Twitter tricks – getting bit.ly stats for other peoples links

Anybody looking to spread their message on Twitter knows how important it is to get re-tweets from influential people with a high follower count. Using business influencers as an example, there are few more influential than Theo Paphitis of Dragons Den fame who, as I type this has over 53,000 followers.

Theo has started to help businesses spread their message through a weekly set of re-tweets that he does with the tag #SBS which stands for Small Business Sunday, on which he takes tweets from small businesses promoting their products and services, and re-tweets a lucky few to his followers.

But exactly how valuable is a #SBS re-tweet from Theo? Luckily due to the URL shortening service that is currently incumbent in Twitter, bit.ly, we can find out – at least for the time being.

When you post a link in Twitter, will be automatically shortened using bit.ly if you don’t have enough characters left to give you more space for your message, since you only have 140 characters in total. This link then sends you through to the target page and collects some stats for the creator of the link, however these stats are publicly available if you know how to access them.

Let’s take for example one of Theo’s latest #SBS re-tweets. You can see it on the screen shot below for @ClearWaterBandB.

Theo Paphitis Twitter Page

Theo Paphitis Twitter Page, showing one of his #SBS re-tweets

The link to their site is http://bit.ly/dv08NY., however try visiting that URL with a plus on the end (http://bit.ly/dv08NY+) and voila!

ClearWater B&B bit.ly stats

The bit.ly stats for ClearWater's B&B link, posted on Theo Paphitis' #SBS Twitter

Not a bad amount of visits for a post on a Sunday about a niche business such as this, and the visits have been growing while I’ve been writing this post as people get back to their working week.

All in all it’s another useful measure for improving your strategy when it comes to spreading your message on Twitter and identifying who to target for re-tweets, but how long it will last given the potential for people using bit.ly to be unhappy with this kind of information being publicly available, who knows?

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