Using bit.ly to broadcast breaking news

This is a bit.ly primer for those who regularly use Twitter to broadcast topical or relevant breaking news to their community or client base. Business people who consistently post breaking news – like CNN, TechCrunch or Gizmodo – related to their community, industry or specialty earn the following of their peers and customers.

bit.ly has become the frontrunner URL shortener for links on Twitter and other microblogging platforms based on ease of use and its real time analytics.

1) Add the “Shorten with bit.ly” bookmarklet to your browser toolbar

bit.ly bookmarklet

2) Now, when you find a new article worth distributing to your constituency, click the bookmarklet.

bit.ly article

3) bit.ly automatically creates a pre-formatted tweet for the article and gives the option to send from any registered Twitter account:

bit.ly automated tweet

4) For efficient breaking news distribution, populate the sites you monitor for breaking news within an RSS reader.

google reader

5) bit.ly’s analytical tool demonstrates the power of Twitter’s ability to drive traffic through its links. For example, a tweet from the new @Carlsbad News account with only 21 followers, garnered 10 clickthroughs, 8 in the first hour.

Carlsbad News

6) The power of Twitter to create impressions is understated by traditional web monitoring tools like Google Analytics.

Last week, Search Engine Land postulated that Twitter sends 500% – 1600% more traffic than what is logged by Google Analytics by analyzing and comparing bit.ly links and website logs. Read the article for details.

If you own a Breaking News site, set up a Twitter account for the site and begin posting breaking news for your city or industry using bit.ly during your daily monitoring. The branding capabilities of the Twitter account will prove to be far more viral for marketing a Breaking News site.

About Pat Kitano

Patrick Kitano works with brands in developing hyperlocal engagement solutions and is administrator of the Breaking News Network, a national hyperlocal network devoted to community service. He is the author of The Local Network on Street Fight, and is reachable via Twitter @pkitano and email pkitano@gmail.com.

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