Track It Bit by Bit

Have you ever heard someone say that social media is hard to track and measure? I’m calling FOUL on that one right here and now!

Social media is easy to track IF you have the right tools and bit.ly is one of the best, most powerful and completely free tools out there.

Bit.ly is a URL shortener (like tinyurl.com) that packs some serious tracking power. When you use bit.ly to shorten a link it not only counts hits to that link but shows referral sources, social media conversations, and even the country your visitors are coming from.

You can use this for your business by strategically using bit.ly to track links that you send to different places. For example, I could create one link to my blog post that I share in The Dash, and a separate link that I share on twitter. I could then easily measure which one got more social media traction such as retweets and facebook likes, as well as comparing overall traffic volume.

Another trick you can try is to see how other people’s links are performing.  The next time you see a bit.ly link from one of your competitors or peers on twitter or facebook, copy the url and then add add a + (just a plus symbol) at the end of the url to get the traffic info for that link.  It’s a great way to do market research and see what people click on…and what they don’t!

Take a moment right now to sign up for a free account at bit.ly and start making a habit of using it whenever you share a link.

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About Laura Roeder

Laura Roeder is a social media marketing expert who gives businesses of all sizes the tools they need to make their mark on the web. She is the creator of the social media scheduling software Edgar, as well as social media marketing web courses like Creating Fame and Social Brilliant.

Comments

  1. I just have to say that i love your blog. .. . Thank you for all inspiration. . .

  2. Jason mKey says:

    I like using bit.ly, but sometimes get lost quickly because I’m tracking so many links from so many different sources, sometimes it’s difficult to remember what link belongs to what. Does anyone have a recommendation for storing this data?

  3. Really interesting ideas, thanks Laura. I’m just getting started with social media in any kind of organised manner (very late, I know!) … info like this helps me think about what I should be doing.

    Will follow your blog closely.

    Mike

  4. Yes, bit’ly is great. You can shorten links as well as keep track of it. It doesn’t end in just shortening them. What’s more, it’s a free service and sign up is simple.

  5. Thanks for this great info, Laura. I use TweetDeck, so my links (if I choose to shorten them) are abbreviated via bit.ly. Adding “+” to the end of the URL to track it is a new tip for me! It’s interesting to see how many clicks a link gets.

    Kevin Delaney

  6. I use bit.ly sometimes, but since I’m using HootSuite I have been using ow.ly instead (I believe it’s default, and I haven’t changed it. It also tracks). I didn’t know about the plus sign at the end, that’s a really powerful tip.

    Usually, when I’m running a campaign or when I’m very eager to see some detail stats, then I use the Google URL Builder, it’s provides me with everything I need to know.