Short links are the currency of social media. We see them, we share them, we click them.
And some of us make them.
A link shortener is a tool we likely take for granted. They help shrink an unwieldy URL into a tweetable form. In a world where 140 characters comprises deep thought and a 6-second video goes on forever,
My favorite tool, one I use daily, is Bitly. I can quickly shorten links on the site, through a plugin or mobile app. It’s free, with an enterprise level available.
The free account gives me a wonderful set of features, all worth plenty to marketers and social media managers.
- Metrics for every link. By adding a plus sign, +, to any Bitly URL (whether I created it or not), I can see the number of clicks, the originating countries, the referrers and more. Try it now: bit.ly/25INgyD+
- Custom keywords. I can make links even easier to share with memorable URLs. Bitly allows me to change the keyword to whatever I want (that’s still available). Anyone can share this post by using bit.ly/SHORTLINK (yep, all caps, since case matters). A great way to extend branding for campaigns and companies.
- Custom domains. Twitter users see them all the time in big brands …
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 7, 2016
— Rob Landreth (@roblandreth) June 7, 2016
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) June 6, 2016
(See how even in the shortened URL we can see brand names, instead of bit.ly?) Custom domains are free, too. I provide the domain, connect it to bit.ly, and everything is branded with my name, such as itswa.de/25INgyD.
- Power branding. Why not put the custom domain and custom keywords together? That’s compact memorable branding in a tiny package: itswa.de/SHORTLINK.
We can share links. But we can share them with style.
Give Bitly a try. And save the characters for when they’ll come in handy.
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