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  Article updated: August 05, 2022

Shorten and track links

Using links in your social posts is a great way to drive traffic to your website, blog, or landing page. You can shorten your links in Hootsuite for a tidier look, and add tracking parameters so you can see how much web traffic comes from those links.

Together, shortening and tracking are known as link settings. If you're on a Team, Business, or Enterprise plan, you can use link setting presets to apply a combination of tracking parameters and shorteners to a link with one click. Your organization may also have a default preset that applies consistent link tracking and shortening to every post automatically. Learn how to create a preset for your organization.

Video: Link settings in Hootsuite Composer.

Shorten links

Shorten links in Composer to keep your posts easy to read. All Hootsuite customers can shorten links with Ow.ly. Team, Business, and Enterprise plan admins can set up custom vanity URLs to shorten their links with (see Set up a vanity URL). Business and Enterprise plan admins can also enable Bit.ly shorteners (see Set up a Bit.ly shortener).

  1. In Composer , paste a link into the Content area. A link toolbar appears when the post contains a link.
  2. Choose a shortening option:
    • Select Shorten with Ow.ly. If you’re publishing a post to multiple social accounts, Hootsuite creates a unique Ow.ly link for each post.
    • If your organization has other shortener options set up, select Add tracking, then select a preset or Customize. Choose from the list of available shorteners, and then select Apply.

      When you have social accounts selected, you’ll see the shortened link in your post preview on the right. Shortening a link in any of the social network content tabs will shorten it in all tabs.

Note:

  • Only one link preview is currently supported at a time, and it applies to all social networks. If you customize a social network tab by removing or changing the link, the initial link preview will remain. Removing the link preview will remove it from all tabs.
  • Hootsuite saves full links, not shortened ones, with content library templates. You must apply shorteners or link presets in Composer when you publish using a template (see Use a content library template).

Ow.ly links remain the same for the next post when you publish using Post and duplicate (or Schedule and duplicate), unless you've added a dynamic link tracking parameter to the link.

Add tracking parameters to links

Tracking parameters are tags that get added to links. Parameters identify a link, and the post that contains it. For example, parameters can denote a link's source, or the post's overarching campaign. Tracking lets you analyze campaign, link, or post performance, and see which post links drive traffic or conversions on your website.

This is what a link looks like with tracking added to it:
http://www.hootsuite.com/?utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=Summer18

Tip: Adding tracking parameters to a link makes it longer, so we recommend also shortening it.

All Hootsuite customers can add custom tracking parameters to links, which work with any analytics system. Free users can add one custom link parameter to each link. Customers on paid plans can also add parameters specific to use with Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics.

Note: If you're publishing to more than one social network, all your posts will use the same parameters. Currently, you can't customize the link tracking for each social network tab.

CustomGoogle AnalyticsAdobe Analytics
  1. In Composer , paste a link into the Content area. A link toolbar appears when the post contains a link.
  2. Select Add tracking.
  3. Select a preset or Customize.
  4. Under Tracking, select Custom.
  5. Enter a name and value for each parameter. Under Type, paid plan users can select Dynamic parameters, which auto-populate the Value field based on the type selected:
    • Social Network: Updates the Value with the name of the social network being posted to (e.g., Twitter, Facebook).
    • Social Profile: Updates the Value with the name of the social profile being posted to (e.g., hootsuite_help).
    • Post ID: Updates the Value with a unique ID for each post on each social network.
  6. Optional: Select Add parameter to add up to 100 custom parameters to each link. Free users can add one custom link parameter to each link.
  7. Select Apply. The updated link displays in your post preview.
    Link tracking settings, with the Custom option selected.

 

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