How to do Twitter right - Beat the algorithm!

I am passionate about bringing people to Hive, especially through building my own audience which is both on and off Hive, and helping them connect with each other. As you may have read me state before, I find Twitter to be the best mainstream social media platform for achieving this.

If you have learned anything about the Twitter algorithm or social media algorithms in general though, this shall come as no surprise to you… Twitter does not like you taking people off the platform. That is why tweets with links are punished. They are shown to far fewer people.

Add this to the fact that clicking links is a call to action and requires more of a commitment and takes people out of their scrolling rhythm. This leads to less likes which leads to even less views that you get after being punished by the algorithm for posting a link.

In general the algorithm rewards you for getting a high percentage of likes to views in the first few views. If 5 of the first 10 people who see your tweet like it, the tweet is going to be shown to anyone who has ever liked your tweets and even some people who don’t even follow you. If it received 0 likes among the first 10 views, no one else will ever see it.

So you HAVE to get a few of the first people to like your tweet, otherwise it's not even worth sharing.

Even before being punished by the algorithms, your Hive link is kind of screwed unless you are followed by a ton of Hivesters who like all your posts. But even then, Twitter knows that only certain people (who are all connected) are always liking your tweets with links and so it probably won’t show the post to anyone who hasn’t liked your links before.

Does that mean an initiative like POSH is totally useless? No, it can be incredibly useful in bringing eyes to Hive, but you need to use a trick for it to really be effective.

Leave an interesting an engaging tweet with no link and leave the link in the comments.

That's it.

This gets around the algorithm because when people like the initial post. They are likely to see the link in the comments too, and they are much more likely to LIKE the tweet if it’s an interesting bit than if it’s just a link. So you are not only getting the algorithms on your side, your also getting human psychology on your side. Once people are engaged with something more interesting than a link, they are already in your world and much more likely to click on a link.

At the end of my original tweet I say something like “keep reading 👇👇👇” or “check it👇👇👇”. This works just fine.

This method is good for you and it’s good for Hive.


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Case study

I am quite engaged on Twitter and get an average of 20 likes per tweet, usually 1-2 likes coming from Hivesters.

Tweet A

When posting only a link to My hive/peakd blog post, I usually get 1-5 likes, 0 comments, . And no clicks. Most of these likes are from Hivesters with one or two strays who don't click.

I usually get 10+ views on peakd but that usually correlates with how many comments/retweets I get from Hive users.

Tweet B

When using the method I stated above, I get between 20-30 likes and 3 comments on the initial tweet, and around 10 likes on the link tweet, with 8 link clicks. 8 doesn’t seem like a lot, but out of 30 who likes the initial tweet, that’s actually extremely good. An advertisement with almost a 30% click rate is like a holy grail.

I’ll get 20+ views on peakd, which is about twice the amount of comments/retweets I get from Hivesters.

This is all in the first 24 hours, I got another like and click while I was writing this.

You can track how many people click your link at Twitter analytics.

It’s important to note that there are many factors I haven't measured here. How good was the tweet? Was it relevant to my Twitter following? How often do I leave tweets with links?

I suspect that even if you leave links in the comments, the effectiveness will go down if all your tweets have a call to action in the comments. I imagine it’s probably best to leave links in the comments of 10-25% of your tweets. Anything more than that will likely turn people off.

I personally leave links to blogs that I’m particularly proud of especially blogs that address the kind of people that I’ve connected to on Twitter. In my case that would be language learners and Japanese speakers (although my following is evolving).

So I tweet about once a day and link to Hive about once a week. Combined with a habit of following interesting people and interacting for about 10 minutes a day, I think this is the best way to spread your Hive blog through Twitter for your sake and for the ecosystems sake.

I hope this was helpful and I hope it helps spread Hives overall reach on Twitter.

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