If you have ever been an admin of a Facebook Page you know that you can see metrics like the reach of your posts as well as how many people have clicked on a certain link. However, you can’t see either of these metrics with posts from your personal Facebook profile. There is a simple solution to this: use Bitly, a URL shortening service, to track your links on Facebook.
Normally, when you share a link on Facebook, you would just copy and paste the URL into the status update box and let Facebook do the rest. With Bitly, you have to take two extra, but easy, steps:
1. Login to Bitly (you will need to sign up for an account)
2. Shorten any URL using the “Paste a link here” box on the top right
From there, copy the shortened link and share it as you would any other link.
Now, whenever you want to how many people have clicked on a link that you shared, simply go to the “Stat” section of your Bitly account. It’ll look something like this…
With Bitly you can see how many times someone has clicked on your link
You will be able to see how many people have clicked on your link. Additionally, you can know what percentage of the total clicks for a link were from your shortened link.
Note: Your Bitly links will work across any platform – Facebook, Twitter, email, etc.
At the beginning of his Inc 500 keynote, Gary Vaynerchuk (of Wine Library TV and VaynerMedia fame) asks the audience, which was mostly made of people older than 40, to raise their hands if, at some point, they swore to never get a Facebook account. More than 50% of the hands in the room go up. Then he asks those who have a Facebook account today to raise their hands. Almost all the hands are up this time. (Jump to the 10:00 mark of the video.)
It was stunning. And the same trend can be seen in many other technologies like Foursquare, Twitter, and even cell phones.
This demonstration forever changed my life and taught me an important lesson about the importance of being open-minded. So often we dismiss something because we think it is “stupid” or has no application in our own lives. From there, we tend to assume that everyone else feels the same way. But that does not mean others actually do feel the same way as you.
Here’s a prime example: Google+. It seems like every day there is a new article debating the value and success/failure of this (newish) social network. I’ll be honest and admit that I have called it a “ghost town” on several occasions. But if you ask influencers like Robert Scoble and Guy Kawasaki, they are already seeing lots of engagement on their Google+ pages. The point isn’t to prove that Google+ is a success but that when I call Google+ a “ghost town,” I’m reaching a conclusion that keeps me close-minded. Again, what is true in my situation is not necessarily true for others.
When you are close-minded, you miss out on great opportunities in business and in life. Imagine a business owner who dismisses social media marketing as a “fad” or thinks that “social media is for kids.” How much business would he miss out on? Or what if you thought that person “wasn’t your type” and so you missed out on a great friendship, or even worse, your romantic partner? Being open-minded will lead you to opportunities that you would otherwise would not have*.
What are some areas of your life where you could be more open-minded?
*Being open-minded and stupid are two different things. Don’t make bad choices in the name of being “open-minded.”
Now that I’m officially done with college, I can share a few things I learned along the way:
Never stop learning. Just because you’re assigned a boring (text)book to read doesn’t mean you should hate reading or stop learning. Buy a book – or pick one up from the library (they still exist). Or you can just subscribe to a few blogs. Reading is good for you even if you forget everything you read. Start small if you need to.
Blog. It doesn’t matter what you blog about. It helps you articulate your thoughts and become a better writer (too many college student can’t write well). And sharing photos on Tumblr doesn’t count.
Learn to network. Seriously, this is one of the most important life skills you can have. It’s not that hard. Yes, it might mean you’re hanging out with people who are older than you – that’s good! – most people our age don’t. Check out meetup.com to find people who may have the same interests as you.
Get an internship/job. Good grades are not enough. An internship/job gives you an opportunity to learn real world skills, and you might get paid for it too. And take advantage of your summers. Get some rest but some experience too.
Make lifelong friends. You are surrounded by thousands of people your age. You’ll probably forget a lot of the things you were taught in class, but relationships and memories last. This is probably one of the best things about college.
Make your own path. Just because everyone else in society follows the same path doesn’t mean you have to. Dream big.
It’s okay to fail, as long as you learn from your failures. School doesn’t encourage failure. But the truth is, life is not a final exam. Of course, I’m not talking about moral failure.
Hope you enjoyed that! What are some of the things you’ve learned? Share in the comments below.
Networking is one of those many skills you need in life but they (unfortunately) don’t teach in schools. I’ve talked about it a few times before on my Twitter and Facebook accounts, so I thought I’d finally write a blog post on networking.
First, think of your own definition of networking.
Do you think networking is scary? Maybe sleazy? Don’t have a clue what it is? Or maybe you have a vague idea of what networking is.
Well, let’s clear up the definition of networking: networking is simply building a long-term relationship with someone. If you think about networking as a bit like making a new friend, it’ll take away the fear or anxiety you might have.
And if you’re trying to make a new friend or establish a new relationship – you aren’t there to take, take, take! You are there to be interested and to give and add value.
It’s a bit counter-intuitive. And it’s very different from how most people do networking.
Now you might be wondering, “If I’m in a roomful of people who are older and more experienced than me, what can I give?” I have been to multiple events where I was the youngest person — and only student — in the room. It’s actually a good situation to be in and I’ve been offered multiple internships this way. Simply put, don’t be the smartest person in the room. But that shouldn’t stop you from giving and adding value.
If you think about it, you probably know something or have a skill they don’t. You may have read (or heard of) a book or article or know of some resource or website that you think would help them out. One of the most powerful things you can do is to connect them with other people — even people who you just met – who could help them. (Don’t know anyone you can connect them with? Then it’s time to meet some more people!)
Don’t underestimate yourself — get rid of your limiting beliefs.
Another great thing to do when networking is to ask good questions. It’s true: people like to talk about themselves. These are always good questions to ask someone:
- How did you get into ______?
- What do you like best about ______?
- What’s the best/worst thing about ______?
- What’s most exciting for you right now in life/business?
- What’s challenging for your right now in life/business?
These questions dive deep and they will help you to really get to know the person you’re talking with. Eventually, they’ll start asking questions about you. That’s you chance to talk about yourself and shine.
Now that you know the basics of networking, where do you go to meet people and actually network?
Here are a few resources:
- Check out your school’s newspaper or your local newspaper. They usually have a section with a list of that day’s events or upcoming events in the area.
- If you’re a college student, your college or department will probably have an email list. Be sure that you’re receiving those emails.
- Meetup.com is an amazing place to find groups of people with similar interests. I recently went to a tech entrepreneurship meetup and met some wonderful people who I might have never met had I not found this meetup group online. We met at a pizza place and chatted about technology and app development over beer and pizza.
- Ask people you know if they know of any networking events that are happening soon.
These events you go to don’t have to be specifically networking events. You can always network no matter what kind of event you attend.
I hope by now you’re thinking to yourself that networking isn’t so bad (because it isn’t). Go and put everything I’ve talked about into practice — I bet you’ll have a ton of fun meeting new people! And let me know how it goes.
P.S. Don’t worry about collecting a stack of business cards because that’s not what networking is about (remember the definition of networking?). If you feel that you met someone who you’d like to continue the relationship with after the meeting is over, ask them for their business card and/or give them yours and stay in touch with them. Quality is more important than quantity.
P.P.S. I highly recommend Michael Ellsberg’s book, The Education of Millionaires. It’s a great book on learning the skills they don’t teach in school (marketing, sales, personal branding, entrepreneurial mindset, etc.) and he dedicates a whole chapter to networking. You can download the first chapter for free here.