Have you ever seen the following links in your twitter / social feeds?
nyti.ms/xxxxxxx | New York Times
huff.to/xxxxxxx | Huffington Post
rol.st/xxxxxxx | Rolling Stone
warby.me/xxxxxxx | Warby Parker
You may have never thought twice about these things and/or assumed that there was some sort of voodoo magic, superior tech needs or tons of money to do this. WRONG
This, in fact, took me about 15 minutes, $15.00 and then a 3 hours wait for the DNS Registration to kick in. (I'll explain what that means later). I now have a custom bit.ly name called Pokey.Co. This means that you will get to enjoy all future links with the convenience of having my most common nickname "Pokey". (Pokes was not available). Don't understand what I'm talking about? Click on this: http://pokey.co/17A0gIY .... and you're back.
For those of you who are already telling me "SOLD" how do you can find that out here: http://pokey.co/106Lcgq.
This mostly only applies to brands and companies but as someone who works in that industry and as someone who is trying to write and evangelize about it more frequently, I found it to be something that would be more "interesting" than anything else.
Still scratching your head? Okay.... leggo...
While Google Analytics and other services can provide you with a plethora of information (and even most of what Bit.Ly can provide), it is lost in a deep chasm of other metrics and features. Sometimes when you post a link, a brand may just want to know the following:
- How many clicks?
- Where did they click from?
- What social site referred them?
- When did they click?
There's not a ton of incredibly important and life-altering features here but, again, it's more interesting than anything else.
- If my company Alton Lane were to post a link to our website and we entered in http://www.altonlane.com/shop/new/shirts into Twitter's desktop app, Twitter will automatically reduce that link to something like http://AltonLane.com/sho...... using their internally built API.
- If someone using Tweetie, Hoot Suite or Twitteriffic RT's the post, their own service may automatically reduce the URL to a t.co or an even shorter link.
By having a UNIQUE URL (in my case, Pokey.Co) and then serving it through bit.ly's custom domain name service, I now will be able to view all clicks even if someone RT's it and their twitter service changes the URL. SO COOL RIGHT?
The last reason you may want this is simply for branding purposes. I mean, it's just pretty neat right? And it makes you look more professional (at least I think so).
The Analytics for Bit.ly are below. Pretty slick right?
Any Questions or Thoughts? Comment Section Below! I fully expect all my friends (specifically the photographers and graphic designers to have one of these by the end of the week).