1% Clickthrough Means this: Focus On the Headline

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 https://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.


To Tweet Emergency Alerts, Think Headline, Not Links

This article in the Atlantic makes a point that every emergency manager using Twitter needs to have burned in their brain: most people don’t click on links in Tweets to read content.

The article is long and the context is different, but the analysis shows only about 1% clicking a link in a tweet.

Now maybe your stats are better. But unless you’ve got proof, assuming that people will click on your links is just blind speculation.

Images are something else altogether. We’d guess that images get much higher click-through rates, which is useful if you’re using tweets to spread an Amber Alert.

And we think this lesson goes beyond Twitter. Monday, we got this from our county’s emergency alert system:

Residents urges to prepare for hazardous weather conditions. Visit https://charmeck.org for the latest information.

So get your point across in the tweet or text itself. And if you need more room than 140 characters, send two messages – or more. That’s our advice for IPAWS WEA messages as well.

After all, if it’s worth sending, it’s worth getting through.