Pro Tip: Tracking Guest Blog Posts on Social Media

Pro Tip: Tracking Guest Blog Posts on Social Media
Guest blog post tracking on social networks

Image credit: Michael Bennett

When you publish a guest post on someone else’s blog, it isn’t always easy to keep track of the social sharing activity. Not everybody remembers to mention you in their tweet or share, and sometimes they simply credit the site owner instead. As a result, it can get difficult to monitor how well your guest post is doing across social networks. And you want to monitor this activity, because if you find an opportunity to thank a major influencer, or answer a question posted about your topic, this can help you build the relationships and authority you set out to build when you offered to guest post in the first place.

Here’s the tip: Use the URL of your guest post in your search/listening feed. It’s that simple, watch:

Social Media Monitoring Tools

Monitor guest blog posts with Sprout Social by adding the URL to the "Brand Keywords" section

Monitor guest blog posts with Sprout Social by adding the URL to the “Brand Keywords” section

I use Sprout Social, and there’s a “Brand Keyword” tool to monitor instances of your brand. I’m sure other services have something similar. Well, after a guest post for The Social Media Hat about, believe it or not, brand monitoring (on Google+), I needed a way to track the shares of that post on Twitter. So I tried adding the URL as a “Brand Keyword” and BINGO! All the tweets (even the shortened bit.ly ones) appeared so I could interact with those who were promoting my article to their communities.

So, add the URL to your social listening feeds and you’ll be good to go for Twitter, possibly Facebook depending on the privacy settings of the people who posted your link.

As you can see in the image, I’m tracking a number of posts, including an interview of me by Sprout Social; I didn’t write the post but have a vested interest in keeping tabs on the activity.

Google Plus

Search Bar – Adding the URL to a search bar in Google+ is all there is to it. This is a treasure trove because not only will Google+ pull in the posts that shared and re-shared your link, it will also return the posts that included your link in comments or introductions (like a photo post with the link in the description). From there you can interact with everyone all at once, it’s fantastic!

The one caveat? Shortened links do not return with this method. You’re basically doing a “string match” for the URL as text.

Google+ Ripples Diagram – Another alternative is to go to the Ripples for that URL. Find a post that has shares (usually one of the first ones on the list) and hover over it, then click the little

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down-arrow on the right side of the card. Select “View Ripples” and you will get a page that looks kind of like the image shown. It contains all the public shares for that URL, including shortened versions. The only thing missing here is if the link is shared as a shortened link in a comment, or as a link within a photo post.

But between the two options, chances are you will cover nearly everybody who is sharing your article on Google+.

Other social networks

Pinterest – You can use the domain trick for Pinterest, which is typing pinterest.com/source/DOMAIN in the address bar (replace DOMAIN with the actual domain, like pinterest.com/source/websighthangouts.com/). Unfortunately this will return all the

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pins that came from that site, so if it’s a very popular blog, chances are you’ll have to wade through a bunch of pins before finding yours. Once you do, though, you can try to follow the repin trails and “also pinned on” listings to trace down who loved your blog post so much they pinned it to Pinterest.

LinkedIn – can’t help you there. I wish I could, but there seems to be no way to search updates, which is where people post their links to your articles. Let’s hope that changes. At least they can tag you now.

Tracking Mentions and Responding

The whole point of doing this isn’t to feed your ego, it’s to build relationships. Through another guest post of mine, this time on MarketingProfs’ Daily Fix blog about why marketers should embrace Google+, I found some fantastic commentary surrounding my own post, and was able to take part in some quality discussions with people I had never met online before.

So there you have it, the next time you write a guest blog post for someone, you know how to keep track of its activity on social networks. If you have any other tips and techniques, be sure to leave them in the comments!

About Stephan Hovnanian

I own Shovi Websites, a website design and email marketing company located outside Boston. I spend my days managing websites and staying up to speed with all the latest trends across the web so you don't have to.

NOTE: If you're commenting on the Google Plus Comments, please add +Stephan Hovnanian so I can follow up.


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  • http://newraycom.com Ray Hiltz

    Thanks Stephan. I was surprised at how many of my G+ and off site guest posts shares I was missing.
    Will be sharing this on my Google+ Tips & Topics newsletter. Very helpful info. (As usual.)

    • https://gplus.to/stephanhov Stephan Hovnanian

      Glad to help as always, Ray. This was born out of necessity, since I had to keep track of two monster guest posts that hit the same day. “Necessity is the mother of invention” right? Or in my case, tips like this :)