You might have started to notice a trend. Actually, if you’re like me you’ve noticed it and have already developed a complex love-hate relationship with it (Ok, maybe that’s a little much). It’s called “Click to Tweet”.Click This!! Tweet This!! Because it's HERE!! Exhibit A of a bad 'Click to Tweet' Click To Tweet
It’s a really simple and effective tool that puts a quote from your article smack dab in the middle of the content that makes it dirt simple for your readers to do exactly that: “Click to Tweet”.
But like any tool, it can be abused, or misused, or overused. I *think* it can be useful, but chances are high that it’ll rather be implemented in a less than stellar fashion, or be an annoyance or turn-off to your readers.
My Take on the Click to Tweet Trend
I don’t have hard data on this yet, but I’ve been polling friends and colleagues and using my developer-spidey senses to evaluate whether these Click to Tweets are valuable or not. Here’s my Pro’s and Con’s list:
- Puts the Tweet ability right in the middle of the article
- Stands out
- Has visual distinction
- Gets people sharing your content (at least on Twitter)
- When left undesigned, feels lack-luster (and it’s most often undesigned)
- Feels forced, especially when the content is bland or lacks creativity
- Some users feel like it breaks up the reading rather than enhances it.
- More astute readers really don’t like you telling them what to share and how. Again, a feeling of cheapness, or “need for attention” (as some put it).
I think what makes this technique unique is that it puts the Social Sharing right in the middle of the content. There have been a few write-ups bemoaning the utter uselessness of social share buttons. Whether you put them at the top of the article (before they’ve even read your article, really?!) or at the bottom (which many readers don’t even get to) they often times are just under-used or worse: obnoxious.
That’s what makes this different. It’s not a button, it’s text like a blockquote. And it’s not at the bottom or top of the article. Still, so far the response from most I spoke to was luke-warm to negative.
Can it be done Well?
This is a good question. Honestly, there has been only one post I’ve seen so far that did it really well. The folks at WPSiteCare put together this really comprehensive list of a ton of WordPress plugins and scattered several well-worded quotes about them throughout the article. This was genius because the article was all about OTHER people’s work, and gave them a super quick way to promote themselves while pointing the social media links to the WPSitecare site. Clever and well executed.
So, in this one case, I think these were the key elements to doing it right:
- The post was about others, not themselves
- The quotes were pithy
- The article itself was really well-done
If you’re using Click to Tweet and it’s been effective, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Another Case for Content is King
All of this reminds me once again that the success or failure of your blog article never lays within the usefulness or cleverness of a plugin or social media trick. It always — ALWAYS — depends on how well written and useful your article is.
So here’s an encouragement. This week, when you want to spend time on your blog, rather than research all over the web for better ways to “get” social shares, research ways to become a better writer, and try writing at least 20 minutes every day. I guarantee that your social channels (and your readers!) will thank you for it.