Guest post by Alex Clifford
Twitter – the ultimate in condensed content. Your 140 characters are as precious as gold dust. You have to hook in those people like a shepherd with a crook.
Until recently, I just tweeted whenever I liked. The problem is I had no way of tracking what had happened – did people like it? Had people clicked it? Who knows…
I decided to try out Buffer – just as a measurement tool. If you haven’t come across it – Buffer is a web app which lets you buffer your tweets so they come out at regular intervals. Rather than as a big instant splurge. It also lets you measure your results.
After a week of using it, I learned many things. I tweeted one article and it got over 102 clicks. Which is amazing since I had only 570 followers. That’s a click-through rate of almost 18%. So here I’m going to dissect how you can make ultra clickable articles and tweets.
It’s all in the headline! Prove the value of your article
The article I used was 96 Quick SEO Wins – What Can You Do With an Hour? by SEOmoz. What made that article super clickable? People have a thirst for knowledge. An ingrained desire to learn how to do better. They want to learn how to be better at their jobs.
Since the article has 96 tips – their brain is subconsciously thinking that there’s got to be a lot of value in that article. It’s quick and digestible. Then they click on the link. Then they read.
Use list posts, ‘how to’ articles, and controversial headlines to bring people in.
Timing: Post when people are away from their desks.
That tweet was sent out at 8:12 AM by Buffer on a Sunday. Most people were probably just getting up or having their breakfast when they checked Twitter on their phone. So it gathered their interest.
At off-peak times, there’s less competition and people are more receptive.
During work hours there’s a real barrage of tweets. Sometimes you’ll leave your Twitter feed alone and there have been over 100 tweets within a minute. Who can consume information that quickly? Your voice is drowned out by the sheer ocean of information. At the weekend, early morning and late at night, there’s less people tweeting. Your article gets a fair shout!
People are more likely to consume content when they’re relaxed, as well. When they’re browsing. When they’re bored. Their brain is open to your ideas. Whereas if they’re at their desk frantically moving between tasks – they don’t have time to read their Twitter feed and your articles. They’re busy.
Tweet at these off-peak times. Weekends. Early mornings. Late at night.
Measure and Optimize your tweeting
Learn when the best times for you to tweet are. People at IT-Rate highly recommend Buffer (I’m not in any way affiliated with them) It allows you to buffer your tweets and to measure your click-throughs, retweets and reach.
The only way to learn is to experiment. Maybe there’ll be a certain time which people are really receptive. Maybe there’s a certain topic which isn’t resonating with your audience. Drop it. The tool’s really good at offering real-time feedback.
You’ll learn. You’ll optimize. And you’ll make your tweets and content ever more engaging.
Seduce your followers with an enticing headline. Tweet it at a time when they’re receptive. Ideally at the weekend. Then learn via trial and error, to get the highest click-through rates you can.
Alex Clifford is Marketing Executive at Virally. Virally empowers you to track and amplify your content marketing. It allows you to see who the most powerful tweeters in your network are, and who is generating the most clicks to your content.
Tom Treanor is the founder of the Right Mix Marketing blog. He’s the author of the Search Engine Boot Camp, the co-author of Online Business Productivity, and regularly speaks at industry and corporate events. His writing has been featured on the Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, Copyblogger and other leading industry blogs.