Are you not getting the engagement and action on your tweets that you are hoping for? Is your audience not responding to your efforts, as you want them to? Maybe you are missing out on the best ways to optimize your tweets for better results!
Imagine this: Two tweets with the same link. One gets a ton of reactions in the form of retweets, comments, and clicks. The other passes by almost ignored. What happened? Of course, one tweet could have been tweeted on a larger Twitter account with more engaged followers than the other. But the same could happen if you tweeted both tweets from the same twitter account.
There is much more that can cause a tweet to fail or to spread like wildfire. And you have it in your hands to get better results with your tweets.
1. Find a better Headline or Tweet-text
Many people think about the headline for a blog post. But often they miss out on re-thinking the headline for sharing it in social networks. But that’s a mistake. The headline is the most important part of your content to get shares and traffic from social media. And on Twitter, the headline is even more significant than on Facebook. Why? Because on Facebook, the short meta description also shows – on Twitter you only have your headline (or tweet text) and no addition description to grab the attention of your audience and inspire action.
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Have you ever tried to tweet the same link with two entirely different tweet texts? What was your result? Most of the time, results will vary enormously with different headlines. Here is what can happen:
- some headlines inspire retweets
- some headlines inspire likes
- some headlines inspire clicks
- some headlines do neither
- some headlines do all of the above
The perfect headline/tweet text should get you retweets and clicks. Retweets make your tweet spread, and clicks are usually the action you want from your followers. The more retweets you get, the more people will see your tweet and have the chance to click on the link.
You can test different texts in your tweets on Twitter. Simply tweet the same link with various texts and monitor what happens. If you are using Buffer, you can use Buffer analytics to see the results of the different tweets.
To give you an idea for the best headlines, here are some types of headlines that often work well on Twitter:
The list. This kind of headline always follows the same structure. This post is a list post. With list posts, the huge numbers often win. You may need some more time to get the list together, but a huge list will most of the time produce a ton of retweets and clicks.
Facts and Statistics. People love numbers and statistics. Statistics cannot lie can they? Here is an example by one of my favorite bloggers:
Mistakes, Worst case (or best case) posts. You do not want to fall into the trap of making the mistakes everybody else makes, do you? Here is an example that has worked very well on our blog:
How to posts. Most people are after valuable information on Twitter. And How-To posts promise exactly that. They tell you how to achieve what you are looking for. Here is an example that has worked well for us:
Provocation. Provoking your audience can work well, but its a thin line between positive provocation and stepping on peoples’ toes. Provocation is good, offending people often is not. An example is a Tweet text we have been using for a post that we published with a different headline:
The original title:The Dark and Immoral Side of Content Marketing
The tweet that worked best: It was near perfect #contentmarketing. And it’s probably killing people, right now.
2. Use Hashtags
A hashtag is a keyword preceded by a ‘#’. You have probably seen it in tweets. What does a hashtag do? Theoretically, it instantly expands the reach of a tweet from your followers to all people interested into that hashtag. However, it is not that simple.
Hashtags in Tweets can work in various ways:
- Twitter shows hashtags in a tweet colored. That means they stand out and serve to grab the attention of your audience – if you do not overdo it. Using a ton of hashtags all in one tweet will make you lose this advantage.
- The right hashtag can add information to your tweet if your tweet text is not using the right keywords.
- people that are searching for information often browse the hashtags related to their search.
As a result
- Tweets with hashtags see 2 times more engagement than tweets without hashtags
- Tweets with 1-2 hashtags get 21% higher response rates than tweets with three or more hashtags
- Tweets with more than 2 hashtags see a drop of 17% in engagement.
Therefore, you should include 1-2 hashtags in your tweets. Make sure the hashtags match the content of your tweet.
3. Tweet at the best time
A tweet has an average lifespan of 8 min in which you have to grab the attention of your audience – or they will most likely not notice your tweet. But the hard truth is, that not all your followers are online all the time. So the best time to tweet for best results is the time when most of your followers are online.
Do you know, when most of your followers are online? Tools like ManageFlitter or SocialBro can give you the best times to tweet. On ManageFlitter you can quickly schedule a tweet at the best time, it looks like this: Whenever I have some piece of content I want to draw attention to, I make sure that the tweet goes out at the best possible time when most of my followers are online.
4. Use Images
Twitter’s feed is crowded. If you follow more than a few accounts and the people you follow are active and tweet regularly you will most likely not see everything in your feed and tweets coming to your timeline have to compete for your attention.
Now, images are a valuable tool to help you grab the attention of your followers: According to Buffer Tweets with images get 150% more retweets than tweets without.
Again, it is not as simple as adding a random picture to your tweet. Some pictures work well; others don’t. But it sure is a chance you should use!
- images should be easy to understand
- if you add an image text, keep it simple and easy to read
- colorful images usually work better than dull, gray images
- again, provocation can help
- only hint to the content, do not give it all away in the picture
The above tips are not all you can do to get more out of your Twitter efforts. Statistics show, that a tweet which explicitly asks for retweets with “Please retweet” can increase your chance of a retweet by 160%. Also, tweets with links will on average get 86% more retweets than tweets without a link. And as always in social media, if you want your audience to take action, tell them what you want them to do. A powerful call-to-action can easily be your best trigger for engagement with your tweets.
I am sure you can improve your results from Twitter by implementing some of the above. It may take a little testing and tweaking, but in the end, it will certainly pay off!
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