Twitter recently rolled out a new feature that is resulting in more click-throughs to content posted on their platform. Learn about how the recent Twitter change is driving more traffic to websites and how you can take advantage of this for your own small business marketing.

Twitter update

updateIn June, Twitter began testing a feature that prompts users to reconsider retweeting links they haven’t clicked on. If someone happens upon a tweet and tries to retweet it without first clicking the link in the content, they get a message from Twitter. According to Search Engine Journal, Twitter says nudging users to read articles before retweeting them is working. Now, more users will be prompted to do so going forward. As part of the test, users who went to retweet a link before clicking on it were shown a popup encouraging people to read the full article before retweeting to their audience. Here’s the actual tweet from Twitter support regarding the change: “Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it. To help promote informed discussion, we’re testing a new prompt on Android –– when you Retweet an article that you haven’t opened on Twitter, we may ask if you’d like to open it first.”

Initial results from the Twitter change

As a result of being shown a popup before retweeting content, users opened articles 40% more than they did without it. There was a 33% increase in users clicking on an article before retweeting it. “It’s easy for links/articles to go viral on Twitter,” tweeted Twitter product lead Kayvon Beykpour. “This can be powerful but sometimes dangerous, especially if people haven’t read the content they’re spreading.”

Why the change to Twitter?

TwitterAs Twitter and other social platforms continue to come under fire for spreading misinformation on their platforms, this appears to be an attempt to get users to really look at the information they share before retweeting it to their followers. Twitter has recently taken steps to limit coronavirus-related misinformation and other hoaxes. Most recently, Twitter received both praise and criticism for fact-checking misleading tweets from President Donald Trump. It should be noted that users can still retweet without reading the article and can simply dismiss the prompt when and if they get it. Right now, the feature is still limited, but Twitter plans to expand it more in the coming months.

How does this change help businesses?

If you’re a small business that tweets, sharing information with a link back to your site, you stand a fair chance of seeing more clicks through to your site with this change. The only potential downside is that people may click briefly, not read the article, and leave the site, which may result in a higher bounce rate. This potential shouldn’t discourage marketers from including links in their Twitter content. Overall, the increase in web traffic is promising, and if the content they land on is engaging, they’ll likely stay and engage with the website.

Should small business marketers change the way they use Twitter?

headlineNot necessarily. Just be sure that if you’re tweeting and including a link to your website that you provide an intro, so users will know what kind of content they’ll be landing on. If you have an engaging headline and a link, that should be enough for users to accurately expect what they’ll be seeing when they go to your site. It’s yet another reason to really think through your headlines and your social messaging. While more traffic to your site is good, qualified traffic is better. This change won’t stop people from retweeting content they didn’t read (including your content!), so as a small business marketer managing social media, do your part by creating engaging, illustrative headlines so your site visitors won’t be caught by surprise with this most recent Twitter change.

Patty Hughes
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