If you’re using social media to promote your website or blog, one of your primary goals should be to get people from social media onto your website. Easier said than done, right?
Take Instagram for example. You can’t add links to individual posts so your only option is that one single link in your Instagram bio. Where do you send people with that link? How can you promote your latest content with one static link? Are you supposed to change the link every time you share a new Instagram post?
Shorby is a tool that helps you solve this pain point, while also giving you other useful tools to create shortened links, dig into analytics and set up pixel tracking, and even chat with your customers via a variety of different services.
In this Shorby review, I’ll take you hands-on and share how it helps you, how it works, and whether or not it’s right for you.
Shorby review summary: What does it do?
If you go to the Shorby landing page, it’s a little scant on specific details about how the tool actually helps you. So before I get to the hands-on section of the review, I want to talk a little about the general ways in which Shorby can help you market more effectively on social media.
Create optimized micro-landing pages
One of the biggest features in Shorby is the ability to create optimized “micro” landing pages that you can include in your social media bios. Instead of swapping out the URL in your social media bios every time you publish a new post, you can just leave the link to your Shorby landing page and have Shorby make sure you’re showing the right content.
On the Shorby landing page, you’ll be able to customize it to include:
- Your latest content (pulled from any RSS feed)
- Any content that you want to feature, like some pillar content
- Messenger links to any supported messenger service (more on these in a second)
- Price/service lists
- Links to all your social media accounts
These landing pages are 100% optimized for mobile, which gives your followers a great experience from app to landing page. As part of this, you get some pre-set layouts that look really nice on smartphones.
If you want to see an example of one of these micro landing pages, check out this page that we created for Blogging Wizard. You can see how it showcases the latest content and also drives people towards some pillar content.
Note: The link will work best on a smartphone (because that’s what Shorby is optimized for). However, you can still get an idea of how it works on your desktop – just remember that it’s not trying to be optimized for desktop visitors.
Shorten URLs (with detailed analytics)
If you’re active on social media, you’re probably familiar with the idea of a URL shortener.
Shorby can take your links and make them a lot shorter…while also giving you useful analytics options.
It supports basic click tracking analytics out of the box. For more detailed analytics, it also has tracking pixel support for most popular tools including:
- Facebook Pixel
- Google Adwords
- Google Analytics
Of course, there are lots of other quality URL shorteners, so this definitely isn’t a unique selling proposition by itself. The benefit is having this feature to easily integrate with the other Shorby tools. For example, you can use shortened links for your landing pages and messenger chats. Speaking of messenger chats…
Open chats via a short link
Finally, Shorby can also help you create shortened links that automatically open a live chat (or phone call/email) with a variety of different services. This is a great option for any type of business where you rely on one-to-one sales.
The links work with:
- Facebook Messenger
- Phone call (not really a chat, more an old school phone conversation. Remember those?)
You can also customize the text of the opening information (for networks that support this feature). For example, “Please give me more information about [X}”.
And, just like all the other tools, you can also add tracking pixels from all of the services that you saw above.
Hands-on with Shorby
Now that you have a better understanding of how Shorby can help you, let’s go hands-on and I’ll show you what it’s like to work with Shorby’s various features.
The Shorby dashboard is pretty simple – you’ll see:
- Some basic analytics for landing pages/links that you’ve already created
- An option to quickly shorten a URL by pasting it in
Then, you’ll see options to create the three elements that I highlighted earlier:
- Short Link (URL shortening)
- Smart Page (the micro landing page)
- Messenger Link (the chat integration)
I’ll save the Smart Page for last because it’s the most involved. Let’s start with Short Links and Messenger Links.
How to create a short link
To create a Short Link, you go to Create → Short Link. All you need to do is:
- Paste in the URL that you want to shorten
- Configure the shortened link. The base is shor.by/ but you can configure everything that comes after the slash. On higher-tier plans, you can also use your own custom domain.
By default, Shorby will automatically track click analytics. If you want to go deeper, you can also add your own tracking pixels for the services that I mentioned earlier.
One nice thing with the tracking pixels is that you can create multiple “Pixel Lists”. A pixel list is a collection of one or more pixels that you can quickly reuse. This is especially helpful if you’re using multiple websites.
For example, you could create one pixel list for “Blog A” with that site’s tracking pixels for Facebook and Google Adwords. Then, you could create a separate list for “Blog B” that includes different tracking pixels. This applies to all of Shorby’s features – including the micro landing pages and messenger links.
How to create a chat link
Creating a Messenger Link is similarly simple. You go to Create → Messenger Link and fill out a short form, which looks a lot like the link shortening form.
You’ll first want to choose the service that the link directs to. Then, you can:
- Enter the username/phone number that the message should go to.
- Customize the shortened URL.
- Add predefined text for services that support it. For example, you can pre-fill the message for WhatsApp, but not for Messenger.
- Add your tracking pixel(s) just as you saw with the link shortening.
And that’s it – you’ll get a short link that you can share to directly open a live chat.
How to create a micro landing page
Creating a micro landing page is the most involved step because you have a lot more options for customization. The other two are really just about controlling the shortened URL – the micro landing page lets you choose what content to include.
Shorby’s micro landing pages follow a basic template, but you can control what content shows up within that template.
The basic template is this:
- Image/logo – Any image that you want to display at the top.
- Title – title text with optional subheading.
- Messengers – Ways for people to connect with you (via all the methods in the previous section).
- Blocks – These can be a button/card, text, or a dynamic feed (like your most recent blog posts).
- Social links – Links to your other social media profiles..
Here’s what it looks like at the beginning:
As you add content, you’ll get a live visual preview of what your landing page will look like.
When/if you add messengers, you can include as many services as you want and use drag-and-drop to rearrange the order:
Next, you can add one or more blocks. In the screenshot below, you can also see the live preview of the three messenger links that I configured:
If you add a button/card, you can choose from different layouts and add background images if desired:
You can also add a price tag, which is nice if you’re advertising products/services.
Another useful option is the ability to add a dynamic feed that pulls in content from any RSS feed. If you have a blog, this would let you easily showcase your latest posts. Or, you could also add a feed of your most recently uploaded products if you have an eCommerce store.
For feed items, you can choose how many items to include and use different layouts. I like the “Mixed” layout which gives you nice cards for each post:
Finally, you can use subtitles/text to divide your various blocks and you can also use drag-and-drop to easily rearrange the order of your blocks.
To finish things out, you can add as many social links as you want at the bottom of your landing page:
The one thing you can’t do, however, is change the order between the different template sections. That is, while you can rearrange the order of your blocks, you can’t, say, move the messenger links below the blocks.
Finally, you get some general settings in the Settings menu that let you:
- Choose different color schemes
- Customize the link to your landing page
- Add tracking pixels
Once you’re finished, you can start sharing your landing page using the link alias that you chose.
Shorby has different pricing plans depending on the features that you need and the number of pages/links you need to create. You can view the pricing plans below:
One of the biggest advantages of the higher-tier plans is the ability to use a custom domain name. That is, instead of using “shor.by” for all your links, you can use your own domain name, like “blgwzrd.com“. This is especially useful for your landing pages, as I think it’s better branding to include your own domain name in your social media bios.
Final thoughts on Shorby
Overall, Shorby is a really useful tool to optimize how you engage with your social media followers.
The end goal for your social media accounts should be to get people onto your website or otherwise turn them into customers. Shorby helps you do that more effectively:
- Micro-landing pages let you include one link in your bios that effectively promotes both your latest and greatest content, as well as anything else you want to promote (like a list of your services with prices).
- The URL shortener is useful for whenever you want to share content on social media (or anywhere else). The analytics and pixel tracking integrations will help you analyze how effective each link is.
- Messenger links make it easy to engage with visitors on a variety of different platforms. If your business involves any type of one-on-one sales or interactions, this can help you boost your conversion rates.