10 Words That Will Increase (or Decrease) Your Twitter CTR

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After compiling a dataset of more than 200,000 link-containing Tweets to generate the CTR heatmap, I decided to dig into what words, phrases and characters correlate with higher (or lower CTR). Below are my findings. And yes, I know correlation isn’t causation, but to quote Edward Tufte: “it sure is a hint.”

The first “word” I analyzed was the hashtag. I found that there is very little difference in the CTR of a link whether or not it is accompanied by a hashtag. They don’t hurt or help.

Perhaps the most surprising thing I found is that Tweets that contained the words “daily is out” (which is the signature of the paper.li automated Tweets) had much higher CTRs than Tweets that did not. It turns out, paper.li works, at least for driving clicks.

I also found that Tweets using the word “via” as a method of ReTweeting had a higher CTR.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, Tweets specifically directed at a person tend to have a higher CTR since I’m much more likely to pay attention to a Tweet if it’s sent to me. This is probably the reason the paper.li Tweets do so well, they tend to contain 3 @-mentions.

Like the “via” ReTweeting syntax, Tweets with “RT” in them had a higher CTR than those that did not.

My data seems to indicate that when you politely ask people to do something, like a nice social call-to-action, they’re likely to do it.

Again, specifically asking readers to check out a link seems to result in a higher CTR than not doing that.

Now we get to the words that correlated with lowered CTRs. The first one I found was “@addthis” which is a signature for the Tweets that come from the automated AddThis sharing functionality.

Tweets that mention the word marketing have a lower CTR than Tweets that don’t mention it. Most marketers won’t be surprised by this.

The automated Tweets that come from the GetGlue system have a lower CTR than Tweets that don’t come from that system.