Why aren’t you getting more traffic from Twitter?
It feels like no matter how many followers you get on there, it doesn’t translate to nearly as many clicks as it should, right?
Why can it feel like you’re just kind of talking to yourself?
It’s not your fault – but you can still do something about it.
There have been some serious studies into how people use Twitter, and they explain a lot about how and why it works – including what percentage of links never get clicked on at all! (We’ll share that number in a second.)
So, what’s the math say? What makes Twitter such a numbers game – and how do you make it easier to win?
Twitter has about 310 million monthly active users.
How many of those users check their timeline even once per day?
Actually, fewer than half – only about 44% of Twitter users check the site on a daily basis.
So, say you have 1000 followers on Twitter. When you share something, your audience for that tweet on that day is more like 440 people – which is kind of a lot smaller!
And you have no idea when that one time per day is going to be.
When you tweet something, it gets pushed down the timeline pretty fast! (After all, about 6000 tweets are posted every second of the day.) The odds that someone is going to log on at just the right moment to see your tweet aren’t amazing.
So what about the people who check more than once per day? It makes your odds a little better if someone checks Twitter more than once, right?
Only about 27% of Twitter users check the site more than once per day.
(Again, not a particularly inspiring number.)
And while Twitter has started experimenting with algorithms that influence what users see in their timelines, it’s still predominantly a live feed that shows you things in the order in which they were shared. (Unlike Facebook, which has a more complicated method.)
Don’t believe it? Here’s how to see for yourself inside your own Twitter account.
Head over to your Twitter analytics dashboard and click “Tweets” in the top menu. It’ll show you your most recent updates – along with how many people saw them.
Here’s one of ours:
On the day we posted that, we had 5,110 Twitter followers – so this update was seen by about 5.4% of them.
(Note: Twitter counts impressions by non-followers, as well – if a tweet is retweeted and seen by people who don’t follow you, they still count. This example tweet was never retweeted, but it’s possible that a few non-followers wandered into the MeetEdgar Twitter profile while looking for the profile for American rock legend Meat Loaf. Probably.)
Point is, most of your followers just don’t see any given tweet.
And what about the ones that do – why aren’t they clicking?
The link in that tweet above was only clicked by five out of 277 people. What gives?
Well, here’s the thing about that…
Not as much as you’d hope, anyway.
According to a 2016 study, the majority of links that get posted on Twitter – about 59% of them – never get clicked on at all.
That’s a lot of lonely links out there!
Does it mean that sharing links is a big ol’ waste of time, though?
Absolutely not – you just have to keep the numbers in mind when you do it!
Between how hard it is to get your tweets seen and how reluctant Twitter users are to click on the links they actually see, driving blog traffic from Twitter is tricky business.
What do these numbers mean for the way you write tweets? What do they mean for how you share tweets?
According to the math, there are two big problems with sharing links on Twitter: not enough people see them, and the people who do see them don’t want to click on them.
What do you do about that?
First, make people curious.
A little curiosity gap goes a long way when you’re trying to get clicks! (Emphasis on a little. Click-bait isn’t the answer.)
Make sure that your tweets are piquing interesting – not telling the whole story. Here’s an example of how Career Contessa has mastered the art of the curiosity gap:
— Career Contessa (@CareerContessa) July 11, 2016
Makes you want to learn more, right?
When you write a promotional tweet, give people a clear idea of what to expect – but leave ‘em wanting a little more, too.
Second, don’t be afraid to share something more than once.
The likely audience for any given tweet on any given day is teeny-tiny. You share something, and fewer than half your followers are even going to log on to Twitter that day – and who knows if it’ll be at the exact moment you tweet.
On the one hand, that’s a little frustrating – but on the other hand, it means you have the freedom to share something more than once, so more people can see it!
Everyone does this – even big businesses with professional social media teams.
Here’s an example from the MTV News Twitter account, which shared the same tweet three times in one day:
See what happened? People kept on liking and retweeting this story every time it was shared – because every time it was shared, different people were seeing it.
If you want to improve a tweet’s odds of being seen, don’t settle for sharing it once. If you do, you’re limiting yourself to a tiny slice of your audience!
Strategy makes a big difference on Twitter – but no matter how good you are at promoting yourself in 140 characters, you should never rely solely on one channel for driving traffic!
Want to learn more about how Facebook algorithms work, so you can get your posts seen more over there? Check out this behind-the-scenes breakdown. Want to see all the ingredients of an effective newsletter, which you can use to drive huge traffic numbers? Boom – here’s a guide. Every aspect of your content strategy deserves equal attention!
In the meantime, what’s your experience with Twitter traffic been like? Hard to get people from the timeline to your website? Think you’ve got a good handle on this whole thing? Share your take in the comments below!