you think your social media could do with a bit of help tracking performance, if you need to spend less time posting and more time thinking, and if you need easy, automatic reports sent to the inboxes of your choice, then you need to get on Iconosquare! Start a 14-day free trial (and prepare yourself to be dazzled!)


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