Social Sleuthing: Who is Sharing Your Content: Twitter & LinkedIn Edition

shadow detective servicesHave you ever wondered who is sharing your blog posts or other content on social media sites but don’t have access to expensive social media monitoring applications that can tell you? Here are ways you can find out who is sharing your content, and in some cases how much traffic each share is driving, on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Some of the approaches here use Google Analytics or WordPress statistics, the measurement solutions I use here on B2B Digital Marketing.

Who is Sharing Your Content on Twitter

Because almost all tweets are public, Twitter is the easiest platform to discover who is sharing your content. The biggest limitation with Twitter is tweets are searchable for less than a week.

Finding Tweets using the Tweet Button
If your page has a Tweet button with a counter, just click the counter to search Twitter for shares of that piece of content. It really is that easy, but it requires searching for each page, one at a time.

Finding Tweets using Twitter Search
For a small site or blog, the better solution is to search for your domain using Twitter Search. This will show all shares of your content on Twitter, across all of your pages.

As the image below shows, many of these shares do not include my Twitter handle (@wittlake) and would not appear in my mentions on Twitter.

Searching Twitter for Your Content: Results

Going Back More than Four Days on Twitter
Topsy lets you see who shared your content months ago. To see tweets that include links to a particular page on Topsy, the URL is http://topsy.com/ + “Your Page URL” (without the + or quotes).

Topsy Example
My post on G+ and SEO is more than a month old. Today, searching for the post on Twitter only returns one tweet. Using Topsy, you can see 160 tweets of the post here (you can see how the URL is built as well): http://topsy.com/b2bdigital.net/2012/01/19/google-for-seo-dont-focus-on-your-brand-page/.

How Much Traffic Does Each Twitter Share Drive

Since Twitter begin using t.co as a link shortener on all links, you can easily see how much traffic any individual tweet drove. In Google Analytics, go Traffic Sources > Sources > Referrals and select “t.co” from the list of sources. You will get a report of visits from each t.co-shortened URL.

Traffic from t.co Links

By searching for the t.co-shortened URL, you often can find who shared the link. Using Google and focusing on results from Topsy and Imagist, I quickly found that four of the five URLs above represent traffic from Rand Fishkin’s, Jay Baer’s, Mark Schaefer’s and Albert Ribera’s tweets.

Who is Sharing Your Content on LinkedIn

LinkedIn content shares are not as open as Twitter, so searching on LinkedIn is more limited. However, it is possible to find LinkedIn shares through a combination of LinkedIn Signal and WordPress Site Stats.

Finding Shares Using LinkedIn Signal
You can quickly find public shares of your content using LinkedIn Signal. Go to News > Signal in the main LinkedIn navigation bar and type a few words from the title of your content. You should see your content show up in the right sidebar under trending links, where my Pinterest post is in image below.

See Who Shared Your Content on LinkedIn

Click the number of shares displayed on your content under trending links and you will get a listing of everyone that publicly shared your content on LinkedIn.

Finding LinkedIn Shares Using WordPress Site Stats
Using WordPress’s Site Stats (part of WordPress’s Jetpack plugin for WordPress.org), the referring URLs include a significant amount of detail that can be used to find not only individuals, but shares through groups and key traffic drivers.

Here is a snapshot from my Site Stats report, with LinkedIn traffic expanded.

LinkedIn Traffic in WordPress Site Stats

The first share listed drove 10 visits on its own, and clicking that link I see my page with the LinkedIn share bar, showing who shared my page (Jeff Rozner) and in this case the group he shared it in.

LinkedIn Share Bar

In addition, by searching for Jeff’s member ID, highlighted in the site stats screenshot above, you can see he actually drove 15 visits. I don’t know Jeff, but after this I just might reach out to him.

Your Turn

What tricks do you use to find who is sharing your content on Twitter and LinkedIn, or on other networks? Share your tricks in the comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake).

A future post will outline how to find who is sharing your information on Google+, Pinterest and Facebook.

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  • LaurenOnDemand

    Eric – Your patience for sleuthing is amazing!!! Can I commission you to be my social sleuth…as I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t have the patience(-: Thanks for the great insights.

    • http://b2bdigital.net/ Eric Wittlake

      LOL. I just might be willing to be a social sleuth for hire, it would be interesting (at least momentarily). 

      Hopefully though no one believes I actually DO this on a regular basis, these are some of the tricks I’ve uncovered when I went digging to answer a specific question like how DID I get that big spike in Twitter traffic? Then, the search is on to find the answer!

      Thanks for the comment!

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  • jamesoliverjr

    Great post. I’ve been doing this since I found this post, but, for some reason it hasn’t been working lately. I wonder if LinkedIn decided to no longer make this an option. Hmmm…

    • http://b2bdigital.net/ Eric Wittlake

      James, I’ve had the same issue with the Signal’s feature. The feature seems to still be there but it always pulls up a blank list for me as well. Even if I hit something with a crazy high number of reported LinkedIn shares it is blank.

      I have been able to find some of my posts on LinkedInToday, which lists some of the sharing information. Finding groups where it was shared still works for me, I’m no longer seeing the individual share information since LinkedIn removed the bar they kept at the top of pages you visited.

      If I find a new way to get insight from LinkedIn, I’ll definitely post about it again.

      • jamesoliverjr

        thanks.

  • Castor

    Eric,
    Very nice article. Do you know if there is a way to know how many clicks I get on my linkedin shares?

    • Carly

      I’m not sure about LinkedIn providing stats for this but maybe add a bitly link so you can track the clicks that way.

      • http://b2bdigital.net/ Eric Wittlake

        You can use a bit.ly link or add tracking codes to the end of the URL. Since LinkedIn displays the domain only, this ensures your domain will be shown instead of potentially having the shortener URL display.

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn Nicander Mohr

    Excellent information. Thanks so much for sharing your helpful research with us. I knew that Twitter had its own shortener, but I didn’t know about how to delve into the analytics.

  • Scarlette Raven

    Hi! So I found a 2 twitter links that lead to my blog under “referrals.” You said you can search these to see who actually tweeted this information? How exactly would I go about doing that?

  • Becky Rowland

    Hello Eric,

    thank you very much for these tips, really very helpful!

    I am sure you’re aware of these tools too http://www.sharedcount.com

    and http://muckrack.com/whoshared?

    And I’m sorry to have to report that LinkedIn Signal was shelved just a few days ago (http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5028).

    Thanks again and I hope I’ll get to the bottom of who’s been sharing our latest blog post (on which you recently commented http://qualifa.co.uk/2013/07/b2b-lead-gen-why-you-need-partners-and-multiple-channels) soon!

    Best Regards,

    Becky
    Marketing Manager @Qualifa

  • http://www.mynoblecare.com/ Usama Ejaz

    Thats really awesome. I searched for this tutorial after receiving hits from linkedin to my site sc-downloader.com :)