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Facebook Appearing as Referral and Social Traffic

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# 1
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When reviewing traffic data, Acquisition/All Traffic/Channels, I see that GA is reporting traffic data for Facebook under two different channels (referral and social). I have already created a filter for all facebook.com 's to be appear as facebook.com. The social facebook and referral facebook are reporting different numbers as well. 

 

I do not have any custom utm parameters on any campaigns. I am just looking to report accurate data, but also it would be easier for Facebook to appear in only one area as to save time. Any ideas on why it is in both places and how to consolidate to one channel? 

Facebook Appearing as Referral and Social Traffic

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# 2
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I wish I could help. I have the same question. I have noticed facebook and instagram as well as Yelp visits being reported on the social channel report and in the referrer report. Did you ever learn why? Seems like it should be one or the other. 

Facebook Appearing as Referral and Social Traffic

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# 3
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Unfortunately I have not. Still having to count both.... 

Re: Facebook Appearing as Referral and Social Traffic

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# 4
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The key to it is a setting called Social Source Referral which is set to either yes or no depending on the traffic source. This splits referrals in two:

 

  1. For social networks like Facebook, Pinterest, Yelp, Twitter, Instagram and others, Social Source Referral will be set to Yes.
  2. For all other referrals from third party website, Social Source Referral will be set to No.

 The various reports have slightly different rules for which data they show:

 

  • Acquisition/Traffic/Channels - you'll likely see 'Referral' and 'Social' in the list here. The two types of referral are kept in separate buckets based on whether social source referral is yes or no. So if you click on 'referral' then you shouldn't see any social traffic sources listed. The standard rules for these channels are here. There will be no double counting within this report.
  • Acquisition/Traffic/Referrals - this report includes all referrals (social and non-social).
  • Acquisition/Social/Overview and Network Referrals - these reports only show traffic sources where social source referral matches 'yes'.

If you're reporting numbers, then don't mix and match between these reports, or you'll find you'll be double-counting. It might be easiest to stick to the Channels report.

 

Hope that helps

Facebook Appearing as Referral and Social Traffic

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# 5
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Thank you Chris for your input and help! I see the difference now. I think the confusion came from how I usually click through the reports.

 

If I go to the Acquisition / All Traffic /Channels report I see that all my "buckets" direct, social referral, etc add up to the total at the top of the column. If I click on one of those buckets, the next page has details to match that bucket's total from the channels overview. This is what I normally do. Go through channels to get to referrals.

 

As a result, when I clicked directly to Acquisition/All traffic/Referrals I was unfamiliar with the more inclusive listing. And confused. 

 

Ben - try this out on your reporting: Clicking on Acquisition/All Traffic/Channels, then choose the "Referrals" row and click through to that report. Now go back and click on Acquisition/All Traffic/Referrals - skipping over the "channels" option. Do you, like me, see different results? 

Facebook Appearing as Referral and Social Traffic

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# 6
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When I switch between the two reports, Acquisition/All Traffic/Channels --> Referrals shows Facebook.com with a certain value. The other report, Acquisition/All Traffic/Referral shows Facebook.com twice and with different values. I guess I'm still misunderstanding a bit. Should I just be recording the first report from both social and referrals still for social channels?

Facebook Appearing as Referral and Social Traffic

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# 7
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The easiest solution would be to change the rule within the channel grouping for "Social" to include all session with a "source contains facebook" and put that rule on top of all channel-rules as the order of the rules is important for channel groupings. (A session always gets attributed to the first match)

 

You can do so via Admin -> View Settings -> Channel grouping.

 

Best,

 

Markus

 

 

Facebook Appearing as Referral and Social Traffic

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# 8
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I'm sorry to hear you still see facebook. That is weird. I was expecting that you would not see any social in the first report. I only see social in the second report. Just to be certain we are looking at the same reports I'll share screenshots that show how I got to each one. I do hope this helps!

 

http://imgur.com/dQq5uzP

http://imgur.com/ND40uRC

Facebook Appearing as Referral and Social Traffic

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# 9
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Thanks for the share Dandelion, I guess I will just have to use a filter as Markus references above

Facebook Appearing as Referral and Social Traffic

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# 10
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Happy to help! And yes, it's really not clear that 'referrals' in one place is different to 'referrals' in another!