You may ask, as did I, what does a length shortened URL do for my posts in social media and other online content?
A shortened URL serves a few purposes including, cleaning up “the look”, tracking clicks, and mobile availability.
I was introduced to the link shortening practice while working for a larger, more established social media firm that I currently am contracted with. I use the “bitly” platform/website to execute smaller links, but there are several others to choose from. A bitly account is easy to setup, user-friendly, and also has a nice mobile app.
Before using bitly, I would simply copy and paste URL addresses as links in my Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. I saw others use links that were nice and short, and knew that clicking on them took me to the full-size URL, yet I didn’t know how they could help me.
Now, I realize the importance of attaching a link to my Facebook post, or Tweet, using a shortened URL, as well as how simple the practice is to execute.
The registration process is standard procedure to create an account with bitly. An example of a bitly mark is the following link to one of my older blogs: http://bit.ly/11mbgYP. This link is created in your account and used instead of the full size URL address.
The first major benefit of a bitly mark is that it cleans up “the look” to your link. Some links have lengthy URLs that take up space. Short posts are always a good idea in the realm of social media content, so the links in the posts should be short also.
The next advantage of using bitly is that the mark allows you to track the views of clicks on your custom link. While the bitly mark takes the viewer to the full URL address, the click on your mark is individually tracked. While logged in to your bitly account, you can view stats on how many clicks a link has received, including time and location of those that clicked on your link.
Tracking custom shortened links serve as a valuable tool for your business strategies with social media and other online profiles. By monitoring the link stats, you can tell what kinds of posts get the most attention, thus providing ideas for future links. Further, when you use links that direct people to your website pages (instead of news/info links), you can see click results and gain a feel for what practices serve your overall goal of gaining more clients.
Lastly, bitly provides a usable mobile app that makes managing your online presence easier. When it comes to Facebook posts and Tweets, laptops and home computers allow for different techniques than doing so from a mobile device. For instance, it is much easier to copy and paste URLs while using a keyboard at home vs. doing so on a cellphone. Prior to using the bitly app, I would reserve posts that required links for times when I would be near my laptop, and use other kinds of posts when I used a mobile device. Now that I’m familiar with the bitly mobile app, I can easily make posts with links while I’m on the go.
The mobile version of bitly allows for similar practices of creating custom links, but with a few modifications made for cellphone use. For instance, when you copy a URL link from your mobile internet portal, the bitly app automatically recognizes the copied link once you open up the app (eliminating the ‘paste’ step, if you will).
I hope this blog discussion provides a little insight on how using a shortened URL can benefit your online postings, whether being used for social media content, blog posts, or other online copy. I would love to hear any comments, questions, and feedback about other ways that bitly marks can be beneficial.
For online copy and management services for businesses in the Denver Area (and nationwide), please contact The Small Medium at 303.725.4702, and see our Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/ZRlonq.