Mike Allton is an Internet Marketing Consultant and certified HootSuite Solution Partner. This article, on how to schedule social media posts, is the fourth in a series on making the most of your HootSuite account and was originally published on The Social Media Hat. View the original here.
What’s a Shortened Link?
Initially, shortened links were simply a means to take a long URL and shrink it into a link that still worked, yet used fewer characters, saving valuable space to be used in Tweets. Instead of a link like http://www.thesocialmediahat.com/… you would instead use something like http://WP.ly/wrgbergb which is a savings of 20+ characters.
To get a shortened link, you would simply plug your full URL into a link shortening service or tool and the tool would provide the shortened link.
Then, once you have your link in place, since the tool has to keep that shortened link active indefinitely anyways, the providers began offering anaytics for links created. While any website can see how much traffic a specific page or blog post gets, and even where that traffic is coming from, a shortened link with analytics suddenly offers you the option of seeing traffic and interest from a specific link share. This opens up an immense number of campaign options and far more granular metrics.
Shortened URLs use a set domain followed by a unique combination of characters. Most link shortening services use one of the available international TLD (Top Level Domains) like .ly (Lybia). Bit.ly is a very common example. HootSuite uses four options: ow.ly and ht.ly, owl.li and htl.li. We’ll get into the differences between those options in a moment. Li is for Liechtenstein.
Since HootSuite metrics are dependent on the use of a HootSuite shortened link, and since it it best practice to use shortened links in your social media shares anyways, I recommend always using a HootSuite or custom shortened link.Read more