Internet managers have it tough. When you work in such a new and constantly-evolving field, half of your job is spent justifying your job.
Dealers would rather see results, and results generally show up as numbers. Numbers can be measured, managed, tweaked, and obsessively tinkered with. And if you’ve ever spent an entire lunch hour shuffling around your fantasy football roster, you already know what I’m talking about. (Hint: If your lineup includes nothing but N.Y. Jets, the bank will waive the standard 48-hour hold period and allow you to instantly start cashing your victory cheques.)
Show a dealer how your Next Biggest Thing Ever affects the bottom line, and they don’t need much more convincing.
That’s where the URL-shortening service Bit.ly comes in. If you aren’t currently tracking the engagement with your posts, it’s time to sign up for a free account.
Bit.ly offers a variety of services that will help the Internet manager streamline and track their social media engagement. But for this post, we’ll focus on the most important three.
1. URL Shortener: Rather than have a 3-line link clogging up your Facebook posts, or using all 140 characters of your Tweet on your link extension, you can shorten it with Bit.ly. Do you like it when friends neurotically ramble on after telling a story? I didn’t think so. A shortened link is like a confident, punchy quote; it’s much more likely to attract clicks while providing you with more space to write a description.
For example, the URL for our last blog post in its unabridged format is: http://www.strathcom.ca/blog/2014/08/27/what-you-need-get-your-facebook-posts-seen/
Which can be shortened to: http://bit.ly/FacebookBlogPost
2. URL Tracking: The Bit.ly tool’s bread and butter is its ability to track clicks on the link; you can see daily engagement, geographic area, and much more. If you’re sharing your content all at once on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and your personal modeling blog, when you look at your analytics reports, how are you going to know what traffic came from where? If you’re in a hurry and need to drop one or two sharing sites, which ones should they be? With Bit.ly, now you know. It will also give you a better idea of when users engage with your posts the most, giving you the chance to schedule your posts for the strategically optimal times. If nothing else, this gives you a bit more confidence behind your suggestions at the next marketing meeting.
3. URL Engagement: Now you may know which sites are giving your posts the most attention, but ever wonder who on Facebook or Twitter is engaging with and sharing your posts? That’s right, Bit.ly has you covered here, too. It provides you not only with the clicks to your shared link, but shows you anybody else who shared the link, as well. Now you can see which users are driving the most engagement to your content. If it turns out that there are a handful of people who are responsible for 90% of your social media shares, well now you know who to target and take more seriously. If all of your clicks come from your Internet manager’s mother, now you know that, too.
Bit.ly allows for a fast and free approach to tracking social media campaigns. So when your General Manager asks for results, you’ll have one of those graphs with a steadily increasing trend line to queue up on the projector. Just make sure to include big dollar signs in the margins.