Enhance social sharing links with recruiter IDs

One of the most powerful — and under appreciated — NationBuilder features is it’s ability to track recruiters. Using personalized tracking links, NationBuilder helps you identify the supporters who are helping your organization grow so you can thank them, reward them, and invest in them as leaders.

So how do these links work, and how can you best take advantage of them? Great questions.

  • NationBuilder’s personalized tracking links are created by appending “?recruiter_id={{ nationbuilder id }}” to any URL on the site, where the NationBuilder ID is the numeric database ID of the supporter you’d like to credit the referral to.

  • When someone clicks the link and arrives at your page, a cookie is added to their browser indicating the NationBuilder ID of the person who recruited them.

  • When they take an action on your site (i.e., submit any form anywhere on the site), that information is logged in the database and the recruiter will be credited.

But the trick is that they only work if people use the personalized tracking links. And lets be honest: very few supporters (if any!) are going to manually choose to use that link. So what’s an organization to do? Make it automatic.

In NationBuilder’s public themes, personalized tracking links are automatically added to messages posted to social media through it’s “social sharing prompts.” These are the modal sharing prompts that appear on the page after a supporter takes an action (i.e., submits a form) on your site. It’s a great start, but with a small change to your theme you can really take things up a notch.

By default, your theme’s _like_page.html partial template (which is the one that populates the social media sharing buttons on individual pages) is configured to pre-fill the sharing buttons with the standard URL for the page. Out of the box, it does not use personalized tracking links — but it can, and I believe it should.

So how do you make that change? The default template should look something like this, with the URL of the page being rendered using the liquid tag {{ page.full_url }}. You want to replace that liquid tag with {{ page.full_url_with_recruiter }}. It’s that easy.

With this simple change, any logged-in supporter who uses the page’s default social widgets (the tweet button, Facebook Like button, etc.) will automatically be sharing their personalized tracking link, giving you the benefit of that additional data. It’s a straightforward change that can yield big results at scale.

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