This morning as I was doing metrics for my own social media handles, I noticed something very, very odd when I went to bitly to check how many people clicked on the links I shared on Twitter last week:
My tweets get an average of 300 clicks per week, so 300 in one single day is outrageous!
It took me a little digging to realize that it came down to this one tweet…that Harley Davidson retweeted.
How to get People on Twitter to Retweet and Click on your Tweets
When it comes to being successful on Twitter, most people talk about how many followers a person has and how many more you can get, fast.
This is because you can easily see how many followers a person has on Twitter (very transparent), so the challenge has been how to get more followers on Twitter fast. Building a large following on Twitter is easy (just Google it). But there’s no point of having thousands of followers if they don’t respond or click on what you tweet.
I spend an enormous amount of time curating what I share on Twitter and Facebook each week. I love content, read a lot, and I want to provide value, not noise to this mess called social media. But it’s not just what you tweet, it’s how you tweet it.
Based on the basics of content curation and how I wrote the Harley Davidson tweet, here are three things that I found that help get my tweets read, clicked on, and shared.
1) Use a hashtag
Hashtags were created for people to follow conversations about certain topics. Some hashtags, like trending topics and city hashtags barely get followed because there’s so much noise. While hashtags that are created for specific communities and events get followed, read, and retweeted – as proven with this tweet above.
Hashtag responsibly. Don’t add a hashtag to your tweet if it has nothing to do with what you’re talking about. And for the love of all things social, never, ever use a hashtag in the title of your blog post.
2) Write the tweet in your own words that tell your followers why they should care
When it comes to sharing anything online, your job is to write something that people will read and take some kind of action (click, retweet, respond, etc.). One thing that works the best is to tell people on Twitter exactly what they’re about to read and why they should care. The best way is to stop being lazy and write the tweet in your own words.
Sure, you can just copy and paste the title of the article you’re linking to, but I have found that I do not get as many clicks or retweets as when I write a tweet in my own words that express some kind of opinion about the content I’m sharing.
3) Make it timely
There are two kinds of content: evergreen and time sensitive.
Evergreen tweets, blog posts, and articles are “how to’s” that can be written today and published, shared, and promoted today, tomorrow, next week, or even next year and still be relevant. Then there’s the time sensitive stuff – the “breaking news” tweets and articles about things that are happening now, as in if-we-publish-this-next-week-it-will-be-irrelevant.
Sure, I could have tweeted that article next week or next year, but the fact that this is a current campaign really helped built traction around it.
I’ve noticed this when blogging, too. If you write a blog post about something in the news that people are already talking about, you will increase your chances of that blog post read, tweeted about, commented on, and found via search. This happened when I wrote a response to a boss that is offering his employees a $50,000 bonus if they stay on for 5 years and, more successfully, hipster entrepreneurs.
Evergreen content is great, but timely is hot.
Whatever you do, track what you tweet
The only way to figure out how many people actually click on your tweets is to shorten every single link using a URL shortening service like is.gd, bit.ly (my personal favorite), ow.ly, awe.sm and plenty of others.
Many of these URL shortening services allow you to create an account that will track your data as opposed to just shortening it. And most play nice with third party apps like Tweetdeck, Timely, Buffer, and HootSuite so you can shorten to your heart’s design and track your links as you tweet them.
Even if you don’t analyze your clicks, track your data so it’s there when you want it to be.
How do you make sure people read what you share on Twitter?
Hahah that’s awesome! Do you know if hoot suite also tracks clicks? If not, does using Bit.ly mean you need to manually put in every link in order for the system to track it?
Hootsuite does track clicks, but I LOVE the level of analytics bit.ly offers and how I can add bit.ly links in Facebook and be able to “preview” the link as I would a normal link; haven’t always been able to “preview” ow.ly links.
I add bit.ly’s API to the tools I use (Tweetdeck, Timely, and Buffer), so I rarely go to bit.ly native to shorten links. I do go to bit.ly to check my analytics every week. When sharing on Facebook, I’ll shorten a link in Timely or Tweetdeck then copy/paste it over there. Yes, it’s a little involved, but it’s a system that works for me 🙂
These are some great points Laura, especially the emphasis on moving beyond just numbers, but to the number of engaged followers. Also love these tips!
I love these tips! Another one I would add is to take into consideration the length of your tweet – While we already only get 140 characters, it’s important to think about how others will RT plus add their own commentary instead of just hitting the RT button. A lot of times if a tweet is too long, I won’t RT it just because I have no space to add my own comments 🙂
Fabulous tip, @3acd728e77c6ce569dc17efdc693bd71:disqus! And it’s one of my favorites — whenever I write a tweet, I always, always, always try to keep it to 120 characters. If I can’t do it, then 129 characters so there will be room for “RT @lamiki:twitter ” 🙂
Though, the longer that “new RT” is available, the more I’ve noticed people RT’ing new style. Either way, if you can say it in 120-characters, do it.
Nice advice. Just to
add, the first thing you should focus on must be the lay down content of your
tweet. It must be short and interesting if possible. It’s not only about
gaining as many followers as you can but develop many people to become
listeners of a helpful and interesting content.
Just click here
followers on twitter
I am curious to hear more on the “for the love of all things social” call to never use a hashtag in your blog post title. With the auto tweet function on wordpress it’s a big timesaver for #NPface blog tweets to already have the hashtag in there, but I am ready to hear why that’s not ok (since you don’t actually say it in the post.)