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Rethinking the way you tweet: how to get more clicks

Rethinking the way you tweet: how to get more clicks

November 02, 2011 by Frances Johnson

Birds on a wireThe succinct nature of tweeting has enabled Twitter to become the key social media tool for many businesses worldwide, allowing them to easily share content and links with their followers. However, interesting new research has shown that businesses could further capitalise upon their use of the social networking site, simply by giving greater consideration to the point at which links are embedded within the 140-character limit of a tweet.

Social media scientist, Dan Zarrella, conducted a study of 200,000 random tweets containing links, and analysed the relationship between the position of a link in a tweet and the number of people who click on it, otherwise known as click through rate (CTR). His findings, which are effectively illustrated using a heat graphic, show that the optimal point to place a link is roughly 25 per cent of the way into a tweet. This is represented through the deep red bars in the heat graphic, which signify high CTR.

Surprisingly, Zarrella's findings show that links placed at the end of tweets produce a comparatively lower CTR, contradicting his earlier assumption that, “the end [of a tweet] was best”.

Twitter heatmap

What do you make of these findings? We'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this research on the forum.

You can read Dan's article in full here.

Could you improve the way you use Twitter in your business? Are you worried that you are failing to make the most of social media? Read our popular blog posts, Twenty top Twitter tips and Top Twitter mistakes for helpful advice on how to optimise your use of the social networking site.

Comments's picture


Has this study taken Retweeting into consideration?If I write a Tweet where I add my URL at the end of the 140 character limit, any retreating of the tweet will most likely cut off the end of my original tweet (eg by placing " RT @iCounsellor " at the beginning of the tweet). Anyone reading the retweet won't be able to click on the url due to it being removed or mangled.however, a retweet that had the url at the beginning of my original tweet will preserve the url for clicking upon.Thus - URL at end gets clicked on less than URL at the beginning.

frances_johnson's picture

Dan Zarrella selected the 200,000 tweets at random. This selection did include manual retweets (as opposed to simply clicking the retweet button), so yes; they were taken into consideration. Your theory certainly helps to suggest one reason why the end of a tweet does not produce the CTR that people might expect.

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