Twitter strategies to make people click your links

Photography by Michael Verhoef

Let’s say you want more followers on Twitter. Let’s say you want more people to click your links. The best way to achieve both is to get a buzz around what you say by getting your Tweets to be ReTweeted by others and getting people to talk about what you tweet.

Be relevant
People search for smart stuff. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t share jokes or weird news — a balanced mix of relevant and fun stuff is healthy if you don’t want to be perceived as boring. But you have to ask yourself what kind of image you want people to keep of you based on your Tweets. We all judge others on what they tweet about and how they tweet it so you have to ask yourself how you would perceive your own tweets if someone else was sending them.

Be cool
People stick to cool people. People ReTweet and refer cool people to others. You have to find a cool factor that will tickle other people’s curiosity and fit your own style. How to do it? Well, both by observing how people you find cool tweet and by experimenting a bit. There is no perfect recipe, only practice.

Track
How do you know if you’ve been successful if you don’t track your clicking rate? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a big fan of metrics and measurements. I’m more about content and relationships but there are tools out there that can help you to figure out how well you’re doing. And the only way to see it is to compare the number of clicks depending on what you shared, what you wrote and the way you wrote it. There are many services that can shorten and track your stuff such as bit.ly, tweetburner, cli.gs and others.

Choose the right time
There are peaks during the day in the usage of Twitter and you should try to get the most out of it. And it depends on where you live and where your crowd is. You can live in the United States and have most of your followers in Asia. Work hours are the most effective and you should try to do it at different times just to see what works best for you.

Strategies
Twittering is all about communication. No matter how big the news you share and how relevant the information you communicate, you can do better or worse at making people want to know more. The most boring picture can have a good impact if you choose the right words to go with it. Here are a few strategies that have worked well for me and that are worth giving a try:

  1. Give partial information
    Even if you can make a complete statement in 140 characters, don’t. What makes people want to know more is if they don’t have the complete info. By giving partial information, their brain is trying to figure out what is that you’re talking about and you provoke a quest to know more.
  2. Give a comment with no clue
    A formula like: “That is serious shit: [link]” works but don’t over-use it. As much as you make people want to know what you’re talking about, if you do it all the time your followers will get used to it and just stop clicking after a while.
  3. Act as if you don’t care
    Or act as if the information you share isn’t that relevant. That technique contributes to your cool factor. And use this strategy to share one of the best links you have. Your followers will get used to it and perceive those detached tweets as a must-click.
  4. Use overstatements
    Use this technique for the most spectacular things you share, and make them appear even bigger. If it’s spectacular, people won’t think they’ve been misled. You can also use it for comic effect: make an overstatement for the most boring stuff. It will make people smile and react.
  5. Use reverse psychology
    We all know that if you tell someone not to do a particular thing, they will run to give it a try. Kids do it all the time. It’s the same thing with tweets. Like for those Powerpoint files of horrible accidents we used to receive by email with a warning. We knew we shouldn’t open them but we did it anyway. If you say: “I’m not sure I should show you this: [link]” everybody will crave for it.

What more?
You have to be spectacular, you have to tease, you have to be differentiated from others, you have to be good! But more important, you have to be diversified both on the subjects of your tweet and the strategies you will use to get clicks from your followers. That is just a starting point. As I said earlier, make your own experiments and try to find your own style. I could have given you many more strategies, some derived from the ones above. But it won’t help you unless you try it for yourself.

What are your strategies to make people click?


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