The revolution in social media marketing that has come into being over the last three years has created the need for a number of new services that no one would have considered just a few years ago. One of these services that have become popular is URL shorteners. This type of service provides a simple yet very necessary service for people who need to use social media sites like Twitter on a regular basis. Put simply, a URL shortener does just what the name says, it takes a long and unwieldy URL, or web address, and makes it into a short one.
It is easier to give an example than to explain in text so we will give a quick version of what is done by any of the numerous URL shorteners on the market.
Say you want to post a tweet about an amazing vacation spot you went to, but the link to their website is so long that it would take up half of you 140 characters. Instead of taking up nearly all of your valuable character count, you would simply go to one of the URL shorteners that can be found online, paste the original web address there, and Viola, you have a 10 to 15 character URL that will automatically link to your original article.
These shortened URL’s are permanent, or at least as permanent as the original article, so they will last for as long as you wish and can be re used on multiple posts and sites. So, for example, you could take the new shortened URL, send it to your close friends in an email, then post it on your facebook page for your online friends and finally post it on twitter for all the world to see.
Another service offered by many URL shorteners is that they will help provide tracking data for how many people have clicked on your shortened URL. This makes it a very effective tool for social media marketing as it provides a great method to track the effectiveness of each and every tweet, email campaign and Facebook post without the need to use expensive and complex SEO software.