This is an extension to our previous blogpost about how to use Twitter and Twitter hashtags for business. Today we're going to look at links in Tweets. Now of course tweeting links is not that difficult, but tweeting with optimal impact requires you to pay attention to a few details which you are going to find here.
Why are links important?
Tweets are great for online conversations but when you want to educate your audience you'll notice that you cannot really explain much in a 140-character tweet. This is were links come in. A link is a potential portal to a much larger world. Links can lead visitors to your own website or to relevant third party sites. And so you want those links to be clicked so they result in visits which may contribute to branding and lead generation.
How to get more clicks on your twitter links
- Provide context. The most important task for you to do when you tweet links is to provide context. Explain why you are tweeting this link, or tell what people can expect, by adding comments before or after the URL. This will greatly increase the click through rate (CTR). It also reduces anxiety as people don't want to click on a link with an unknown destination.
- Be clickworthy. Know your audience and provide value to them. If you consistently link to valuable content people will start expecting your next link is valuable as well. It's all about relevance and quality. When people perceive you as an authority they will follow your links more often.
- Place your link where people look. You've probably heard of visual heat maps for websites that show you where visitors spend the most time looking or show you where they click. Dan Zarrella, the social media scientist at HubSpot, has investigated this for tweets. Below you see a heat map for a Tweet. The darker the red color the higher the CTR. So you want to place your link at about 25 percent of the way through the Tweet rather than at the end.
- Ask for it. The same research by Dan Zarella shows that tweets with the word 'check' in them, asking the readers to check a link out, get clicked more often.
- Be a good curator. Find relevant quality sources to link to and tweet a variety of sources (which is very easy when you use BuzzTalk). This builds trust and engagement. If you always send tweets to your own website followers will drop off gradually which reduces your CTR (research done by Mashable).
- Pay attention to timing. As the following graph shows CTR may be higher when people are less busy with work.
Taking these tips into account will increase CTR, but there's another component in the equation: eyeballs. To get more visitors from Twitter to your website you need both, more people actually seeing your link and more people clicking on it.
How to get more people to see your twitter link
Get more followers
This is obvious of course and you can find tips on how to grow your reach here. Interestingly enough Dan Zarrella also found that there exists a positive correlation between the amount of links a user tweets and the amount of followers they have. He says: "Highly followed users are less conversational than those with few followers".
Get retweeted more often
If your tweet is retweeted, you take advantage of the reach of another person and this can work wonders. Here are a few tips that help getting retweeted:
- Tweets that contain links are retweeted more often than tweets without. An analysis of 100k randomly chosen Twitter accounts and their tweets showed that broadcasting interesting content (tweets containing links) results in a higher retweet percentage than engaging the conversation (tweets containing @mentions). The sweet spot seems to be 60 to 80% links and 10% replies.
- Length of tweet matters as shorter tweets are somewhat more likely to be retweeted (data by Rand Fishkin).
- Ask for it and just write "Please RT". It's ok to politely ask people to do something for you.
- Thank people for retweeting.
- Reciprocate and retweet others too.
- The right timing helps. Here's a HubSpot tool that shows you what days and times you got the most retweets per tweet based on your last 1000 tweets.
- Timing is important but frequency is nearly as important. For one, you may have followers from different time zones. You achieve maximum impact if you can tweet valuable content regularly throughout the day (which is a breeze if you use BuzzTalk).
You can use a URL shortener service such as bit.ly to measure the number of clicks your links get. This way you can track whether you're improving.