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twitter sources

Using a few Google Analytics advance filters, it’s very easy to create a handy Twitter-specific profile which groups together twitter sources such as web clients and short URL services.

If you've read my earlier post 2 easy ways to track social networks in Google Analytics, you should be quite familiar with using advance filters in Google Analytics. A large percentage of Twitter's traffic is coming from phone or desktop based clients, in which case they'll appear as direct traffic so be sure to place extra attention to filter three.

1. Create a new Google Analytics profile and name it 'Twitter Traffic':

I also find it very useful to add a date next to the new profile so I'll know when it went live and what sort of reporting data I should expect. Remember to always keep your original profile intact.

create a new profile
2. Click on 'edit' next to the new profile and add the following filters under 'add filters' option

edit profile

3. Filter one (Grouping different twitter web clients services to one source)

Filter Name - Twitter Web Clients Traffic
Filter Type - custom filter then advanced
Field A -> Extract A - under campaign source add leading twitter web clients services (for example,

I’ve used twitter|ping\.fm|friendfeed|brightkite|hootsuite|twitthat|twitterfon|twittergadget)
Field B -> Extract B - none
Output To -> Constructor - campaign source and name it Twitter Web Clients Traffic
Field A Required - yes
Field B Required - no
Override Output Field - yes
Case Sensitive - no

4. Filter two (Grouping different URL shortening services to one source)

Filter Name - Twitter URL Shortening Traffic
Filter Type - custom filter then advanced
Field A -> Extract A - under campaign source add the leading twitter url services (for example, I’ve

used twitturly|bit\.ly|tr\.im|cli\.gs|zi\.ma|poprl|tinyurl|Is\.gd|snipr|snipurl|kl\.am|snurl|tiny\.cc|dwarfurl)
Field B -> Extract B - none
Output To -> Constructor - campaign source and name it Twitter URL Shortening Traffic
Field A Required - yes
Field B Required - no
Override Output Field - yes
Case Sensitive - no

twitter url shortening traffic

5. Filter three (Tagging URL traffic)

This filter is based on Google url builder tool so you'll need to tag your links before posting them on Twitter. I've used 'tweets' for my custom source, but feel free to be more imaginative ;)

Filter Name - Twitter URL Tagging
Filter Type - custom filter then advanced
Field A -> Extract A - under campaign source type ‘tweets‘
Field B -> Extract B - none
Output To -> Constructor - campaign source and name it Twitter URL Tagging
Field A Required - yes
Field B Required - no
Override Output Field - yes
Case Sensitive - no

google url tool

Result! Head to traffic sources and type 'twitter'. You'll be able to see the different Twitter groups which are generating your traffic and using advanced segments you'll be able to compare them.

twitter traffic result

Optional but recommended step - schedule a daily email containing your new traffic sources:

6. In your new Twitter profile head to 'All Traffic Sources' under the 'Traffic Sources' navigation and in the ' Find Source/Medium' containing window paste the following Twitter Web Clients Traffic|Twitter URL Shortening Traffic|Twitter URL Tagging and click go:

7. Now click on the email report button located at the top:

8.  Click on the 'Schedule' tab, leave the 'Send to me' option ticked, decide if you'd like a daily, weekly or monthly email under the 'Date Range' option, leave the format as PDF for great visualization and click Schedule:

Result! Your PDF report will land in your inbox.

Ran Nir

Published 21 May, 2009 by Ran Nir

Ran Nir is founder of Conversion Counts, a web analytics and conversion optimisation agency, and a contributor to Econsultancy. He can also be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.

8 more posts from this author

Comments (24)

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Pavlicko

Awesome tip with walkthrough - I'm wondering what the limit on characters is in the filter field, since there are so many twitter clients. Guess I'm going to find out...

over 7 years ago

Ran Nir

Ran Nir, Founder at Conversion Counts Ltd

@Pavlicko, the limit is 256 characters. You should be able to fit quite a few ;)

over 7 years ago

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Michelle

This is a great tut and I'm really impressed I actually managed to make it all work Ran Nir, you are an absolute star in my eyes!

over 7 years ago

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Ralph

Couldn't you achieve the same result with adavnced segments?

over 7 years ago

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Nathan Rein

Don't forget to include sn.im in your list of filters -- it's the new, shorter domain for snipurl.com/snipr.com

over 7 years ago

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Benjamin Ellis

That's a lot of work for something that isn't going to work! Most people are using software clients, and they don't provided the referrer data you are using. Much better to use a URL shortening service that provides built-in analytics.

over 7 years ago

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jamr0ck

How about an include filter if you only wanted to see just twitter traffic in that profile?

Include campaign source - (Twitter Web Clients Traffic)|(Twitter URL Shortening Traffic)

over 7 years ago

Ran Nir

Ran Nir, Founder at Conversion Counts Ltd


@Benjamin Ellis, the combination of the two works well.
@jamr0ck, yes that can be done, perhaps more easily using an advanced segment.

Thanks for your comments and feedback.

Ran

over 7 years ago

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jamr0ck

My only concern is the way that apps like tweetdeck and twitterfox will not pass referral data through the URL shorteners like tinyurl, which, to my knowledge, use 301's to pass the user through, and as such will register as direct traffic. any thoughts on this?

Perhaps a tutorial on deploying your own URL shortening service using full GA implementation would be a logical next step? (i've seen it done with wordpress!)

over 7 years ago

Ran Nir

Ran Nir, Founder at Conversion Counts Ltd

@jamr0ck, you're right hence the need to tag your link using google's tool before shortening the URL.

over 7 years ago

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Johan Lont

I'm not sure what does this profile does. Does it tell you how many people visit your Twitter profile? If not, what does it do?

over 7 years ago

Peter Bordes

Peter Bordes, CEO & Founder at oneQube

very cool and useful. thank you. we are very heavey Twitter users at MediaTrust

over 7 years ago

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Emma Kane

Great post - can someone fix the images though?

over 7 years ago

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Ruud Hein

@Emma Try a different browser. I was here on Google Chrome (same as Safari) and saw no images. Right-click open those images in new tab did shows them... so I figured, let's try another browser. Looking at the page in Firefox now and no problem

over 7 years ago

Ran Nir

Ran Nir, Founder at Conversion Counts Ltd

Thanks @Emma. I'll look to sort it with the econsultancy guys.

Ran

over 7 years ago

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Vas

This trick won't work if you don't paste the Google Analytics tracking code into each of your website pages. Is that right?

over 7 years ago

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Dominic

This is not working, it sums up all the traffic my site receives. Possible mistakes I could have made?

over 7 years ago

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chris

Do you think I care about Twitter Traffic

over 7 years ago

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Administrator

We'll see how this works. I'd really like to see how much traffic my time on twitter generates. I can't see the picutres and don't have another browser to try, so I used the instructions only. Thanks.

over 7 years ago

Nikki Rae

Nikki Rae, Managing Director at Future Insight Analytics Ltd.Small Business

Hi Ran

I am very impressed with this article!  I have just set all the profiles and gilters and am raring to go...

Thanks 

Nikki Rae

over 7 years ago

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George

I have tried this and waiting for the results....

over 7 years ago

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cherrell

this page is cool.

almost 7 years ago

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Ken

Great idea - just wondering though if you are using URL shortner with Google Analytics UTM Tags for all links why would you need to track the URL shortner?  Wouldn't the URL shortner referrer be replaced by the new UTM source, medium, etc.?  Otherwise, I like the idea of consolidating for Twitter links and shortner links that come from other folks.

Thanks!

over 6 years ago

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Zane

Thanks for this great walkthrough! I have been trying to learn lately how to really customise my analytics data so that I can ensure I am getting the most from it and can analyse it accordingly to optimize my sites.

over 6 years ago

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