[Publish] Why might there be a discrepancy between clicks in the Posts Report and clicks in Twitter Analytics?

This FAQ relates to the  Posts Report on the Pro Plan, specifically for Twitter Profiles. General information on the Posts Report can be found here.

Summary

You may notice a discrepancy between the click metrics you see in the Posts Report on the Pro Plan for Twitter Profiles, compared to the click metrics you see in Twitter Analytics.

Click metrics shown in the Posts Report on the Pro Plan are pulled from Bit.ly. Bit.ly counts the total number of times a link has been clicked. This means that if the exact same link has been shared more than once, or to multiple social accounts, the number you'll see will include all of those clicks.

Twitter on the other hand, will simply count the number of clicks on the one specific tweet. This means you may notice a discrepancy between click metrics in Buffer Publish compared to Twitter Analytics.

How to find more information on your clicks

You can see a historical breakdown of clicks and where they're coming from on a specific link by adding a "+" on the end of the URL. This will take you to  https://bitly.com/ where you'll see the number of clicks on the link, which should match the number you see in the Posts Report within Buffer Publish. If you don't already have a Bit.ly account, sign up for a free one, which should take less than a minute. Once logged in, you'll also be able to see a breakdown of where the clicks took place.

Enabling Campaign Tracking to generate unique links

If you don’t have Campaign Tracking enabled, the clicks you see in Buffer Publish are likely to be much higher than what you see in Twitter because the exact same link is likely to have been shared to multiple places.

Let’s say you schedule a post for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, at the same time. Without Campaign Tracking enabled, no UTM parameters will be added to the URL and the link being shared to each social account will be identical. This means that Bit.ly will count the clicks on the link, regardless of whether the clicks took place on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. And since we’re using Bit.ly data in the Posts Report, that’s the number of clicks you’ll see.

However, with Campaign Tracking enabled, UTM parameters will be added to the end of the URL for each social network, which ultimately means that a different link will be shared on each one. This means that Bit.ly will treat each link separately and the clicks you see in the Posts Report will only reflect the specific link shared to that social account. This might still be a little different than the number of clicks you see in Twitter Analytics, but it should be closer.

Campaign Tracking can be enabled by selecting a social account on the left hand side of your dashboard and then heading to Settings > Link Shortening. Scroll down to the section labelled "Google Analytics Campaign Tracking" and toggle the switch to YepFor more information on UTM parameters and and Google Analytics, please check out this guide.

You don't need to be using Google Analytics in order to enable Campaign Tracking in Buffer Publish. Enabling this setting will simply allow Buffer Publish to generate unique URLs for each social network.

An extra thing to bear in mind is that on the Pro Plan, it’s not possible to customize the Campaign Tracking settings, which means that the UTM parameters added to the end of the URL would be the same for each social account of the same network. Let’s say you have three Twitter Profiles connected, we'll call them Profile A, Profile B, and Profile C. The UTM parameters would be the same for each Twitter Profile:

  • Campaign Name: buffer
  • Campaign Source: twitter.com
  • Campaign Medium: social

If you schedule a post to those three Twitter Profiles at the same time, the link would be identical, and therefore the clicks you see in the Posts Report would include clicks on any of those links, regardless of whether the click took place on Profile A, Profile B, or Profile C.

We're really sorry for any confusion caused around our Analytics and Reports. We're hoping to make improvements in this area soon.