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differentiate sessions from direct FB posts and Hootsuite FB posts?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello. My company has 10 websites. They are all connected to Google Analytics. Each of them have their own Facebook page. My colleagues and I post regularly to the Facebook page which drives the majority of the traffic to our websites.


We also hired an outside company to use Hootsuite to post additional posts to Facebook and Twitter. Essentially doubling our number of posts. 


I would like to see a breakdown of how many sessions begin from clicking a Hootsuite Facebook post versus how many begin from clicking an ordinary Facebook post.


Essentially, I would like to compare the statistics between my own company's efforts and the outside company's efforts. Who has better results?


I have searched and searched and cannot find a way to make Google Analytics show me this information. However, I believe it is possible because the outside company once showed us a chart listing how many users/sessions/pageviews derived from their Hootsuite posts. 


Thank you for your help.

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: differentiate sessions from direct FB posts and Hootsuite FB posts

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Anton,


set up a custom report using the following dimensions to assess if there are any differences in Facebook and HootSuite data in GA:




After setting up the report, you may filter for relevant Facebook and or HootSuite terms.



Re: differentiate sessions from direct FB posts and Hootsuite FB posts

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Christoph,

Thank you for your help! I set up a report as your picture shows, but it does not show me any information about Hootsuite.

I hope I described my dilemma accurately. To any viewer of our Facebook page, they just see posts and can't tell where they originated from. As the page editor, I can see the difference between the posts I make and the posts the other company scheduled on Hootsuite.

I'd like the Analytics to show me the difference as well so I can track the statistics.

Thank you again and I hope you can help me further.


ETA in the past I *have* seen a differentiation. I believe while looking at the individual posts, it shows in the link when Hootsuite was the referrer (I don't know if that's the correct terminology). That's why I think this is possible, even though it's complicated.

Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by topic author Anton N
February 2016

Re: differentiate sessions from direct FB posts and Hootsuite FB posts

Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
# 4
Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
The problem is that Google Analytics has no way of capturing anything other than the data that is available. It knows it came from face book based on data available through the browser being used (document.referrer I think). So you can't split these out retroactively. You can do it moving forward though.

Presumably, each post to the facebook page has a link to you site like:

The vendor using Hootsuite is also using that same link, so there's no way for GA to differentiate who is posting since GA tracking code only fires when your site is loaded and the only thing GA code can read is document.referrer...which is always going to be facebook.

What you need is two different links. Your best bet is to use the utm parameters and create the differentiation through those. You always use one link and the vendor always uses the other. For instance:

You use:
You use:

This is simplified, but you should get the gist of it. There are also two other utm parameters:
1. utm_Content
2. utm_keyword

I won't get into more detail, but you can pretty much put anything you want in them. So can get some real insight as to the topics that really drive traffic.

Re: differentiate sessions from direct FB posts and Hootsuite FB posts

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank you. That indeed will solve the problem. You've helped me a lot.