15 Ways to Increase the Click-Through Rate on Your Tweets

This post originally published on February 13, 2012. We’ve updated it here with the latest, newest information and screenshots. 

How do you get someone to click on your links on Twitter?

This seems like one of the most pressing questions I see coming up day in day out. And rightly so. Figuring out how to attract more people that like what you are posting is one of the most important aspects of being successful on Twitter.

While a higher click-through rate is certainly not the only thing to be good at on Twitter, it can be a great basis of success. So without further ado, here are 15 of the best tips out there to guarantee a higher click rate.

get more clicks twitter

1. Learn to write persuasive tweets

Tweets are just like headlines. They need to attract attention and get the reader to read to click on the link. Your tweet needs to convince the reader that it’s worth his or her time to click on the link and read the content it leads to.

The best headlines are the ones that state a benefit and generate curiositythe same applies to the best tweets. You need to let the reader know that the content the link leads to will benefit them and try your best to get them curious. Also make them really easy to read—get rid of complicated words because people browse through tweets as quickly as they can and the easier a tweet is to read, the higher are the chances of them clicking on the link.

Here is an example of a recent Buffer Tweet that has attracted well over 150 clicks, as seen through Buffer’s social media management analytics:

buffer tweet example

For more information, the Buffer blog has some useful articles on how to write persuasive social media updates.

2. Focus on using the right keywords

People are always looking for good content on Twitter. They normally look for it in their Twitter feed. And if they don’t find what they are looking for, they will type down words in the Twitter search box and look for the latest tweets on that topic.

If you want your tweets to turn up during these searches, you need to add keywords to your tweets, keywords your audience will most likely search.

If you add keywords, your tweets will turn up in the search and this will most likely increase your click-through rate as it will increase the exposure your tweets get. I found this works extremely well with “How To’s” and “Guides” keywords. It also proves to give a great conversion.

3. Use hashtags thoughtfully

It helps to use a hashtag along with your tweet. People might search for hashtags instead of words in the search bar, as hashtags can lead to relevant tweets they are looking for—so use relevant hashtags in your post. For example, if you’re tweeting something about Twitter, you can use the hashtags #twitter, #sm or #socialmedia. If you’re tweeting about something on copywriting, use the hashtags #writing or #marketing, etc.

Using hashtags can make a huge difference on your CTR. An oft-cited study from Buddy Media found that adding hashtags can double the engagement on your tweet.

Someone who is extremely knowledgeable about retweets is @TweetSmarter, here is a great example:

4. Post at the right time, when most of your followers are online

Post at a time when it’s most likely that people are going to click on your tweets. Click-through rates are normally at their highest in the afternoon, according to Dan Zarrella. But these are just general stats for a general audience.

You need to figure out the time your target audience prefers. You can either do this by yourself by tweeting at different times and checking how many people click on your tweets by using a click tracking software like bit.ly or Buffer, or by using a service like SocialBro, which figures out your best times to Tweet.

Note SocialBro and Followerwonk each connect with Buffer so you can sync your ideal posting schedules.

5. Take part in Twitter chats

Take part in Twitter chats on subjects you specialize in, and share good content. Twitter chats are attended by both experts and people looking to learn more about the subject the chat covers. If you are an expert on that subject, this could be a great opportunity to increase your click-through rate.

Popular tweet chats are attended by many people and when you take part in these chats and share good content not only published by you but also by others, and if the attendees find it helpful, it could really increase your click-through rate. These people, who have just read your tweets and found them helpful, will take note of your work and follow you on Twitter and the next time they see your tweets they will want to read them.

So take part in popular Twitter chats and share content they will find helpful.

Here is a resource to find a Twitter chat on a topic and a day that might work for you.

6. Space out your tweets enough, so you don’t flood followers

In his webinar, Science of Time, Dan Zarrella points out that tweets that had sufficient gaps between them had a higher click-through rate. Therefore, if you want to increase the CTR of your tweets, make sure you leave a time gap before and after you tweet them.

For example, if you want to post at 1 p.m., make sure you don’t tweet anything 30 minutes before this tweet and 30 minutes after this tweet.

This should help increase your click-through rate. Of course, Buffer is a great option to make spacing out your Tweets easier and never flooding your followers.

7. Connect your Twitter account with your other social accounts

Linking your accounts to one another is a useful way for people to find you on multiple networks and to engage with you where they’re most comfortable. If a potential LinkedIn connection sees that you’re on Twitter, it’s possible that they may click over to your profile and browse through your timeline, potentially boosting your clickthrough rate on your tweets.

To connect LinkedIn and Twitter, log in at LinkedIn and go to Settings > Manage Twitter Settings. In the pop-up box that appears, be sure to check the box for displaying your Twitter account on your LinkedIn profile.

linkedin settings

Your Twitter profile will then appear on your LinkedIn profile page.

linkedin-profile-twitter

When you add your Twitter account to your Linkedin profile, choose that you want to publish the same tweets you tweet on Twitter on Linkedin. This should help increase your click-through rate, as both your followers on Twitter and your connections on Linkedin will see your Tweets. Note: This functionality is no longer in place.

If you are interested in autoposting tweets to LinkedIn or other networks, you can test out automation tools like Zapier and IFTTT, which allow you to connect multiple services.

Of course, be wary here that you don’t over-automate.

8. Work on getting more followers

The more followers you have, the higher your click-through rate will be, as your tweets will be exposed to a larger audience directly. It would also be more likely that you will get more retweets which will lead to many more clicks on your tweets.

So work hard on getting more followers. Here’s a great post by Leo Widrich on getting more followers.

9. Tweet only the best content you find

This might seem kind of obvious, yet making it a point to tweet only the most relevant content is crucial, I’ve found.

If you tweet some irrelevant or bad content and some of your followers visit it and it disappoints them – they will either unfollow you or stop clicking on your tweets. If you tweet good content and they find it helpful, they will want to read more from you. Build the trust with your community.

There is a big list of Twitter sharing ratios that might be helpful to consider for this, including the 4-1-1 method, the Golden Ratio, and the Rule of Thirds.

10. Write tweets between 120 and 130 characters:

Dan Zarrella published an excellent infographic, “How to Get More Clicks on Twitter“.

In his study, Zarrella found that tweets between the lengths of 120 and 130 characters had the highest click-through rates. So when you write tweets makes sure they are of this length.

11. Use words that encourage clicks

He also found that tweets that had the words “via,” “@,” “RT,” “Please,” and “Check” had the highest click-through rates, while those with the words “@addthis,” “marketing,” and “get glue” had lower CTR’s. Therefore, if you want higher click-through rates make sure you use the right words that increase click-through rates and avoid using the ones that don’t.

12. Tag others in your Tweets with “@username”

Tag others in your tweets, as the above tip shows that using the word “@” can increase your CTR and the best way to use “@” is by tagging someone in your tweet. Whenever you can, make it a point to tag someone in your tweet. This could be the author of the content or just the twitter account of the publisher.

Tagging others and adding a comment about the post can also help you make connections with people and get more followers as it has been pointed out on this post. This is a great way to show the thoughtfulness of your Tweet and make others curious about it.

13. Place the links early on in your Tweets

Zarrella also found that tweets in which the links appeared one quarter through the tweets had a higher click-through rate. Therefore, place your links earlier on in the tweet, instead of placing it at the end of the message as it’s usually done.

14. Tweet differently on weekends

The study also shows that tweets made on weekends i.e. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays had higher CTRs than those posted on the weekdays. The difference here however is that the frequency needs to be much lower as social streams are a lot slower too.

What I found to work great is to drop Tweeting frequency to only 2-3 tweets on weekends. It goes in line with Dan Zarrella’s research and doesn’t overwhelm your followers on a slower day of social news.

15. Check and analyze the results of your clicks

These are just some tips on how to increase your click-through rate. This can vary from person to person. It all depends upon your audience. You might have a different day, time, etc. on which you have a higher click-through rate. The best thing to do is check your results.

There are many great services like BufferSocialBro, or Tweriod that can help you do that. Your results will help you learn the best time to tweet at, in order to increase your click-through rate and make sure you reach your audience.

Here is a set of results from the Buffer analytics dashboard. It shows you which types of posts are performing better very easily:

buffer analytics

Over to you

Have you got some tips to increase CTR? Would you like to share them with us? Please leave your tips in the comments below.

Image sources: IconFinder, Blurgrounds, Unsplash

  • http://www.blogdog.co.uk/ Chris McCoy

    Fantastic post, bookmarked so I can use the stats for future tweeting :)

    • http://www.mittray.com Mitt Ray

       Thank you Chris.

  • http://aigendigitalmarketing.com Abel Pardo

    Very good post very explained. Now time for trying if this kind of things are going to help for getting more tweets (I tried please retweet and it goes ok). A good work.

    • http://www.mittray.com Mitt Ray

       Thank you @abelpardo:disqus  I really like your comment.

      • http://aigendigitalmarketing.com Abel Pardo

        Thank you for your kind comment, Mitt!

  • Alison Stoodley

    Great post with one exception – #7 “Connect Your Twitter Account With Your Linkedin Account” – I completely disagree that this will get you more clicks. Content is not transferable. Connecting your twitter feed to LinkedIn confuses and alienates LinkedIn readers – devise content that works for EACH of the social media platforms because they are very different – your audience will respect you for that, which means they will share your content, which means you will get more clicks.

    • http://www.mittray.com Mitt Ray

       Hi Alison – I have connected my Linkedin account with my Twitter account and this has helped me increase my CTR. It has also helped me improve my activity on Linkedin. I think if you’re sure about your audience and the type of audience you want to attract you can share the same content over all social media.

  • http://easyretweet.com/ Enstine Muki

    Wao! This is worth printing out. It’s 100% true that “Tweets are just like headlines” The same principle that applies to headlines applies to tweets. Maybe Twitter should think of ways to let go the anchor tag in the tweets. That will make it even more engaging as your link can be anchored even at the very beginning of your tweet. 

    • http://www.mittray.com Mitt Ray

       Thank you for the wonderful comment @7502a7d35e6af1a6c325856f4784a7b2:disqus

  • Mitch Ballard

    Very informative post and i really appreciate the idea of tweeting on the right time, that i need to figure out for my tweets. Also needs to analyze my tweet results.

    • http://www.mittray.com Mitt Ray

      Hi Mitch – I am really happy that you found the post helpful.

  • http://www.realtimetricks.com RealTimeTricks

    You are right as tweets are not going to hang all day on everyone’s home page you should tweet it in a right time when most of the followers are active. This turns to get more retweets!

    • http://www.mittray.com Mitt Ray

      Thank you for your comment @Irfansiddiqui:disqus 

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think people give enough consideration to how hard it is to write quality Tweets. 140 Characters isn’t really a lot of space, so it’s underrated how hard it is to actually create good content that people want to see. Too many companies simply think that showing up to the table with a Twitter page, throwing any old content onto the network, maybe using types of companies found at http://www.facebookfansreviews.com to essentially try and buy followers is the path to instant success. This is false. There’s no secret to instant success except hard work and doing things the right way. For social media, this means creating content that other people love. That’s the only thing that matters. If you create quality content that people love, if you listen to your followers so you understand what they want, if you make sure to keep your posting frequency respectful so you don’t over-burden people with seeing your comments every 2 minutes, you’ll come out much farther ahead. It’s definitely worth spending some time obsessing over a lot of the details that you mentioned.

    • http://www.mittray.com Mitt Ray

      Hi @wdatt:disqus ! Thank you for your long detailed comment. I am glad you liked the tips in this post. Yes it’s important to write good tweets if you want to be successful with twitter. – Mitt

  • http://twitter.com/VASussex Sue Edwards

    Thank you for a very interesting and useful blog. Will be trying these out.

    • http://www.mittray.com Mitt Ray

      You’re welcome @twitter-23789076:disqus 

  • http://twitter.com/EventsColumn Events Column

    Im going to try this out, hopefully it’s effective. Thank you very inspiring read

  • http://annabelsmith.tumblr.com/ Annabel Smith

    I am a Twitter newbie so it is great to read insights like this, backed up by data. A really useful and informative post – thank you.

  • http://www.profiletree.com/ ProfileTree

    Excellent points…best post we have read on twitter for a long time…

  • Inga

    Hi Mitt- this is content that I love! Great points, nicely laid out, not too long, but filled with substance. I’ve learnt a lot and will be putting more into practice. Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/jefflately Jeff Norman

    Hey there! I’m new 

  • http://twitter.com/jefflately Jeff Norman

    Hey there! I’m new to Twitter (@twitter-178090342:disqus), having only been seriously tweeting for about two weeks. In that time, my Klout score has jumped from 18 to 47. My followers have jumped from 18 to 62; not bad. I love this article and accredit most of my Twitter success to it! I also use Buffer and SocialBro extensively. However, I still get VERY few retweets and ZERO clicks on any of my tweets. Each tweet is perfectly timed for my followers, has no more than 130 characters, has a well-placed shortened link, is persuasive (imho) and contains catchy words (RT, please, MANY “@’s, etc.) Should I just keep it up? Or am I doing something very wrong? 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/sushil.raju7 Sushil Krishna

    I use to put the links at the end, most of the time.What about drawing one’s attention by a nice relevant text at front n then links.? I usually try to put some interesting(based on situation & context) text at front and then links.

    In Btw great post. great learning out of it. 

    Thanks..! 

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  • http://twitter.com/GnosisArts Gnosis Media Group

    Hey, Mitt. Thanks for including the link to our Twitter chat wiki! We’re still curating and building on this front. For instance, check out our latest tweetchat tool, the TweetchatBot, on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tweetchatbot . She rawks.

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  • John Chapman

    No mention of images? Tweets with images are far more likely to be retweeted and go viral. Humor works too. For me a carefully analyzed 120 word tweet featuring a humorous image is the success recipe. Need to analize the text? Do that at http://www.aminstitute.com/headline/index.htm and aim for a 50% + value.

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      That’s an awesome formula, John! Thanks so much for adding the mention of images here. Sounds like they’ve been a key part to your social strategy!

  • Jeremy Howat

    Awesome article. Could someone give me some advice. I want to build my social media presence, I’ve done it myself until now, but I want to get more traffic. Can anyone recommend anything?

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Hi Jeremy! Thanks for the comment! We share a lot of our favorite social media strategies here: https://blog.bufferapp.com/category/social-media-tips. I hope there might be some good tips among those articles to help you get more traffic!

      • Jeremy Howat

        Great, thank you Kevan, I will check it out.

  • http://hedstrominternetconsulting.com/ Steve Hedstrom

    Twitter’s challenge is always engagement. These are great tips and I am trying to follow most of these. The one thing I have found on any social network to boost engagement, is being social with other accounts. This formula takes time, thought, and effort, but is a sure fire way to get people to pay attention and use the law of reciprocity. Thanks!

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Thanks so much for sharing, Steve!

  • http://www.BenBrausen.com/ Ben Brausen

    Way too many things I’d like to say so I’ll only comment on a single point.

    Love the advice to tweet on weekend. I believe it’s something like engagement is 19% higher on the weekend but only 17% of brands post on weekends (could have those numbers switched around) but lets take that further. Think about what you’re sharing on the weekend. With a B2B Fortune 50 brand, we saw significant drop in engagement on the weekends. Wait, our stat tells us this shouldn’t be. Think about not just messaging on the weekends but what you’re messaging. You may need to modify the type of content you share on the weekend. With B2B, what are the chances people want to spend their weekend off from work, reading about heavy work-related content? Consider lighter content that’s easier to engage with. Content that’s possibly more fun or less work related. This type of content may not drive people to your technical blog but it can still be great for driving interaction with your brand and building a relationship with your following.

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Hi there Ben! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here. :) That makes so much sense to consider a wider perspective with best practices like sharing times. Awesome stuff!

  • andsomepeople

    This has been updated since 3 years ago? Where’s anything about images? Videos? Vines? Gifs? Emojis? Line Breaking. Promoted Tweets. Twitter Cards. Which ‘way’ has been updated exactly? So much has changed. Not just the aforementioned additions but how Twitter is now used. And Lists such as this take no consideration of the audience an account may have. As such it is just generic advice that may/may not be suitable. Half these ‘ways’ we break every single day and yet engagement and followers increase constantly across all the accounts we manage. Perhaps there should be more emphasis and thought on what your audience wants – rather than what ‘experts’ think.

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Hi there! Thank you so much for the comment! These are all such great suggestions. Images and videos have been quite helpful for us, and I’ve even seen quite a bit of success with line breaking, too. So glad you mentioned that one!

      And I’m sorry we missed the mark here on getting this one updated fully. The aim was to make sure the information here was accurate and the screengrabs were current, and I could have definitely made more of an effort to overhaul the content in here as well. Thanks for the great nudge in this direction!

  • http://www.webmaisterpro.com/ Kaloyan Banev

    My Twitter strategy is very basic and I rarely spend a lot of time on Twitter. Though I have to say that I am driving quite a lot of sales through Twitter, probably even more compared to my newsletter.

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Hi Kaloyan! Thanks for the comment! Awesome to hear that Twitter has been such a great source of sales for you!

  • https://www.gdcinteriors.com/journal GDC interiors

    Hi @mittray:disqus Thank you for this post very informative. It is so true that good content is the key to success on Twitter.

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  • http://aspectsofstyle.com/ Anna

    I need to send this one to a lot of people I follow…but it would be rude, because it’s a way of blatantly telling them that their tweets aren’t good enough…which is actually true!! In the name of sharing other people’s content (because we’ve all read that that’s they way to gain exposure/craft relationships etc) they just RT or even worse just share a tweet which contains blog post title+authors twitter handle. This makes me want to unfollow many people, because I am as thoughtful when sharing curated content as I am when sharing mine…

  • http://www.SocialQuant.net SocialQuant

    Yes definitely have had higher success with the link earlier in the Tweet than later. Love that graph showing that data. I’ve also found Tweeting links around trending topics to have greater clicks. What do you feel is the average CTR on Twitter in general?

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