15 ways to boost your tweets’ click-through rate

From content to context, hashtags to @ tags, there are many methods to coax your audience into tapping that left mouse button.

How do you get someone to click on your links on Twitter? It’s one of the most pressing questions I see day in, day out—and rightly so. Attracting more people who like what you are posting is essential to success on Twitter.

Here are 15 top techniques for improving your click rate:

1. Write persuasive tweets

Tweets are just like headlines; the best ones state a benefit and generate curiosity. Make them easy to read; get rid of complicated words, because people scan on Twitter. The easier a tweet is to read, the better the chances of them clicking the link.

Here is a recent tweet from @bufferapp that has attracted well over 150 clicks:

2. Focus on keywords

People are always looking for good content on Twitter. If their Twitter feed doesn’t deliver what they are looking for, they go to the search box and enter a keyword for a topic. Make sure your tweet includes relevant keywords so people find them.

I’ve found “How To” and “Guide” keywords work extremely well. They also deliver great conversion rates.

3. Use hashtags

Some people search for hashtags instead of words. If you’re tweeting something about Twitter use the hashtags #Twitter, #sm or #socialmedia; if you’re tweeting something on copywriting, use #writing or #marketing, etc.

Hashtags can make a huge difference on your click-through rate. Check out the extremely knowledgeable @TweetSmarter, who provides a great example:

4. Post when most of your followers are online

Click-through rates are normally highest in the afternoon, according to Dan Zarrella, but those are just general stats for a general audience.

Figure out the time your target audience prefers by using tracking software such as bit.ly or a service like SocialBro, which figures out your best times to tweet.

5. Take part in Twitter chats

Join Twitter chats on subjects you specialize in, and share good content. Twitter chats attract experts and people looking to learn about a given subject. If you are an expert on that subject, this could be a great opportunity to increase your click-through rate—and gain followers in the process.

Here is a list of Twitter Chats.

6. Space out tweets so you don’t flood followers

In his webinar Science of Time, Dan Zarrella says that tweets with sufficient gaps between them had a higher click-through rate.

For example, if you want to post a tweet at 1 p.m., don’t tweet anything 30 minutes before or after that tweet. This should help increase your click-through rate. Of course, Buffer is a great option to make spacing your tweets easier.

7. Connect your Twitter account with your Linkedin account

You can do this under settings in your LinkedIn account. Your posts on LinkedIn will automatically post to Twitter, expanding your coverage with no extra effort on your part, beyond the original settings adjustment.

Of course, be wary that you don’t over-automate.

8. Work on getting more followers

The more followers you have, the greater your exposure and the higher your retweet and click-through rates will be. Here’s a great post by Leo Widrich on getting more followers.

9. Tweet only the best content you find

Of course, this is kind of obvious, yet making it a point to tweet only the most relevant content is crucial. Tweeting irrelevant or bad content will disappoint your followers, and they will either unfollow you or stop clicking on your tweets.

10. Write tweets between 120 and 130 characters

In his study, Dan Zarrella found tweets in this range had the highest click rates. Tweets of this length also make it easier for people to retweet.

11. Use words that encourage clicks

Zarrella also found that tweets including the words/symbols “via,” “@,” “RT,” “Please,” and “Check” had the highest click rates, and those with “@ addthis,” “marketing,” and “get glue” had lower rates. Word choices matter.

12. Tag others in your tweets as “cc @username

Using “@” can increase your click rate, and you can use “@”by tagging someone in your tweet—the author of the content or the Twitter account of the publisher.

Tagging others and adding a comment about the post can also help you make connections and gain followers, as is pointed out on this post. This shows the thoughtfulness of your tweet and makes others curious about it. Just don’t be reckless about tagging people; that gets annoying, and you could even be reported for spam.

13. Place the links early in your tweets

Dan Zarella found that tweets with a link one-quarter through the tweets had a higher click rate. Therefore, place links up front instead of at the end, which is commonplace.

14. Tweet differently on weekends

The study also shows that tweets posted Fridays through Sundays had higher click rates. The frequency, though, needs to be much lower, as social streams are a lot slower.

Drop tweeting frequency to two or three tweets daily on weekends. It’s in line with Zarrella’s research and doesn’t overwhelm your followers on slower days of social news. This also shows you are respectful and not a machine hammering out tweets each day.

15. Analyze the results of your clicks

Above are just some tips on how to increase your click rate. This can vary from person to person. It all depends upon your audience. You might have a different day, time, etc. on which you have a higher click rate. The best thing to do is check your results.

There are many great services like TweetWhen, Buffer, SocialBro or Tweriod that can help you do that. Your results will help you learn the best times to tweet in order to increase your click rate and reach your audience.

Here are results from the Buffer analytics dashboard. It shows you which types of posts are performing better:

Mitt Ray is the founder of Social Marketing Writing, author of “White paper Marketing,” and director of The White Paper Blog. You can follow him at @MittRay. A version of this post first appeared on buffer.

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