Twitter Ad Performance Tracking: Level Up With Proper UTM Parameters

By Briana Ogle | @BrianaOgle2 | Production Associate at Hanapin Marketing

To continue on my blog writing path about Twitter Ads, this article details not only conversion tracking but the proper way to implement UTM parameters in order to get precise performance data on each segment of targeting. This article is a bit technical, but it contains some important information if you plan to implement Twitter Ads correctly.

 

Universal Tag

 

Twitter Ads utilizes a universal tag which means that only one code needs to be placed on the website and it is not necessary to edit or add additional tags. The caveat to this is that the conversion actions created in the Twitter Ads interface must be based on a destination URL. If you want to track something that can’t be captured by a destination URL then it is necessary to create a single event code for that action and place it on your website.

 

Every conversion action created has an adjustable attribution window for post-view and post-engagement, up to 90 days.The universal tag enables the ability to create remarketing audiences in Twitter as well, and again these audience lists are created based on a destination URL.

 

The universal tag is a single snippet of code that is placed across the entire website, in a global page header, on every page of the website. It is also an option to use a third party tag manager.

 

UTM Parameters

 

This is the part of tracking I find to be the most important that is usually done incorrectly in Twitter Ads. It makes things more difficult and can take a lot more time, but is worth it.

 

Every single combination of campaign, ad group, and creative needs it’s own UTM parameters in the URL to track performance on a third party platform, like Google Analytics. This is important so that you can see how the user behaves after leaving twitter and landing our your website.

 

For example, if you have this set of campaigns, ad groups, and creatives:

  • Prospecting – Business Software – Desktop
    • Ages 21 – 34
      • Image 1
      • Image 2
    • Ages 35 – 49
      • Image 1
      • Image 2
  • Prospecting – Technology – Desktop
    • Ages 21 – 34
      • Image 1
      • Image 2
    • Ages 35 – 49
      • Image 1
      • Image 2

Every tweet that includes image 1 will be identical from the text to creative and you could just create one tweet and promote it in all four ad groups. However, even though the tweet is the same, in order to track the performance for the different interest targeting (campaign level) and demographic targeting (ad group level) you actually need to create four tweets with different UTM parameters in the URL.

 

An example of what the UTM parameters would look like for image 1:

  • /?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=prospecting-business_software-desktop&utm_term=ages_21-34&utm_content=image1
  • /?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=prospecting-business_software-desktop&utm_term=ages_35-49&utm_content=image1
  • /?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=prospecting-technology-desktop&utm_term=ages_21-34&utm_content=image1
  • /?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=prospecting-technology-desktop&utm_term=ages_35-49&utm_content=image1

For this set of campaigns, you would end up creating 8 tweets total. This doesn’t seem so bad on a small scale such as this, but when you have many targeting variations and creatives, as you should, it turns out to be a lot of tweets.

 

There is also one additional step that is not necessary but I recommend, creating shortened branded URLs. Your URL will then look like this, octiv.co/T5SK, versus t.co/H4DN, which is a generic shortened URL Twitter automatically creates. If you decide to go down this path I would create a spreadsheet detailing which shortened URL belongs to which full URL. There are tools that create shortened URLs in bulk and the one I used was from the article, Tag and Shorten Your URLs in Bulk for Better Google Analytics Data.

 

That is Twitter Ads tracking and UTM parameters in a nutshell.