Saturday, January 23, 2016

How to link to things on Twitter

Twitter is fun. One of the fun things you can do on it is link to things you think people will like. Another is you can retweet things other people have tweeted. And nowadays when you retweet something you can add a little comment of your own. Without a comment it comes up on people’s feeds like this:


And with a comment, your followers see something like this:

Quoted tweet.png

Now, you may have noticed that what Janine and Carl have done is to combine the two fun things about Twitter that I mentioned earlier: they have retweeted things with links in them. But while Janine’s followers can click on the link to open it, Carl’s followers can’t. At least, not if they’re using Twitter on any of the devices I’ve ever used. You can’t click on a link in a quoted tweet! What you have to do, as far as I can tell, is click on the quoted tweet to open it up, either in a new tab or by leaving the main twitter feed page, and then click on the link. This involves a lot more clicking and mouse-moving, and if Richard Thaler and co have taught us anything it’s that making people do things like open new tabs will make them less likely to open a link. You want people to open the link, don’t you? Well, maybe sometimes you don’t. You might be quoting the tweet for some other reason. But if you do want people to open your link, you should repeat it in your comment, like this:

Quoted tweet - good.png

Got that? See the difference? When you quote a tweet with a link in it, repeat the link in your comment. Unless you don’t want people to click on the link. And it’s not just Carl I’m talking to; he was just the first example in my Twitter feed. I hardly ever see anyone else doing it right. Do it right! You’ll save your followers time, and the things you’re trying to make viral will be more likely to go viral.

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