Wondering how to get your followers to respond to your tweets? It may not be as hard as you think. With a few tweaks, you can increase your click-through rates substantially.
The clickthrough rate (CTR) equates to the number of clicks on a link divided by the number of followers. The higher the clicks, the higher your CTR.
As a former chemist, I like to see the results of scientific data instead of relying on word of mouth predictions that are shaky at best. Since entering the world of internet marketing and content writing, while I appreciate the myriad of opinions, I value some scientific data to back them up. You can take the scientist out of the lab, but you can’t take the lab out of the scientist.
Dan Zarrella, cleverly named “The Social Media Scientist”, has taken the guesswork out of social media and applied the scientific method to his testing. He tests metrics and releases the results via colorful infographics.
His recent test measured tweet CTRs which revealed some interesting trends. He analyzed more than 200,000 tweets and presented the information graphically. Here is a summary of what he found:
Length of Tweets
While Twitter allows140 characters per tweet, the ideal tweet will contain fewer characters. Dan found that the highest CTRs occurred with tweets containing between 120 – 130 characters.
It can be hard to compose sound bytes of valuable information in 140 characters, never mind 120. Thankfully, the short tweets (<100 characters) were less successful so you can hold off on chopping your tweets for now.
Don’t use this as a hard-fast rule. If you have something groundbreaking to say in less than 120 tweets, then by all means do it. Use these points as guidelines.
Dan analyzed whether link placement affected CTRs. His data shows the highest impact when links are placed 25% of the way through the tweet.
This data seems to coincide with normal internet user habits. Attention spans are nonexistent for internet users and links placed at the end may not make the grade.
Does this mean that a link should accompany every tweet? Definitely not. In fact, Dan tested this (see next image). Play around with the links in your tweets and notice your CTRs when you change their position.
Dan also found that the number of links can affect CTRs.
Tweets containing the words or symbols “via”, “@”, “RT”, “please”, and “check” enjoyed higher CTRs than tweets void of the same words. Tweets containing the words “@AddThis”, “@GetGlue”, and “Marketing” performed worse than tweets void of the same words.
Amazingly, some words increased CTRs by more than double and triple.
The new automatic “re-tweet” button makes it easier to re-tweet, but it excludes the letters “RT”. Re-tweet the traditional way or share the content with @via and the originator’s name and see if you notice any increase in engagement.
Paper.li is an online content aggregation system. Daily posts include the words, “daily is out.” Dan found these words to have the greatest positive effect on CTR—more than all of the other words he tested.
I have not used Paper.li but would be interested to hear if anyone has noticed an increase in CTR as a result. Please post in the comments below if you are using it.
Verbs and Adverbs
Time to dust off the cobwebs and go back to 3rd grade English. Tweets with adverbs and verbs garnered higher CTRs.
What is an adverb? Remember when your teacher told you that any word ending in”ly” is an adverb? Use colorful adverbs before your verbs to give them emphasis. Consider these two statements:
#1 – Businesses are becoming more aware of the benefits of internet marketing
#2 – Businesses are progressively becoming more aware of the benefits of internet marketing
Statement #2 adds a little more personality and intrigue. Try it and see how it works for you.
Tip: Tell your audience what to do with your verbs…”Take a look” at this article, or “Check out” this article.
When is the ideal time to tweet? Dan found Friday, Saturday and Sunday to be the ideal times to tweet. Also, tweets posted later in the day enjoyed higher CTRs than tweets posted earlier.
This data is a general guideline. Test your tweets to determine the best 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 altered.
The Bottom Line
This data is certainly helpful, but each business will need to discover its own unique formula. CTRs are not the only measurable data points. Some stats cannot be measured, like what tweet caused someone to search for your name in Google or what post struck a chord with a potential lead who did not click a link. Not every tweet will contain a link and some may move a lead one step closer to working with you regardless of whether he/she took a measurable action.
Can you think of any more data points that would be helpful to measure?