Adobe SiteCatalyst’s Marketing Channels tool does a great job of segregating site traffic into different funnels. The ability to build custom channels tailored to each company’s marketing effort is coupled with a series of out-of-the-box channels that are ready to go with almost no configuration. That “almost” applies particularly to the social media channel. It does not capture traffic from all relevant social media sites – Instagram and Pinterest are two notable exclusions. Fortunately, the fix is simple.
Referring links are deemed “social” if they are one of many listed in a textbox within the ready-made social media rule.
The outlined list is what the Marketing Channels tool uses to determine whether or not a link comes from a social media site. Sure, the usual suspects are there, like Facebook and Twitter, but as mentioned previously, it is not complete. (There are also a few unusual suspects in the lineup. Friendster? Really?) Anyone using this out-of-the-box rule should make a list of significant social media traffic sources and check it against the one in this rule. Even though it is prefab, the rule can still be edited with additional social media sites.
This issue can be partially avoided by adding an identifying query string parameter to each purposely promoted social link and creating a rule for that. While such a rule will not capture unmarketed traffic, it will cover all social marketing links, even if they come from Instagram. Of course, no one has to worry about capturing those massive waves of Friendster traffic…