Get Shorty: A Look at Link Shortener Usage

In researching some results for a client recently, I found myself with some interesting statistics on link shortening use I thought I’d turn into an infographic and share. (Read: I spent so friggin’ long on this project I better have something to show for it.)

This is by no means an exhaustive, conclusive, or terribly scientific breakdown of all of the link shorteners out there, or how often they’re used, but rather a snapshot in time relative to a specific company — in this case, a nonprofit organization. I simply searched the 100 most recent mentions of the nonprofit on Twitter*, isolated those that included shortened links, and took a quick measurement.

More than half came from Facebook (fb.me), trailed distantly by bit.ly, Constant Contact (conta.cc), and a custom vanity URL the nonprofit is using to share its content.

It’s an interesting way to gauge where the chatter about you or your business is coming from and how people are sharing it; for instance, through this particular search, we know that at least 15 mentions came from e-newsletters (Constant Contact). That could be an important nugget of information when planning next quarter’s social media goals… To e-mail or not to e-mail? To go mobile? To blog? To ramp up PR? You get the picture. Or, if not, here’s a picture:

* — Tip: Make sure your search term is in quotes if the company’s name is more than one word, to weed out mentions that are simply Tweets containing those words, i.e. “Burger King” instead of just Burger King. The latter will return Tweets about Burger King the restaurant as well as Tweets like “I just ate a burger, and I am king.” Another tip: Make sure you’re sorting your search as ‘All Tweets’ instead of ‘Top Tweets’ if you’re looking for real-time information. If you’re more interested in which mentions are getting the most action, reverse that.

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