Emergency managers who use Twitter should take this story to heart: for the vast, vast majority (say, around, 99%), tweets may get read, but links on tweets don’t get clicked.
The story in the Atlantic is in a different context, of course. So maybe more than 1% of your Twitter readers will click through to your content. But in the absence of data to prove that, we think it’s smarter to assume that they won’t.
And we don’t think this advice is limited to tweets. Text messages with links may not get read, either. For example, yesterday, because of an impending winter storm in Charlotte, I got this from the county’s emergency messaging system:
Residents urged to prepare for hazardous weather conditions. Visit http://charmeck.org for the latest information.
Yes, I clicked on the link, but I’m in the business of emergency messaging, so that’s a poor sample. And I’ll bet that the vast majority of folks who got that text did not bother.
Whats the lesson here? Simple. Write your tweets so they have the information you want to convey. And if 140 characters aren’t enough, write another tweet. (We suggest the same thing for IPAWS WEA messages, BTW.) Don’t assume that people will click on the link, because the odds are not in your favor.