Last week, we posted some free resources for marketing analytics. One of those resources was bitly, which generated a few questions about what this tool was and the best way to use it. Pardon us for jumping the gun and not fully explaining…we’re going to take the opportunity to do that today.
bitly is a free online tool that allows you to shorten URLs to as little as 14 characters. This is especially handy for Twitter users who are limited to only 140 characters per post. But this tool is more than just a one-trick pony; it also allows you to track click information on your links. You can see how many people have clicked on your link, the time/date of the click, where they were referred from (email, website, social media), and the global location of the people who clicked on your link. Assuming that most of your links will lead to your registration page, this is very important info to know.
Using bitly is simple:
1. Visit www.bitly.com and sign up for your free account.
2. Copy any URL you’d like to shorten and paste it in the top right of your screen (next to
the friendly puffer fish).
3. After shortening your URL, you will be given the option to customize the characters in your bitly URL (e.g. http://bit.ly/customtext) by clicking on the pencil icon, or you can simply copy the standard URL and paste it where it needs to go!
4. To check your bitly link’s performance you can visit the “Stats” tab in the menu bar.
Give it a shot–bitly some links and take a look at how they perform. This tool can be especially helpful when you are trying out different registration promotions for your event…you can track which get the most clicks and learn which grab attention of your fans/followers.