Organization : Bitly
Industry : Web Service
Web references: bitly.com
What is bitly ?
Whether you have noticed it or not, you have most likely clicked on a bit.ly link while on social media. Plain and simple, it makes links shorter. This can be handy for making posts look better by not having a cumbersome multiline link or can help you meet character restrictions on sites like twitter. Best of all its free! You simply use their website or handy web browser plug-in and copy a URL (link) into it and viola! A shortened version can be copied to you clipboard for use anywhere. The link is also customizable if you wish to add your own text. Some people use it to “hide” the source URL …like here bit.ly/1IuphtB
If you are interested enough to be reading this blog, bitly can help you. I encourage you to signup for an account and let me know if you found it useful. I use it for all of my posts and will be using it to share this very blog post. Below is an example of a tweet I sent out about an earlier post for smbp.waterloo.ca.
Notice the bit.ly link to the content I wanted to share:
Creating #peoplecount culture @rlbllp http://t.co/FBnVOBCI3Q via Social Media For Business Performance @UWaterloo #socialmedia #engagement
— Kyle Turriff (@KyleTurriff) June 4, 2015
Here is how it works:
As you can see, its pretty simple to use. If you can cut and paste – you can use bitly !
Track clicks with bitly.com
This is what makes the tool so powerful. Getting a shorter link is great and all.. but not all that life changing…lets be honest. The reason why I love this service so much is the dashboard reporting you receive on each link you shorten. Google analytics is great for reporting but not everyone is going to setup dashboards and dig deeper into page views to measure the effectiveness of their social media campaigns, and what if you are sharing content you don’t own but with still like to track clicks? Hootsuite also offers some nice reporting from a social media perspective but to get the most value, it can be pricey.
I have posted some screen shots below from my own Bit.ly account. I have shown some metrics (nothing earth shattering) about the previous blog I mentioned in the tweet above. You can easily see where my whopping 33 clicks came from. I can even track how many of you I “Rick-Rolled” with that video above!
What this all means
“Anything that is measured and watched, improves.” – Bob Parsons
Keep in mind, although 33 people clicked on my link, the post itself had around 142 views as of writing this. You will need other forms of analytics to track the metrics on your content but the purpose of using bit.ly is to track the Social Media metrics specifically.
My Bit.ly link was used when posting on social media specifically as well as a few emails to colleagues (works great for newsletters too). Remember the same link is used in re-tweets, shares, likes etc. so nothing is lost there. This will give you a quick and easy grasp on which of your social media platforms worked best. With some creativity you can test different strategies for the same content, for example, using 2 different links for the same content shared with 2 different Headings to see which outperforms the other. This will give you insights on to what type of language you need to use to gain clicks !
I have included an interview I found with a Data Scientist at bitly.
(Skip to 5:25 for advice for getting started with metrics)
I used my personal experience with this service so I could give you a real word example of its use and how I find it helpful. It won’t be for everyone but if you’re thinking of dipping your toe into social media metrics, this is the way to do it.
Submitted by: Kyle Turriff – SMBP Student, University of Waterloo
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your comments to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.