Link Bait! How to Stand Out on Twitter
A couple of days ago, Jed Hallam wrote a (very good) post on The Wall called Social media monitoring: absolutely pointless.
Now if you’d read my post How To Spot a Twitter Idiot a few weeks ago, you’d know how to work out how successful clicks-wise that post was on Twitter.
From Bit.ly stats alone as I write, it was retweeted 75 times and got 168 clicks. @Brandrepublic which gave it a lot of action, uses a different URL shortening tool so we can’t delve into those stats.
My post has received over 550 clicks, so let’s round both up to 1000 or so.
The reason both pieces of writing got some much attention was because we used attention grabbing language in the title, which is also what went out on Twitter.
Depending on the quality of those you follow, your stream could well be full of banal and insipid musings and links. What stands out are those Tweets that have a contentious or “lean forward” headline.
Think tabloid newspapers – “Freddie Star Ate My Hamster!”
This is commonly known as link bait. The tactic of using language that draws the reader in, enticing them to click through and discover.
Standing out is good. It separates good followees from the less attractive.
But beware of the misleading.
I’d venture Jed’s headline was marginal in this respect. In the post he wasn’t actually saying social media monitoring was pointless. He was explaining it was useless unless certain criteria are met.
Marginal is good.
I bet it raised a smile as, no doubt, the majority of readers read the whole thing, and judging by the comments it resonated well.
So when you’re blogging or tweeting links, it helps to try and light up your titles so your followers pay attention.
Personally, I think the word “interesting” should be banned from Twitter, in order to force us all to think of different adjectives to describe what we’re broadcasting.
Being creative is key to standing out, as is using the beauty of language. So think a bit before your press publish.
This is not to say that getting no clicks on a link means you’ve failed. As long as you’ve described what’s beyond in a compelling way your job is done well.
Twitter provides not only a mechanism to share content, but the messages in the Tweets still get through to our consciousness.
My stream is full of news and views. Even if I don’t click on a link, the likelihood is I’ve seen the message, assimilated it and it’s in my memory banks.
I can go a whole day without clicking, yet I still know what’s going on in the world I choose to follow.