Bit.ly is not a social media site in itself; rather, it is a tool you can use to help facilitate your activity on your different social networks. It helps you to shorten, share and track your links.
Say you are on a social network and you want to share the URL of an article. Typically you have to go to that article or blog posting and copy the entire URL. Often these can be very, very long and take up a lot of space. Bit.ly allows you to take that long URL and condense it. You will find it used often on Twitter.
How to use it:
1. Copy the URL that you want to share.
2. Go to the Bit.ly home page by typing in “www.bit.ly” in the address bar.
3. Click on the yellow box that says “Shorten your links and share from here.”
4. Paste your URL in the box. It will automatically be condensed down into a small and manageable link.
5. Copy this new condensed link.
6. Go to your Twitter or other social media network and post it.
The other great thing about Bit.ly is that it allows you to track how many people are clicking on your link. This shows you how many people are engaged with that material. Bit.ly is not only for social media sites; you can use it to post links in your emails or anywhere that you want to share a really long URL.
Another little-known fact is that when you create a bit.ly short code, a QR code for that link is created as well. This is the service we use to create the QR codes for all of our For Sale signs and printed marketing materials for the listings.