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Track Your Business Links with bitly

By Marsha Collier

If you, by choice or circumstance, end up using several social media platforms to send commercial posts, receiving statistics on the success of your link can be problematic. Each platform may have its own built-in shortener, and unless you set the link to be abbreviated by a shortener that tracks the link’s progress, you may never know which type of links resonate best on social networks.

Bitly can be used on all platforms and the statistical information is useful when tracking the popularity of links posted. When bitly is used for shortening, the bitly.com stats page of your account show an aggregate of clicks on your link over a period of time (hour, day, week, month).

By clicking the link on the stats page, the stats of individual posts appear. The figure shows a week’s activity on one link that was sent out.

One week’s activity on a particularly popular link.

One week’s activity on a particularly popular link.

Bitly also shows you from where people saw the link and from which platform they clicked, as shown. You can use this information to determine which types of links and information do best on the various networks.

You can get valuable information about which platforms clicked your link.

You can get valuable information about which platforms clicked your link.

To integrate bitly into any of your dashboards, you first need to sign up for a free. During the setup process, you see instructions on how to connect your various social media accounts.

If you want to use bitly independently of any posting platforms, you can get a shortened link and post links to social networks from your web browser. They offer a handy tool called a bitmarklet, which you can drag from the bitly page into your browser bookmark bar. (If you don’t see your bookmarks bar in your browser, choose View→Show Bookmarks Bar.)

When you come across a web page that you want to share, just click the bitkmarklet and a sidebar appears showing you the preshortened (custom) code for your post. Your bitly account tracks this code whenever it’s used on the web.