We have the magic bullet for tracking your social media ROI. Well not exactly, but almost — and it’s free! If you have been wondering who’s paying attention to you on Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere else, check out tiny.cc. Tiny.cc is a site that shortens your extra-long URLs for easy tweeting and then provides real-time analytics, allowing you to measure exactly how much influence you have!
Here’s how it works: I tweeted a CNN article the other day, and tiny.cc shows that my Tweet link received 103 clicks, including at least 11 from outside the country:
Is tiny.cc breaking news? Not quite, click-tracking has been around for a while. Plus, if you’re linking to your website, you should already have detailed statistics about the sources of your web traffic.
However, tiny.cc is currently the best in the business for click-tracking analytics on social media, even if you’re linking to someone else’s site. Alternatives? Well, http://bit.ly/ used to be a fantastic click-tracking option, but not anymore — the site’s software appears to have some serious bugs. Case in point, check out how many clicks bit.ly says the Phoenix New Times received for an account with 4,800 followers:
I’m almost certain that number is wrong – only 12 clicks for 4,800 followers? Yeah, right. Obviously, it’s difficult to be sure. However, I did a casual survey of big news websites and found most of bit.ly’s numbers to be questionable.
Want to try it yourself? Find any bit.ly link and add a “+” so you get links like this:
How did that FOX News tweet get 1,500+ clicks and CNN’s tweet only received about 300? Maybe those numbers are correct, though the FOX Twitter account has 300,000 followers and CNN has 1.3 million. Probable answer: bit.ly is unreliable and inconsistent. It works sometimes, it doesn’t work others.
In short, if you just want a shortened link with fuzzy-at-best analytics, use bit.ly. If you want reliable, real-time analytics, use tiny.cc. And if you want to see analytics for anyone’s tiny.cc links, add “~” at the end of the link. Like this.
Finally and for kicks, we’ll update with how many clicks I get for tweeting to this post. What do you think? 50? 100?
Update: With a few tweets & Facebook posts, our tiny.cc link received 169 clicks by Monday morning. 166 of those were unique, 3 were return visits.
Update #2: Tiny.cc appears to be having a few bugs today in its real-time analytics tracking. Namely: some charts aren’t showing up properly (though the basic click tracking works). Ah, the irony.