You’re spending time and effort – maybe even money – marketing your business on Twitter, but you’re struggling to find value in the platform. Nodding your head?
I feel your pain.
Once upon a time, I was right there with you. I didn’t really “get” Twitter. And even once I got going, I struggled to get people to engage with my Tweets.
10K+ Tweets have taught me some tried and true tactics to entice people into action.
Today I’m going to share with you the exact methods I use to get to craft Tweets that get significant results.
We’ll talk about how to get more engagement, but also what the right engagement is and how to get it.
The Right Kind of Engagement
Unless you’re a big brand that can afford to spend time and resources just for brand awareness on Twitter, the most important engagement metric is link clicks. This is going to be true for almost every small-medium business (SMB) on Twitter.
Likes are warm-fuzzies. Retweets are great to help spread the word. But link clicks are the undisputed champ of Twitter engagement.
After all, a primary goal for SMBs on Twitter is to drive traffic back to your website.
Your site is where the magic happens. This is where you get to tell people more about your business, collect email addresses to market to, showcase your expertise with blog posts, etc.
What you do when you get people there is a subject for another post – or book – but today we’re going to focus on how to consistently get people to your website with Twitter.
The Three Elements of a Traffic-Driving Tweet
I’ve ordered these elements in the fashion most people are going to see them as they scroll through Twitter.
The image catches the eye and (hopefully) leads them to move on to the copy.
The copy is the sizzle. Great Twitter copy sparks curiosity and/or desire and leads to link clicks.
Hashtags come last. I imagine most people barely even notice them anymore, but they’re still a necessity to maximize your reach. After all, the more people that see your Tweets, the more chances you have for them to click the link.
1) The Image
You need to have a strong visual to compliment your Tweets for more engagement.
Bold images that catch the eye work best. They’re what one of my former mentors from agency life called “thumb stoppers.”
A great image will make someone who is cruising through their feed pause and take a second look.
Let’s take a look at a Tweet that consistently does well for me.
The engagement you can see is pretty low on this one. Only one retweet and three likes.
But if we look under the hood at the analytics, this Tweet actually did quite well where it matters most.
Eight link clicks from a single Tweet. I’ll take it that any day.
Also, get experimental with images. You don’t always have to Tweet with your thumb stopper image.
Mix it up and test what resonates. I find images from the body of the posts often out-perform the “fancy” featured image of a blog post.
For instance, this is a Tweet with a link to the same blog post as the example above:
The engagement you can see on this Tweet is even worse. But pop the hood on this Tweet and look at those link clicks.
In this case, I believe it was the image, not the copy, driving these link clicks. People see Gary Vee is one of the suggested accounts and want more accounts like his to follow.
2) The Copy
Great copy is essential to getting link clicks on Twitter.
Just because Tweets are short doesn’t mean writing the copy is quick and easy. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Because you have a limited amount of text, it all has to count. You need to be calculated, concise, and compelling in 140 characters.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of Tweets that did well for me and dissect the most likely reason(s).
We’ll start with the example from the Images section.
This Tweet’s copy has a message intended to elicit FOMO (fear of missing out). FOMO is a powerful way to entice clicks to your content.
After all, nobody wants to be “missing awesome content,” right?!
Next up is a Tweet linking to a post about Twitter Advanced Search:
The question in the copy speaks to a very common pain point for bloggers – what the heck to blog about. Then it offers a solution to that pain point.
Expanding the copy onto the image, not only does it offer a solution, but a quick and easy one – the best kind!
Tangent Tip: One sec while I climb up on a soapbox because this irks me.
If you have a text overlay on your image, for Buddha’s sake, don’t make that the copy of your Tweet. It’s lazy and you’re wasting such a huge opportunity to tell people more.
If you’re doing it now, don’t feel too bad. I still see tons of Twitter experts I respect habitually guilty of this. But, seriously, don’t do it. Write some original copy for every Tweet.
3) The Hashtag(s)
I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this section because, frankly, it really doesn’t merit it.
Match your hashtags to the audience the content most appeals to. It’s not rocket science.
But I think people do tend to get lazy with hashtags. All it takes is a moment’s thought before you slap a hashtag or two onto the end of a Tweet.
One of the reasons I think the Tweet with Gary Vee’s profile as the image did so well is because of the hashtags.
Entrepreneurs and people who have created startups most likely love Gary Vee and so this resonated with them. They wanted to find more awesome accounts like his to follow.
When it All Comes Together
This is one of my most effective Tweets lately – one where it all came together.
Let’s dissect it, shall we?
Here’s the tweet:
And here’s how it did:
The copy poses a non-threatening question, “Are you using Twitter Advanced Search in your social media marketing?” which implies in a subtle way that you should be.
Then it offers you the solution if you’re not. Aaron Lee is going to show you how.
The image is what I think really sets this Tweet apart. I’ve found that images that have red boxes and arrows pointing to stuff tend to get a lot of clicks.
I was just playing around one day on Buffer with using images from the body of posts. Almost immediately, I noticed a pattern of lots of clicks on Tweets with images including those arrows and boxes.
Thinking about it after the fact, I believe these images draw people into how-to type pieces of content. They speak to people in a way that says, “This is going to be easy. I’m going to hold your hand and walk you through every step of the way. You know you want to click on me.”
Finally, the hashtags are focused at the right audience. Social media marketers are most the likely candidates to dive into a feature like Advanced Search.
So there you have it – the anatomy of an effective Tweet that will get link clicks and drive that traffic.
Use these simple guidelines, pay attention to the results, and you’ll soon be a Tweet master crafter.
[Admin Note: Make sure you also check out David’s epic blog post on how to tweet out an image with a clickable link!]
So what do you think? Is there anything I missed that works well for you? I’d love to hear about your ideas in the comments section below!