Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The power of How

Here’s a demonstration of the power of how.
I use Timely to publish some of my tweets, and the performance data Timely gives you is a useful insight into which tweets have worked – in terms of getting clicks and retweets – and which have not.
Looking through that data I discovered a theme – that tweets with a How in them tended to do better than those without.For example, a plain-statement tweet got no clicks, but "How to work for Empire Magazine" got 19:
Of the following three tweets, "Secrets of the journalist-entrepreneurs: How they built their own jobs" got 18 clicks and three retweets that took my reach from 676 up to 3,349; "Adam Westbrook on how to build your own job in journalism" (from an interview with Adam, who is always a popular name to put in a tweet) got 27 clicks, three retweets and a reach of 3,349.
The dud was: "Journo or jobsworth? Why not build your own job in journalism?" With no clicks:
By contrast, "How to thrive as a freelance" got 28 clicks and I retweet. But “Your first job in broadcasting – advice from industry experts" got zilch:
The free version of Timely I’m using doesn’t give me the location of those who click on and retweet my posts, but I’m guessing the 64 who clicked, nine of those who retweeted “How group curation works on Wikipedia” at 5.46am UK time were actually overseas:
The other thing the successful tweets have in common is, I guess, a promise of value. I think the anomaly of my most successful tweet that doesn’t have a How in it – “ – a great tool for journalists who want to curate a topic long-term” - with 79 clicks, six retweets and a reach of 3,927 -  is down to that:
So now I’ll promote this blog post with a series of tweets via Timely, using How in some but not others, and if the results are illuminating I’ll update this post accordingly.

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