Increasing Twitter Click Through Rates

Written by Neil Ashton.

Increasing Twitter click through rates

Looking for ways to get your followers to respond to your tweets? It may not be as hard as you think. With just a few tweaks, you'll be able to enhance your click-through rates substantially. The clickthrough rate (CTR) is equal to the number of clicks on a link divided by the number of followers. The greater the clicks, the greater your CTR.


As an engineer, I like to see the results of scientific data rather than relying on word of mouth predictions which are shaky at best. Since entering the field of Internet marketing and article writing, while I appreciate the myriad of opinions, I value some scientific data to back them up. I've has taken the guess work from social media and applied the scientific method to my testing. My latest analysis measured tweet CTRs which exposed a few interesting trends. I analyzed more than 100,000 tweets, here is a breakdown of my findings:

Length of Tweets

Even though Twitter allows 140 characters per tweet, the optimal tweet should contain fewer characters. I discovered that the highest CTRs occurred with tweets containing about 120 characters.  It can be hard to compose tweets of worthwhile information in 140 characters, never mind 120 characters. Thankfully, the brief tweets of less than 100 characters were significantly less effective.  Don’t use this as a hard-fast rule. If you have something amazing to say in less than 120 characters, then by all means. Make use of these points as recommendations.

Hyperlinks

I analyzed whether link placement affected CTRs. My data shows that the highest impact occurs when hyperlinks are placed 25% of the way through the tweet.  This data seems to coincide with normal internet user behaviour. Attention spans tend to be nonexistent for online users and hyperlinks positioned towards the end won't produce the required action.  Play around with the hyperlinks in your tweets and notice your CTRs when you change their placement.  I also found that the number of links can affect CTRs.

Word Use

Tweets containing the words or symbols “via”, “@”, “RT”, “please”, and “check” enjoyed higher CTRs than tweets void of of the same words. Tweets containing the words “@AddThis”, “@GetGlue”, and “Marketing” performed worse than tweets without any of these words.  Amazingly, some words increased CTRs by more than double and three times.  The popular automatic “re-tweet” option makes it much simpler to re-tweet, however it excludes the letters “RT”. Re-tweet the regular way or share the content with @via and also the originator’s name and see if you notice any rise in engagement.

Paper.li

Paper.li is an web based information aggregation system. Daily posts include the words, “daily is out.” I found these words to have the greatest positive effect on CTR-more than the rest of the words I tested.

Verbs and Adverbs

Tweets with adverbs and verbs received higher CTRs.  Use colourful adverbs before your verbs to give emphasis. Ponder these two statements:

The second phrase brings a little more individuality and intrigue. Test it and see what it does in your case.  try telling your audience what to do with your verbs…”Have a look” at this post, or “Check out” this post.

Tweet Times

I found Friday, Saturday and Sunday to be the ideal times to tweet. Also, tweets submitted later in the day experienced higher CTRs than tweets posted earlier.  This information is a broad guide. Test your tweets to ascertain the most beneficial time for your specific target audience. This data may work for the masses, but if your audience is stay-at-home mothers or night shift workers, you can see where this may need to be changed.

In Conclusion

This data is certainly useful, but each business will have to discover its own unique formula. CTRs are not the only measurable data points. A few statistics cannot be calculated, like what tweet caused a person to search for your name in Google or exactly what post struck a chord with a potential lead who did not click a link. Not every tweet will contain a hyperlink and some may move a lead a step nearer to working with you no matter if he/she took a measurable action.
 

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