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Personally, I think using Twitter is a lot of fun. It's fun reading what my followers are tweeting about. It's fun for me to post occasional tweets. Some days I go without tweeting at all; some days I tweet 20 times. It depends on my schedule. But I run a business, too. I have to pay the mortgage. I have to pay employees. I have to pay insurance. And I don't want to be spending a half hour a day on Twitter or so without knowing that it's actually increasing my business. Yes, I do learn things by reading other people's tweets and their links and so on, but when I'm posting things about our conference or about a blog post or new services, I want to make sure that that is going to encourage people to visit my web site, to purchase an ebook, to fill out a request for a quote form, to subscribe to my newsletter.
So how do you track the effectiveness of your tweets? How do you evaluate if you're getting the ROI? I hate that term, but if you're getting a return on your investment in time and effort. Unless you do a little bit of extra work, there really is no way to tell, other than seeing how many more people go to your web site, or your blog, or watching your follower count grow. But say, for example, I posted this link to a new article on my blog. How do I know how many people clicked on that link? How do I know how many people visited my blog because of the time I took to write this tweet? I really don't know.
So for that reason I urge you to at least set up an easy account at a link-shortening service. One of the most famous ones is bit.ly. These link shortening services exist mainly for people who are tweeting, because remember, we have a 140-character account and a lot of times links to blog posts or places deep in databases are huge, and you don't want to do that. What you can do with bit.ly is you grab a link from a web site-- let me come back over here-- like say this link.
Well, it's not that huge, but let's just select that and copy it, and then you go to one of the shortening services, like bit.ly, click in here, paste, and it automatically shortens it. Even if it went line after line after line, it would make it a very short link. You can then post this link and people will arrive at the same location. They will arrive at that blog post. Or if you want to, you can even customize it. I can click Customize and say this is about choc-blissno5. Customize.
If it's already been used by somebody else, you will get a warning that you can't use it. It has to be unique URL. Then that gets added. I've actually logged on to my main bit.ly account that I use for Anne-Marie Concepcion stuff. It gets added to my list of Links. Now I can copy that link and when I go to my Twitter feed and write any new posts, I can say, "I am so proud of this post." Let's see, blog post. There we go! And paste it in there and tweet that.
When somebody clicks that link--I am going to right-click and open it in new tab-- they arrive at the same page as if I had pasted in that original URL. So it allows you to make long links short, but the main point here, remember, this video is all about evaluating your efforts, is that when you register for one of these shortening services--I've already logged in-- it tracks how many people click on those links. So let's scroll back here. You can see like I posted InDesign CS 5.5 Announced: New Features, Subscription Pricing.
This is a big article that we put on our indesignsecrets.com blog, and I shortened it, and then I can see that 229 people clicked on there. So I know exactly how many people were clicking on that Twitter link. Sometimes it really balloons up a number because people are retweeting, and as long as they maintain the same short URL--I've noticed some people sometimes change it to their own short URL. As long as they just click the normal Retweet button, for example, that's going to use the same short URL. So this is kind of like the poor man's way of measuring your impact on social media marketing is to always use a link shortening service.
Now if you want to extend that though, if you want to see, well, okay, so they clicked on that link and they read that blog post, but then did they go on to actually order anything? Did they go on to fill out the form, rather than they just arrived at the form page, did they fill out the form, did they click Submit? Then you need to go a little bit further. I strongly recommend that you join a service like Google Analytics or something even more enterprise worthy, but Google Analytics is free, and lynda.com has some great videos about it. Let me show you what that's about.
It's a way for you, by pasting a little bit of code into your web site, for Google to track a whole lot of information about people visiting your web site. The point is that once you have a Google Analytics account, instead of just shortening a link, a raw link, the link that leads to your blog post, what you should do is jump over here to the URL Builder. You can bookmark this, and what you do is you say, well, my web site is blissno5, and then you add the actual raw link.
So let's go back here and say this is it, and we will just paste that in. Then you need to fill in at least three fields here: the Source, the Medium, and the Campaign Name. Term and Content, those are mainly for like if you're doing A/B testing with advertising, or you're using paid keywords. But the Campaign Source would be Twitter; referred, like is it Google or is it Citysearch? What is the Medium? It could be a tweet.
It could be you're trying to measure the links in your bio, something like that. But we are just going to say tweet. And what's the Campaign Name. You can give this a name like this would be New Choc Boxes, and then you just say Generate URL. Now, it gives you a really long URL, and you would select all this, copy it, go back to bit.ly, or whatever service that you're using, paste that in here.
It shortens that one. We are going to customize this. You don't have to customize it. I always do. choc2-blissno5. Then this choc2-blissno5 is the link that you add when you tweet, and this post too! Now, when people click on this link, you will not only see it here in your bit.ly tracker, how many people clicked on the link, but also if you log in to your Google Analytics account, which I have done here--this is our InDesignSecrets Google Analytics and we are currently not running any of these kind of tracker links-- you would go to Traffic Sources > Campaigns and you'll see a list of how many people are coming in here from Twitter, and what they did.
You can set up all sorts of goals for them. You can do the same thing for Facebook-- I will be talking about this again when I talk about Facebook--and basically any other place where you publicly list URLs to help track to see if they are having an effect. If you're not familiar with Google Analytics at all, I strongly suggest that you jump over to another title on lynda.com at some point and go through this wonderful title by Corey Koberg called Google Analytics Essential Training. Down here in Chapter 9, he has got all sorts of information about those traffic sources.
Remember this when I said go to Traffic Sources and then click Campaigns, so you can figure out the best way to measure the impact of all this effort that you're making with your Twitter feed.
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