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This question puzzles most social media users:
Why are some posts more popular than others?
This is a hard question to answer.
Each social network uses a different algorithm. Each algorithm promotes or degrades posts in a unique way.
It is almost impossible to understand why certain posts go viral and others do not.
One thing that I did notice about my posts was this:
It seems that links on posts got less engagement and views.
It was an anecdotal feeling and nothing more. To test my intuition, I spent several months researching.
Are posts with a link performing worse?
I condu cted both first-party and third-party research. My third-party analysis is based upon great research done by others (which you’ll find below).
Brandwatch was used to conduct the first party analysis. We are grateful to Brandwatch for their assistance.
Do posts with links perform worse? Here are our findings:
- Tweets that include a link get 7.2% less retweets (Buffer analysis).
- Tweets that include a link get 28.76% less reach (Buffer analysis).
- LinkedIn impressions drop by 3x after posting a link (AgoraPulse).
- LinkedIn posts that do not contain a link have a 70% engagement rate (SocialInsider).
- TikTok and Instagram actively discourage link sharing
Although we couldn’t find conclusive results on Facebook and Google Business Profiles, we would assume that these algorithms act in the same way. The headline is clear: links in social media posts seem to perform worse.
To dig a little deeper, let’s dive into our analysis.
We analysed 174 million tweets without and with links
Brandwatch and our friends were able analyze large numbers of tweets (174,525.132 tweets).
We looked specifically for tweets that contained links or the phrase “linkin bio” and were statistically reliable.
We decided to compare the following styles of tweets.
- Tweets that included a link
- Tweets that contain the phrase “link In Bio”
These tweets both attempt to do the same thing. Both are trying to direct people to external content. Except that link-based tweets are done directly in the tweet, while link in bio posts encourage people click on the bio to access the content.
We compared the average number and reach of both types of tweets. Note that impressions is the sum of all followers who retweeted or tweeted the post. Reach refers to the number of users who saw the tweet.
These are the results.
Tweets that mention a “link to bio” are:
- 8.98% More retweets then tweets with a link
- 21.24% More impressions than tweets with a link
- 40.38% More reach than tweets with a link
What is the problem?
One hypothesis is that Twitter and other social networks don’t want users leaving the app. They limit visibility for link-based tweets.
Posts that include a link in the bio appear to bypass this limitation. The post is more visible without a link in the text and receives more retweets.
How to use a hyperlink in your bio
Avoid linking to posts on social media. Instead, direct your audience to the link in your bio. This will ensure maximum visibility.
This begs the question: Which tool should you choose?
A tool that can be customized to your brand’s needs is essential. You will need a tool that can store a lot of content and link to direct your audience to the right place.
There are many tools available that can do this, including Buffer’s Start Page.
Start Page is unique in one way.
Start Page users now have the ability to schedule posts for their page at a particular time and date. This is completely free.
Learn more about our announcement blog.
Reach the people you want
Start posting to your Start Page now
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