A major goal for the marketers using Twitter is driving as much traffic as possible to their websites.
An elementary pre-condition for getting clicks on your links is having your tweets seen by other people. The more people see your tweets, the more potential clicks.
Today’s case study shows you how to increase the reach of a tweet
– without increasing your number of followers,
– without paying for Twitter ads,
– and even without the help (retweets) of your friends or fans.
1. My Twitter Test Conditions
– in order not to get results influenced by retweets, I repeated the test for different tweet pairs (basic tweet / improved tweet) until one pair got no retweets.
– the two tweets were sent one time each, on the same day of the week (Wednesday, October 1 and respectively October 8), at the same time, from the same account.
– the results were measured after a period of one week for each tweet: from October 1 till October 8 for the first tweet, and respectively from October 8 till October 15 for the second tweet.
– the measurements are provided by the same third-party reliable source: Twitter itself (Twitter Analytics)
2. The Minor Improvement Many Tweeps Don’t Bother With
The basic tweet (no improvement):
Hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but improves its chances. – B. J. Gupta via @tquoteseday
The improved tweet:
— Adrian Jock (@IMTipsNews) October 1, 2014
As you can see there was a simple improvement: I’ve added a hashtag that shows the topic of the tweet. Now let’s see the results…
3. The Hashtag Increased the Reach of the Tweet by 23,810%
While the basic tweet got 127 impressions, the improved tweet got 30,366. (Impressions: number of times users saw the tweet on Twitter)
Two legit questions could be asked now:
– why did such a minor change produce such a difference?
– how come a tweet sent to around 2,800 followers was seen by over 30,000 persons without being retweeted or promoted?
There’s a simple explanation:
For various reasons, many Twitter users searched for success quotes. Twitter’s search algorithm didn’t detect the fact that the basic tweet included a success quote. Why is that? Because the word quote wasn’t included in the tweet. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
4. What You Should Learn From This Small Twitter Test?
Your tweets are seen by a small fraction of your followers. That’s why resharing the same tweet multiple times isn’t a mistake, but a must.
[A word of caution: Sharing the same tweet multiple times doesn’t have to be understood as sharing the same thing, again and again, every half an hour or so. THAT is a mistake.]
The Potential Reach metric shown by some social media tools isn’t real. It actually shows your number of followers. The real Potential Reach is way much bigger due to retweets and Twitter’s search feature, and it cannot be predicted by these tools.
If you use the hashtags wisely, the reach of your tweets can be dramatically improved.
5. What You Should NOT Learn From This Twitter Test?
Hijacking hashtags, i.e. adding trending hashtags not related to your tweet.
This practice will increase your reach, but the potential traffic – if any – will most probably bounce. So it’s useless. On the other hand, you could annoy your followers and also the people who searched on Twitter for the hashtag that you misused. You could even be reported for spam.
Adding the hashtag sign in front of random words from your tweet.
Don’t do it! A common mistake made by many tweeps is adding the hashtag sign in front of adjectives (example: #free), verbs or very generic words not related to a specific topic (example: #IDidIt).
Figure what your tweet is about and what related keywords are missing from the headline but could be added as hashtags. THIS could get you a healthy improved reach.
Using a hashtag that no one else uses.
This practice is unlikely to improve your reach. Be sure that the hashtag you plan to use for improving the reach is actually used by other people.
(Note: Using for branding purposes a hashtag no one else uses is OK. But that’s another story, different from the topic of this article.)
If hashtags improve the reach, then… the more hashtags the better?
Many people, including me, consider that hashtag abuse is annoying and it’s a noob mistake. However, how many hashtags are too many?
Some social media power influencers (according to Forbes, not according to me!) don’t seem to care about this topic…
According to Buddy Media’s study quoted by Buffer, “When you use more than two hashtags, your engagement actually drops by an average of 17 percent.”
So… how many hashtags are too many? You decide for yourself!
To Your Twitter Marketing Success!
P.S. Your turn. Do you use hashtags on Twitter? Do you monitorize your metrics? Did you notice an increase of the reach for the tweets that included hashtags?
P.P.S. Follow me on Twitter for more interesting internet marketing tips & news.