A Little Shortening Goes A Long Way

As micro-blogging services like Twitter, Brightkite etc grow, URL services are becoming a central part of every social media junkie’s toolkit.

However, as Danny Sullivan pointed out recently, not all URL shorteners are created equal. Your URL shortening service can detract from your online marketing, or it can enhance it.

If you use the TinyURL service to which services like Twitter default, you’re missing out on a raft of useful information that can help to demonstrate the value of your outreach.If you’re using these services for your own personal uses you may not care; if you’re doing it as part of your job then you should.

Services like bit.ly give you detailed analytics, including:

  • Live click-through count
  • Breakdown of the locations of visitors
  • Breakdown of the services people are using to access the shortened URL
  • Social media conversations featuring the link

Of course, this isn’t going to replace other forms of measurement, but it can provide specific data on your individual activities. In an economy where measurement can give you the edge you need to justify your budget, can you afford to ignore this extra level of measurement?

Dave Fleet
EVP Digital at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.