Twitter has become one of the most popular social media networks, and as a result, it’s become one of the best platforms for online marketers to build and engage a loyal audience. The fundamentals of a good social strategy, such as keeping a consistent brand voice and rewarding your users for being loyal, all apply here, but Twitter also has a number of secrets that can take your strategy to the next level.
Try out some or all of these Twitter hacks to improve your click through rates and better engage your following:
Simply including an image is sometimes enough to generate a click through, especially if the image catches a reader’s eye. Such images stand out in an otherwise cluttered newsfeed, making your tweet seem more attractive and drawing users into taking action.
This is a simple hack that many new Twitter users don’t realize exists. When you use someone’shandle at the beginning of a tweet, only you and that user’s shared followers will be able to see the tweet. If you simply put a period (or some other punctuation) before the @, you’ll make a tweet public, greatly increasing the number of people who see it and thus increasing the click potential.
This strategy relies on the communal nature of social media. When a user is mentioned in a tweet, they’ll be more likely to retweet it. If you have room to mention multiple relevant users, go ahead and mention them—for each user you mention, you’ll increase the retweet rate of your tweet, and therefore, the number of views and clicks.
These are peak usage hours for Twitter. You can definitely pick up some views and clicks after 3pm or in the wee hours of the morning, but if you’re trying to maximize your click potential, save your most important tweets for this time period.
On Fridays, people are trying to wrap things up and start enjoying the weekend. On weekends, they’re busy enjoying life. Keep most of your tweets centered around the early part of the workweek to maximize visibility and total clicks.
Hashtags can be a great way to increase the visibility of your tweet—especially if you’ve invented your own hashtag, or if you’re jumping on to a trending topic. But don’t overuse or inappropriately use hashtags—if you do, the messages of your tweets will be lost, and your users might tune you out as spam.
People are far more likely to click a link they think is specifically meant for them than a link that’s tweeted to the masses. Jumping into a conversation in progress with a relevant link to add value to the conversation can greatly increase the chances of that user and that user’s audience clicking through.
Take advantage of a tweet scheduling service like the one at HootSuite. Using these tools, you can schedule your tweets in advance, and spread them out over the course of the day. Clumping all your tweets together in one burst is inefficient, and can decrease both your visibility and click rates.
If you’re looking to get a little more juice out of a particularly effective tweet, try embedding it in your website. Your web visitors will get to see it regardless of their following preferences, and you’ll get more chances to earn clicks.
Newsfeeds can get messy, and any tweet will eventually get buried under the influence of thousands of new messages. If you want to keep an important tweet top of mind for your users, use the pin function to pin it to the top of your timeline.
Tweeting just a link can negatively influence your click rates, so frame your links in a body of text. Make sure to contextualize your link by explaining what users can get out of it if they click it.
Twitter’s official character limit is 160 per tweet, and many companies push it to that limit. However, shorter tweets have two benefits; first, they stand out more on a person’s timeline, and second, they leave room for users to mention you or add a comment should they choose to retweet you.
This strategy brings copywriting and SEO skills to the table. When framing your link with text, make every word in your message count. Use compelling, specific language that engages people, and capitalize on keywords that people might want to search for.
This is a simple strategy to broaden your social reach. Connect Twitter with Facebook, LinkedIn, and your other social networks to syndicate your links further and gain more total views.
This is especially useful if you’re featuring a guest blogger. Using the short phrases “RT” or “via” combined with a person’s Twitter handle makes your tweet appear more authoritative, and will entice more users to click.
Don’t write the exact phrase “please click this link,” but do use instructive language to encourage more users to click your links. For example, you could start out your tweet with a phrase like “check this out” or “You’ve got to see this.”
Don’t underestimate the power of shared authority. If you really want to ramp up the number of clicks you can get with a single tweet, try asking an influencer to retweet it for you. You could potentially get hundreds of thousands of more eyes on your link, and thousands of extra clicks proportionally.
You don’t have to use Twitter’s paid advertising platform to get the benefits of a social strategy, but promoted tweets can help some businesses get a little extra fuel. If you need extra clicks, consider pursuing it as an experiment. Measure your results and determine whether the ROI was worth it—Twitter has some excellent metric reporting.
If you want more clicks, one of the easiest ways to get it is to earn more followers. You can do this by promoting your account on peripheral marketing materials (like your website, ads, brochures, etc.), honing your content marketing strategy, or simply reaching out to new potential followers directly.
The best way to improve your click through rates over time is to read and interpret your data. Use Twitter to see what kind of links and messages earn the most favorites and retweets. Use Google Analytics to determine which links bring the most new visitors to your site. Learn from the data, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Your Twitter followers still need traditional nurturing with great content, brand familiarity, and consistency, but these extra hacks can mean the difference between a tweet that opens a floodgate of traffic to your site, and one that falls to the bottom of a news feed. Put them to good use, measure your results, and continue to refine your campaign as you get to know your audience and the scope of your competitive landscape.