In our social media webinar yesterday, there was some talk about analyzing fan, follower and customer data. To me, it’s one of the most important things to understand about social media.
Just about everyone knows that funny pictures, interesting articles and coupons get a lot of likes, re-tweets and shares. Just like an ad campaign, you can’t fully measure your success without knowing your click through statistics. Of course, if you can’t measure your work, how can you really tell if it’s time well spent?
There are so many ways to observe usage data, one of my favorites for getting a little extra social media data is Bit.ly.
Bit.ly, like other link shorteners including Goo.gl, Ow.ly and TinyURL, acts as a middle man for all your links. Sure, you can get all this information for your own links from Google Analytics, but for all those other links, to viral stories, funny cat pictures and discussions, you need something more.
It’s quite simple to use. Just drop in your link like so.
Then watch the analytics pour in.
OK, I’m no Twitter superstar, so my test story didn’t get a whole lot of traction, but you get the point.
The biggest thing that sets Bit.ly apart for me — and other services may provide this as well — is adding a custom domain. So if you had the boat.ing domain, you could create your own custom URL shortener to really personalize your messaging and build trust that short URLs don’t always instill.
Do a little research, and see what service might work for you. But anyone serious about measuring their social media efforts needs to get all the data they can on what is and isn’t working. Services like Bit.ly allow you to fill in the gaps in standard reporting solutions without a whole lot of extra work or expense.