Monday, June 8, 2009

Tracking Twitter with bit.ly - My Tools


If you often wondered how effective your tweets were on Twitter, now you can find out!

Because of the 140-characters limit on Twitter, most everyone shortens their long URL links with services, i.e. TinyURL. A more recent URL shortening service, bit.ly, offers at least one additional free service that I find very useful: tracking your links.

Here's an example: Last week I posted a blog about some photos I shot at the Hubbard Glacier in Alaska. On the same day, I did three tweets on Twitter about my blog post. Each tweet was about five minutes apart and worded differently, but each used a bit.ly shortened URL that referenced my blog post on the glacier photos. Because I had registered with bit.ly (very simple), they tracked the number of click-throughs that each Twitter post (one, two, three) received. (I get a kick out of refreshing the browser every couple of minutes and watching the numbers rise.):

(Click on the images to enlarge)
From that same report, you can also click on the blue numbers to generate a minute-by-minute time line of when the clicks are coming:

As you can see in the above time line, the third Twitter tweet received 52 clicks within about 37 minutes. This is because it was re-tweeted by two of my followers, just minutes later. Wow! this is as close as it gets to instant gratification. (F.Y.I.: my YourPhotoVision Twitter account had about 1,800 followers at the time of these posts.)

Josh Sellers, in his blog, New Media Photographer, has suggested (31 things you are not doing) that photographers should re-releasing some of their older (better) blog posts on Twitter from time-to-time as they pick up more follower. When I do re-post this blog on Twitter, you can be sure that I'll use the third, and more effective tweet!

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