Tag Archives: bitly

Social Media

When a URL shortener doesn’t shorten the URL

Those of you who are regular users of Twitter will already know what a URL Shortener is.

For those of you less familiar, a URL shortener…. shortens URLs! It makes website addresses shorter, so that it’s easier to paste into an email, a Tweet, or a text message.

For example, let’s say you wanted to show someone the WebEden video tutorial that shows you how to put AdSense on your website. The full URL is http://webeden.co.uk/blog/video-tutorials/website-builder-tutorials-how-to-put-google-adsense-on-your-website/.

If you’re trying to cut and paste that into a Tweet then it uses up lots of character space. Bear in mind that you only get 140 characters to make your point – this URL uses up 115 of them in one go.

If you put this long URL into a URL Shortener (bit.ly for example), you end up with http://bit.ly/5CVnmy. Anyone clicking on this second link will automatically be sent onto the first, long URL. And this second URL is just 20 characters long, leaving you much more space to say other things.

There are lots of URL shortners out there. Popular ones include http://tinyurl.com and http://bit.ly.

More and more big brands are launching them too. Google have goo.gl, Facebook have fb.me.

We often give Microsoft a hard time on this blog, but this time they have done something which deserves a bit of mirth. Because Microsoft’s search engine Bing.com has launched a URL Shortener… which is in fact longer than their main URL!

Binged.it‘ is in fact 1 character longer than the normal bing.com domain! This may not seem like a big deal, but when the whole point of the product is to use up as few characters as possible, this seems an odd decision. As Techcrunch pointed out, there are other options including ‘bin.gd’.

Have you tried using URL shorteners? Which one is your favourite and why? Leave us a comment below.

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How to

How to get to grips with Twitter

Last week we gave you some simple instructions on how to sign up with Twitter. Now you’ve done that, what’s next?!

Here’s a basic guide to using Twitter. Its not definitive – your comments are welcome!

Following people

1.    Start out by following people who you are genuinely interested in hearing from. This might be your industry figurehead, a national paper, an industry magazine, or a commentator
2.     Your customers. Show you’re interested in your customers by following them whenever you can. That will make encourage them to follow you, and open Twitter as a channel of communication
3.    Don’t follow people just because they follow you, unless they are your customer. Only follow people you are genuinely interested in.
4.    Avoid following people who have high numbers of followers and follows. These will just be using auto-tools to build their follower base. Lots are US based.

Tweeting your News

1.    Every time you add a new post or item onto your blog or website, Tweet it with a headline and a link.
2.    Every time you change your prices, have an offer, or have any other news that you wouldn’t otherwise have on the blog, Tweet it

Tweeting other people’s news and blog posts

1.    Set up an Feed reader with all your important writers’ latest posts. Here’s a guide on how to set up a feed reader
2.    When you see something that you find interesting, summarise it and send a link to it

Commenting on other people’s Tweets

1.    For the people who you are following, read their posts. If you’re interested, reply @them
2.    When people send you an @message, responding to it quickly

ReTweeting (RT)

1.    If someone compliments you, your website or your company then ReTweet it by copying it into your own post and prefacing it with RT @them:
2.    If you see anything of genuine interest that you want to attribute to the original Tweeter then RT it in the same way.
3.    Do your customers a favour by retweeting their messages to your audience

Direct Messages (DM)

1.    Keep any private messages to DM
2.    If someone RTs your message then thank them privately with a DM

General Guidance for Tweets

1.    Mix up your Tweets. Send some links to your site, some to others, and include no links in some. Have a mixture of general Tweets, @Tweets and ReTweets.
2.     Tweet any comments you get on your blog comments including a link directly to those comments. Try to get a debate going
3.    Ask questions to generate interest and get answers
4.    Remember that a lot more people will be reading your tweets than responding them. If you’re using it for customer service than showcase your finest work!

Tools

1.    Ping.fm Distributes your posts to multiple microblogging platforms
2.    Shorten URL Mozilla Add on. Puts a URL shortner shortcut in your  browser, makes for quick URL shortening
3.    TweetDeck. Desktop application that lets you monitor for mentions and direct messages across multiple Twitter accounts.
4.    Tweetpic. Allows you to link images to your posts.

Tracking

Twitter traffic is notoriously hard to track as it mostly comes from redirects.

1.    Bit.ly: This can give you click data about the traffic that your shortened URLs are generating
2.    Google Analytics. Using the URL Builder, you can manually add a tracking URL onto your website address before you shorten it.

And that’s about it! Any other ideas or comments? Please let leave them below.

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