Best way to track referrals to my mobile & FB apps

Posted on 2014-09-25
Last Modified: 2016-02-24
I'm trying to figure out how to track referrals to my app.
Right now I have an app on iOS, Android and Facebook.
I'm hoping you can give me some advice as to wither I am on the right path, and steer me onto it if I am not :)

On the facebook insights page I can see lots of stats on referrals - which I believe are all to do with my Facebook application - so all the referral stats on this are to do with people downloading the facebook application onto their facebook account - and not to downloading the actual app onto their mobile devices.
I see there are some stats under referrals that show "mobile installs" so I'm presuming that covers that.

ON tracking Android referrals - I've setup Google analytics and linked the account to google play - so that I can see under the acquisitions-
I'm wondering - the app market place stats  -do these show where people came from before they got to the google play store? What is the difference between the App Market Place stats and the google play stats just under this - which then breaks out even more into Source and referral.

Then for iOS referrals - do I need a third party software to track this?
I don't think I can track referrals on google analytics for my iOS device.

If I were to track twitter posts - and see how many of them sent referrals to my facebook/ iOS store or Android app - would this show up by using Google Analytics, or how would I track this?

Thank you ,
 I'm starting to track referrals still need to get the referrals for the twitter/fb posts – is this something we have?”
Question by:Putoch
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LVL 26

Accepted Solution

dpearson earned 500 total points
ID: 40361998
It's a difficult problem with no great solutions.

Generally you need to integrate a third party tool into your app that specifically supports mobile tracking.  AppsFlyer ( and HasOffers ( are some of the bigger players, although I think HasOffers recently ran into problems with one of the major publishers.  Anyway check out these sorts of solutions if you really want decent tracking.


Author Comment

ID: 40366348
Thanks Doug,
I had actually just been looking at these companies. they seem to offer what we need.

I was watching a youtube video on GOOGLE ANALYTICS and ADMOB integration -
Google seem to say that they can now match up against these types of companies to give insights and help increase ROI on inapp purchases etc.

Have you any experience using these two products together,
Would you see a major difference between GA and ADMOB v APPSFLYER for example?

LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 40367465
I wasn't aware that Google was able to support this through GA.  We use analytics on our web site all the time - sounds like we should check out their mobile support.  I wouldn't be surprised if they did Android well :)

Frankly each one is a pretty major pain to deal with.  Our approach has been to integrate several solutions - so that we can double check the data and also roll with the inevitable issues (platform A fails to upgrade their SDK at the right time when OS upgrade is pushed etc.).  It all screams for proper support from the app stores.


Author Comment

ID: 40369755
Thanks Doug, its in one way good to know its not just us having an issue, but in another way that's disheartening to think that this is actually a major problem out there - tracking accurate analytics.

thanks for your advice on the matter.

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