I have a client and their traffic from social media reads thus:

80% from facebook 1% from Twitter

This suggestsd they are not exploiting twitter at all and this was in my presentation but my boss took it out claiming twitter stats are under reported in google analytics. I can't substantiate this claim and wonder where she got this idea from.

Can anyone shed light on this? Are my stats wrong and should I disregard these figures? but 80-1 seems like one hell of an under report!



  • I keep a fairly tight watch on the stats and t.co + twitterfeed is my biggest referrer and my GA figures seem right to me. You might want to check whether the Twitter Social Media source that include twitter and t.co actually adds up to the same as the t.co + twitterfeed figures from the all traffic stats? Jul 13 '12 at 18:54

Social analytics only report actions made using the "official" facebook, twitter and Google+ buttons. In the case of facebook, it's quite flexible but you have to be very strict with twitter.

Here you have the implementation documentation for social analytics: http://analytics-api-samples.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/src/tracking/javascript/v5/social/facebook_js_async.html

And here the implementation samples: http://analytics-api-samples.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/src/tracking/javascript/v5/social/facebook_js_async.html

Please take note that you have to declate a tweet as a Twitter Web Intent:

function trackTwitter(intent_event) {
  if (intent_event) {
    var opt_pagePath;
    if (intent_event.target && intent_event.target.nodeName == 'IFRAME') {
        opt_target = extractParamFromUri(intent_event.target.src, 'url');
    _gaq.push(['_trackSocial', 'twitter', 'tweet', opt_pagePath]);

//Wrap event bindings - Wait for async js to load
twttr.ready(function (twttr) {
  //event bindings
  twttr.events.bind('tweet', trackTwitter);
  • interesting answer but not strictly relevant to OP in so far as I'm only asking id there's any information that illustrates if traffic from twitter is under reported. I don't think I have time, now, to alter or analyse the implementation alas :(
    – colmcq
    Jul 14 '12 at 13:27

Without knowing the Client it would be hard for me to judge on the fb/twitter ratio. If the twitter is feeding the facebook, and they don't have the right followers.. How engaging are they, -- there are too many factors involved to comb through...

I have two ideas for you to look through/investigate. I would think option two would be the easiest, but you wouldn't have your answer until your test time passed. The first option will be tasking, depending on your site traffic.

1) I would verify this information by going through Traffic Sources - Sources and comb through all traffic, direct, referrals, etc and take not of all the traffic listed in there. Compare that to your Social Analytics.


2) Another way to verify this information is to use a URL shorten service with analytics (bit.ly) And only use those short links for Twitter. Compare this with your analytics information and see how it goes!

Good luck to you. If you would like any further help or insight, please comment and I'll see what I can do for you.

  • Have you taken into account the answers? Aug 2 '12 at 17:27

I have not looked into it lately to see if it's still an issue or not. But at one point many of the clicks received from twitter were coming through as "Direct" traffic because the way desktop and mobile twitter apps handled links no referring URLs were passed. Here's an article (circa 2009) explaining the issue:


It may be what your boss is referring to, whether it's still accurate or not I don't know (with an 80-1 difference it seems like it might be).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.