1) Use text-only links when they will suffice
This is the easiest way to shorten a URL and it's how users have been doing it for decades. But there are some downsides:
You can't take advantage of all features offered by the tools you use every day (for example, Bitly).
You leave yourself
, we have tons of great tools at our disposal for shortening URLs, including the native networks and dashboards we use every day.
Twitter is one of these tools - you can shorten your links with bit.ly or goo.gl , so that tweets are less than 140 characters in length.
As always, there are some really amazing alternatives out there for all of us to explore! This week I'm going to show off a couple different ways you can shorten your links using Hootsuite's own interface .
The first way is by using Hootsuite's pre-made dashboard widget . Just head over here and activate it on any dashboard you'd like to use it on! Once activated, you'll see the widget appear on your dashboard:
1. Click it to open up a pop-up with four types of shortened URLs you can generate.
You can choose between bit.ly, goo.gl, ow.ly (Hootsuite's own URL shortener), and custom links, just by clicking one of the buttons at the top of the pop-up window:
2. Shortening your link is as simple as entering in your URL and then picking which option works best for you! The Hootlet button will automatically push that URL to all of your linked social networks at once, so there's no additional copy/paste required!
3. Cl any of those options will pull up this window, where you can see the link that will be shortened and then copy it for use on Twitter or any other platform:
If you aren't aware of Hootsuite's ow.ly URL shortener, but like the idea of having your own personal link shortener (and don't mind more work), head over here to make one! It's really straightforward and we'll talk you through the process.
4. You can also generate a custom shortened URL by choosing "Custom" in Step 2 above:
5. This window allows users to write in what they'd like their shortened url to be and paste in a long link before hitting shorten:
Once that is completed, you will receive a customized link that can be pasted into any platform!
Shorten URLs with these sites:
6. To simplify that process, there are also some great third party tools out there for shortening your URLs . This is a great way to quickly grab shortened URLs for use on your website, blog, or anywhere else you might post them. Here's a few of my favorite url shorteners:
TinyURL - lets you create tiny URLS which redirect to long URLs (which is why they call it "tiny"). They claim it will take up to 60% less space than the original URL.
Bitly - provides an easy interface to shorten and make custom URL's along with other features like stats tracking and bookmarking shortcuts. Short
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