Bitly Discloses the Best Times to Tweet and Post and Adds New Features

You’re familiar with bitly aren’t you? It’s the service that you use to shorten a link.

"bitly puffer fish"

bitly puffer fish

For example, my last post on switching to a WordPress website had this lengthy link, https://writespeaksell.com/are-you-thinking-of-switching-to-a-wordpress-website. I went to my bitly account and shortened the link to http://bit.ly/NgENK2.

The advantage is you can get more information into a tweet without using too many of the 140 characters you’re allotted for Twitter updates. It also saves space and looks cleaner when you use the bitly link on social media sites.

Tracking Your Traffic

More important, though, is that bitly tracks how many click throughs your links get on your social media networks. This gives bitly valuable information about the optimum times to post content to Twitter, facebook and tumblr. You also learn which are your most popular posts by the number of click throughs and the less popular posts that landed with a thud.

The bitly blog is on the tumblr. platform. I guess that’s why they chose that network and didn’t analyze click-throughs on Google+ or LinkedIn. Click on Time is On Your Side for the full report. Here are highlights. All times are based on U.S. Eastern time.

Twitter

Posting on Twitter in the afternoon earlier in the week offers the best chance at achieving a high click count (1-3 pm Monday through Thursday). Don’t post after 8 pm and stop tweeting after 3 pm on Friday, because Twitter chatter dies over the weekend. However, higher traffic means more competition for eyeballs and clicks so you’d better be posting great content.

facebook

"Bitly timer"Links posted from 1 pm to 4 pm result in the highest average click throughs. Facebook traffic peeks mid-week. As with Twitter, avoid posting on the weekends.

Traffic from facebook fades after 4 pm. If you must post in the evening, posting earlier, at 7 pm, results in more clicks on average than posting at 8 pm.

tumblr.

This network shows a dramatically different pattern of usage from facebook and Twitter. Tumblr. users are night owls. Postings after 7 pm on average receive more clicks over 24 hours than content posted mid-day during the week. Bitly traffic from tumblr. peaks between 7 pm and 10 pm on Monday, Tuesday, and Sunday.

Bitly’s Other Features

While we’re at it, bitly had a major redesign recently and added several features you should know about (although I do wish they would revert back to the original design and stop making so many changes). With the redesign they shortened their own name from bit.ly to bitly.

  • Bitmarks. You can bookmark links and share them with friends. Bitly calls them bitmarks.
  • A Bundle. This is simply a collection of your bitmarks that you can share with your networks.
  • Stats. This chart shows the number of click throughs for the past seven days, total clicks and total saves.
  • Sources. Click on a link and you will learn the source of the clicks and countries.
  • Apps. An iPhone app and a Chrome extension enable you to save and share bitmarks.
  • Share. You can add your Twitter and facebook accounts in your settings to see what friends are sharing.

Hope you found this information useful. Have you noticed any uptick in your traffic when you post updates on specific days and times? What do you think of the bitly redesign?

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Comments

  1. I’ve been a bit.ly user for a couple of years now and love it. I didn’t know they released these stats so thanks Jeannette.

    I actually am liking the new changes.

    • Pat — glad the post was helpful. The additional features are useful. But loyal users of bitly have been venting on social media that bitly keeps changing the interface, making it more difficult to shorten a link. It is irritating because they’ve done this more than once in the past few months. A great tool, nonetheless.

  2. I started using bit.ly when I installed the Social Sharing Toolkit plug-in on my blog. Now when someone shares my post on twitter, the post URL is automatically shortened plus via @jeriwb is added to the tweet. I didn’t know bit.ly offered stats on click-throughs, but that makes sense. I’ll have to check it out.

    HootSuite uses Ow.ly to shorten links, but when I’ve scheduled tweets over July 4, I just pasted in my already shortened bit.ly links. I’ve been wondering if that conflicts with HootSuite’s summary stats? I’ve only created one summary so far and am learning moreso than understanding at this point 😉

    I’ve also wondered about the best time to post to FB. I had read that FB sees more traffic later in the day, so I’ve gone into the evening hours. Based on what you post, I will re-think my strategy. I’ve also wondered how many times to post a day on FB? Right now I post five times and it’s 2 hours a part. Maybe I would be better of going with an hour between each?

    As always, lots to think about and that’s a sign of a good post. I’ve been helped, but also been given some great food for thought that I can apply to where I’m at in becoming a better blogger.

    • Jeri — yes, Twitter does have its own link shortener which is useful if you’re tweeting from another site on the web. I’d say to post as often as you have good content to share. Are you familiar with Buffer? It’s an App that schedules your posts to Twitter, facebook and LinkedIn so they are spread throughout the day at optimum times. You can post to all three networks with one click. It’s become a very popular tool with the blogging gurus. I use it and know a lot of bloggers who do, too. I think you’ve just given me the topic of a future blog post!

  3. Jeannette, I have learned something, but then again I am still very much a newbie in the Blogosphere. I will be looking into incorporating this into my current strategy. The stats you mentioned are very helpful. However, gaining stat info from this app would be very useful when making decisions when and what time to post and push to my SM network. Thank you very much for this. It will be something I will use.

  4. Yes Jeannette, when you tweet has a huge impact on how many people click on them. Have found that weekdays work best. Although the current summer holidays has a detrimental impact and the same applies to the Christmas holiday season.

  5. Hi Jeannette: Thanks for the info!

    I hadn’t used bit.ly lately as I generally use http://is.gd/. There was a reason I preferred it to bit.ly, (can’t remember it this early in the morn!) but I’ll check out the new design and see if I like it better now.

    I’ve given your post a +1. Well done!

    • Doreen — thanks very much for the +1. I was unaware of http://is.gd/. I took a look and it’s a service from a host company in the UK. Didn’t notice if it gives you stats or not. Before bitly, most people used tinyurl and some still do but I didn’t find anything on its website about giving you stats about click throughs.

  6. Thanks for a nice recap of bit.ly Jeannette. I’ve been using it for years but I haven’t taken a good look at the stats lately. This has been a nice reminder.

    I have found that my articles are tweeted more during business hours than on the weekend. However, I do get a lot of RT’s on the weekend by tweeting posts that are of a lighter nature. Since I’m in a Triberr tribe, I use that strategy for RTing for other members. (By a lighter nature, I’m referring to posts on topics related to health, arts, inspirational etc.)

    • Thanks for sharing your experience on Twitter, Sheryl. I joined Triberr but have never been active. I’m glad that you’re finding it a useful strategy for RTting.