11 Tactics to Get More Click-Throughs from Social Media

social media

If you want to get traffic from the social web, all you have to do is publish updates with your links in them, right?

I wish that were the case. If it were this simple, my follower and fan count would guarantee me hundreds of thousands of visitors each month from social media sites.

So, how do you get the most out of your social media following? All you have to do is follow the 11 tactics below.

Tactic #1: Twitter users love pictures

For almost all of 2014, each time I tweeted a new Quick Sprout blog post, I included the post headline and a link back to my site.

On average, I was getting around 6,000 visitors a month from Twitter. For example, I received 5,992 visitors during the month of December simply by tweeting my blog posts.

twitter traffic

As you can see from this graph, I’ve since been able to increase my Twitter traffic to 12,470 visitors a month. How was I able to increase it?

I started to include pictures within my tweets.

twitter picture

When I tweet a link to a Quick Sprout blog post, I try to include a picture from the post within the tweet. This alone has helped generate an increase of 108% in my Twitter traffic.

Tactic #2: Space out your updates

The more you post, the more traffic you’ll receive, right? That’s what I thought, but I quickly realized that fans and followers get overwhelmed if you post too often.

I’ve tried everything from posting multiple times each hour to posting hourly on the dot, and I’ve even tried posting once a day.

The optimal frequency of posts depends on which social network you’re using.

I found that posting once every other day on Facebook helps increase your click-throughs.

On Twitter, you don’t want to post more than once per hour.

And on LinkedIn, you don’t want to post more than once per day.

If you want to post more or less often than I’ve suggested, go ahead. However, if you do follow my advice, you should see an increase in your click-through rates.

Tactic #3: Only share the best content

No matter what network you are trying to leverage, sharing mediocre information will only hurt you. I’ve learned this the hard way because when I get lazy and share mediocre information, I see that my social traffic drops.

Why? People assume that all of the content you are sharing is mediocre even if it isn’t. But if the content you are sharing is always great, people will look forward to your updates and actually click through.

facebook traffic

If you look at the image above, you’ll notice that my Facebook traffic has dropped by 74%. Sure, some of my content during December performed better on Facebook, but I also wrote fewer posts during that month.

One of the main reasons for the drop was that the updates that I left on Facebook were mediocre. Instead of spending 4 hours a month thinking of good updates, I spent 30 minutes. This also caused me to get fewer likes per post.

Tactic #4: Follow the 80/20 rule

You can come up with your own ideal ratio, but I’ve found that sharing content from your own site 20% of the time is ideal. If you only promote content from your own site, people will find you to be too self-promotional.

When starting out, generally you’ll want to tweet four times about things that aren’t related to your business before you share your own content.

Make sure the updates you post that aren’t about your business are high in quality. Releasing mediocre updates, as mentioned above, will only decrease your overall click-through rates.

Tactic #5: Place your links near the beginning of your social posts

Whenever you release a tweet or a Facebook post, you can control where you place your link. I always place my links towards the end of my updates as it is more convenient, but that doesn’t always cause the most click-throughs.

link traffic

As you can see from the heat map above, links that are roughly a quarter into your status updates, especially on Twitter, tend to receive the most clicks.

So, the next time you write a Twitter update, don’t add a link at the end of your tweet — add it at the quarter mark.

Tactic #6: Don’t post on Facebook unless you include a photo

Just like on Twitter, Facebook users love images. In fact, they love images so much that Facebook status updates that contain images generate 104% more comments, 54% more likes, and 84% more click-throughs.

Even more interesting is that if you include a call to action within your image, on average you should see an additional increase of 14% in your click-through rate.

call to action

Also, using the hexadecimal color #4c66a4 within your photos, or colors such as grey and white which Facebook uses, you should see your click-through rates jump another 16% to 28%.

Tactic #7: Don’t forget to use hashtags

If you haven’t had a chance to read this infographic, you should do so now. It breaks down how using hashtags across all social networks can get you more traffic – in many cases twice the amount of traffic — compared to not using any hashtags.

For each social network, your approach will need to be slightly different; the infographic breaks this down for you. Just make sure the hashtags you are using are relevant.

Years ago, once I realized the value of hashtags, I started using them in all of my updates. It didn’t help much initially because I was just spamming, but once I realized the value of relevant hashtags, I saw an increase in click-throughs.

Tactic #8: Post when your fans and followers are online

Why would you post when your fans and followers aren’t online? I know I wouldn’t. So how do you figure out when your social media followers are online?

Simply Measured has created a few tools to help determine best posting times for your posts. All you have to do is connect your Twitter or Facebook account with its free tools, and it will show you when all of your followers are online.

social followers online

Once you run a report using these tools, look for an image like the graph above. It will help you understand when to post.

Tactic #9: Be short and to the point

I’ve tried to find the ideal length for social media status updates, but it varies depending on the network. With Twitter, you don’t have much room anyway since the platform limits the number of characters you can use.

With other platforms, like Facebook, however, you can write paragraphs.

Nonetheless, I’ve found that shorter updates tend to get the most clicks. For example, I’ve tested updates on Facebook that are paragraph-long and found that the click-through rates on these updates are two to six times less frequent than updates that are one-sentence long and around 40 characters in length.

If you want to get the most clicks, follow the character counts below:

character counts

Tactic #10: Be careful which words you use

Have you ever wondered if the words you use in your updates generate more shares, comments, and clicks? For each social network it’s different.

Here are 20 words that you should consider using on Twitter:

twitter words

Here are the most shareable words that you should use on Facebook:

facebook words

Tactic #11: Test, test, and test some more

Even though I broke down 10 tactics to help you increase your click-through rates, don’t take my word for it. What works for me may not work for you. And vice versa.

So, what should you do? You should test all of the tactics and come up with your own. This will help you maximize your click-through rate over time.

You should also keep in mind that social networks change over time. For that reason, you have to continually adapt and test your strategies. Failing to do so will cause your click-through rates to drop.


Growing your fan base is one way to get more social media traffic, but it will take months before you see results from that.

What should you do in the meantime? You should focus on increasing your click-through rates. Just follow the 11 tactics above, and you should see more social media traffic to your site within the next 24 hours.

How else can you increase your social media click-throughs?

P.S. If are still struggling to get the most out of your social media channels, you should run your URL through my analyzer.


  1. Peter Kanayo :

    Neil thanks for the awesome post backed with stats. For me have seen great traffic from Facebook by tagging people who i feel will find my post interesting. This works best if you intend to reach out to friends who share similar interest with you. So what I do is share the post to my personal Facebook profile and then tag relevant friends this way my post get to reach a greater number of people without the needed boost of paying Facebook to boost the post. But this strategy should only be used if you know a person shares similar interest with you.

    • Peter, glad I could help. I think your strategies are very sound and I have used a couple in the past. Let me know if you have any other insights.

  2. Tyler, Easy Agent Pro :

    Great ideas. I’m going to implement #10 this week. Thanks, -Tyler

  3. Laura ~ Raise Your Garden :

    Smashing post Neil! Totally agree about spacing out the updates. I feel like I’ve just been “spammed” when I get hit with two many tweets or whatever. I need some space. It’s like everybody is shouting but nobody is talking. And agree ~ only share excellent content. Hey, I’m busy, and I just learned I can’t do a fantabulous cowagbunga post more than just a week…..just can’t. But as long as it’s quality people come back. Waaaaaaaaaay back when I first started, I did a few crappy posts and learned quickly. No No!!

    • Laura, I completely agree. When people post too many sequential posts I get a little overwhelmed as well. Spacing is vital.

  4. Every other day doesn’t seem like a very frequent posting schedule for Facebook. Do you think that Facebook’s algorithm has something to do with that?

  5. Fakharuddin :

    Hello Sir,
    Great post as usual.
    You describe everything that everyone should know for better social media marketing.

    Thanks for the awesome sharing.

  6. William Zimmerman :


    Great stuff!!

    My wife, who has her own company, used your hashtag advice on Instagram. She used 11 hashtags and got 32 likes and 9 comments! Whereas she usually gets less engagement than that.

    So thanks again!

    Have a great week!

    All the Best,
    Bill Z

  7. Bearded Colonel :

    Some great points Neil. Your last one about testing I think should actually be a #1 along with track/measure. I think too many people start funnelling cash into Social Ads without realising what small tweaks could make such massive impacts; and by the time those are realised – thats cash burned for nothing!


    • Great point Colonel, I think it’s essential to stay lean and iterate off of things that actually provide valuable ROI.

  8. Brian Jackson :

    Wow that tidbit on the heatmap for tweets is very interesting. I had never even thought of trying that. Placing link a quarter of the way through though is kind of hard lol, unless you shorten up your title a lot. I’m going to have to try this. Thanks Neil! Great post as always.

  9. Hi Neil

    Wow, this post is super useful – I am going to start implementing them straight away and I love the words that are best to use on Twitter and Facebook and also the optimal numbers of posts for each type of social media

    Looking forward to those click thru rates increasing!

  10. Erick Racedo :

    BOOOM! Another awesome post Neil. I literally was just working on my social media game and this came up. I’m so glad I read it!

    However, what do you think about the increased engagement with videos on Facebook? Do you think it might start getting better to post videos over images?

    • Erick, videos are definitely providing more value on Facebook. It’s all about having an approach that catches people’s eyes.

  11. Hi Neil Sir,

    Awesome post, If we are using some tricks and tactics then we can get huge traffic from social media.

    I am going to try all these tactics,

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful article 🙂


  12. Hey Neil! As per usual, awesome article.

    Question: Facebook doesn’t always serve posts to followers immediately when the posts go live. They sometimes show them hours later. Why would it still be ideal to post on FB during peak hours?

    • Tara, ultimately you want the post to reach as many eyes as possible which is why peak posting is essential.

  13. Hey Neil, Thanks for the useful tips.

    What are your thoughts on Google+? Isn’t that another source for big traffic? What would you recommend

  14. Very good tactics to use. I really love your advice.

    Thx Jamie

  15. Akshit Wadhwa :

    Hey Neil,

    Wow, this post is super useful – I am already implementing them straight away and I love the words that are best to use on Twitter and Facebook and also the optimal numbers of posts for each type of social media.

    -Akshit Wadhwa

  16. Tajirul Haque :

    Great post as always. I promote my website on twitter and I was doing a number of things wrong. I will try to follow your suggestions.

  17. A very Good creative Idea I learn from these posts. Now I will follow these rules

  18. Michelle Nieves :

    Hello Neil,
    Thank you very much for these great ideas. I will definitely be using some of these today!

  19. Thanks for this great article Neil… Social media has become the main part of an Internet Marketer’s life hence one should know what will help em generate more leads for business.. Keep sharing such great articles.. 🙂

  20. Thanks Neil….I am not very successful on Twitter. How can I share picture as my plugin allow only text.

  21. Rule N3. I used to make this mistake before and to share every posible article and link from my blog. I also learned it hard way 🙂

  22. thanks a lot for this article
    am take advantage greatly

  23. Really geart article! It definitely will help for a professional-oriented use of Twitter, Facebook and even other social media users.Thanks for these tips .I’m just starting out and have embraced twitter to the max!

  24. Thank you Nail. Your articles really help us. We will get in tocuh with you in the near future.

  25. Internet Settings :

    Thanks a lot for this exposure, Neil. I will implement some of your ideas soon.

  26. Christopher Wright :

    I have 3 social media. Should I post different content in each social media or I can post the same content?

  27. Alecia Stringer :

    Good to know the many ways to test your audience. Thanks.

  28. Azam Hamdoon :

    Great post Neil, all these tactics you have laid out are immediately actionable. thanks for sharing

  29. Nishant Shah :

    It Seems that I got Some Amazing Points to implement on my Social Media Strategy from This Blog Post.

  30. Hastags with one words really work at Instagram, get more followers. Beginners who are not in the internet marketing, can get thousands of followers because of the hastags.

  31. Priyal Matreja :

    To the point and useful post. Thanks Neil !

  32. Great post Neil.I will start implementing your strategies.


    John Ukonu.

  33. Yael Kochman :

    Great post Neil. You touched less on Linkedin and I think that might require a whole new post!
    On Linkedin I find that posts that start with questions generate higher CTR. Also as LInkedin’s thumbnail is very small, adding an image to a post helps grab people’s attention.

    • Yael, LinkedIn leads are typically more qualified — you’re right I could spend a whole post on this topic.

  34. Neil, These are some great methods for social media, Thanks for sharing your skills with us.

  35. Hi Neil, great post.

    Any ideas how to use social media when the target audience is not so social media savvy? – 60+? What are Do’s and Dont’s ?

    Any help will be appreciated.

  36. I am always learning great stuff from you Neil. But please help out here: How do I increase my followers on my Google+ page?

    • Hi Siboniso!

      I’m no Neil Patel, but I have had a good amount of success on G+. In fact, I have more followers there than on any of my other social media accounts.

      In my experience, the absolute best way, hands down, to get more followers on G+, is by being an active member on a community.

      G+ has communities for every topic under the sun. My advice would be to pick one or two (no more than three) decent sized communities about a topic that interests you or better yet ones that you are experienced with or know a lot about.

      Once you have become a member, share helpful info and get involved with other member’s posts by answering their questions, asking questions and other interactions..

      I started doing this on the popular community “Content Marketing & Social Media”. Shortly after getting involved, the community owner invited me to moderate the community! This gave me the opportunity to get involved in a big way. It also lead to receiving many followers. When I’m actively posting, I can get up to 10 new followers a day and even why I’m not that active, I still get 2 or 3 followers a day.

      Here’s a tip.. Many community owners don’t have the time to manage the community all the time. Most would welcome some assistance in that area. I would suggest getting involved and after a few weeks, contact the community owner and offer your help as a moderator.

      If you get involved with communities and/or have the opportunity to moderate a community, you will notice the number of your followers rising rapidly!

      Good luck!

    • Siboniso, just keep pumping out quality content and connecting with people and you’ll see more growth.

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  38. To be honest, I haven’t been using most images in my tweets when self-promoting my blog posts. I must do that now knowing it will cause a 108% increase in clickthrought rates. Thanks!

  39. The Personal Barber :

    Just came across this post, completely agree with all of it. Adding images to to every post in FB and Twitter is essential now. Adding text to images (as long as it’s within guidelines) also really helps

  40. Anthony Tornambe :

    Yes, Image as well as properly hasgtag can help help in more likes & shares.

  41. Hey Neil, when you said “sharing content from your own site 20% of the time is ideal”, are you recommending us to share content from other sites or just non-business related content?

    For example, if I’m running a fitness blog, would the idea be for me to share 4 posts of just plain free knowledge articles for every post that I am trying to directly make a sale through?

    Fantastic article by the way!

    • It could be from other sites and when you’re just starting out, doesn’t have to be relative content. Post your own content 20% of the time.

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